Epcot is Walt Disney World’s second theme park. It opened in October of 1982. Although it is not exactly what Walt Disney had imagined, it has proved to be one of the world’s most popular theme parks. When Walt Disney died in December of 1966, the Disney imagineers were unsure of what to do with Walt’s vision for EPCOT. Eventually, they decided on what we see today, a large park with two separate and distinct areas. Future World is what you see when you enter the front of the park, near the big golf ball, otherwise known as Spaceship Earth. The back of the park is called World Showcase, and is similar to a permanent world’s fair. Most guests spend at least the first part of their day in Future World, where a majority of the attractions and rides are. At some point, you and your family will get hungry. Here are 7 places to find either a quick snack or an actual meal.
1) Snack carts – Ice cream treats and other snacks are available at carts dispersed throughout Future World. Although each cart may vary, typical items you will find include: popcorn, pretzels, fresh fruit, Mickey ice cream bars, frozen fruit bars, sodas, bottled water and other drinks. Most items are considered snacks on the Disney Dining Plan and most carts can take credit cards or your Magic Bands.
2) Taste Track – Located in Future World east, near the Test Track attraction, this kiosk serves Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, soups and beverages. In addition, the menu includes a Roasted Chicken Salad – chopped romaine with golden raisins, candied pecans, Granny Smith apples, cheddar cheese, roasted chicken breast, and white balsamic Dijon vinaigrette, a Tomato Bisque and sandwiches such as Gruyere & Applewood Smoked Bacon with caramelized onions on sour dough bread; a Fontina & Tomato Basil – with balsamic glaze on sour dough bread and Canadian Cheddar & Apples – with apple butter on cinnamon raisin bread. Entrees range from $6-$10 and will count as one quick-service meal on the Disney Dining Plan.
3) Fountain View/Starbucks – This location is in the center of Future World, near the fountains. It offers Starbucks coffees, teas and smoothies, as well as some baked goods and grab-and-go light snacks. You will find fruit and breakfast items, as you would at your local Starbucks. At lunch, sandwiches are served and after 4 pm, they offer small-plate meals such as chicken skewers, mac & cheese and flatbreads.
4) Electric Umbrella – This is a counter service spot serving up the standard burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, with ample seating both indoors and out. Other items include flatbreads, Caesar salad with chicken, and wraps. Specialty cocktails offered include Pina Colada and Strawberry Margarita.
5) Sunshine Seasons – One of Disney World’s most popular dining locations is Sunshine Seasons, located in the Land Pavilion, near the Soarin’ attraction. Featuring a wide menu, this dining area works much like a food court. Breakfast begins at park opening and runs until 11 am. Typical items include breakfast sandwiches, cereals, French toast and a full breakfast platter. For lunch and dinner, you can find soups & salads, sushi, sandwiches, and wraps. Hot items include rotisserie chicken, salmon, fish tacos and Asian food. Ample seating area is located in the center of the pavilion. This is a great place to dine while waiting for your Soarin’ fastpass, or just a nice place to cool off.
6) Garden Grill – This fun table-service restaurant features a character meal with Chip ‘n’ Dale, Farmer Mickey and Pluto. The price of this meal varies based on the time of year (peak seasons vs regular season), and even on the day of the week (weekday vs weekend). The general price ranges for this meal are as follows: Adult price range: $38-$45; Child (ages 3-9) price range: $19-$21. While you’re enjoying your meal, the restaurant slowly rotates through the Living with the Land attraction. Much of the food served here is grown at Epcot. Before or after your meal, ride Living with the Land (nearby) to see the innovative ways Disney grows much of their food. As far as the menu, think comfort food.
7) Coral Reef – This is Future World’s nicest restaurant, as far the setting and atmosphere. The real draw here is the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a breathtaking view into the Seas with Nemo and Friends aquarium, making this a unique dining experience. Because of tiered seating, most every table has a good view of the aquarium. You kids will love it! Occasionally, you will even see scuba divers. The menu is largely seafood, but also includes steaks and chicken. Adult entrée prices range from $15-30. Both lunch and dinner are served.
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Jimmie is a retired school teacher from Texas, who has been going to Disney World for 25 years. He has experience in taking large groups to Disney, in addition to taking his own children and grandchildren. Jimmie and his wife Rhonda make annual trips to Disney World, Disneyland, and sail on the Disney Cruise Line.