Coral Reef Restaurant
Eat here if:
- You love large aquariums
- You like seafood
- You don’t mind eating seafood while watching beautiful large fish swim around in their natural habitat in front of you as you devour their brethren
Avoid at all costs if:
- You never want to dine under the sea
- Scuba divers terrify you
- You might confuse “eating with the fishes” with “sleeping with the fishes”
For having opened in Epcot in 1986, the giant 5.7 million gallon fish tank is ridiculously impressive. Dolphins, sharks, turtles, rays, and nemo live in this tank. You might wonder:
Is the 5.7 million gallon tank really that big?
- The largest aquarium tank is Georgia aquarium at 6.3 million gallons. The second biggest in the world is in Dubai at 2.6 million. Monterey aquarium (the 4th largest in the world where Charlie used to work) is only 1.2 million gallons. They kept a great white shark in there.
- The tank is so big, spaceship earth (the giant Epcot golf ball) could fit inside.
- If you emptied the water from The Living Seas into one-gallon milk jugs and laid them side by side, they would stretch from Orlando to New Orleans, Knoxville or Raleigh — 540 miles.
- The artificial sea water used 27 truckloads of salt.
So yeah, it’s big.
Entering the restaurant brings you under the sea.
The walkway takes you into a coral reef with jelly fish lights and octopus walls. The dining room has impressive views into the giant tank and diners are seated in a tiered theater-style room with no windows other than those that allow you to view the sea.
Large schools of fish swim through the coral and ignore the large sharks that are either too well fed to eat the fish or have been attending Bruce’s AA style meetings. I think I heard “I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine” from the tank. I’m thinking of sending Marlo to those meetings.
Despite the “fish are friends – not food” mantra, 80% of the menu was seafood. As usual, the humans, not the flesh ripping sharks, are actually the most dangerous species present in the sea.
Too bad all that beauty tastes so great fried in olive oil.
Our delicious dinner included:
The shark was not the most surprising creature in the tank. Scuba divers surprised diners by lusting after their food through the glass. Even though these people paid hundreds of dollars to dive in a tank with over 600 species and 8,000 individual animals, they all seemed thrilled to wave at the diners through the window.