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Dinner at Coral Reef Before Illuminations

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  • [Question] Dinner at Coral Reef Before Illuminations

    Hello MiceChatters!

    Need your advice. Planning to visit Disney World for the first time with my girlfriend this January. We're planning for dinner at the Coral Reef restaurant, but want to make sure we finish in time to have a spot along the railing for Illuminations.

    What time should I make my reservations for? How long before showtime should I plan on staking out a spot? Has anyone ever done this before? Illuminations that night will be at 9pm.


  • #2
    Re: Dinner at Coral Reef Before Illuminations

    Howdy adoborocks,

    First, let me congratulate you on your choice of restaurants. I have had the pleasure of eating at the Coral Reef on more than one occasion and, although it is expensive...way overpriced, perhaps...I found the food to be absolutely delightful.

    As to recommendation would be to have an early Dinner...say 5:00 or 5:30 or so. This would allow you enough time to relax and truly savor the experience and the food of the Coral Reef. Then, take a leisurely stroll over to the World Showcase Lagoon...and walk around a little to find a good spot.

    I've always found it important to take notice of the direction of the wind when finding a spot. If the wind is blowing toward you, move. You do not want to smell like fireworks, especially if you are traveling by plane. That fireworks residue is not pleasant and has been known to cause buzzers to go off at the airport luggage counter. The smoke from the fireworks can also get in your eyes and make for a less than pleasant experience.

    So, pick a spot where the wind is blowing away from you across the lake. There are many good spots to watch...walk around the lagoon a bit and find one that is right for you.
    One of the most enjoyable parts of the evening for me is the leisurely stroll around the lagoon after the fireworks are over. Don't be in a hurry...relax. Enjoy the evening. Let the parking lot clear out some...

    You are probably going to be full after dining at the Coral get there early enough to have a nice relaxing dinner, without looking at your watch every five minutes wondering if you will have enough time. Then take a slow, calm, and collected walk to see the magic of illuminations.

    Have a wonderful evening at Epcot...

    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol' Dan
    "I can see the cattle grazin' o'er the hills at early morn…
    I can see the campfires smokin’ at the breaking of the dawn,
    I can hear the bronco's neighin', I can hear the cowboys sing,
    I'd like to be in Texas for the Round-up in the Spring."


    • #3
      Re: Dinner at Coral Reef Before Illuminations

      I'll give a counter opinion. 7pm will be fine if you don't dawdle at dinner. We had 7pm Coral Reef reservations just last night (unfortunately, I'm writing this from home in Illinois), actually arrived about 6:45, promptly seated, a leisurely enough meal (appetizer and entree but no dessert) and easily made the 9:00 show. No, not Illuminations, but MSEP at MK where we sitting on the curb at Town Square by 8:40.

      We did watch Illuminations two other nights and 8:30 was more than early enough for a great spot at the rail (between U.S. and Italy the first time; between Mexico and Norway the second time).


      • #4
        Re: Dinner at Coral Reef Before Illuminations

        Thanks to both of you for the very helpful insights. We usually like having dinner kinda early anyways so I was able to make a reservation for 5:40pm! Will let you know how it goes. Thanks!


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