New Disney Dining Experience Review at Epcot Connections Cafe & Eatery
A centerpiece dining experience has been unveiled at Epcot this last week. Connections, located next to Creations (the gift shop), sits in what is ultimately to become World Celebration. This is the former Electric Umbrella, and before the Stargate Restaurant. But now it’s much bigger, brighter, and fortunately tastier. It is two sided with one side dedicated to being a counter service restaurant, and the other side being a Starbucks cafe. I’ve had a chance during the last week to visit on three occasions, to include a shared visit with John Frost, owner of The Disney Blog, and a terrific friend. We connect (it’s Connections after all) to look at a number of dishes and to talk all things Epcot. I also had a chance to visit with my daughter and later with my wife, and I share some of the culinary experiences we had to include not only the food, but the Cast, setting and processes. Join us as we review the dining experience at Epcot’s Connections Cafe & Eatery.
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Epcot Counter Service Heritage
In the early days Future World had
- Sunshine Terrace
- Odyssey Restaurant
- Farmers Market then eventually Sunshine Seasons Food Fair
- Pure & Simple
- Stargate Restaurant and then Electric Umbrella
Post Millennium Years
As Epcot went into the Millennium, it made changes
- Sunshine Season Food Fair becomes Sunshine Seasons
- Odyssey became an event facility and then an Epcot preview center
- Sunshine Terrace became Pasta Piazza and Fountain View (later Starbucks)
- Pure & Simple went out of business at Wonders of Life
- Electric Umbrella was the only thing that stayed as is for the last 20+ years
Big Highlights & Opportunities
Here’s what I loved most about the experience:
- Big space, not clustered, well-lit and very open
- Big windows, beautiful view in the dining area of World Discovery with the monorail passing by
- Big, beautiful and inclusive mural showcasing how food is part of how we celebrate our lives the world over
- Big menu with not only a great selection, but better tasting food than ever before
- Big floor maps referencing the heritage of all things Epcot and Walt Disney World
Here are some opportunities that I think are still missing:
- Floor maps need to be in a better location
- Better flow of traffic in the Starbucks area
- Mobile ordering simply is taking too long, and standing in line is not any better
- Would love to see some outdoor dining choices
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