A special Disney on Broadway Experience
Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package
August 2, 2019
By: Maggie Ballantyne
Within its first three years of existence, Festival of the Arts has moved its way into first place for my favorite festival in Epcot. It is an experience tapping into each of your five senses with vibrant colors, tasty treats, catchy music, interactive activities, and smells of sweet, savory, and spicy foods across world showcase. For the first time this year, I purchased a ticket to the Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package. It was an evening that did not disappoint in any aspect and is perfect for any foodie that loves live music or theater.
When you purchase your tickets, you are purchasing a three-course meal at one of five sit down restaurants, and reserved seats at a show in the American amphitheater. I chose Coral Reef Restaurant because I had not dined there since my first trip to Disney World at nine years old and I recall some really great memories. After a full day of traveling around the world, four of us showed up at Coral Reef ready for some air conditioning, time to rest our feet, and for good food. When you check in for your dining reservation, you will also receive a ticket to the Broadway show following your meal. On this day in particular there were two show times and the cast member was kind enough to switch us to the earlier show. We had an early start the next day for a Run Disney event and the cast member was more than accommodating.
After a very short wait in a very relaxing and comfy waiting area, we were brought to our table. The dining room has four different levels of seating and one wall that is actually a giant fish tank giving the illusion you are dining under the sea. We were seated in a booth facing the tank and had a perfect view of all the marine life. Not only will your waiter or waitress give you a menu when you are seated, they will also give you a fish guide so you know what you are looking at. Be on the lookout for scuba divers and give them a wave!
With this dining package, each guest is entitled to an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. For an appetizer I had the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail. The description could not be more accurate. Three giant, fresh chilled, shrimp were served and was the perfect refreshing start to the meal. The crowd favorite for the appetizers at our table, however, was the fried calamari.
Each of us ordered a different entrée and my choice was my favorite, the Seared Sustainable Salmon Filet. I never order salmon at a restaurant because I am convinced that no one can make it as great as my dad, but this one was right up there. I really enjoyed it. It is rumored that Coral Reef has one of the best steaks on property too. Everyone at my table would agree.
No surprise here, but dessert was my favorite part of the meal! Not only were they delicious, but just the plating was impeccable! Check out this Turtle Cheesecake! Cheesecake with pecan Florentine, chocolate-caramel ganache, and caramel sauce.
But let’s remember this is only part one of the experience. We still had the show to go see!
We walked from Coral Reef over to the American Amphitheater, showed the cast members our tickets (which were actually stickers), and were brought to the second row right near the catwalk center stage. We did have a little bit of time to get seated and go to the rest room, but I would not recommend making any stops on the way if you have the earlier show time. Wait to explore world showcase until after.
Performers for the Broadway series change depending on the night. We were lucky enough to see Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White, performers from the Lion King. White has the record for the longest performance as King Mufasa with over 4,300 performances. Both Simmons and White performed a couple solos and duets. They even debuted some songs from Hercules, which will be the next Disney show on Broadway. White performed “Go the Distance” and totally sold me on Hercules as a play. I can’t wait to go see it. His performance of “He Lives in You” from The Lion King moved most of the audience to tears and everyone to their feet. The word that comes to mind when I think back on that performance is wow! Everyone was blown away.
Our performance was about thirty minutes long and we enjoyed every bit of it. It also included songs from Aida and The Little Mermaid. I wish it had been a little longer only because I was having so much fun singing along to some of my favorite Disney songs. I will definitely book this package again when I return to Festival of the Arts. I love that I can choose a different restaurant or go on a different date and see a new performer. No two experiences will ever be the same.
If you want more information on Magical Extras such as Dining/Entertainment Packages, Dessert Parties, and more, contact me at Maggie@wishesfamilytravel.com or follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wishesfamilytravelmaggie