EPCOT’s Connections Café & Eatery is Walt Disney World’s newest quick-service restaurant. Replacing the old Electric Umbrella restaurant, Connections Café & Eatery is supposed to fill the hole of “traditional” quick-service food at EPCOT. The menu is full of burgers, sandwiches and flatbreads. But is it worth your time when EPCOT has dozens of other food options?
Before diving in, let’s first celebrate that Disney has been gradually improving their quick-service restaurants over the years. Satu’li Canteen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Docking Bay 7 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are legitimately fantastic and represent an evolution of what a quick-service menu can be.
Back to Connections Café & Eatery.
Theming at Connections Café & Eatery
Connections Café & Eatery is an enormous space. The Café portion is the new home to Starbucks at EPCOT and features the usual menu with plenty of comfortable seating. The Eatery is more or less the Electric Umbrella replacement. The two areas connect and are surrounded by huge windows that gaze into EPCOT. These windows bring in a ton of natural light.
Moving around the space, the overall aesthetic matches all of Walt Disney World’s latest design projects. The area is modern, bright and clean. The interior is comparable to the nearby Creations Shop or the latest remodel of the World of Disney store in Disney Springs.
The best bit of theming is a massive hand painted mural that wraps around a portion of the interior. This mural is spectacular and so large that at first it’s easy to forget it’s actually painted by hand.
It’s also worth noting that Connections Café & Eatery feels very different during the day and at night. The feel during the day is a bright, clean, white space lacking any huge splashes of color. At night, Disney’s lightning once again hits it out of the park with big swatches of color and some great accents. The vibe is very different depending on what time you visit.
Food at Connections Café & Eatery
The menu at Connections Café & Eatery contains many familiar items (salads, burgers, pizzas), but with some unique flavors. We had a difficult time deciding and ultimately ordered a couple of burgers. This felt appropriate as we also ordered burgers the last time we ate at the Electric Umbrella, the quick-service restaurant that Connections Café & Eatery effectively replaced.
We ordered the American Classic Burger and the Southwestern Burger. The American Classic Burger has a Gourmet Beef Blend, Lettuce, Pickle, Tomato, Cheddar, Roasted Garlic Spread on a Toasted Bun. The Southwestern Burger has a Gourmet Beef Blend, Roasted Corn-Chipotle Salsa, Oaxaca Cheese Crema, Chamoy, Guacamole Spread on a Toasted Bun.
These are not your usual Disney quick-service burgers you might find at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café at the Magic Kingdom. The patty is much thicker and doesn’t resemble the frozen patties you might be used to seeing at theme parks.
The American Classic Burger is just that – a classic burger – and is really enhanced by the roasted garlic spread. Honestly, the burger might have felt a bit plain without the spread. There weren’t any surprises here, but we were impressed by the overall quality. It’s definitely one of the better theme park burgers we’ve had.
We had higher expectations for the Southwestern Burger and things fell just a bit short. There simply wasn’t enough of the crema, guacamole spread or even the salsa to add any significant taste to the burger. The bites with all of these toppings were great, but we would’ve loved to have more. The bites without revealed a burger that was a bit dry.
The two burgers also came with fries and we added a couple of sodas. The fries are the usual Disney quick-service fries you can find at all the parks. The soda machines are self-serve and you can get refills, which is a welcome sight. The soda flavors at Connections Café & Eatery are Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Coke Zero Sugar, Barq’s Root Beer, Minute Maid Zero Sugar Lemonade, and Powerade Mountain Berry Blast.
We enjoyed our meal at Connections Café & Eatery! The menu is a significant improvement over what was served over at the Electric Umbrella. The quality has improved too and represents another step forward in quick-service dining at Walt Disney World.
That said, things weren’t perfect. The burgers are tasty though the more “adventurous” flavors rely heavily on the toppings. That’s fine if there’s enough toppings, but we found the Southwestern Burger was a bit short and lacked flavor as a result.
Overall, we find ourselves excited to try other items at Connections Café & Eatery, which we think represents a positive review of EPCOT’s newest quick-service location.