Review: EPCOT’s Connections Cafe and Restaurant Improves Disney’s Traditional Quick-Service Restaurants

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EPCOT’s Connections Café & Eatery is Walt Disney World’s new quick-service restaurant. Replacing the former Electric Umbrella restaurant, Connections Café & Eatery is meant to fill the “traditional” fast food void at EPCOT. The menu is full of burgers, sandwiches and flatbreads. But is it worth it when EPCOT offers dozens of other food options?

Before we dive in, let’s first celebrate that Disney has steadily improved its 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-serve menu can be.

Back to Connections Café & Eatery.

Theming at Connections Café & Eatery

Connections Café & Eatery is a huge space. The Café section is the new home of Starbucks at EPCOT and offers the usual menu with plenty of comfortable seating. The Eatery is more or less the replacement for the Electric Umbrella. The two areas connect and are surrounded by huge windows that overlook EPCOT. These windows bring in a ton of natural light.

Moving through the space, the overall aesthetic matches all of Walt Disney World’s latest design projects. The neighborhood is modern, bright and clean. The interior is comparable to the nearby Creations store or the recently renovated World of Disney store in Disney Springs.

The best theme is a huge hand-painted mural that wraps around part of the interior. This mural is spectacular and so large that at first it’s easy to forget it’s actually hand painted.

It should also be noted that the Connections Café & Eatery looks very different day and night. The daytime feel is a bright, clean, white space devoid of huge splashes of color. At night, Disney lightning strikes it out of the park again with great color swatches and gorgeous accents. The vibe is very different depending on what time you visit.

Food at Connections Café & Eatery

Burgers at Connections Cafe & Eatery.
American Classic Burger (left) and the Southwestern Burger (right).

The menu at Connections Café & Eatery contains many familiar dishes (salads, burgers, pizzas), but with unique flavors. We had a hard time deciding and finally ordered a few burgers. This seemed appropriate as we also ordered burgers the last time we ate at Electric Umbrella, the quick service restaurant that Connections Café & Eatery has effectively replaced.

We ordered the Classic American Burger and the Southwest Burger. The American Classic Burger features a blend of gourmet beef, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, cheddar and roasted garlic on a toasted bun. The Southwestern burger features a medley of gourmet beef, roasted corn and chipotle salsa, Oaxaca cream cheese, chamoy and guacamole spread on a toasted bun.

These aren’t your usual Disney quick-service burgers you might find at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in the Magic Kingdom. The patty is much thicker and not like 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 looked a little plain without the spread. There were no surprises here, but we were impressed with the overall quality. This is definitely one of the best theme park burgers we’ve had.

We had higher expectations for the Southwestern Burger and things fell a little short. There just wasn’t enough cream, guacamole spread, or even salsa to add any meaningful flavor to the burger. The bites with all these toppings were great, but we wished we had more. Bites without revealing a slightly dry burger.

Both burgers also came with fries and we added a few sodas. The fries are the usual Disney quick serve fries that you can find at all the parks. The soda machines are self serve and you can get refills which is a welcome sight. 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.

Flavors of soda at Connections Cafe & Eatery.

General thoughts

We enjoyed our meal at Connections Cafe & Eatery! The menu is a significant improvement over what was served at the Electric Umbrella. Quality has also improved and represents another step forward in quick-service dining at Walt Disney World.

That said, things weren’t perfect. The burgers are tasty although the more “adventurous” flavors are heavily dependent on the toppings. It’s fine if there are enough toppings, but we found the Southwestern Burger to be a bit short and lacking in flavor as a result.

Overall, we’re excited to try more items at Connections Café & Eatery, which we believe is a positive review of EPCOT’s newest quick-service location.

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