Please welcome guest author Sarah Gurung as she explores Sunshine Seasons in Epcot’s Future World.
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When touring the Disney parks, my family tends to gravitate to the same dining locations. But over the years, I’ve come to crave foods that are a little more unusual than the hamburgers and chicken fingers we have always enjoyed.
At Epcot, Sunshine Seasons offers fresh and unique dishes that appeal to a wide range of palates. For this reason, I all but insisted that we stop for lunch at Sunshine Seasons food court during our visit last month.
Sunshine Seasons is a quick service dining location in The Land pavilion beneath a massive glass roof where sunshine streams through (and, as we found, thunderstorms roar through!).
Here you also find the Living With the Land, and Soarin’ attractions as well as Garden Grill restaurant. Many of the foods grown in the gardens featured in Living With the Land end up in Sunshine Seasons and Garden Grill dishes!
Sunshine Seasons is organized like a typical food court with different food stations specializing in a variety of foods, a beverage bar, and grab-and-go options.
The food stations include The Grill, Soup & Salad, Asian Noodles, Sandwiches, The Bakery, and Breakfast.
Each food station features creative flavor combinations served (and often cooked) to order by friendly cast members. This means that, in many cases, you can personalize your dish, substituting sides or requesting changes to meet your dietary needs.
There are lots of dessert options, including a grab-and-go dessert case full of cookies, muffins, and other delicious sweets.
After making their selections, diners proceed to check-out and continue through to the condiment and utensil bar.
Seating in Sunshine Seasons is abundant, but given its popularity, it is often a busy and crowded place. Seating includes booths and tables of various sizes, but I find maneuvering between chair legs and tabletops can be difficult.
On this particular visit, I dined with my mom, my sister, and two girls under the age of three. Needless to say, we divided and conquered.
We left the girls with my mom while my sister and I gathered lunch. This is, I think, the best way to approach a busy food court, particularly with little ones.
With so many options from which to choose, I had a hard time making a decision. In the past, I have tried the rotisserie chicken meal and several Asian dishes, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed.
But this day, as I wanted to try a dessert I had heard many rave reviews for, I opted for lighter fare at the Soup and Salad Station.
The Roast Beets and Goat Cheese Salad with Honey Sherry Dressing is comprised of fresh mixed greens and soft, roasted red and yellow beets tossed with a mild dressing that has just a tiny kick of acid from the vinegar.
Three rounds of goat cheese are placed on the side of the salad.
The goat cheese slices appear to be coated in a few sesame seeds, which add a bit of texture to the otherwise creamy rounds.
Atop the salad is a very thin, crispy piece of bread that was, unfortunately, a little hard to eat.
A composed bit of this salad offered a nice balance: fresh greens, sweet beet, vinegar dressing, creamy cheese, and cracker-like bread. The flavors complimented one another, and the textures gave it an interesting mouth-feel. The goat cheese, for me, was a little strong, so I tried to use small bits of it so I wouldn’t overpower the rest of the flavors.
But the moment I had been waiting for came after my light lunch: dessert. For months, I had been reading up on Sunshine Seasons’ desserts, and the one I decided was not-to-be-missed was the strawberry shortcake.
Growing up, this was always my favorite, so the decision was really a no-brainer. And I’m so glad I stuck with my choice. This strawberry shortcake is a sweet layering of light cake, sweet strawberries, and not-too-sweet dense whipped cream.
The cake had the airiness of angel food cake but was thin and easy to manage with just a plastic fork. The strawberries were sweet and abundant, placed throughout each layer in large, juicy chunks. The whipped cream was a great discovery; it was subtly sweet and not at all greasy (as I often find some “light” frostings and creams to be).
A composed bite was very easy to create, and I am not ashamed to say that I tried to avoid sharing this dessert.
I love the vibe of Sunshine Seasons. Its busy-ness lends it a sense of celebration, and for me, it feels like a celebration of food.
The choices are diverse, but admittedly the chicken nugget and burger crowd might be disappointed. Still, with so many options, I believe there is something for everyone. Sunshine Seasons is a wonderful location for a fun and flavorful meal (or snack).
What are your must-have eats at Sunshine Seasons? Let us know in the comments below!
Sarah Gurung is an unemployed high school English teacher but a fully-employed stay-at-home mom to one incredible daughter. She has been a Disney World fanatic since her first family trip in 1992 and loves exploring the world of food at the World.