EPCOT has been seeing a major overhaul in the previous few years, with an immense amount of construction that was originally supposed to be completed by the beginning of the Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary. Obviously, COVID caused a large change to the construction timeline, with some projects simply being delayed and others being removed from the slate completely, such as the reimagining of Spaceship Earth or the addition of a dark attraction inspired by Mary Poppins.
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While some projects have not taken any shape yet, others are beginning to emerge, including the brand-new Guardians of the Galaxy – Cosmic Rewind and a quick-service restaurant in World Celebration — previously part of Future World — that celebrates EPCOT’s past, present, and future. Connections Eatery and Connections Café are housed in the same building together and offer Guests a new selection of delicious dining options to enjoy each day in EPCOT.
Existing in the space that previously housed Electric Umbrella — a now extinct quick-service location — Connections Eatery is now the only quick service location other than Sunshine Seasons found in EPCOT outside World Showcase. Connections Café replaced the Starbucks location that previously existed adjacent to the former location of Club Cool.
The interior of Connections Café and Connections Eatery is massive with plenty of seating for hungry Guests and features a unique blend of modern and airy décor with relaxing elements as well as many nods to the history of EPCOT. Many details and design elements of have been shared by , the most prominent of which is a sweeping one hundred and sixty-foot mural titled “Global Gathering” that depicts cuisines and ingredients from around the world being celebrated and enjoyed by individuals from those regions.
Also found in the interior of Connections Eatery are modern geometric light fixtures, modern table and stool seating, glass front display cases with food related items from cultures around the world, wooden paneled ceilings, and a large counter ordering area with many different lanes for quick and convenient service.
Guests who wander throughout Connections Eatery and Connections Café will also notice many nods to EPCOT’s present and past, including a stunning wall with etching that matches the iconic silver tetrahedrons found on the exterior of Spaceship Earth. The original pavilion logos from EPCOT’s early years can also be found on colored etched glass walls, as well as glass-topped tables flanked by seating for Guests.
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The largest tribute to EPCOT’s history can actually be found by looking down while in Connections Eatery and goes back to the first conceptual days of the project as shared by Walt Disney himself in the famous Florida Project film. Several panels embedded in the flooring depict the original radial design of EPCOT that can be seen on large maps and posters behind Walt Disney in the film. This wonderful detail is subtle for those who are unaware of the maps, but they add a fantastic level of history and tribute to Walt Disney and his incredible visions of the future.
In addition to the interior design and theming, Connections Café and Connections Eatery celebrate a global community of cuisine and eating, featuring items from cultures across the world that are designed to be enjoyed together in harmony. Connections Café features the typical Starbucks menu with some fun seasonal food and beverage items, and Connections Eatery is where the international cuisine can be found for both lunch and dinner each day in EPCOT.
Guests who are looking for light options at Connections Eatery can enjoy the General Tso Chicken Salad with a blend of petite kale, broccoli slaw, red peppers, mandarin oranges, edamame, crispy wontons, warm fried chicken, and General Tso’s dressing or the Nicoise-style Salad with a mix of greens, wedged potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, olives, white beans, and Dijon vinaigrette.
Pizza lovers have several options to choose from that will be sure to transport them straight to the beauty and charm of Italy, all of which come with a Mediterranean Side Salad. The Five-Cheese Pizza is a delicious classic, or Guests can opt for the Pepperoni Pizza or Meatball Pizza with indulgent beef and pork meatballs.
Most of the menu items at Connections Café are burgers that take their flavor profiles and ingredients from different regions around the world. American cuisine can be enjoyed with the American Classic Burger featuring a gourmet beef blend with lettuce, pickle tomato, cheddar, roasted garlic spread, and toasted bun or the Southwestern Burger which tops a toasted bun with gourmet beef blend, roasted corn-chipotle salsa, Oaxaca cheese, crema, chamoy, and guacamole.
Internationally-inspired burger options include the French Bistro Burger which tops a toasted brioche bun with the same gourmet beef blend patty plus caramelized onions, bacon, brie, mushrooms, and Dijon mayonnaise. The flavors of Southern Europe are celebrated with the Mediterranean Burger with house-made doner bread topped with gourmet beef blend, shredded lettuce, pickled vegetable and feta relish, and Zhoug mayonnaise.
The final burger option at Connections Eatery is the flavorful Banh Mi Burger, which features miso-marinated gourmet beef on a toasted bun with pickled vegetables and Sriracha mayonnaise for the perfect amount of heat. Also available is the Hand-breaded Chicken Sandwich, which is a classic with house-made pickles and signature sauce on a toasted brioche bun.
To go with any meal at Connections Café, Guests should absolutely save room for the Liege Waffle dessert, which tops brioche dough with pearl sugar, strawberries, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce for the perfect balance of sweetness. Also available are the indulgent and refreshing Apple Pie Gelato Shake and Mango-Coconut Milk Shake featuring a pomegranate-molasses drizzle.
With a delicious menu and stunning interior, Connections Café and Connections Eatery share the true spirit and legacy of EPCOT through nods to the past as well as the future with a celebration of global community. Guests should be sure to stop in to enjoy a coffee creation or quick-service lunch or dinner during any visit to EPCOT’s World Celebration at the Walt Disney World Resort!