Space 220 Dinner Review: Worth the Extra Money?

This dinner review of Space 220 covers the 3-course evening menu at Walt Disney World’s highly-themed outer space dining experience. It features food photos, thoughts on the more expensive meal, timing the daylight v. nighttime transition of Earth, how long dinner takes, and more.

If you’re looking for more on theme and atmosphere, check out our Photos & Video: Inside Space 220 Restaurant at Epcot. That tour offers an exhaustive look around. Summarizing the storytelling, the premise of Space 220 is that you’re dining inside a space station with a celestial panorama of the stars and Earth 220 miles (hence the name) below.

Likewise, if you’re more interested in the less expensive 2-course meal, see our Space 220 Restaurant Lunch Review. Speaking of which, the 3-course dinner menu costs $79 for adults (as compared to $55 for lunch) and $29 for kids. Since it’s already the hottest Advance Dining Reservation at Walt Disney World, you may not have much of a choice between lunch and dinner!

Continuing with the basics, Disney Vacation Club Members receive a 15% discount and Annual Passholders get 10% off at Space 220 Restaurant, which is somewhat surprising since it’s brand new. It’ll presumably accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount if/when that ever returns.

When the Disney Dining Plan returns, Space 220 Restaurant will likely be a 2-credit table service restaurant. While we’re not so certain of that for lunch, it’s all but guaranteed for the 3-course dinner. It’s also possible Space 220 won’t accept the Disney Dining Plan initially or will switch to an all-day dinner menu when the DDP returns.

With all of that out of the way, let’s turn to the food for dinner at Space 220!

For her appetizer, Sarah ordered the Galaxy Grain Salad: Quinoa, Beluga Lentils, Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Oranges, King Oyster Mushroom, Cashew Hummus.

Normally, we wouldn’t fixate too much on a salad, but a couple of things are noteworthy here. First, all of the salads at Space 220 are colossal. The photo doesn’t do its size justice. Second, the mushroom is also gigantic and tremendously flavorful. If you wanted to “get creative,” you could save that mushroom for your steak, where its tastiness would be better appreciated.

For my Space 220 dinner appetizer, I ordered the Starry Calamari: Fried Calamari, Italian Cherry Peppers, Spicy Marinara, Roasted Pepper Citrus Aioli.

Anytime we review calamari, I always preface it with there’s no such thing as bad calamari–only varying degrees of good. I’m a sucker for the stuff, and you should know that I’m grading on something of a curve.

With that said, the calamari at Space 220 is fantastic. The breading is light but adds a nice texture and batter-y goodness to the flavor. The meat is tender and flavorful–a winner all around.

My only complaint after having the calamari twice now is that it has been a little heavy-handed with the salt. This could be a “me problem,” as I seldom use salt, but it’s something that stuck out to me. Not enough to dissuade me from ordering this fantastic calamari again, but enough to merit mentioning.

Finally, the best appetizer at Space 220 restaurant: the Blue Moon Cauliflower.

This consists of Tempura Fried Cauliflower, Housemade Hot Sauce, and Blue Cheese Dust. We already covered what makes this so good in the lunch review, but figured it was worth mentioning again. This blog’s official position on cauliflower is that it’s cursed cuisine–perhaps a culinary crime. The Blue Moon Cauliflower is essentially a tale of redemption for the vile vegetable. Netflix should turn it into an uplifting miniseries.

For her entree, Sarah ordered the 8oz Filet Mignon with Cabernet Butter, Potato Leek Croquette, and Haricot Vert.

This is one of several entrees that’s exclusive to the dinner menu at Space 220 Restaurant. That’s presumably the case because they’re more expensive choices.

Walt Disney World generally does a good job with filet mignon, but since this is Patina Group we weren’t sure what to expect. We shouldn’t have had any such concerns–this was another excellent cut of beef, perfectly prepared.

The meat itself was top-notch, with the characteristic tenderness and flavor you’d expect from filet mignon. It probably didn’t need so much butter, as the steak itself required nothing to mask its inherent flavor and quality, but we’re not really complaining as that was fantastic. The accompaniments were likewise good. We’d call this steak “near-Signature” quality, just a run below Topolino’s Terrace or Toledo.

As an entree, I ordered the X2 Duck: Roasted and Confit Crescent Duck, Butternut Squash Flan, Brussels Sprouts, Orange Glaze.

This was likewise fantastic. The duck confit was the highlight–fall off the bone tender, and incredibly flavorful. The orange glaze was good, arguably enhancing it further, but I thought the natural flavor of the meat and its preparation spoke for itself.

The roasted duck was also delicious, but it was a tad tough. Nevertheless, I’d highly recommend this and order it again without hesitation. (I’d pick this over the filet mignon, but only by a narrow margin.)

If you’re looking for getting the most bang for your buck, the Slow Rotation Short Rib and Florida Red Snapper are going to be your two other best bets. The short rib looked huge; we have friends who did dinner at Space 220 and loved that.

Another entree for both lunch and dinner is the Bluehouse Salmon: Glazed Carrots, King Oyster Mushrooms, Baby Bok Choy, Ginger, Beurre Blanc.

This salmon has a tableside “reveal,” and there’s a smoky quality that permeates everything on the plate–and stinks up the whole restaurant. It’s certainly a choice to make smoky salmon the “scent of space.” I always figured that space stations had a crisp, sterile smell to them. Like “fresh” plastic or a new car, but fancier. Nope. Space smells like smoky salmon.

That aside, this is one of the best takes on salmon we’ve had since the iconic Cedar Plank Salmon at Artist Point. Oh, and the hearty king oyster mushrooms were superb. (Seriously, give me this dish at Wilderness Lodge at Christmas!)

Another lunch and dinner entree is the Roasted Free-range Chicken: Chicken Roulade, Mashed Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Garlic Thyme Jus.

This is a straightforward dish, but flawlessly executed. The chicken is tender and juicy, roasted to perfection. The whipped mashed potatoes are a standout side–creamy, buttery, and smooth. By brussels sprouts standards, but those are also good. The roasted garlic thyme jus further enhances the flavor, but this is still a simpler dish at its core. Nothing wrong with that, as it’s delicious.

In addition to having some superior entree options, dinner at Space 220 is a 3-course meal that includes dessert. These same options are available at lunch with an a la carte cost of $14 each.

By ordering dessert, you can effectively make a 3-course meal out of lunch for $69 versus the $79 that you’ll pay at dinner. Whether the better entrees and watching nightfall over Earth (see below) justify the $10 premium is a personal call.

The first highlight of the dessert menu is the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake: Dark Chocolate Sauce, Caramel Crunchy Pearls, Salted Toffee Drizzle.

This checks all the boxes–decadent and rich, good texture, and fun sweet and salty interplay. It’s not a revolutionary or craveworthy dessert, but I’d put it into the upper 25% of Walt Disney World table service desserts.

Next up is the Carrot Cake: Plant-Based Carrot Cake with Plant-Based Cream Cheese, Candied Walnuts, and Toasted Pepitas.

This is fantastic, but part of that is knowing it’s plant-based carrot cake yet not being able to tell that it’s plant-based carrot cake. That alone is impressive, but unless you’re on a plant-based diet, I don’t think it’s mind-blowing on the merits. It’s just a really, really good carrot cake that earns even more points for managing to taste so good while being plant-based.

Next, the Chocolate Cheesecake: Whipped Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Sauce, White Chocolate Crunchy Pearls, Cookie Crumbs, Dark Chocolate Shards.

Our opinions were mixed on this. I found it to be a solid chocolate cheesecake that was enhanced nicely by the whipped ganache to give it more creaminess without being over-the-top. The crumbs and shards also helped with texture. Sarah found it to be a bit flat, not having the desired richness or density of a cheesecake.

Finally, the Lemon Mousse: Lemon Mousse Sphere adorned with White Chocolate Rings, Lemon Custard, Marinated Blueberries, Lemon Curd.

This is perfectly fine, but it’s somewhat one-note. The flavor is mostly lemon and there’s little happening texture-wise to differentiate the desserts layers. It’s fine, perhaps better than that for lemon lovers, but it didn’t do a ton for us. The presentation is fun and other-worldly, though.

Another cool component of Space 220 Restaurant is the collectible trading cards that come with kids meals or the non-alcoholic drinks. (Limit one pack of cards per person, per meal–so no double-dipping by ordering a drink and a kids meal.)

There are 6 series of cards with 6 cards per series, for a total of 36 cards. These fall into three categories: trivia, food, and technology. There’s also a rare “tech specs” card stamped with blue foil in each series. More importantly, there’s at least one space dogs card! I’m not big on trading cards, but these are pretty cool and help deepen the restaurant’s backstory. We may have bought 3 non-alcoholic drinks during our meals at Space 220 in a quest for that space dogs card!

Now let’s turn to the other aspect of the experience: atmosphere.

While it doesn’t technically exist in actual outer space, there’s a ton of atmosphere in Space 220 Restaurant. Even more so for dinner than lunch.

That’s due to Earth actually transitioning from day to night, which adds a ton of visual interest to the otherwise somewhat static scenery of the planet.

While this process takes hours over actual Earth (or so I’m told–I’ve never been to space and am still skeptical of these so-called time zones), it occurs in about 20-30 minutes at Space 220 Restaurant.

If you’re doing dinner at Space 220 Restaurant, we’d highly recommend timing your Advance Dining Reservation to coincide with this day to night transition.

Darkness falls over Space 220’s version of Earth starting about 30-45 minutes after sunset. (Hopefully that continues to be the case following the end of Daylight Saving Time–we haven’t dined at Space 220 since.)

The other complicating factor is that we’ve found Space 220, along with so many other restaurants at Walt Disney World, often runs behind on ADRs.

Meaning that you might have a reservation for 7 pm and not be seated until 7:30 pm.

On top of that, you’re not going to see nightfall at all if you’re seated in one of the window-view booths on the far sides (see above right).

In our lunch review, we specifically recommended requesting a table on the first row of the second level (also above or the view below–those are basically the best seats in the house). These requests may or may not be accommodated if you’re willing to wait.

These are a lot of variables and considerations to juggle, which might make timing an ADR tricky.

Our recommendation would be to book your reservation for about 30-45 minutes before sunset. This gives you enough of a safety net on the front end so you don’t miss anything even with a delay, plus enough time to be certain darkness falls on Earth (that sounds quite ominous for a fun meal).

This also indirectly addresses a common question we’ve received: how long does dinner take at Space 220 Restaurant?

Like any Walt Disney World restaurant, the meal can be as slow as you’d like. If you’d like it to be faster, you can also speed things along. There’s no inherent reason this dining experience needs to be dragged out. With that said, we’ve found its pace does naturally tend to be slower.

We have no problem enjoying dinner at a leisurely pace, and Space 220 Restaurant took us a little over 2 hours from the time we checked in at the podium outside until the time we exited.

That’s likely a good average for dinner, with 90 minutes being on the lower end of possible durations and 2.5 hours on the higher end. Although you can speed things along, the arrival and departure process each take time, so cutting this dining experience to under an hour door to door seems unlikely–even for lunch.

Speaking of arrival and departure, the day to night transition also occurs in the elevator that takes you to and from Florida.

It’s cool to see the state’s more populous areas lit up in the evening, and also the night lights on in the park (minus the Epcot Dirt Pit,™️ which is still concealed by clouds.

Ultimately, we love Space 220 Restaurant and highly recommend it for dinner. Although more expensive, you’re adding a dessert to the meal (priced at $14 on the a la carte menu) to help bridge the gap. The desserts aren’t the best you’ll have at Walt Disney World and arguably are not worth $14. However, the totality of the experience accounting for the longer meal, watching nightfall over the United States, and having access to superior entrees is well worth the added cost.

It has taken criticism for the pricing, but Space 220 outperforms its in-park themed dining counterparts, occupying the interesting intersection of fine dining and themed restaurants. Already Space 220 is a contender for our Top 10 Restaurants at Walt Disney World and is a no-brainer for our Top 10 Themed Restaurants at Walt Disney World. Suffice to say, dinner at Space 220 is a must-do and is arguably the highlight of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary additions.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Are you excited for the Space 220 restaurant at Epcot? If you’re planning on doing an ADR here, will you book lunch or dinner? Think the superior entree options, dessert, and watching nightfall justifies the premium pricing? Does it look or sound like the cuisine is commensurate with the cost? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

18 Responses to “Space 220 Dinner Review: Worth the Extra Money?”
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