Space 220 Lunch Review: It’s Out of This (Disney) World!

Space 220 Restaurant is Walt Disney World’s newest table service restaurant, essentially an extension of Epcot’s Mission Space pavilion and one of the biggest additions of 2021. This review covers the highly-themed outer space dining experience with food photos, thoughts on the lunch menu, and more on the “out of this world” eatery.

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.

In terms of basics, Space 220 is open daily for lunch and dinner, serving a prix fixe menu in the restaurant proper. The cost is $55 for the 2-course lunch menu and $79 for the 3-course dinner menu for adults. Kids pricing is $29 at both lunch and dinner. In addition to the main seating area that can be booked via Advance Dining Reservations, there’s also a lounge with drinks and an a la carte menu available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Currently, 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. (Watch, they’ll drop the discount once the soft opening is over!) It’ll presumably accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount if/when that ever returns.

Nothing has been confirmed yet, but once the Disney Dining Plan returns, Space 220 Restaurant will likely be a 2-credit table service restaurant. It’s possible Space 220 will be one credit for lunch, or offer dessert all day for those on the Disney Dining Plan. It’s also possible it won’t accept the Disney Dining Plan for a while, as there’s going to be ample demand even without it for a long time.

With all of that background out of the way, let’s turn to lunch at Space 220 Restaurant…

I started the meal by ordering the “Zero-Proof” Milky Way: Chilled Espresso, Spiced Brown Sugar Syrup, Caramel, Cream, and mini Milky Way candy bar.

I did this for two reasons: exhaustion from getting up so early and because it includes a pack of Space 220 collectible trading cards. I got the space pup trading card and very caffeinated, so I suppose this drink was “worth it.” Objectively, it was not. There’s gotta be a better way to make the Milky Way connection than by attaching a candy bar via clothespin–that’s a bit tacky.

We also ordered the Celestial Cosmopolitan and Planetary Punch.

Reviewing drinks at Walt Disney World feels like an exercise in futility, as expectations vary significantly among guests. Basically, anyone ordering anything this ‘vibrant’ is likely getting what they want. These are sweet drinks, but not overly so (by Disney standards), with the punch being fairly fizzy and the cosmo being pretty close to a classic take on that iconic drink.

For our first appetizer, we ordered the Space Greens: Bibb Lettuce, Dried Cranberries, Roasted Pears, Spiced Pecans, Apple Cider Dressing.

There are three salads on the Lift-Offs menu, with this probably being the most straightforward of the bunch. The salad has a tangy, acidic quality and fall flavor thanks to the spiced pecans. Very approachable and checks your fruit and vegetable boxes for the meal. Also, it’s gigantic.

Next, the Neptune Tartare: Yellowfin Tuna, Yuzu Ginger Miso, Soy, Avocado, Raddish, Apple, and Sesame Crackers.

This is a great take on tuna tartare, with a generous portion for what it is, plus a fresh and refreshing flavor via high-grade tuna, ginger miso, and avocado. Another winner.

For our third Lift-Off (appetizer) dish, we ordered the Big Bang Burrata: Burrata di Mozzarella, Grilled Artichoke Hearts, Arugula, and Sunflower Seed Romesco.

This mozzarella was exceptional, and paired perfectly with the rich and piquant romesco. The grilled artichoke hearts added another layer and the arugula was…present. I could’ve done without the salt & pepper, as the cheese was plenty flavorful on its own. I’ve found that Walt Disney World and I have different ideas of how much salt is “necessary.” A minor quibble for yet another highly recommended appetizer.

Our final appetizer was the Blue Moon Cauliflower: Tempura Fried Cauliflower, Housemade Hot Sauce, and Blue Cheese Dust.

This blog’s official position on cauliflower is that it’s cursed cuisine–perhaps a culinary crime. Cabbage and cauliflower were quarantine staples for us…and I probably should stop there before I get myself into trouble. The point is that I’m not a fan of cauliflower and I certainly wouldn’t risk my reputation on faint praise of the villainous vegetable.

With that in mind, the Blue Moon Cauliflower is the best appetizer at Space 220 Restaurant.

The tempura batter gives it a nice texture and flavor, effectively masking the cauliflower itself, which still provides a substantive quality to the appetizer. The hot sauce and blue cheese are likewise great, making this more like buffalo tempura than cauliflower. If I were a (space) dog and someone needed to hide cauliflower in my food, the Blue Moon Cauliflower would be the stealthiest way to do it. (And I wouldn’t mind!) This appetizer is superlative.

For the first entree, we have the Seared Tuna: Spiced Yellowfin Tuna, Avocado, Marinated Egg, Brown Rice, Edamame, Pineapple, and Radishes.

The highlight here is the sizable portion of delicious and well-prepared yellowfin tuna with natural flavor that largely is allowed to speak for itself. This dish also offers a lot of vegetables (I love edamame, but it’s rare to see that in dishes at Walt Disney World) plus a large bed of filling brown rice. They’re obviously different dishes, but I think anyone looking at this entree could go for something other than the salads or Neptune Tartare to start.

Sticking with seafood, there’s 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 as a result. That plus the rich and buttery beurre blanc gives the salmon a fantastic flavor. You can find good salmon throughout Walt Disney World, but this is one of the best takes on the fish 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!)

For our third entree, we have the Roasted Free-range Chicken: Chicken Roulade, Mashed Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Garlic Thyme Jus.

This and the Bluehouse Salmon are also available on the dinner menu, which generally has the ‘elevated’ entree choices. Both are very deserving of their spots on that superior menu.

While we shared everything, the Roasted Free-range Chicken was primarily the entree that was mine. (That is, until I acquired half the salmon…and half the lobster.)

This is a more straightforward dish, but flawlessly executed. The chicken was tender and juicy, roasted to perfection. The whipped mashed potatoes were another standout–creamy, buttery, and smooth. (I’m not singing the praises of brussels sprouts, but these were good.) The roasted garlic thyme jus further enhanced the flavor, but this is still a simpler dish at its core. Nothing wrong with that, as it’s delicious.

Our last entree is the Flat Iron Steak: Coffee Space Rub, Smashed Fingerling Potatoes, Cabernet Butter, and Haricot Vert.

This was much better than any of us expected. The cut was shockingly tender and flavorful, and the preparation with the mild coffee rub provided an interesting twist to what otherwise could’ve been another fairly straightforward entree. (If you don’t like coffee, don’t be discouraged–it simply makes the meat’s natural flavor a bit more robust.)

My one quibble here, again, is salt. At least with the Flat Iron Steak and its potatoes, they were fairly large crystals that could easily be brushed off. Still unnecessary, though.

Our very strong recommendation would be to order the Flat Iron Steak over the Centauri Burger. Although we didn’t try the latter, no one we talked to had rave reviews of it, and it looked decidedly average/normal on the many occasions the burger passed our table. (Same goes for the Baked Maccheroni.) This is prix fixe, so you might as well get the better beef. It’s no more “adventurous” than the burger.

Finally, we added on the “Space Station Supplemental” Galactic Lobster Globe: Maine Lobster Salad, Quinoa, Bulgur Wheat, Avocado, Lettuce, Mango, Citrus Dressing, and Crispy Wonton.

This is an additional $18 on top of the $55 prix fixe menu price for lunch.

It’s difficult to convey just how much Maine Lobster was present in this dish, which is probably for the best, as the incredibly generous portion felt like a mistake to all of us. Lobster quality was above average for what you’d find in a dish–tender and delicious.

Presentation was also impressive, unsurprising since this eye-catching globe is one of the dishes being used to sell Space 220’s “out of this world” fine dining. For me, everything else in the bowl fell flat. The salad, its various toppings, and dressing all blended together in a mushy mix, without much in the way of texture to counterbalance the lobster. I’d enthusiastically recommend this for the lobster alone if I knew everyone else would receive a similar portion size, but I’m highly skeptical that’s the case. Accordingly, this is merely passable.

There are also kids menus with spaghetti, chicken, salmon, steak, etc. I can’t speak to quality or portion sizes, as we didn’t order any of these items.

I did get a photo of the sipper cup, which is only available for kids to purchase. That didn’t strike me as a big deal at the time, but it’s today’s “thing the internet is upset about.” I won’t pretend to understand the internet, but why on Earth (or above it) would you want this if you’re over the age of 6?! (Says the grown man who bought a coffee for the space dog trading card.)

We also ordered desserts, which have an a la carte cost of $14 each. I’m going to hold off on reviewing these until we review dinner, since they are technically part of that menu. The capsule review is that we loved them all–Sarah’s favorite was the Plant-Based Carrot Cake, whereas mine was the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake.

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. This potentially makes lunch the better bang for buck option, especially if you order any of the entrees we picked.

Speaking of which, our total cost for our half of the meal after DVC discount was $185. Without question, that’s a lot of money for a lunch, but we ordered drinks and desserts, both of which were arguably unnecessary. (While we enjoyed the desserts, I would’ve been just as satisfied with the Maple Boursin Cheesecake from Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival.)

Nevertheless, our total cost was less than what we’ve spent recently at Citricos and Yachtsman Steakhouse. Had we stuck to the regular menu, this would’ve been exactly the same price as ‘Ohana and Tusker House–with inarguably superior cuisine.

Whether Space 220 is fairly priced or overpriced is in the eye of the beholder and your perception of the overall experience. We’ve already discussed how the atmosphere was more sophisticated than we anticipated.

In addition to thematic elements, this is conveyed via everything from service to cutlery. Small example, but Space 220 uses Jean Dubost Laguiole flatware, which has a sleek design, nice heft, and isn’t cheap.

Space 220 is not technically classified as a Signature Restaurant by Walt Disney World, but it’s deserving of that distinction. It’s not serving haute cuisine that rivals Citricos in ambitiousness or Topolino’s Terrace in overall quality, but it comes close to Flying Fish, Narcoossee’s, and other hotel fine dining.

Moreover, Space 220 is superior to many in-park Signature Restaurants, including Cinderella’s Royal Table, Le Cellier, and Hollywood Brown Derby. It falls short of Monsieur Paul and Takumi-Tei, but those are very different in nature. Just the fact that we’re making the comparison says a lot, especially for a restaurant many fans (us included) assumed would coast on the novelty of its experience.

It seems like that was the assumption made when online handwringing began over the pricing at Space 220 Restaurant, with complaints that it’s $55 for a burger!

After dining at Space 220, that complaint strikes me as disingenuous given the quality of other menu items. Respectfully, if the only thing you find appealing on this entirely approachable menu is a burger, that is most certainly a “you problem.” (I see little difference between this and ordering the cheapest items on the Disney Dining Plan.)

Walt Disney World fans have also complained about the prix fixe menu requiring them to order “too much food,” but lunch is only a 2-course meal. There’s also the lounge as an alternative, albeit as a potentially inconvenient one depending upon how demand and waits for that end up shaking out.

Personally, I have a hard time faulting Walt Disney World for moving to more prix fixe menus at high-demand restaurants with “experiential” elements. Guests only ordering the Grey Stuff as a way to get in the door was a persistent problem at Be Our Guest Restaurant. Since Happily Ever After’s return, California Grill has had similar issues. Don’t be surprised to see this prix fixe trend expand to other restaurants that have similar issues. It’s an imperfect solution, to be sure, but entirely logical and “fair” that Disney would prioritize guests wanting to eat a full meal at popular restaurants.

As we shared previously, Space 220 Restaurant delivers in terms of the themed dining experience, deftly striking the right balance of realism, fun gags, and shockingly sophisticated and mellow atmosphere. Despite years of hype and anticipation, Space 220 managed to exceed our expectations for thematics and storytelling.

Admittedly, we didn’t have similarly high hopes for the menu. Despite past positive experiences with Patina Group, we’ve found that restaurants excelling at theme typically lag in cuisine. So Space 220 surpassing culinary expectations wouldn’t be saying much–it was a low bar. Nevertheless, Space 220 does outperform its in-park themed dining counterparts, occupying the interesting intersection of fine dining and themed restaurants. It’s still early and we don’t want to go too far, but if it can maintain this quality, Space 220 is a contender for our Top 10 Restaurants at Walt Disney World. It’s also a no-brainer our Top 10 Themed Restaurants at Walt Disney World–likely dethroning Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. Suffice to say, Space 220 was worth the wait–and it’s worth the prices.

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? What do you think of the menu? Does it look or sound like the cuisine is commensurate with the cost? Or, do you stand by the “$55 burger” outrage? Disappointed that it’s prix fixe or understand Disney’s motivation for moving this direction with experiential dining? (Or are you both understanding and disappointed? That’s fair, too.)  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!

40 Responses to “Space 220 Lunch Review: It’s Out of This (Disney) World!”
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