We are headed into The Land Pavilion in Walt Disney World’s Epcot today for one of our favorite character meals at Garden Grill Restaurant!
Garden Grill Restaurant
This spot may feel a little dated in a way…but we prefer to think of it as retro. Disney’s (Orlando’s!!) only rotating restaurant is still tops for the coolness factor of the, you know, rotation. I can remember going to this restaurant when I was a little kid — it was fancy-pants back then (with sculpted Mickey butter!), but the nostalgia factor is high here for Epcot babies. Add in some pretty delicious food, and you’re doing even better. AND then — characters! Even Mickey! So it’s probably sort of easy to see why we like it.
Recently, our Dining in Disneyland expert and friend of DFB Heather Sievers travelled to Walt Disney World for a visit. Among their many culinary adventures, her family opted to visit Garden Grill Restaurant for breakfast one morning.
Let’s tag along and see how it went!
Garden Grill Restaurant is located within The Land Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World West.
This building is a serious multitasker. You’ll find three different attractions housed here: Soarin, Living with the Land, and The Circle of Life. All have different entrances, which are accessible as you travel down ramps circling either side of the round building’s perimeter.
In addition to the attractions, there are also two restaurants. While Sunshine Seasons occupies the ground floor (and offers up some of our favorite Disney World counter service eats), Garden Grill is located on the pavilion’s second floor.
Step back a bit and watch closely, and you can see the restaurant slowly rotating as diners enjoy their meals while interacting with characters.
You can get a feel for what the restaurant offers just by glancing at the sign. Chip ‘N Dale’s Harvest Feast is an all you care to enjoy meal that you can book for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
We’ll take a closer look at the menu in a minute. In the meantime, let’s have a look around.
Tables are arranged in stadium seating on two rows around the restaurant, and one is slightly higher than the other. Tables on the top tier are your garden variety rectangular tables, like this one.
Lower tables are actually curved booths with a front row seat to the passing landscape.
You may also notice a familiar “face” when you are seated! Ah, those clever Cast Members. Always makin’ the magic.
So — back to that whole rotating thing. What exactly are guests looking at as they dine? An ever changing landscape, thanks to the Living with the Land attraction below.
As you rotate — a journey that takes about an hour — you’ll see a Farmhouse Scene as well as Desert and Rainforest habitats.
And that takes us to Garden Grill’s second claim to fame — Characters! The feast is hosted by mischevious (and completely adorable) chipmunks, Chip ‘n Dale.
But they’ve also brought a few other friends to the party! Guests can also catch a photo with Pluto.
And Mickey is on board as well! How much do we LOVE his farmer togs?!?
And that brings me to the third reason you go to Garden Grill: the Food. Let’s have a look.
Character Meal experiences vary at Walt Disney World. Some restaurants offer buffets, while others are plated, or all-you-care-to-enjoy meals. Garden Grill offers the latter. While this was a breakfast visit, you can also see an in-depth look at dinner (which is so SO good) in our review here. (Note that they’ve switched out the fish for sausage these days.)
Here’s a closer look at the offerings. It’s also interesting to note that, while non-alcoholic beverages are included with your meal, you can also add a Mimosa or Bloody Mary. And did you notice the menu note that Disney now offers cage-free eggs?
To punctuate that “Down on the Farm” feelin’, beverages come in Mason Jars.
And yay! POG Juice! This favorite drink — a combo of Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava — goes by many names around Disney. So if you enjoy Jungle Juice at Animal Kingdom or Lilikoi Juice at the Polynesian, then get this. It’s the same thing.
Soon after the drinks arrived, the food started rolling in. Keep in mind the group was four strong, so that helps you to see what portions sizes looked like for a party of this size. But also remember that you can always get more of anything you’d like.
They started with a beautiful and healthy Fruit Salad, full of Melon, Grapes, and Berries.
Yay for healthy! Because then, you get to dig into THIS. Check out the glorious Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake. Yes. I said “Sticky Bun Bake.” Who doesn’t want to eat that?
The gooey pull-apart treat arrives warm to your table, and provides plenty of sweet carbs to fuel you for a full day of Disney fun.
And if you can’t wait to have your own, then check out our Sticky Bun Bake Recipe and make it at home!
But stand by, because more food is coming! In fact, get ready for the main event: the Breakfast Family Skillet!
This iron skillet contains all of the ingredients to make for a GREAT breakfast. Top of the list: Mickey Waffles! In this shot, you can also see hearty helpings of Bacon and Scrambled Eggs.
And oh, hey, that little ramekin? Warm Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce. Now, that’s supposed to be for your waffles. But you’re gonna see in a minute that there are LOTS of uses for it.
You’re gonna need more of that stuff. I promise.
To the right, you’ll see Tater Tots (!!!!!!!) and Link Sausage.
And here’s a look at Heather’s plate — complete with a side of requested-and-granted Salsa!
So, back to the Warm Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce. Heather managed to leave it in the center of the skillet — you’re welcome, Heather’s family — but it came in handy for all kinds of dippin’ needs. Time to get our Sweet Salty craving out of the way.
Tater Tots + Nutella. Who knew?? (Can we just call it Nutella for a while, please?) That sounds awesome!!
But then — BACON + Nutella. YESSSSS.
They had their fill, and then some. And then they were off to enjoy a great day in Epcot.
Garden Grill remains a universal DFB Favorite. It’s such a great sum of its total parts. I mean, you have a Rotating Restaurant (big coolness points), EPCOT Center-level nostalgia, plus Characters, PLUS tasty food! I mean, they had us at the POG Juice and Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake. But that skillet tooo? Yes, please.
And actually, the price is decent. You know, we’re big believers in making breakfast your main meal to save time and money. And when you can do that, plus interact with characters, you’re crossing several things off your Disney bucket list at once.
If you haven’t before, go ahead and take a chance on Garden Grill Restaurant. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Now, we’d love to hear from you! Is Garden Grill Restaurant one of your favorite stops in Walt Disney World? Leave a comment and let us know!