Greetings from Epcot!
This park is an eating PARADISE! From Outdoor Kitchens at Epcot’s renowned festivals to fine dining at Epcot’s newest signature restaurant, Takumi-Tei, there is something to please any palette. And amidst all of this gourmet delicious-ness is a (somewhat) hidden character dining gem — Garden Grill!
We recently snagged an early reservation and headed in for a tasty breakfast with Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto. Would it still stack up as one of our favorite character meals? Read on to find out!
Garden Grill Restaurant is located on the top floor of the Land pavilion — aka the building with Soarin’. 🙂
The check-in podium is located to the left of the circular restaurant, and they’ll provide you a buzzer to wait for your turn.
While there, we recommend requesting a lower level table –you’ll see why in a moment! There’s no guarantee they can accommodate, but it’s always good to ask.
Garden Grill has a mix of booths and tables, with booths being on the bottom level and tables primarily being on the top level of the restaurant.
The real reason the lower level seating is superior, is because this restaurant slowly rotates throughout your meal, and provides you a bird’s eye view of Living with the Land!
It’s an extra layer of fun and entertainment to be able to gaze down into one of Epcot’s classic attractions as you slowly spin and enjoy your meal!
We highly recommend riding that attraction before or after your meal — especially since Farmer Mickey got a lot of his ingredients from the greenhouses you ride through!
And speaking of Farmer Mickey…
The meal at Garden Grill is officially called “Chip n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast” so naturally those crazy chipmunks are coming to your table!
This is the only character meal that features these two, so if they are on your must-meet list, this is a great meal to reserve. (And they should be on your must-meet list — they are so much fun!)
Joining the ‘munks is Pluto, in the cutest li’l bandana.
And don’t forget Farmer Mickey! He’s joining you at your table looking so-adorable-I-could-cry in his overalls and flannel.
One of the best parts of any character meal is, of course, the characters, and here they are exceptional. Every time we’ve been they are lots of fun, and in this relaxed atmosphere, they take their time with each family. I’ve never felt rushed! Plus, thanks to the easy circular layout of the restaurant, you may get to see them more than once in your meal!
Garden Grill is served family-style, meaning everything comes to your table to be shared among everyone in your group. It makes it a lot easier if you have little ones than a buffet, so you don’t have to worry about getting up and down to get food. Plus — you’re never going to miss the characters at your table when the eats come to you. It’s still an all-you-care-to-enjoy meal, so if you’d love more waffles, just let your server know. They’re happy to bring more! 🙂
Included with the cost of the meal is a standard beverage such as juice (including the legendary POG juice!), coffee, tea, and soda.
There’s also a specialty beverage menu, should you choose to add alcohol or a kid’s character cup for an additional charge.
Remember, if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan you can add an alcoholic beverage to your meal as part of the plan.
For food, the first item we were brought was a big bowl of fresh fruit (some of this was actually grown in the Land greenhouses!).
This was simple and delicious! All the fruit was perfectly ripe and naturally sweet. It may not be the most exciting food, but when you see the carby goodness headed your way, you’ll be glad for something fresh!
We were also given Chip & Dale’s sticky buns! Just look at this mound of cinammony-bready-frosting covered goodness.
This was excellent — one of the best sticky buns I’ve had at Disney in recent memory. There isn’t anything overwhelming unique about it (like the Pineapple Coconut Sticky Bun at ‘Ohana), but it’s got a wonderful icing to bun ratio, and it’s delightfully moist and chewy.
Shortly after the arrival of the sweets, our server brought us our tasty Breakfast skillet! We loved that it’s literally served in the frying pan — it makes it easy to dole it out among the table. Plus, it’s cute! So what kind of breakfast delights did our skillet hold?
We got plenty of crispy bacon…
…tater tots (or as Disney calls them: Potato Barrels)…
…and of course, the breakfast staple: Mickey Waffles.
While these aren’t unusual or adventurous options, each item was cooked very well! That’s not always easy to do when mass-cooking eggs. You’re should be able to delight everyone in the family — especially the kids — with these classic breakfast foods.
Accompanying the skillet, we had a variety of sauces and condiments.
No waffle is complete without some tasty syrup! But we were also given a few other options as well. Our server brought us ketchup (a must for kids and their tater tots), chocolate sauce, and homemade salsa.
The salsa was fantastic — tons of flavor and it tasted really fresh. Which it should — our server confirmed it was house-made with tomatoes and herbs from the Epcot Greenhouses! It wasn’t overwhelmingly hot, but there was a perfect balance of herbs and spices with the sweet tomato. Seriously it was so good, if they sold it, I’d buy it to bring home. We highly recommend putting this on your scrambled eggs!
The Chocolate Sauce was a welcomed surprise addition to the meal! It was perfect atop our Mickey Waffles — pro tip add a few of those fresh strawberries on there too. You won’t regret it!
Overall, the food was really good! Like we said, it’s nothing too adventurous but it’s all well prepared. The tater tots were crispy, the eggs where creamy, the bacon was thick, and the sausage was flavorful. You can’t ask for better than that!
Garden Grill continues to be a great option for a character meal in Walt Disney World. The food is consistently delicious, at any time of day. (Read a recent dinner review here!) The characters are so cute and so fun — while there may not be as many as say, Chef Mickey’s, the laid back atmosphere allows quality, unrushed interactions. Plus, they may come to your table more than once! And the atmosphere is unique and entertaining in its own right — we just love looking down onto Living with the Land!
If you’re looking for a quality meal, with fun characters, and a laid back feel, you can’t do better than Garden Grill.
To learn more about character meals in Walt Disney World, check out this DFB Guide Video!
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Have you been to the Garden Grill Restaurant? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!