Epcot’s Character Dining Garden Grill
On our last Disney World vacation, January 2020, we finally made it to the character dining restaurant Garden Grill. This has been on our list to visit for a long time. The reviews are extremely positive, with guests raving about food quality, service, location and characters. Garden Grill is located in Epcot’s Future World: The Land. The restaurant is located on the entrance floor and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Garden Grill is an all-you-care-to-eat dining experience. This differs from a buffet restaurant, to find out the differences check out this previous post. Over the course of the meal Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Chip ‘ n ‘ Dale all come to your table. Many of the food served is grown right in the greenhouse that is also found in the Land.
Garden Grill has many booths and tables. The whole restaurant is slowly rotating, which is tricky if you’re someone who deals with motion sickness. I found myself a little woozy by the end of our meal, so I would recommend forgoing alcoholic drinks during this visit. The design is very plant focused, with a lot of browns and greens in the light fixtures, tables and chairs.
Being an all-you-care-to-eat style restaurant means you have no choice in what’s being offered, unless you have food allergies. For breakfast you’re going to start with a fruit salad and a delicious sticky bun bake. What I loved about this is we didn’t have to wait for food, as soon as we sat down our server brought us these breakfast appetizers. The second breakfast course is a breakfast skillet, which has Mickey waffles, eggs, bacon, hash browns and sausages. At lunch and dinner, the skillet is filled with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, grilled beef. On another plate will be some other veggies, mac and cheese and there will be a salad to start. Berry short cake will come to the table to share at the end of the meal. You need to be sure that everyone in your party likes this kind of food because the cost is high. For adults the cost is $55 per person, for kids it’s $36 per child. It does make a great meal to bring a family with kids 3 and under because they don’t get charged and they can still eat their fill. Over the course of your meal the server will keep coming back to your table to bring you more of whatever your skillet is lacking.
The restaurant is a big circle, with two levels. When we dined here, we were seated on the 2nd level at a square table. I sat on one side of the table with one of our kiddos against the partition and our one year old at the corner on the outside, while Jeff sat on the other side with our middle son. Jeff and Lincoln were able to see the characters coming from behind us. We couldn’t which didn’t bode well for William, our youngest. He was leery of Pluto, the first character that came to our table. But when Mickey snuck in from behind and gave him a kiss he was terrified and freaked. At this point I moved him into the corner against the partition so he was able to see Chip’n’Dale but wasn’t too close to them. So if you have younger ones I’d make sure to put them on the inside of the table if you’re not sure how they’ll react.
The restaurant is open for most of the day, so you can get reservations for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. The only time they don’t take reservations is the change over between breakfast and lunch and then lunch to dinner. Garden Grill does open one hour before the park, which gives you a leg up on the other park goers. Garden Grill is located in the Land which is also home to Soarin’ and Living with the Land. Soarin’ is one of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World, so by eating breakfast here you can get on Soarin’ before the park even officially opens.
Garden Grill is one of the two character restaurants found at Epcot, making it an extremely popular reservation to get. If you want to eat here during your visit to Walt Disney World you’ll have to make sure you’re ready to make your reservation 180 days ahead when your reservation window opens. For a list of the other restaurants you need to make this far in advanced check out this previous post. We would definitely dine here again, but likely won’t in the near future. There are so many restaurants to discover and explore at Epcot. Epcot is home to 19 table service restaurants, and I’ve only eaten at 8 of them. This leaves so many places to try. For more ideas on where to eat at Disney World’s Epcot take a look at this previous post.
Dining Plan: 1 Meal Credit
Hours: Breakfast 8am-10am. Lunch 11am-3pm. Dinner 4pm-9pm.
For more restaurant reviews check out these previous posts: