On our first trip back to Walt Disney World we made a visit to Garden Grill restaurant, which has long been one of our favorite character meals in all of the Walt Disney World Resort.
Here’s how it went.
Dining at Garden Grill
- Location: Land pavilion inside of Epcot
- Meals available: lunch & dinner
- Price: Adults (ages 10 and up) $55.00 / Child (ages 3-9) $36.00
- Characters: Farmer Mickey, Pluto, Chip & Dale
- Link to menu
Known for its fun rotating platform, Garden Grill serves up tasty “American” cuisine as guests slowly revolve past the Living with the Land attraction below.
For people worried about motion sickness, the movement is very, very slow and it doesn’t tend to bother most diners. However, if that is something you are concerned about you may want to skip it.
Although in the past Garden Grill offered 3 meal services (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), due to the current park hours it is only offering lunch and dinner reservations, with the menu the same at both.
Of course, you’ll need to make reservations to dine here – for the restaurant AND for the park. Both are required.
Restaurant reservations can be made 60 days out (either online or in the My Disney Experience app). Park Pass reservations can be made through mid-September of 2021.
Menu – Chip & Dale’s Harvest Feast
Food is served family-style, which just means your table will be served platters or bowls for everyone to share rather than individual servings.
Even before the closure and reopening forced Disney to re-evaluate how food was served in restaurants (mainly through the suspension of self-service options like buffets) we have loved the family-style approach, especially for families with young children.
When compared to buffets, in our experience, family-style dining made it easier for the adults to be able to enjoy their meal without having to get up and down half a dozen times to refill plates.
Dinner starts with a basket of rolls and the Harvest-Inspired Garden Salad, which we found tasty and refreshing considering how hot it was outside.
They also dropped off our plates and bowls. Do you see what I see?
To fit the farm-fresh theme, drinks are served in mason jars, and like all of Walt Disney World paper straws are available (if you ask for them).
Not too long after that we received the rest of our bounty:
- All-Natural Sliced Turkey Breast with Turkey Gravy
- Grilled Beef with Chimichurri
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Seasonal Vegetables (for us it was green beans and corn)
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Herb and Leek Stuffing
Sorry for the half eaten food; we were super-hungry and jumped in before we took obligatory food pictures.
And just when we couldn’t eat anymore, we got dessert, which was a Berry Short Cake.
What we liked
Keep in mind that most people choose to dine at Garden Grill for the characters not primarily for the food, but we have always had good meals here.
On this trip we really enjoyed the salad, the green beans, the mashed potatoes, and, of course, the short cake.
What we didn’t like
The beef wasn’t our favorite.
Now, the main reason why most people choose to dine at Garden Grill is for the characters (Farmer Mickey, Pluto, Chip & Dale).
And, considering how few opportunities there are to see characters in the parks right now, that makes this restaurant an even bigger draw.
How is it different now?
Everyone wants to know – and ourselves were included, just how is it different now with the new rules?
The truth is, it really didn’t feel that different dining here.
The main change that we noted is that only the outer most ring of the restaurant is being seated right now. If you’re familiar with the restaurant, those are all booths that face out:
In addition, Plexiglas dividers have been installed on the edges between the booths, providing a nice piece of separation.
Disney is only seating guests in that outer most ring because that allows for the characters to utilize the upper-level – which worked great, in our opinions.
Just like in the past, as you dine the characters move from table to table, only now they are in that inner-ring of the restaurant instead of down at your table.
Of course, you can’t hug them, but you can take adorable pictures, and you can even grab selfies if you want.
Characters aren’t signing autographs right now, but guests are provided with a cute postcard with printed signatures on the back:
This, by far, was our most-favorite of the available character meals. The character interaction is fantastic, the view from the restaurant is great, and the food is always solidly tasty. The only downside, which is common among all character meals, is the price.
Want to see what we thought of your other character meal options?
Our most recent visit to Garden Grill is included on our daily vlogs. Check it out for more information (and some better food pics!).