Epcot Meal Advice

I am torn about my Epcot dining. We have a group of 6 - 4 adults and DS5 and DS1. One person has never been to Epcot and my other friend will be staying for an additional week. I don’t want to have a repeat for her which rules out La Hacienda and Via Napoli. We are also looking for relatively inexpensive in the table service category. Here is what I narrowed it down to:

  1. Rose and Crown. I have never eaten there - mostly because I don’t like the looks of the menu. I can’t figure out what I would order. I don’t like fish, but I can sacrifice.

  2. Chefs de France. I have also never eaten there. I think their menu is interesting.

  3. Garden Grill. Also never eaten there, [What have I been doing on these trips? For the record, I have been to VN, San Angel, Le Cellier, the Japanese and German restaurant.] We have two other character meals on this trip, but the kids would like it. However, I feel like I should switch fast pass times for Soarin so we don’t have to keep trekking back to the Land Pavilion.

  4. Just do counter service wherever we are.

I know this is very subjective, but what would you do?

Garden Grill all the way. Good food, great character interaction (Farmer Mickey!), and an interesting atmosphere. Chefs de France was a disappointment last trip, but that was due to service and not food. That’d be my second choice.

Another vote for Garden Grill for sure - family style so fixed (known) cost per person, good food and fun atmosphere to keep the kids engaged with the great characters. If you ride Living with the Land earlier the same day - I think it’s extra fun when we see that again from over head while you rotate.

Yep, another Garden Grill fan here. I ate there in December and the food and service was top notch.

What I would not do is Chefs de France. I ate there once, and the experience was so lackluster that it took me seven years to be willing to go back. I went back last year, and it was even worse than the first time, so I doubt I’ll be back again for a decade or so.

I’ve eaten at all three locations within the last three years and currently, I’d choose Rose and Crown. That answer would have been different until recently, but I’ll explain why. Any of the choices will be good meals. Here are my thoughts about each.

Garden Grill - food was ok, but nothing memorable; A-list characters are the highlight, with the novelty of a peak into Living with the Land being the other thing the stands out

Chefs de France - best food of the three locations, but I’m upset that Remy no longer meets with guests, so I’m temporarily boycotting this restaurant

Rose and Crown - I, too, was unimpressed by the menu last time I visited (March, 2012) and ended up ordering pork two ways, which was a decent, but not particularly great. However, after listening to a WDW Radio restaurant review (see link below), I now want to go back and try some of what I missed (that Lou Mongello costs me more money on food than any advertising Disney could ever do). You have the added bonus of timing your visit to be able to watch Illuminations from the restaurant, which tops the view/character experiences at the other restaurants.

Here’s the Rose and Crown podcast that I mentioned above: PracticalWDW: How Long Does it Take? - Orlando Airport to Walt Disney World

The Garden Grill is excellent (food good, view into LwtL very cool, characters super) BUT very expensive. Epcot is luxurious in that it is, for us, the one park where you can get interesting food at all of the CS in WS, for a reasonable (for WDW) price. Eating CS gives you some flexibility for timing, also.