Hi! I posted on chat, but thought I would post here as well - What are your thoughts on Garden Grill? My sister and I are traveling together in April, and she mentioned that she would like to dine here. I’m not particularly into character dining, so this is a stretch for me. We are traveling with three kids, ages 4, 5, and 9. I’d love to hear about your experiences here. Thanks!!
It is family style dining. I loved the food every time I went. A well balanced meal, very tasty, and as much as you would like.
The characters are great interacting with Chip and Dale is so much fun. And you have Mickey and Pluto. It is a comfortable experience. It is not the same as crystal palace or 1900 park fair, which I love both, but it doesn’t seem as intensive as the other places. Maybe because it is not a buffet, you don’t feel as rushed to see the characters, you don’t have to worry that you are getting food and missing the characters Also it feels as if your table is a bit more hidden from other diners.
It is very worth going.
We love the Garden Grill and have eaten there three times. The best part of the meal is the salad. It’s one of, if not the, best salad I’ve ever had. The rolls are ok, but the butter is whipped with a drizzle of honey and some sea salt - out of this world. The entrees were great on our first and third visits. Second was not as good. Dessert is always a big hit - but skip the weird cake cones and go for the berry cobbler which is way better.
That said, I would never go there without my kids - the food is good, but there are plenty of places in Epcot with equal or better dining options. What makes us keep going back are the characters. Each time, the character interaction has been great. Chip and Dale are hilarious. Mickey was very interactive on all of our visits. He mimed pitching a ball to my son so that my son could pretend to hit a home run. I was just looking through old pictures and found one from our first visit in 2011 with Mickey peeking over the booth to wave to my kids. Totally adorable and fun.
We really love Garden Grill. As mentioned, having the family style meal instead of buffet is so much more relaxing. Also, if you are seated on the outer ring, you can get great pictures with the characters with scenery in the background instead of tables and people. That was a big plus for us.
from reading reviews online, it looks like they put some sort of sauce or gravy on all the meat. Has anyone who has been there been able to request this be on the side? Also, any comparison of Garden Grill to Chef Mickey??
I will be a dissenting opinion and say that Garden Grill was a good experience but not a great one. To accent the negative for a bit, I’ll say that while the outside tables do get a good view of the rotating scenery, I felt pretty isolated and even a bit claustrophobic since I couldn’t see the other tables well, the walkway around the tables is pretty narrow, and the rotating scenery is pretty dark for the most part. For me and my family, part of the fun of character dining is seeing the characters walk around and interact with all the people. Here, since the tables are isolated, they’d just showed up, we’d interact a bit (me, my DW and my DD3 are a bit awkward interacting with the characters sometimes), and they’d leave. Next time I think I’d forgo the scenery and sit up above.
My biggest problem was the huge amount of food! I felt so bad wasting it, but we hardly made it through any of it, and they won’t let you take any of it with you since it is all-you-can-eat. But they started us off with two huge plates, one for my DW and one for me, and then a child’s meal for my DD. Do they usually only give one plate per table? This may be true since I have a nut allergy and my DW’s plate had stuffing which had nuts in it and mine did not. I don’t remember the salad, I do remember the food being good but was so embarrassed that so much had to be thrown away. We didn’t even have them bring out dessert as we were so full and felt so bad.
Again, I’m accenting the negative here, and it was a good meal and an enjoyable experience. But I actually much preferred the buffet meals like the meal we had at Tusker House a couple of days later, where we could see all the characters walking around, they even had a dance with the children, and we could get the right amount of food for each of us.
Good mix of classic characters, but mediocre food. There was a lot of food, but none of it was particularly good. Nothing awful or inedible, just nothing that I really enjoyed. I’d go back if traveling with someone who would really enjoy meeting Mickey or Chip and Dale (I don’t think I’ve ever traveled with anyway who really wanted to meet Pluto, poor guy), but for food quality I’d eat elsewhere, especially with all the other choices in Epcot.