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Looking for a fun character meal at Disney World that doesn’t include princesses? Garden Grill, located in Epcot’s Future World, is one of my all-time favorite character meals. I feel that the food at Garden Grill is much better than at any other character meal restaurant at Disney World. If you are considering where to go to dine with the characters, this is a great choice. Here is my review of Garden Grill.
When it comes to the decor, Garden Grill is probably the most unique restaurant you will find on property. This is because it is a revolving restaurant. It turns slowly as you are dining. You don’t really notice the movement, but if you look up at the walls during your meal, you will realize that your view is different than when you first sat down. The restaurant is designed as a two-tiered circle with the kitchen in the very center of the restaurant. The tables are located around the edges of the circle on both tiers. The movement is a little more noticeable on the bottom tier than it is on the top tier. This is because the bottom tier diners have a better view of the change in scenery.
The other unique part of the design of Garden Grill is that it is located above the Living with the Land ride. As you rotate, you get a view down into the ride. If you are sitting on the top tier, it is difficult to see the scenes of Living with the Land. However, you will have better views if you are seated on the bottom ring.
Garden Grill is located in Epcot. You can find it in on the top level of the Land Pavilion. You will need theme park admission in order to dine here. I think it is a pretty convenient place to eat, especially if you are already in Epcot. I like that it is one of the few table service restaurants located in the front part of the park. If you are coming into Epcot just in time for dinner, Garden Grill is an easy walk because it is relatively close to the front entrance.
The food at Garden Grill is all-you-can-eat, but it is served family style. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Like other family style restaurants on property, there is no menu. You will be served everything. For a look at the complete menu, see allears.net.
For breakfast, the selection includes Mickey waffles, bacon, ham, eggs, fruit, and cinnamon buns. Garden Grill only began serving breakfast in late 2015. We have never eaten breakfast here, but I have heard good things about their breakfast from other Disney World fans. I do feel that it would be a great option if you are looking for a character breakfast.
At lunch and dinner, the meal starts with a basket of warm bread and orange blossom honey butter. That butter is delicious! The feast continues with a fresh farmer’s salad, filet of beef, sliced turkey breast, Italian sausage, garden vegetables, sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a bacon-and-leek stuffing. Sometimes, instead of sausage, they will serve a fish of the day. For dessert, you will have a short cake with berry compote and a vanilla bean whipped cream. For kids, they can bring you a roasted drumstick or a turkey breast.
Most of the vegetables served at Garden Grill are grown in the greenhouses in the Land pavilion. Talk about farm-to-table! We have had dinner at Garden Grill a couple times. The food is so delicious and fresh. It feels like you are sitting down at your grandmother’s table for a traditional Sunday dinner. To me, the food at this place is best described as a gourmet version of comfort food.
My son is a very picky eater, and he is not a big sweets fan. The last time we ate here, he only wanted ice cream for dessert, which they don’t have. The waitress spent a few minutes at our table brainstorming with me to try and find an alternate dessert for him. She volunteered to bring out the berry short cake deconstructed. This was perfect because he liked the cake, but didn’t like the berry compote or the whipped cream. My husband and I were able to build our own dessert, while our son only ate the cake. He declared it to be the best cake he’d ever eaten! That is saying something, coming from this kid!
As mentioned above, Garden Grill is a character meal. Farmer Mickey, Pluto, Chip, and Dale will all visit your table while you are eating. We have had many different character meals over the years. The Garden Grill characters consistently provide the best interactions. They are always so fun and playful. This is the only character meal location we have eaten at where the characters visit our table multiple times during a meal. Every time we’ve been here, at least half of the characters came by two or more times.
I have never felt rushed with the characters at Garden Grill either. They really take their time with each table. Many of the other character restaurants on property are buffets. Because this is served family style, you don’t have to keep getting up to get food. I think this helps with the character interaction because the characters don’t have to try and backtrack to tables they missed earlier. The whole setup just seems to work better for meeting characters.
The last time we ate here, Dale snuck up behind my husband, Chris. He would tap Chris on the shoulder and then duck out of sight. He did this several times before Chris finally saw who it was. My son thought this was the funniest thing he had ever seen!
Disney Dining Plan/Cost
Garden Grill does participate on the Disney Dining Plan. It will cost you one table service credit per person. Given the great character interaction and delicious food, this is a good use of your credits. If you are paying out of pocket, you can expect to spend $30-60 per adult regardless of which meal you eat here. Of all the character meals we have tried, I feel you get the most bang for your buck at Garden Grill, both from a food and character perspective.
Garden Grill is one of my top character meal restaurants in all of Disney World. It has the best character interactions. Plus, it is one of the few places that doesn’t have princesses. It is the only place to see Mickey in his farmer’s outfit. All of the characters are very playful. Because much of the produce is grown onsite in the Land pavilion’s greenhouses, you will get some of the freshest food possible here. The entire meal is very delicious. Unlike most eateries on property, this one is served family style in a revolving restaurant that overlooks the Living with the Land ride. I highly recommend Garden Grill, especially if you are looking for a character meal without princesses. For more non-princess character meals, see the best characters meals for boys. If you prefer to eat without characters, see my list of the best noncharacter meals. For help planning your trip, see my step-by-step guide, and quick tips. I hope this review of Garden Grill was helpful! Happy travels!