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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review: The Garden Grill

There are a number of character dining locations throughout Disney World. Most don’t really stand out. The castle isn’t worth it, it’s expensive, and it’s crowded. I’ll cover Chef Mickey’s and the Crystal Palace later. I just can’t get up the nerve to do Norway so don’t hold your breath there.

The Garden Grill is different in many ways. The Garden Grill has a lot going for it. It’s build on a giant wheel that slowly rotates and provides an ever changing view. Its location, theme, food, and entertainment put it a notch above other restaurants.

Food: The food is very good. You should know that you do not order food. The Garden Grill is an all you can eat family style restaurant. The first round is bread and salad. The salad is comprised of greens and vegetables that are grown in the Land Pavilion’s own green house. The second course is a trio of meats and sides. Flank steak with mashed potatoes, turkey with stuffing, and fish with some side I can’t remember. The fish is interesting because they farm some of them in the land. All three are very good. Dessert is amazing too. It’s a great berry cobbler. It’s nice, warm, and tasty.

Atmosphere: You don’t get much better than the Garden Grill’s atmosphere. As the restaurant spins you get to see out into the land pavilion, into the rain forest, desert, and farm house scene that are part of the Living With the Land ride. My personal favorite is the farm house scene. You will be amazed by the level of detail Disney put into all of its scenes. The farm house has a window that can only bee seen from the restaurant. The average theme park would put a fake window there considering you can’t really see it from the ride. Not Disney. The window opens up into a decorated room.

Service: The service was very good. We always had enough food and drinks. They also checked in often. Even the manager checked in to make sure everything was good. This was the only restaurant on our trip where a manager did a spot check with us.

Entertainment: Being a character dining location you get some private time with a number of characters. Chip and Dale are the headliners. My wife got confused because she couldn’t tell the difference between Chip and Dale. She thought the same character came twice. Other than Chip and Dale, Mickey and Pluto were on the prowl. Mickey never made it to use while we were there but Pluto did and he was very good. He hammed it up and was the most interactive of all the characters.

The price isn’t crazy when you consider it’s in a theme park, it’s all you can eat, the food, location, and entertainment are all good. This is one of the better restaurants in Disney World. Only a couple of restaurants in Epcot are better than the Garden Grill.

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