*DIS Contributors review meals, resort stays, and entertainment that they have paid for during their own vacations. They only utilize discounts and offers if they are available to the general public, such as annual passholder discounts, Tables in Wonderland, or DVC membership discounts. They receive no additional compensation for dining experiences or events, so that they may give their honest opinions about price and value.
Epcot’s Land pavilion hosts several beloved attractions. Most guests are drawn to this pavilion by the breathtaking experience of Soarin’. Others come to enjoy the boat ride through Living with the Land’s greenhouses. However, many skip a hidden gem in the heart of this pavilion. Garden Grill is one of the best character dining experiences in Disney World. This restaurant provides quality food, an extraordinary atmosphere, exemplary service, and superb character interactions.
My family visits Disney World as often as possible, yet we only recently discovered Garden Grill’s fabulous afternoon meals. We are not fans of Thanksgiving fare, so we never thought it would be worth our while. When we finally made a reservation, we were pleasantly surprised byhow much we enjoyed our experience!
During the lunch and dinner hours, Farmer Mickey and friends offer Thanksgiving favorites served family-style. The first course consists of warm rolls with whipped butter and a harvest salad. The salad, though relatively simple, is a showstopper. The vinaigrette topping the lettuce, olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers is refreshingly tart but not overpowering. The vegetables harvested from the Living with the Land gardens are delicious. The rolls are not exceptional, but they are tasty.
After the first course, the server brings a skillet of comfort food including mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, beef, delicious cranberry sauce, turkey, corn medley, and macaroni and cheese.
The macaroni and cheese is delightfully cheesy. Goldfish crackers juxtapose the macaroni’s softness, elevating the dish. The green beans are extremely skinny and perfectly crunchy. The corn medley is excellent! The corn is buttery, and its saltiness is complemented by the peppers’ spice and the lima beans’ crunch.
Garden Grill’s family-style service allows guests to ask for refills of any dish, was which is perfect for large parties or picky eaters. Because of this, it is difficult to save room for dessert: berry shortcake. The cake is dense, and its sweetness is enhanced by whipped cream and a mixture of raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries.This shortcake is the perfect end to a lovely meal!
Garden Grill boasts incomparable service. These servers are some of the best at Disney World; they are friendly and attentive but not intrusive. They made it a point to visit our table periodically to ask if we need anything, and they were quick to replenish any dish. Additionally, on multiple occasions, our servers have brought sugar cookies with the shortcake in case the fruity dessert wasn’t to our liking, which shows their dedication to guests’ enjoyment.
Garden Grill is a unique dining experience. Patrons are treated to aerial glimpses of Living with the Land show scenes. Garden Grill is the only revolving restaurant at Disney World. Though the rotation is barely noticeable, it makes the restaurant one-of-a-kind.
Finally, the character experiences at Garden Grill are phenomenal. Although the characters stand further away from guests due to social distancing protocols, this restaurant continues to provide amazing character interactions. During the harvest feast, Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto come to visit every table. The characters are energetic and stay for more than a simple greeting. These classic characters are more than willing to have fun conversations with guests.
Sometimes, Chip and Dale even engage in hilarious antics. The two chipmunks once left my family laughing so hard our drinks came out our noses! Since this restaurant has relatively few tables, the characters can interact with most parties repeatedly, making Garden Grill a standout for character experiences.
Garden Grill caters to many palates with its simple, yet delicious offerings and gives guests unforgettably enjoyable character interactions, making it a hidden gem worth visiting.
Katrina is a bookish writer and unapologetic Disney enthusiast. She can't imagine anything more wonderful than a day at the Most Magical Place on Earth with her family. When she's not occupied with her studies, she writes, reads, daydreams about wandering World Showcase, and wishes she were riding Cosmic Rewind.