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“If Only It Was in Another Park”- A trip to Garden Grill at Epcot

I would say the worst part about dining at Garden Grill in Epcot is not the food, the atmosphere, the overall experience, no, those are all rather nice. The worst part about dining at Garden Grill is that it’s in Epcot.

Let me explain.

Garden Grill is tucked away nicely in “The Land” pavilion. You dine family style with a meal consisting of salad, rolls, turkey, beef, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, and macaroni and cheese with berry shortcake for dessert. Run out of something? They will bring more of anything you would like upon request.

All sounds pretty good, right? Let me continue.

This is also a rotating restaurant. The dining room slowly spins to look at scenes from the ride “ Living with the Land”, painted murals, and everyone’s favorite Disney World activity, people watching.

Still waiting for the bad part? I’ll elaborate a little more.

Garden Grill is also a character dining experience. While you eat all the food you can, people watch, and spin, you also have Chip, Dale, Pluto, and Mickey Mouse himself wandering the restaurant to say hello, play peek-a-boo with your toddler and entertain you and your kids.

Why does any of this sound bad? It’s not. It’s just really unfortunate that this Disney restaurant is located in a park with such stiff competition for dining. Garden Grill’s food is really quite tasty, but it has some serious opposition when Le Cellier Steakhouse is right around the corner or to walk around World Showcase and enjoy all the food and drink themed booths from whatever Epcot festival is currently running. My point is, their food is really good theme park food, but is it better then getting food from Chef’s De France or the Fleur De Lys? Maybe not. If you are traveling with kids, this is the perfect Epcot spot for your family. Food comes out quick and in mass quantities. The characters are wandering the restaurant often to say hello to everyone. Mickey and the gang come around to tables every 15-20 minutes so you don’t need to worry if you “missed” them the first time around. The restaurant is also very conveniently located close to rides. "Soarin’" and "Living with the Land" are in the same building, you most likely parked your stroller next to "The Seas with Nemo and Friends" and "Journey into Imagination with Figment" is just on the other side. That’s almost half the rides at Epcot in one stop. The worst thing about Garden Grill is that it’s really rather delightful and fun. It’s just too bad such a lovely restaurant isn’t in Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom where the quality of the food isn’t being compared to the braised pork belly at Food and Wine Festival or to the Filet Mignon and Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup at Le Cellier. The worst thing about Garden Grill is that it’s really not the worst at all.

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