During our recent trip to Walt Disney World, my daughters and I had an 8AM breakfast reservation at The Garden Grill. None of us had ever been before, and we weren’t sure what to expect. However, once we had made our way from the entrance to The Land pavilion and made our way upstairs, we knew we were on to something special. We were greeted by a warm and friendly staff and seated at a lovely booth.
The first thing we noticed is that the restaurant was moving! When we sat down, we were overlooking the desert scene from the Living with the Land attraction, and soon, we were overlooking the farm scene!
When our server Bryon came by, he offered us beverages. They have a full menu of Coke products just like every other restaurant, as well as juices and coffee. If you are so inclined, they also make a darn fine Bloody Mary! I also consumed at least a half-gallon of POG (a passion fruit/orange/guava blend that’s available at several locations including Tusker House, 1900 Park Fare, and ‘Ohana). My friends can confirm that I am a Pogaholic and use the #pogfordays tag on all my photos that include me consuming this delicious beverage.
Once we had our beverages, we were given a bowl of fruit and a platter full of breakfast favorites. Now, I’ve eaten breakfast at a number of table service restaurants throughout Walt Disney World, and at first glance, The Garden Grill menu seems like standard fare: scrambled eggs, bacon and ham, fruit and Mickey Waffles. However, I have to tell you that it tasted amazingly fresh and better than any other breakfast food I’ve had. The restaurant uses many fruits and vegetables grown right in The Land pavilion’s greenhouses, and you can certainly taste the difference.
A special privilege of eating before park opening in The Garden Grill is that you can line up for Soarin’ Around the World downstairs starting at [8:45], and be among the first to experience the flight for the day. (Please note this may not always be available, but it was the day that we ate there and Bryon indicated that in general, it’s allowed – but this policy is subject to change without notice.)
The really incredible part of this story comes at the end – as we prepared to leave the restaurant, my girls asked me if we could come back for lunch! I jumped right onto the My Disney Experience app and looked up a lunch time. When we arrived back, the staff greeted us as the old friends we were! They seemed truly delighted that we had joined them for another meal.
Lunch did not disappoint, although the amount of food was overwhelming! The salad was so good, both teens ate second helpings of their own accord! The meats were tender and flavorful and the vegetables well-seasoned and fresh. This time we were seated on the opposite side of the restaurant, which overlooked the rainforest scene of Living with the Land, and we were at a table with chairs rather than a booth. Our server Jenna was friendly and enthusiastic. All three of us were pleased with our meal.
The characters available at both lunch and dinner are the same: Chip and Dale, Farmer Mickey and Pluto. They walk around the restaurant and greet guests at their tables (Helpful hint: put kids on the aisle side of your table or booth to make it easy for them to get up to interact with characters). Since the restaurant doesn’t seem to be as busy as many character meals on property, and has smaller capacity, we saw each character a couple of times at breakfast and at least three times at lunch. They weren’t hurried and had plenty of time for autographs, photos and fun interactions. If your kiddos want quality time with their furry friends, this is a great meal! Dale even pulled Anyka away to the table next door for a private chat!
Have you ever eaten at The Garden Grill? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the experience in the comments below!
(Photos from the author’s personal collection. Menu screenshots from the My Disney Experience app ©Disney.)
Aly Miller is a lifelong Disney fanatic. She recently discovered the WDW Radio Podcast and became a member of the WDW Radio Nation. When she isn’t obsessing over all things Disney, she and her husband run Chad Miller Auto Care, an independent full service automotive repair shop in San Antonio, TX.