Earlier this month we made a pre-park opening breakfast reservation at Epcot’s Garden Grill. This is the (very slowly) revolving family style restaurant located inside The Land pavilion.
First I want to start this post by talking about the benefits of a pre-park opening breakfast. On this particular day, we had an 8:30 am reservation when the park was scheduled to open at 9 am. We arrived at Epcot around 7:30 am and we queued up with the other guest who also had reservations. A Cast Member is there to scan your magic band and check for the reservation as that is your ticket to getting inside the park early!
The benefits of a pre-park opening for us is you have a lot of the park to yourself. It’s very rare to have a photo like you see below with a totally empty area right in front of Spaceship Earth. Entering the park about 8 am gave us about 30 minutes of empty park time.
Now off to breakfast! This was our first time dining at Garden Grill, which as I mentioned above is a family style restaurant located inside The Land pavilion.
I am going to break this review down into a few parts so I make sure I don’t forget anything!
Garden Grill - The Food
Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast at breakfast is all-you-care-to-enjoy and it’s just a breakfast lovers dream come true to be totally honest.
You can kind of make out the regular menu on the sign above. The only thing you miss out on when dining at Garden Grill gluten free is the Sticky Bun Bake. They bring you gluten free muffins instead but we didn’t like them AT ALL so I suggest skipping the muffins to make room for extra waffles.
You can see everything we were served in our Gluten Free breakfast below! We really enjoyed everything (except the muffins) and especially loved the warm chocolate-hazelnut sauce they give you for your waffles!
My only complaint here was that they only gave Cam and I three waffles between the two of us. Then it was a long time before we saw our waitress again, so if you know you will want more of something I would suggest asking for it when they bring out the first skillet!
Garden Grill - The Atmosphere
We were seated on the inside ring of the restaurant. I was a little nervous about the rotating aspect of Garden Grill but it was really mild and you could hardly notice. I thought it was nice getting to see bits of Living with the Land as we ate.
They seat you, and serve you so that by the time you are done you have made the full circle back to the front, near the hostess stand. Because we ate fast I guess, this left us with a little bit of down time between finishing our food and getting out into the park.
If you are looking for a quick breakfast, this might not be for you. I think the entire experience took us a little over an hour.
Garden Grill - The Characters
At this breakfast you meet Chip, Dale, Pluto and Farmer Mickey. They came to our table no less than three times, and had long interactions with us. This was one of the best character experiences I have ever had. We especially loved Farmer Mickey who made our entire table laugh so incredibly hard.
I love having memories like that! My only complaint is the same complaint I have with almost all character meals. THE LIGHTING IS AWFUL! Disney knows people want to come to these breakfasts to take photos with their favorite characters, I don’t know why they don’t give more consideration to the lighting! (Yes I realize this is a first world instagrammer probelm)
Garden Grill - Overall Thoughts
Overall, I would recomend this breakfast to a friend. It’s especially great as a pre-park opening breakfast for when you want to start your day slow!
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