Podcast Episode 136: Character Dining Overview

One of the most popular activities you can do at Disney is to have a character meal!  This is a great way to see your favorite characters without standing in line and while having a delicious meal.  Join us as we talk all about the character meals you can find at Walt Disney World!

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Review: The Garden Grill’s “Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Harvest Feast” Character Dinner

0192900a1c04b092c7a25098ad8190a1c721abd33eLet me start by telling you how not excited I was for this specific reservation. I am not a farmer fan and so to meet Farmer Mickey or any of his farm friends was a bit of a meh in my book. But, I had heard good things and really wanted to try out the food since so much of it comes from the Land. The Living with the Land boat ride is one of my favorite places to relax in Epcot and I find the massive fruits and vegetables amazing. Maybe I am a farm fan and just did not realize it? Well, moving on, in my quest to do all character dining experiences at some point I made reservations for three at the Garden Grill for dinner.

So, we went and it was a bit chaotic at the host stand but they did have some nice lemon 018b754a91ab17d813cfecd5dc281a9ff9b3b5c1c2water while you wait. After we were seated the fun began and it was SO fun. I was so impressed with the hilarious character interactions of Chip and Dale as they played pranks on each other and guests and made it fun to just watch them trot around. Farmer Mickey and Pluto also joined in the fun a ton of the time and were really engaging. Our server was great and was so into his job and not in the overly creepy way but he knew all about the food, the characters and was around just the right amount.

Now, for the best part – the FOOD. Yes, we all love the food at Disney and we are usually

Yes I took a picture of just the butter!

Yes I took a picture of just the butter!

happy with most meals but I was beyond happy with the Garden Grill starting with the awesome Orange Blossom Honey butter for the bread (with sea salt, honey and orange blossoms somehow in there) to the macaroni and cheese topped with Goldfish crackers. I never thought that I would enjoy something like that but try it and see – the crunch takes it up a notch. We asked for thirds on butter (hey we were on vacation!) and honestly it was maybe the best butter ever. Have I mentioned how good the butter was? The eating is family style and they bring you a bit of01d1994803047b0b2091ada736d7d30b572bf45995 everything at first to try and as you find what you like and want more they bring you those things out specifically. We do not like fish and so from the beginning we said no fish and our amazing server made sure no friends of Nemo were even near our table! After feasting on turkey and filet and broccoli (even the broccoli was awesome!) we were full and in a bit of a hurry to hit our fastpasses for Soarin’ but our server insisted we try the dessert if only for the fresh Vanilla Bean whipped cream. So, of course we did not want to be rude and dug in and finished all of the Seasonal Berry Skillet with fresh whipped cream and then rolled ourselves right on out of there.

I will return as often as I can because well, I have a problem and the only solution is more Orange Blossom Honey Butter from the Garden Grill.

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Have you been? Do you love it? If not, what is wrong with you? Just kidding – that is okay too because more for me!

4 Free Things to do at Disney World

You don’t need to tell me it’s expensive to go to Walt Disney World. Have you ever had a day where you did not buy park tickets, or have a trip without visiting one of the four theme parks? Perhaps prior to a cruise, you would like to spend a day or two in Disney World but not have to have the added expense of park tickets.

The following four activities are FREE to enjoy at the Walt Disney World Resort:

  • Park at one of the resorts at the Magic Kingdom or take the bus to the Magic Kingdom and take a monorail ride stopping at each of the three resorts: Contemporary, Grand Floridian or Polynesian. You can enjoy the views, take pictures, or have lunch at one of the hotels.
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  • Stop at the Contemporary and take a boat to Wilderness Lodge there is a beach there with a nice playground.
  • From Downtown Disney you can take a boat ride to the Port Orleans Resorts and back it’s a nice river ride. Each resort has a playground open for anyone to use.
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  • Campfire and Movie Under the Stars with Chip and Dale at Fort Wilderness usually around 8 PM, arrive around 7-7:30 (You can either bring your own S’mores ingredients or buy kits there, but the actual campfire and movie is free.) Check with your travel agent for the exact time for your trip.

Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast: Dinner at the Garden Grill Restaurant

Quick Facts
Location: Epcot inside of The Land Pavillion
Hours: 4:00-8:00 p.m. 
Characters: Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto  (characters are always subject to change)
Dining Plan: 1 credit

This character meal is served family-style. The restaurant rotates extremely slowly and you rotate through different scenes of the Living with the Land ride. The four characters here were a lot of fun and they visited us more than once!
Menu

  • Basket of Warm Bread with Orange Blossom Honey Butter
  • “Living with the Land” Harvest-inspired Farmer’s Salad
  • Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
  • Char-grilled Filet of Beef with Demi-Glace Steak Butter
  • Garden Fresh Vegetables
  • Roasted All-Natural Turkey Breast with Stuffing and a House-made Gravy
  • Sustainable Fish of the Day with Tomato Jam

Kids’ Meals

  • Roasted All-Natural Turkey Breast served with Whole-Grain Rice Pilaf, Steamed Broccoli, and Fruit Cup.
  • Chicken Drumstick served with Baked Macaroni & Cheese, Broccoli, Crispy Sweet Potato Sticks

 Dessert

  • Seasonal Skillet Dessert with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

We truly enjoyed our meal here. The food is basic and simple, but well executed. We will definitely be back.



Gluten-free options:
The chef sent out some warmed bread and I got to enjoy that delicious orange blossom butter. Most of the items were actually gluten free, with the exception of the stuffing, which was brought out on a separate plate. The gluten-free dessert was from frozen pre-made cookies. There was nothing wrong with the cookies, but I always appreciate how some restaurants go above and beyond for Celiac customers.

Characters:
The characters here are pretty laid back and have always spent a lot time with my son.


In Conclusion
I highly recommend this meal for kids because the characters are great and the kids can revel in the fact that they ate inside of a ride!