Garden Grill or Coral Reef?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by crazy_cremello, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. crazy_cremello

    crazy_cremello Listen to your Mumsy

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Hi folks,

    We are visiting in 2019 and our 180 day ADR opening isn’t far off. I have a few reservations planned for the trip and am considering booking for either Coral Reef or Garden Grill as we have never been to either.

    We have the standard DDP and from what I can see, both restaurants are 1 TS credit? Which one would you choose OR are there better restaurants we should go with in the WS? I’m tempted by Garden Grill due to the fact the characters are there, possibly seems like the better deal?
     
  2. supitscarrie

    supitscarrie Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2017
    Messages:
    89
    (First off, I feel like this is posted in the wrong subforum... should probably be in the restaurants forum)

    It depends on which menu, I think, and if you really like to have character meals. I like both for what they are. Garden Grill has a very homey feel to the menu, the rotating restaurant is cool since you get to see into Living with the Land, and you get to see Mickey, Pluto, and C&D. Coral Reef has such a cool aquarium vibe to it, though, and I'm big on seafood myself. I'd say that Coral Reef has the better food, but if you like character interactions Garden Grill might be the better experience.

    I would also say that while I think there are WS restaurants that are certainly -better- as far as the food itself goes, you can't really go wrong with either. Coral Reef I think has a tendency to get overlooked in favor of the WS table service options.

    It also super depends on when you'd be planning on doing this. If you want to do breakfast, definitely go Garden Grill. It can be a big hike back to future world from WS midday or evening for a lunch or dinner.
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. crazy_cremello

    crazy_cremello Listen to your Mumsy

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Yeah my apologies I thought I’d clicked the restaurants thread! Hopefully moderators can move it to the right place, my bad!

    Thanks for the reply. I’m really stumped on choosing where to eat for the Epcot day...we want to eat fairly early as we want QS at Mexico in the evening so don’t want to be too full still to enjoy it!
     
  5. disneyseniors

    disneyseniors DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,319
    We only went to Coral Reef before the dining plan, and it was a nice quiet classy place to dine. Then the dining plan came, and we tried it again. It was loud, so much so that the waiter had to shout to be heard. Not able to carry on a conversation at all. Food was mediocre. The waiter said that CR did not have the acoustics for big family crowds like that. We have never been back, but maybe now that problem has been taken care of?
    I ate at the Garden Grill last March for the first time, and it was definitely the winner, IMO. The food was all excellent, the service great, and the character interactions were cute. I really enjoyed it and we are going there again this December:)
     
    crazy_cremello likes this.
  6. supitscarrie

    supitscarrie Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2017
    Messages:
    89
    If you're already planning on doing QS in world showcase later on, it might be good to start the day off with a big character breakfast at Garden Grill. It's usually a pretty easy ADR to get.
    If you're going to be booking ADRs soon, I assume you'll be going sometime in April, which would mean that the Flower and Garden Festival would be going on. I would have a big sit-down meal at the start of the day (breakfast at GG) and then snack around Epcot at the various festival booths for a sort-of lunch.
     
    kaytieeldr likes this.
  7. crazy_cremello

    crazy_cremello Listen to your Mumsy

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    172

    Well, next month we can book them as we go in May :) I didn’t realise they had food booths for F&G!! This is a game changer - I just had a look at the kinds of food that was available this year and wow, there’s a lot on there that would make great use of snack credits. Perhaps doing it this way would open up a TB credit to use on another day. This is the first time we’ve ever done the DDP and thankfully, we are all fairly big eaters but the more I research the more I wonder if we will genuinely be able to keep up with the amount of food we can have! Either way, I’m setting myself some serious eating goals :rotfl:

    Okay, back to the drawing board I think with this new found information!!
     
  8. crazy_cremello

    crazy_cremello Listen to your Mumsy

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Do you have any photos to share of the food from GG? I had a look at the menu but obviously it being a ‘buffet’ you can’t really tell exactly what’s available. I just want to make sure I’m making good use out of our TS credits!
     
  9. kniquy

    kniquy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Messages:
    2,460
    I would say the food quality is pretty similar between the two (both are good but nothing exceptional) but GG is a character meal so if that is what you are after then choose garden grill. The menus are rather different so among your traveling party you could also see what they would prefer. GG is neat because it does rotate around the Land ride, but Coral Reef with the large massive tank really can't be beat.
     
  10. disneyseniors

    disneyseniors DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,319
     
  11. PrincessArlena'sDad

    PrincessArlena'sDad DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,823
    What are the ages of your kids?

    If you are interested in characters, the best 1TS credit use would be at Akershus. Great character interaction, great food.

    Haven't been to coral reef in quite a few years. We love sea food, and found the food there to be mediocre.

    Garden grill has a very good breakfast menu, but I think their dinner menu is only so-so. Great character interaction though. Chip and Dale are amazing, and we've always had them come to our table at least twice each. If you go to GG for PPO breakfast, you can get to Soarin before the rope drop crowd. In fact, you can ride it twice with no wait.
     
  12. BrianL

    BrianL Doom Buggy Driver

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    7,932
    For the record, I thought Garden Grill was spectacular. I haven't eaten at Coral Reef in ages, but to me it was just okay, though I'm not that into seafood anyway. The food at Garden Grill (lunch)is very good and has a sort of fresh and homey feel to it that I very much enjoyed.
     
  13. disneyfreak202

    disneyfreak202 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    292
    I just did Garden Grill for the first time in September for breakfast. To be honest I wasn't a fan and probably wouldn't go back. The only thing that was good was the sticky bun. I know you are doing QS in Mexico, but with Flower and Garden happening, maybe instead do a QS lunch and look into San Angel Inn, by far my favorite restaurant in WS. I do also enjoy Chefs De France. I have never been to Coral Reef, but I am not a big Seafood fan.
     
    rosiebean and crazy_cremello like this.
  14. dansdad

    dansdad DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Messages:
    18,508
    We would choose Coral Reef. Thoroughly enjoyed all the meals we've had there.
     
  15. crazy_cremello

    crazy_cremello Listen to your Mumsy

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Messages:
    172

    No kids here (except counting myself as one haha!) we are visiting for my 25th birthday and my parents joint 60th birthdays! So it’s just the 3 of us. They are leaving all the planning down to me as they are happy doing what I want to do. It’s our 6th visit and we’re from the U.K. but wanting to do as much as we can in 8 days since we are only doing Disney this time. The more I look at the menus for both the less I’m sure about doing either, and the fact they have the F&G booths is a bit of a game changer! Think we might just do that instead!
     
  16. kniquy

    kniquy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2014
    Messages:
    2,460
    I would look into other options -- doesn't sound like characters are essential and CR is good but certainly not the best 1 TS credit that you can have at Epcot. We have done Germany which is good (if you like that type of food) but there is fun entertainment to watch while you are eating. You can watch DFB (they have youtube videos) for some quick reviews of the various food offerings in Epcot. I believe they go through each country going through all the food options (QS and TS)
     
  17. Luvs Mickey

    Luvs Mickey Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 27, 2018
    Messages:
    76
    I realize everyone has different experiences at the restaurants which results in a broad range of opinions. Our experience at Coral Reef was underwhelming and I won’t go back any time soon. Have heard good things about Garden Grill and would give it a try.
     
  18. DisneyLore

    DisneyLore Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Messages:
    74
    I would actually do Coral Reef and wait to sit tank side. It really is incredible, a view that can't be beat!:fish: I did this on a trip with my daughter 3 years ago and I still show off the pictures I took from our table to people planning on going to Epcot. Got an amazing picture of a shark 2 feet from our table and a large sea turtle that spent a lot of time right beside us.

    I'm sure whatever you chose will be great! :bday:
     
  19. PurpleDragonFeather

    PurpleDragonFeather Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    I've done both Coral Reef and Garden Grill for lunch, and if I had to choose one, I'd go with Garden Grill, hands down.

    I ate at Garden Grill for the first time this August with my sister and my cousin (all three of us adults) and the food was plentiful and yummy and we were all wondering why we haven't been there before :)

    My favorite part of eating at Coral Reef was getting to sit at a table right next to the tank (and a lovely ray that sat right next to our table for the whole time we ate), but the food was just okay (where I live we have lots of really good seafood restaurants, so maybe I'm just spoiled by that).

    Whatever you decide, have a lovely birthday trip!
     
  20. Lynne M

    Lynne M Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Messages:
    11,813
    Moving this (belatedly) to the Restaurants board. :)
     
  21. k5xs

    k5xs Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    91
    I think they are both good, but my take is it depends on whether you are looking for better food or better ambiance.

    If you want a cool view, then Coral Reef would be my choice. As someone else posted, a tank-side table will let you peer into the aquarium whilst dining. If you want to do that, I would recommend dropping by about an hour before your seating time and making a request for a tank-side table.

    OTOH, if you want a heartier (and heavier) meal with a more "cartoony" feel to the seating, then Garden Grill.
     

Share This Page