View Full Version : Help...Garden Grill or Coral Reef

05-08-2006, 06:45 PM
Which one would you recommend...we have 4 in our family...two boys 5 and 8. They love seafood. The characters are at Garden Grill. or is there another table service that you all would recommend at Epcot?

05-08-2006, 06:49 PM
The food at Garden Grill is pretty good and all you can eat. The menu includes fried catfish pieces that even my picky DS ate last time we were there. The characters at the Garden Grill see to visit your table more than any other character dining we've been at. Maybe because the restaurant isn't very large.

It's a must do on every trip because the restaurant revolves over the Land ride and my DS thinks that's the best thing in the world. I tried to convice him to go to the Coral Reef this coming September, but he won't give up the restaurant that spins around. :rolleyes:

05-08-2006, 09:02 PM
We went to Garden Grill in November 05 and it was great. We went to Soarin at about 11 and got a fastpass for 5:30, so we rode Soarin then went to our 6:15 ADR at Garden Grill--the food was good, but I thought the atmosphere was only fair. My 6 and 8 year olds, however LOVED it--I was really surprised! They also loved that the characters came to the table and the fact the the restaurant revolved. I've never been to Coral Reef.

05-09-2006, 09:57 AM
I just got back and did both. DFH and I are both late 20s and we had a lot of fun at the Garden Grill. the characters spend a LOT of time with you and the chipmunks are REALLY funny. I enjoyed the food there. I liked that you could try a bit of everything and then ask for more of what you liked. If you don't like something, you don't have to feel guilty for not eatting it. I quite liked the flank steak and the potatoes.

The Coral Reef was good as well. And it IS really neat to watch the fish. The Mahi Mahi that I had was ok, and DFH raved about the steak.

I guess the difference really is the price. If you're paying OOP then I'd say the GG is better (you get a lot more for your money), but if you're on the DDP the Coral Reef is only 1 TS and the bill for the two of us would have been well over $100.

Hope this helps!

05-09-2006, 10:10 AM
I would recommend:

The Clambake at Beach Club (seafood buffet steps away from Epcot)
Biergarten in Germany (buffet with great entertainment and nice atmosphere)
Teppenyaki (entertaining)
Chefs de France or Le Cellier (my two favorites but neither seafood or character)

If I absolutely had to choose I would pick Garden Grill. I've eaten at Coral Reef twice for dinner and was extremely disappointed. The fish tank is neat to look at but the food (small, expensive portions and poor quality-a lot worse than Red Lobster in my opinion and Red Lobster tastes pretty good to me) and service was horrible both times. Garden Grill was ok. I'm not a big "family style" serving kind of person. At every place we've eaten "family style" (WCC, LTT, GG, etc.) it takes us forever to get refills on the food we want more of and when we finally do get refills it'll be 5-6 thin strips of steak when we have four adults. Ok I'm going off on a rant....sorry. :teeth:

Good luck with your choice! :thumbsup2

05-09-2006, 10:10 AM

DW (then DGF) and I went to GG a few years ago and this was our best eating experience as a whole. Nothing was extraordinary but the food was great, the atmosphere was great, and the characters were great. Also, we had a little meat leftover and they let us pack it up...made sandwiches the next day and they were delicious.

Haven't been to Coral Reef so I cannot comment on it.

05-09-2006, 12:04 PM
We just did both over easter vacation, we have 3 ds who are 18,16 and 14. It was our first time at Garden Grill. I picked it because its all you can eat and our ds eat alot!! I did a review on both places. Ds 16 asked for coral reef. We have been there before. We had the dde card so we got a 20% discount on each place. If you are paying out of pocket and it will be your only character meal I would choose Garden Grill. They have fried catfish and it was great. At coral reef we did dinner and it was really overbooked. Only the tankside tables hold 4 people and there is no guarantee you will get them. The portions are on the small side. I had the vegetarian option - terrible! We all loved the lobster soup as usual and the butterscotch brulee was great. 2 of us had mahi mahi and one ds had chicken or pizza I think. I cant remember, but it wasnt fish for sure. If you are on the dining plan then coral reef is a good choice for using your credits. Good luck deciding.

05-09-2006, 12:48 PM
We went to Coral Reef last year (while it was still 2 credits, so I'm not sure if it's changed substantially since then?), and we had no complaints about the food quality at all. The lobster bisque was luscious, as was the skewered beef that my dad picked as an appetizer, the entrees were as much as we could eat and quite delicious (though I had the lobster, which I've heard they don't offer now), and the Chocolate Wave and creme brulee desserts were both fabulous -- I just wished I had more room left for dessert! My kids (7 and 2 at the time) had a fantastic time watching the fish, and it's the #1 restaurant they both asked to revisit on our upcoming trip. I'm very much looking forward to going back, myself.

05-09-2006, 01:04 PM
I'd go with Coral Reef too. We never skip it. On the dining plan, with appetizers and desserts, it's plenty of food. We like GG, but our kids have gotten too old to be impressed by character meals, and the food was nothing I couldn't have made at home. Love the view of the aquarium also, tho the closer you are the better it is.

05-09-2006, 01:16 PM
We went to both restaurants during our trip in January. We are returning to both on our trip in September which tells you that we really enjoyed both.

I agree with ForKeeps, if you are paying OOP go with GG, but if you are on DDP go for Coral Reef. Both restaurants offer excellent "entertainment".

05-09-2006, 01:32 PM
We went for lunch at CR and paid OOP - the view was good as we got a tankside table but I must say that the restaurant seemed smaller than I'd imagined it to be and if I hadn't got a tankside table I probably would've been disappointed a little. The lobster bisque was good and the portions adequately sized. Cheesecake was really good. Would I go again? Probably if on the free dining plan but if I had to pay OOP again I'd probably give GG a try.....

05-09-2006, 04:08 PM
We went for lunch at CR and paid OOP - the view was good as we got a tankside table but I must say that the restaurant seemed smaller than I'd imagined it to be and if I hadn't got a tankside table I probably would've been disappointed a little. The lobster bisque was good and the portions adequately sized. Cheesecake was really good. Would I go again? Probably if on the free dining plan but if I had to pay OOP again I'd probably give GG a try.....

We have an adr for august at Coral reef. Can you see the fish tank from all the tables or only the tankside ones? we have 4 people in our party , 1 is a child who loves aquariums. I have one adr too many so I am trying to decide which one to cancel chef de france , rose and crown or coral reef. any sugguestions?

05-09-2006, 04:44 PM
You can see the tank from all of the tables. They're kind of done on levels where like the second level would be higher but farther back from the tank and the third would be higher but even farther back.

The Living Seas is pretty big and you can walk around and enjoy the aquarium without eating beside it. :teeth: It is pretty and the kids that were there were more interested in watching the fish and getting close to the tank than actually eating their meal. I know I was when I was their age! So you can get lots of aquarium interaction without wasting a meal at Coral Reef. Just my opinion as some people have loved it.

05-10-2006, 09:16 PM
Thanks everybody...I am now deciding between Coral Reef and Chefs de France. We have an ADR at Coral Reef but it is early. It's for 5 and I was hoping for a mid-afternoon break and we may feel rushed. What do you all think of Chefs de France?

05-10-2006, 10:36 PM
We really liked the Garden Grill. Our girls are 7 and 8 and love Chip and Dale so it was kind of a no brainer! The food was good, and watching the different scenes from the land really kept them from climbing the walls. We ate dinner there in December, and the characters even came around twice! I think it was slow. Would do the GC again. :thumbsup2

05-11-2006, 03:22 PM
I would definitely choose Coral Reef, hands down! We ate at both last week and I thought the food at GG was so disgusting...even DH who eats everything thought it was really gross. Also, the menu is sooo limited and nothing I would ever order if given the choice. Even the kids barely touched their meals. The only saving grace about GG was the desserts...they were pretty yummy. And the characters were nice and friendly. We all loved Coral Reef, we had a table on the 3rd level and could still see the tanks really well. Plus the kids were fascinated and kept quiet just watching for sharks. I had the strip steak there and DH had pasta with seafood that we both really enjoyed. Desserts were yummy there too!