Chef Mickey's or Garden Grill?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by momof3poohlovers, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. momof3poohlovers

    momof3poohlovers DIS Veteran

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    My son is almost 3 and we are going to WDW at the end of January. We want to do one character meal for him and both are available for the days we will be there. Which one would would you suggest and why? He really likes Toy Story but other than that, he doesn't have a preference for any characters so I guess I am interested in which one has better food and better character interaction.
     
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  3. PictureJumpr

    PictureJumpr At Least 'til it Rains

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    The characters at Chef Mickey's are the only thing I like there.
    The food is not good, the place is not clean, and the service is often less than stellar.

    With such a little guy, I'd probably pick Garden Grill.

    Their food is not gourmet, but it's always been good enough.
    The main thing is, it isn't a buffet - it's all-you-can-eat, but served family-style (the waiter brings platters to your table). When my nephews were small, this was much much easier to handle than the buffet-type set up.

    The characters at Garden Grill are great, too. Actually we've had more interaction there than at Chef Mickey's, primarily because Chef Mickey's is a madhouse much of the time while Garden Grill is somewhat calmer.
     
  4. Quin

    Quin DIS Veteran

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    I don't know that the quality is all that different. To me the main thing is that at CM you have the plus of more food choices since it's a buffet whereas at GG you have the plus that they bring the food to you, rather than you having to juggle his tray plus your tray plus taking the chance of missing a character because you're in the buffet line.

    Unless 1 adult can stay with the child at the table while another adult collects all the food at the buffet, I'd go with GG.
     
  5. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    This is so sad, but so true. Chef Mickey's is the pits.
     
  6. momof3poohlovers

    momof3poohlovers DIS Veteran

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    I just wanted to add that my husband will also be with us so if we did a buffet, I would most likely go up and get his food while DH stayed with my son.
     
  7. briarrose1

    briarrose1 Disney Fanatic Since 1995♥

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    While the PP's may or may not be true, the atmosphere at Chef Mickey's is louder, more fun, more like a party. The Garden Grill is easier as they come to your table, it is more interaction with the characters, but more sedate. I think for as young as your child is, Garden Grill may be easier for you.
     
  8. Quin

    Quin DIS Veteran

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    In that case it's really a question of whether the particular food choices on the GG platter appeal to you. If they do, eat there. If you're not sure that you and DH and DS will like them, then go to CM. At CM DS will get to be a little more active (napkin twirling, etc). My middle-aged feet would MUCH prefer to remain seated for my entire meal, but little ones seem to have energy to spare so if he'd get antsy sitting for a full hour+ meal, then CM might be better for him.
     
  9. TheoDawg

    TheoDawg Mouseketeer

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    I've been to Garden Grill a few times once solo, twice with family. The meals are served family style and were refilled many time by the staff, and the even brought me out a special order of Mac and Cheese without a problem or extra charge. You will get your fill without all the extra noise and multiple trips to the buffet.
     
  10. Disney_Princess83

    Disney_Princess83 DIS Veteran

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    Chef Mickey for the character's. It's the Fab 5 and I'm fairly sure this is the only place at WDW to get all 5 in any single meal. The food however is not that great and it's very noisy! This is a buffet so you have to get up and down when you want more food.

    Garden Grill has Chip and Dale, along with Mickey and Pluto. The food is much nicer and it's brought to your table, which is often easier with a little one.
     
  11. goofyintoronto

    goofyintoronto I really wanted to like it, but I didnt.

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    yes. I totally agree.

    Sent from my Galaxy SII
     
  12. Canadian Disney Mom

    Canadian Disney Mom Formerly Tollerwalker - originally joined July '05

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    I had a terrible experience at Chef Mickey's this summer. The service was terrible as was the character interaction. I emailed Customer relations and complained and they ended up refunding us the cost of the meal for the 4 of us.

    Garden Grill is much more laid back and I do not feel as rushed through the characters. I would take Garden Grill over Chef Mickey's any day, hands down!
     
  13. Princess on the Run

    Princess on the Run Sprinkling Pixie Dust!!!

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    I can't believe how many people dislike CM and like GG. I feel the exact opposite. I love CM. It FEELS like WDW to me. It's exciting and fun and bright and upbeat whereas GG is dark and quiet and old and feels kind of crammed in there. I didn't like the food at GG at all (and you have no choice. you get what they bring you) and with CM you have a lot of options so you'll find something you like to eat. The character interaction at GG is very good but having to slide out of the table with small kids (and one in a booster seat) was a pain. I will never ever go back to GG and I can't imagine going to WDW without a trip to CM.
     
  14. pixarmom

    pixarmom DIS Veteran

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    Another vote for Garden Grill. We have three boys, ages 5, 12 and 13 and we've been taking kids to Disney since our oldest was a year old. We've been to both Chef Mickey's and Garden Grill multiple times. Garden Grill is our family's favorite character meal in all of WDW for the reasons others mentioned: great character interaction, far more relaxed setting than any other character meal, fresh food that they bring directly to your table, etc.

    Even if you have another adult to sit with your children while you juggle buffet plates, we think it's far easier to just sit with our kids, let the food come to us, visit with each other and meet the characters. The high booths on the lower level also keep little ones focused on food for just a few minutes because they don't see the characters walking around until they arrive at your table. Our kids always get a few bites in at Garden Grill! As our kids get older, we've significantly decreased our character dining at WDW, but Garden Grill is the last character meal standing for so many reasons.
     
  15. buckeev

    buckeev RedNeck Mouseketeer

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    GARWSH! I hate to rock the boat here, but we enjoy both places. I feel very confident that most three year olds enjoy the heck out of both places too. We eat at nearly every character meal location on our trips, and rarely have an issue, with over three dozen character meals over the past three years
    We feel that the management at Chef Mickeys are very attentive, and will address any concerns or requests you may have. If you do miss a character making the rounds, let the workers know, and they will get them back by your table.
     
  16. momof3poohlovers

    momof3poohlovers DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for all of your replies!:thanks: My little one does not like loud noises so based on your responses, it looks like Garden Grill is it. I was leaning towards Garden Grill anyway before I posted because we had eaten there several years ago for lunch (before little one was born) and we thought it was pretty good. I have 3 older children as well (2 teenagers who will not be joining us on this trip and a 21 year old who works at Animal Kingdom) but for some reason we never tried Chef Mickey's and I thought since it is just DH and I plus the 2 year old, we might give it a try but maybe next time when he is a little older. I do find that buffets with little kids are hard because it seems someone is always away from the table getting their food and you don't really get to eat together. Thank you again for all of your responses, they really did help!
     
  17. RachaelA

    RachaelA DIS Veteran

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    If he doesn't like loud noises then definitely Garden Grill.

    We love Chef Mickey's though and so did our 1 year old. She had a blast running around with Donald waving her napkin. I do think it gets a bad rap though. The food is not that bad in our opinion. And its a character meal and a buffet. I don't go thinking I'm going to get amazing world class food :lmao:

    We did Garden Grill too though on our 3rd night and it was a great way to ease her into character dining (I was afraid she would flip out if a character just popped up behind her because she cried our very first day when she met Mickey) because it wasn't so overwhelming.
     
  18. Mousemommy1

    Mousemommy1 DIS Veteran

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    We have not eaten at Garden Grill yet, but have given Chef Mickey's 3 chances to impress us, or even be decent and really it only got progressively worse with each visit.

    The food quality was poor and the food temperatures were not appropriate. The buffet area was disgusting. Not only that but we have even had issues with the silverware cleanliness....seriously, on our last trip, I unrolled the silverware from the napkin to find that a brownie?? had been rolled up with them...how does that even happen??? :confused3

    Also, we have found (and maybe this is because of the "party" atmosphere) that although the characters would be making their way to every table to visit, that doesn't stop people from going up to the characters when they are at someone else's table. We missed two characters last time because of this issue.

    I don't think you could pay my DD's to eat there again, they were so disappointed the last time, which is fine because we don't like it and now we don't have to go back. :cool1:
     
  19. Stitch381

    Stitch381 Earning My Ears

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    Garden Grill here too. We have eaten at both and was disappointed with CM.

    Cm - was bland and warm food. Nothing particularly enjoyable and was mediocre. The characters were ok, just felt like a conveyor belt madness. There was nothing private about it at all. Shame Liberty in MK stopped having characters. They were fantastic there.

    GG - food was nice and loved the atmosphere. It felt private and no one was taking the character attention away. They sat at our table, pretending to eat dinner and draw with the kids. They even pulled me up to dance. I'm a huge GG fan. The staff were attentive too.
     
  20. OLIVIA'S DADDY

    OLIVIA'S DADDY Mouseketeer

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    Chef mickey's!! The atmosphere is great and lots of fun, my daughters favorite place to go...i think the food is pretty good, not sure where all the hate and disappointment comes in for chef mickeys...its good food in my opinion and there is a bigger selection than garden grill...garden grill is quieter and nice as well but in comparing the 2 i woould take chef mickeys 10 out of 10 times...plus there is not much of a selection at the garden grill...both are good choices but we prefer chef mickeys...
     

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