CRT, Garden Grill, Coral Reef


I know these aren’t all at the same place, but I need some advice on these restaurants.

CRT- Are all meals there character dining? What is the “photo package” and do you get anything for free w/ it, or do you have to buy it? Are all meals “All you can eat”? Does this meal take away 2 TS meals on the DDP?

Garden Grill- Is the spinning restaurant cool or annoying? Which meals are character dining? Is the food good?

Coral Reef- How is the food? Did you like eating there?

I’m not particularly looking for character dining, but I would be willing to sit through it (I think the DH has a thing for some of the princesses so he might like that hahahaha)


I can’t speak on the other two but the Garden Grill is really nice and you barely notice the spinning. We had dinner there and really enjoyed it. I recommend asking for a booth because they’re really big with a high back so the interaction with the characters is much more personal & up close.


I have only tried the CRT. I had breakfast there a few times and absolutely loved my experience. All the character meals there are all you care to eat family style where they serve you instead of a buffet set-up. I haven’t been to the lunch or dinner character meal, but imagine it being just as nice as the breakfast. I always prefer to do the breakfasts for several reasons: it gets you in the park before it opens if you score one of the earlies times, the breakfast is always less money than any other meal, and nothing starts my Disney day better than a meal with some characters. :heart:


I’ve never been to CRT.

But as said above - the Garden Grill is very nice and it more “turns very slowly” than “spins”. The high booths are wonderful and a nice place for a relaxing dinner. The food there is very good. Chip 'n Dale are there for lunch and dinner.

The Coral Reef setting is beautiful, sitting amongst the acquariums, but IMO very over-priced. The food is ok - not great. If you really want to see it go for lunch instead of dinner.


I can only give you an oppinion on Coral Reef. I was very disappointed. We were on the DDP and it was not worth 2 points. The view is alright, but you can actually see into the same tank just by walking through the Living Seas on the second floor. The menu is very very limited and portions are quite small. Although they did have a nice shrimp cocktail. Our bill totaled around $110 or so for those two points. That seemed ok until we visited cap n’ jack at DTD. We also used the DP there, but it was only 1 point. We had a much larger selection and even were given the choice of two lobster tails on the menu. The bill at cap n’ jacks over $120 from what I remember. I thought this was a much better use of my points.


CRT now counts as two meals. With this meal , you do get a picture with Cinderella downstairs to take home. Breakfast and Lunch are both very good (food). I have not done the dinner, but I have heard good things about it.

At the Garden Grill you will probably only rotate 1/2 way around during your meal. They get you in and out very fast. Food is great and the characters are fun.

Coral Reef is the pits. We won’t go back. The view is the best part of the dinning experience.


I’m glad I’m reading this because I really wanted to eat at the Coral Reef. Looks like I’ll be skipping it again this year.


Thanks guys this is a big help!

I was just wondering how much earlier you can go to CRT for breakfast. Do you get in before the park opens or what?


I think that you can get in an hour before it (CRT) opens (say at 8am). I was there last week and we had reservations at 8:25 and we at rides by about 9:20. Even without extra magic hours this happens… I would work this meal on a non emh morning if you can, then you don’t feel like you are behind the rest of the crowd with the rides. It was fun… You do get a huge picture package included with the meal. If you went to Chef Mickey’s, the pictures are not included… And yes, all of the meals are character at CRT.
At Garden Grill, everything is served family style at your table- no sharing with strangers. The restaurant does rotate, but very slowly. It was neat, but I don’t see how the waiters knew where we were. there is a lot of character interaction here. Hope that helps.


Thanks everyone. I think we’ve decided against Coral Reef, but for the other two. We’re kids at heart so I think character breakfast could be fun. :mickey:


KittieChick: We have Coral Reef planned for lunch one day in June. My 2 DSs and DH really want to go. We’ve never been there before, so it was 3 against 1 and guess who won! We’ll be back home before you go down, so I’ll post a review. Hopefully we’ll have a good experience. At least it counts only as 1 sit down.


I ate at Garden Grill once. The food was very good. I made sure I stayed in my seat until the restaurant rotated around one full time. No one tried to rush me out of my booth before I was ready. If they had,I would have told them I wasn’t getting up until the restaurant had turned around once.


I go to all my morning character meals at 8am regardless of what time my ADR is. I am always let in. What’s the difference between 8am and 8:25? Not a thing. You are not taking a table from anyone as you are already scheduled for what WDW considers the first seating of the day. Get there as early as possible and you can easily have your meal and see every character before the rope drops.


CRT - Can’t be beat for experience alone and the food is good. I mean its THE castle!
Garden GRill - Neat restaurant and food was good. Mickey almost missed us and the rotating is cool.
Coral Reef - Cool restaurant with the aquarium but the service and food have struggled at least from my experience.


CRT a must every trip! The photo package was very nice.
Garden Grill - only ate ice cream there but it did move very slowly.
Coral Reef - we really enjoyed it, but that was also our first trip ever and everything was just amazing! I think we are going to try it again on our next trip. I hope it is as good as we remember! :mickey:


Coral Reef: DH had a wonderful lunch there 2 years ago and our table was right next to the tank. We saw divers in the tank. We are big fish people so this was right up our alley.
CRT: We had dinner there on our honeymoon 10 years ago and our anniv dinner this year on our 10 year anniv…disapointed with the food both times. We thought that it had to be better after 10 years…we were wrong. Dinner is a sit down menu dinner not an all you can eat buffet.
Garden Grill: ate there on our 1st Anniv and I told them it was our anniv when I made the PS and during the meal Chip and Dale and a “Minister” came over and “rehitched” us and gave us a rehitching paper. They also gave us and entire cake. The food was family style and i loved it and we were not rushed out at all.