Today we woke and headed straight to Riverside Mill after we all dressed for the Pool. This was the first time eating in at Riverside Mill for breakfast and I already knew what I wanted – a Bounty Platter! This was scrambled eggs, streaky bacon, sausage, Mickey waffle and diced potatoes! The kids had pancakes with maple syrup and Mickey waffles – the perfect way to start a Disney Day!
We arrived by the pool around 9.30am/10am and there were already plenty of people round the pool, however lots of sun beds left. We decided to pitch up around the baby pool and after a short time playing in the baby pool, they let loose on the slide – their fave! As I mentioned in Day 2, the pool scene is fab here and there is an array of activities if you wish to join in. There is also plenty of life jackets for the kids who need swim aids.
The bar opens at around 11.30am and despite having a filling breakfast we decided to get our first Mickey pretzel with cheese sauce (1 snack credit) to share between us – and thank god we did share as they are so filling! We all enjoyed it except Missy who has a sweet tooth! Matt and I also got some drinks and enjoyed these whilst the kids played. I got a Frozen Rose – delicious! (Drinks here are not included on the dining plan)
Before we left, the kids had a play on the play area which is right next to the pool.
We had a late lunch/early dinner reservation at 4pm for Garden Grill. This is a character restaurant located in The Land Pavilion in Epcot. We were super excited about this meal as its in a revolving restaurant – so the floor actually moves (very slowly – it takes about 1 hour to do 360 degrees)
At around 3.15pm we caught the bus from the depot located nearest our hotel room and headed straight to Epcot (it is recommended to leave 1 hour/1 hour 30 minutes to get to a dinner reservation within a park) but we arrived just in time. There is also plenty of benches at each depot and is a great way to meet other families for Disney chats!
The bus stops in Epcot are a short walk to security (I found the security lines here the longest!) and then after you scan your magic bands you are greeted with Spaceship Earth! I don’t have many massive memories of Epcot as a child but one thing I do remember is Spaceship Earth and how impressive (and massive it looks!)
We took a brisk walk to the Land Pavilion next (I had no clue where I was going but Matt did!) It’s only about a 5 minute walk past Spaceship Earth and towards the right. To note, you cannot take pushchairs into the Land Pavilion unless you have a reservation at Garden Grill. There is a buggy park to leave your kids ride.
Garden Grill is on the top level which is the level that you enter at. We checked in and had to wait 5 minutes to be seated. I requested an outside facing booth as these looked far better than other seating options which was granted with no problem. We got seated and almost immediately we were greeted with Chip!
Immediately I knew that we were going to have fun in this restaurant! The character interaction was next to nothing and all the characters we met interacted with the kids fantastically. They spent so much time with them, pretending to stop the movement of the restaurant, checking out the views of the ride below and Chip and Missy even made a secret pact to not share with Dale that Chip was her favourite. It was brilliant!
Our host was great and us grown up’s had wine and beer whilst the kids had apple juice (complete with a cup lid and paper straw to prevent spillages.) At Garden Grill, food is served family style. This means that there is no menu but you get served a set menu. It’s similar to a buffet where it is all you can eat, but you get all the food served to you, at your table! What a brilliant concept!
We had a Harvest inspired garden salad to start, complete with olives and the tastiest dressing. The bread with whipped butter was also out of this world! The basket of bread was quickly emptied but it didn’t take long to be replenished!
Whats incredible about this restaurant, and plenty of other restaurants around Disney World is that all the greens are grew here at Epcot at Disney’s Farm, using innovative growing techniques by Disneys horticulturists!
We then got served our mains in a huge skillet. Inside there was all natural sliced turkey breast and gravy, herb stuffing, grilled beef with chimichurri, seasonal vegetables, creamy mash, french fries and mac and cheese. We absolutely loved this and the kids enjoyed the french fries (obvs) turkey and stuffing and Mr B is is a huge fan of beef! The kids are not a huge fan of mac and cheese but Matt and I gave it a try, and it was delish!
After all that delicious food (which is refilled of items that you wish for) we were then treated to Berry shortcake with whipped cream, and sprinkle cookies!
Following on from our delicious fun character meal at Garden Grill (which I 100% recommend whether you are on the dining plan or not – it was one of our favourite restaurants!) we headed onto Soarin’ as it was situated on the floor below Garden Grill and was a 10 minute wait. We also rode Living with the Land, Spaceship Earth, Test Track and Journey into Imagination with Figment. All the rides were family rides and the only two that Baby K could not ride due to his height was Soarin’ and Test Track!
Whilst we used Parent swap on these rides, Baby K enjoyed the live DJ show situated opposite Test Track!
There are various meet and greet locations around Epcot. Not only will you find character spots dotted around World Showcase, but they have many located in the Future World, indoors too (with AC!) We managed to meet Goofy, Mickey and Minnie Mouse all in the same location which was great fun!
It was around 9pm before we even managed to get over to World Showcase. We managed to catch some of the fireworks from the show illuminations, however we didn’t have the best view. We wondered to grab a drink in Mexico to refuel before we headed out of the park and hopped onto a bus fairly quickly.
I had an eye infection for the last 48 hours and I visited First Aid whilst in Epcot. My experience here was quick, efficient and the staff were polite and friendly. They also seemed to be ready and waiting for me as they had eye drops to hand immediately! Phew!
What an awesome day – a perfect chilled morning followed by character fun dining and visiting the amazing Epcot!
Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.
I really wanted a concrete place to share my love for travel, in particular Disney and offer my readers a chance to gain some knowledge around what we love to do as a family of 5.
I share our family adventures which include days out, travel advice and tips, holiday reviews, restaurant visits and of course, our love for Disney, including Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World.
Life is about creating memories, and here we are sharing them with you