Hey there gang, I just found out some information and thought you'd all like to know.
My partner works for WDW at the Liberty Tree Tavern and let me know of some changes there and the Garden Grill they were just told about today.
Starting on January 5th there will no longer be character dining for dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern and no more breakfast service at all at the Garden Grill.
The servers were told that from what the guests have told the "powers that be" they don't want characters at the Liberty Tree Tavern and don't want to eat breakfast at the parks so there's no need to have Garden Grill open for breakfast.
My but guests are getting very specific in what they tell the "powers that be.". Knowing many of the servers at Liberty Tree and some at Garden Grill as well I find it hard to believe that guests would make either of those statements to anyone. Guests generally flock to character dining opportunities and try their hardest to take part in them (now there will be one less of these opportunities) and I also find it a hard pill to swallow that people don't want to eat breakfast in the parks.
The real reasons for these changes are of course money related, not guets comment related. Without the characters there during dinner they higher ups are convinced that they can get the tables turned over at least one more time during dinner service thus getting more guests through the doors. Also keep in mind that current price for dinner at Liberty Tree will not be lowering when the characters are no longer there (currently 9.95 of each guests charge is supposedly there to cover character costs. if you were to go to Liberty Tree for dinner and not eat they would still charge you 9.95 for the character experience as an Entertainment Fee). They just want to try and get more guests through the door faster, providing them with less while still charging full price or more.
If this is something you would like to try and prevent from happening I urge you to contact WDW and let them know that contrary to what they seem to think you, the guest, do indeed want the characters to stay at the Liberty Tree Tavern and/or you would actually like to eat breakfast in the park so keeping the Garden Grill open for breakfast might be a good idea.
At any rate, I thought this was something you would all like to know about, especially if you were looking forward to booking that character dining or breakfast reservation when they become available for your trips.