Jul 03

California Grill

imagesLocated on the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the California Grill, an award-winning restaurant with spectacular panoramic views of the Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake and Cinderella’s Castle.

Originally opening in 1995, The California Grill underwent a major makeover in 2013 giving the dining room a sophisticated contemporary
imageslook inspired by mid-century modern California designs.  The new onstage kitchen and two new communal dining tables that seat 10 people, guests get an unbelievable view of the Magic Kingdom.

The new menu showcases Californian cuisine with fresh seasonal ingredients. Even though the menu changes seasonally, the cuisine, the attentive and impeccable service an the outstanding wine display CGwine selections remain consistent. The California Grill boasts an extensive selection of over 300 hand-picked wines, mostly from California vineyards, with over 50 of the selections available by the glass, and 20 sommeliers on hand to offer pairing selections. Guests arriving at the California Grill are greeted by a beautiful display of 1,600 bottles of wine in a climate controlled showcase as soon they step off of the elevator.

imagesThe cuisine is second to none. Savor the finest of California cuisine as the artistic chefs and their culinary creations please your palate with mouthwatering appetizers of flatbreads, amazing cheeses or charcuterie selections and sushi. imagesDelight in delectable entrees from the land and sea such as an oak fired filet of beef, jumbo scallops or potato gnocchi puttanesca.  And, if you still have room, finish off your meal with decadent desserts like Crème Brûlée, banana stuffed cinnamon fritters or a luscious chocolate cake.   For a complete listing of the menu, click here.

imagesThe California Grill also has one of the best fireworks dining experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort.  With spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom from inside or out, you can watch the nighttime spectacular, Wishes, from your table or you can step outside to the observation decks. The lights dim and the soundtrack is played as the skies over the Magic Kingdom light up in a colorful explosion. This is one of the finest viewing areas for Wishes.

Most people think that they have to have reservations during the time of the fireworks to enjoy them from the observation deck but this is not the case at this establishment.  If you have dined at the California Grill earlier than the time of the fireworks, simply bring your receipt to the 2nd floor reception desk where you will be granted re-entry into the restaurant for the fireworks spectacular.  Guests with dining reservations after Wishes are also invited to watch the show from the lounge or the observations deck.

The California Grill is a signature dining experience and unlike a lot of the dining experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort, does have a dress code.  Resort casual is the required dress so tank tops, cut offs, flip flops, ball caps, and other very casual wear is not permitted.

Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made 180 days in advance of your visit.  If reservations are unavailable during your visit, seating at California Grill Lounge can be requested but keep in mind that seating is on a first-come, first served basis as reservations are not accepted in the lounge.


Holly Wiencek
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Holly Wiencek

Holly Wiencek is the author of Capturing the Magic: A Photographic Journey Through the Walt Disney World Parks. A Florida native and lifelong Disney enthusiast, Holly has been visiting Disney Parks since she was a toddler. With countless visits to both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, she has spent a lifetime exploring and learning about the history and legacy Walt Disney left behind and the details created by Disney Imagineering. She spends her spare time making Disney magic in her everyday life and enjoys sharing that magic with her husband and her daughter, Abby.

Visit www.capturing-the-magic.com for a preview of the stunning coffee table book, Capturing the Magic and purchase your copy today.
Holly Wiencek
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