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California Grill

10 Things We Love About The Contemporary’s California Grill at Walt Disney World Resort

Out of all the dining experiences in Disney World, California Grill offers one of the most beautiful and unique options; here’s why we love it and we hope you do too!

1. The View

As soon you step into The California Grill you almost have to take a step back and stand there for a second to appreciate the beauty that is right in front of you. The whole front of the restaurant is large windows that allow you to see all of Magic Kingdom and it’s surrounding resorts; there’s not a bad seat in the house.

2. Wine Selection

When you first step off the elevator, take notice of the large wine selection. We let our waiter immediately know we wanted to try wine and what we liked and he helped us pick a wine we liked so much that we bought the bottle for a special anniversary treat.

3. Atmosphere

When you step into California Grill expect a classy atmosphere. My husband and I love our jeans and t-shirts, but every once in a while (especially in Disney World) it’s nice to put our best outfit on and feel “fancy” for a night. We love dressing up for each other and being in an environment that exudes class and sophistication but is still so much fun; California Grill captures that perfectly.

4. Meal Options

When you pay for a place like California Grill, you can expect to receive a great meal and you’d be right to expect that! The first time my husband and I went to California Grill, we were a little intimated by all the higher-end options, but we quickly figured out what we liked and we’ve been back several times since. A couple tips for you if you’re looking to save money but still want the experience: Go at a later time and eat dinner before you go so you can just get dessert, or even glass of wine. Or if you are still hungry, go for the sushi! It’s still not quick service prices, but you won’t walk away feeling like you handed over your life savings and the sushi is about as delicious as it gets!

5. Theme

The California Grill follows right along with The Contemporary’s spectacular theme. It’s chic and the layout is perfect for a modern dining experience.

6. Lounge

If your reservation is taking a little longer than you thought and you’re ready to enjoy a drink, just wait in their lounge. It sits right in the middle of the restaurant, so you still get a great view but you can take a load off before your dinner reservation is ready.



7. Service

I could reiterate this over and over again. The service at California Grill is the best Disney World has to offer. Imagine Disney World service, but in the setting of higher-end accommodations? Yeah it’s that good. Each time we’ve eaten there our waiter/waitress has made us feel like we are the only people in the entire place and we never wanted for anything. Like I said, our last waiter spent a significant amount of time with us trying to help us pick the best wine and let us try anything we wanted.

8. Location

Sometimes when you eat outside of the parks, it can be a little bit of pain to reach your destination, but with California Grill being so close to Magic Kingdom AND being a monorail resort you can shoot over there after a day in the park with no problem at all.

9. Special event options

Want to celebrate New Years, Thanksgiving, or Christmas in a most unique way? California Grill offers exclusive events that will certainly be an experience to remember. If you’re willing to splurge, I’d definitely suggest their New Years Eve event that includes entertainment from the Fab Five. But if you’re thinking of something a little more personal, go on an anniversary, birthday, or honeymoon celebration. You can order a made to order cake with any of your favorite Disney character from the Contemporary bakery, and let them know you’re celebrating something special and they will definitely accommodate. My husband and I got a free dessert for our year anniversary. It was so sweet, pun intended!

10. Wishes

The biggest and greatest selling point of California Grill is it’s special and grand view of the Wishes Fireworks at night. They dim the lights in the restaurant and pipe the music through the speakers so you can enjoy the goose-bump inducing show in a fantastic way. If you want an even closer view, California Grill’s balconies on either side of the restaurant allow you the ability to step outside to watch the show. If you don’t have a reservation during the actual time of the show (which I advise you do if you’re going for my dessert option), you can bring your receipt back and watch it from the lounge or on the balcony.

Hope these reasons to love one of our favorite dining options makes you inclined to add it to your favorites list if you haven’t already. We’d love for you all to share your experience with California Grill and what you loved about it too!

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About Madison

My name is Madison, I'm 21 years old and currently live in Kentucky. Disney is my passion, research is my hobby, and writing is my "made for this". I have been a big Disney fan ever since I can remember, I loved all the Disney princesses, and I will never forget my first trip to Disney World when I was seven years old. It wasn't until my husband and I took our "Disney Honeymoon" that I was REALLY hooked. In June we will have taken our third trip to Disney in less than a year and have many more planned in the future! I am a big pin trader, my favorite princess is Sleeping Beauty, and the Wishes Fireworks Show brings me to tears every time.