California Grill is one of those restaurants that is super recommended for celebrations or for anyone looking to have an amazing meal on their trip to Disney in Orlando.
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For example, if you're in Disneyland around your birthday, dining at the California Grill can spice up your celebration even more.
It is no wonder that the celebrations of New Year at California Grill they are so popular and special.
But why wait for a special occasion to dine at the California Grill?
The atmosphere and attractions of this special restaurant will make your experience a party in any case.
All this because the privileged location of the California Grill allows you to have a view of the fireworks Magic Kingdom.
That's right. From the California Grill you can watch fireworks from the cabin.
If you prefer to dine earlier, the sunset at Disney's most traditional park can also be enjoyed from the California Grill and the view of this spectacle of nature is also breathtaking.
In this article, you'll also find out about brunch at California Grill.
All this to further expand your dining options when in Orlando.
Check out all that California Grill has to offer for your special Disney dinner.
Location of the California Grill
California Grill is located at the hotel Disney's Contemporary Resort, which is practically next to the Magic Kingdom.
It is through the Contemporary Resort that the Monorail, that monorail transportation from Walt Disney World Resort.
If you haven't visited Disney's Contemporary Resort, it's worth stopping by and getting to know it, even to take pictures of the decoration of one of the most traditional and exuberant hotels in the Disney complex.
Due to this proximity to the Magic Kingdom, the view we have of the park from the California Grill is really privileged.
The restaurant is located on the fifteenth floor of the hotel, offering an incredible view not only of the fireworks show but of the entire park.
Enjoying the sunset on the restaurant's deck is another attraction that many visitors usually do, and the view is truly breathtaking.
California Grill Tour
Upon arriving at the hotel reception, on the day you go to the California Grill, you will be directed to the elevator or escalator that will take you to the second floor.
There, restaurant staff will verify your reservation and give you a pager. It is with the pager that California Grill will notify you when your table is ready.
From the second floor you will take another elevator to the fifteenth floor, which is the restaurant floor.
Arriving on the California Grill restaurant floor you will soon see a counter with hostesses and the bar area.
If you want to have a drink while waiting for your table, you can order it right there.
If you prefer, you can enjoy the view before going to your table.
There is access to the deck on both sides of the restaurant, and it is on both sides of the deck that people stay to enjoy the Magic Kingdom fireworks show.
It is interesting that you visit both sides to find out which is the most interesting place for you to watch the show.
When your table is ready the pager will ring and you must present the device to the receptionists who are at the counter next to the elevator from which you arrived.
You will then be directed to your table to enjoy your dinner or brunch at the California Grill.
California Grill environment
The decoration of the California Grill has a modern style with large glass windows, allowing an almost panoramic view of the restaurant's external environment.
The California Grill is very large and has many tables.
Despite being large and not cramped, it is always full. Depending on the day and how crowded it is, it can seem a little noisy, but nothing that causes extreme discomfort.
It is an environment that is, at the same time, modern, refined and relaxed, without that atmosphere of formality that other high-end restaurants have.
In addition to the tables, there is also an area with a counter that is close to the kitchen and the bar, and it is also possible to have your meal there.
California Grill is also one of those restaurants that have an open kitchen, and for those who like this ?Master Chef? it is always very interesting to observe the preparation of the dishes.
The California Grill kitchen team is very competent and it's always a show apart to see them do their art in the kitchen.
Another detail that makes up the environment is the showcase with sushi and sashimi.
Its objective is to preserve food, but appreciating the decoration made with so much care by the California Grill is very beautiful, as well as the huge wine cellar that is located near the elevator.
Another important attraction is the service.
From the reception to the waiters, there is really attention and concern to serve customers well. The service, as a whole, is really good.
We have already seen that the look of the California Grill entices the palate. The taste is also not lacking. Let's go to the dishes at this restaurant considered one of the best in Disney.
If you are looking for food tips for your trip to Orlando, be sure to check out our other posts:
– Dining with Disney Characters
– Disney Dining Plan: The Disney Dining Plan
– How to eat cheaply at Disney's water parks?
– The Best Breakfast at Disney in Value for Money
– The Best Vegetarian Food Options at Magic Kingdom
– What are the best fast food in Disney?
– Disney kids food
– How to eat cheap on your trip to Disney
California Grill Cuisine
As if the fireworks weren't enough, the food at California Grill is a show of its own.
The restaurant is renowned for its excellent cuisine so the culinary experience is definitely worth it.
On the menu there are always seasonal options, and you will find pizza, sushi and various starter options that include soups, salads, cheeses and cold meats.
It is always good to remember that the California Grill also serves a bread basket at each table.
In terms of main dishes, you will find options on the menu for different tastes, including fillet roasted in a wood-fired oven, salmon, scallops, chicken, pork fillet and vegetarian options.
The options for children are also varied in addition to the delicious house desserts.
There is no shortage of drinks on the menu, but wine lovers will be pleased to know that there are around 300 labels available for sale by the bottle, and around 50 of them are also available by the glass.
In addition to dinner at the California Grill, which is open from 5 pm to 10 pm, the restaurant opens for brunch from 10 am to 1 pm.
But even if you eat your meal at brunch time, you can still come back later for the fireworks show. At the end of the article you will know details about how this works.
At brunch, the service is self-service in buffet style, with main courses also served alongside the buffet.
The price is fixed per person and has different values for children and adults.
Among the options for this meal, you will find a mix of breakfast and lunch.
At the buffet, boiled eggs stuffed with bacon and aioli sauce, Greek yogurt with granola and fruit mix, salmon with capers, quiche, salads, sushi and tempura.
Sausages and assorted cheeses complement this rich and varied buffet.
In the main dishes, omelettes, French toast, pancakes, shrimp, cheeseburger, filet and vegetarian option are also available for your choice.
It has a few unlimited drink options as well as small desserts like macarons and chocolate truffles.
Drinks and wines from the menu can also be ordered at brunch time.
Review the options, lunch or dinner, and choose your favorite meal to enjoy at Disney's California Grill.
The California Grill Fire Show
There is a whole preparation for the Magic Kingdom fireworks show when you watch it at the California Grill.
Minutes before starting, the restaurant signs by dimming the lights in the room, as if inviting everyone to watch the show from the deck.
To make the most of the show, the California Grill plays the fireworks music in synchrony with the Magic Kingdom, so that no one misses anything from this attraction.
When the show is over everyone can return to the table to finish their meal.
In order for you to get the most out of the show, here are some important details:
From where to see the fireworks – It would be interesting if, before sitting down at the table, you take a walk on both sides of the deck, to see the side you prefer and guarantee the best experience for you.
Still, it's good to know that while the left side of the deck offers a farther view, the angle is a little better.
Now, if you've seen the show at the Magic Kingdom, do not expect to repeat the same experience because the California Grill angle is not frontal and you are not that close.
Anyway it is very worth it.
Climate and weather – It is always good to analyze what the weather will be like on the day of your reservation at the California Grill, after all, rain can disrupt all your planning.
Remember that you are watching the show outdoors, so depending on the time of year, don't forget to bring a sweater so you don't get cold.
It may seem like a simple tip, but especially if you are traveling with children, care must be taken.
Meal Time – If you book your time for dinner before the fireworks, right after the attraction you will face a long queue to go down in the elevator, in case you already want to leave.
By booking your time after the fireworks, you can arrive a little earlier for the show.
After the show, when everyone is going down in the elevator, you'll have dinner in peace without having to wait in line.
This is just a hint of how this California Grill experience works, but it's up to you to decide.
Post-show time might be a little late for you to have dinner, depending on your habit.
Consider the two options, but be prepared to queue depending on your dinner time.
You can show it later at the second-floor balcony and return to the California Grill to watch the fireworks show the same day.
That is, if you have your meal at brunch, you can also return later for the show.
Extra California Grill Tips
Make your reservation
The California Grill is a popular restaurant, so be sure to make your reservation in advance if you want to guarantee a table.
It is worth knowing that if you are unable to make your reservation, in the part of the waiting area where the lounge is located, they also serve meals.
So this second option is for you.
If you are having a birthday, or any other celebration on the day of your visit to the California Grill, let the employees who are welcoming you know about it right away on the second floor.
Possibly the treats and pampering will start right before you sit down at the table.
Some special treats can be arranged in advance with the restaurant, especially if you are celebrating a wedding anniversary or other romantic celebration.
California Grill is one of the restaurants that does not allow tank tops, bathing suits, torn or offensively messaged T-shirts, and flip-flops as attire in its environment.
Recommends clothing such as slacks, dresses, skirts and jeans in good condition, i.e. smart casual wear.
Keep in mind that if you go to the restaurant after the park, the way you are dressed may pose a problem.
Pay attention to this to avoid embarrassment and losing your reservation.
All these attractions make the California Grill one of the most important restaurants in the Disney complex and it is certainly on the list of favorites of many tourists who travel to Disney frequently.
The reasons you already know.
Excellent service, haute cuisine, refined and at the same time relaxed atmosphere, and the incredible view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks display.
If you still don't know it and are planning your trip to Disney, this is a good time to include it in your itinerary and check out everything we've indicated in this article for yourself.
Nothing better than living your own experiences and drawing your own conclusions.
I hope this article has cleared your doubts about the California Grill.
I hope again that this post helped you in your research for your trip to Disney or Orlando.
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About the Author Carlos Braga:
Unparalleled experience in Orlando and Disney! As a former Universal Orlando team member and a passionate devotee of the magic of Disney, I have become a true Orlando travel expert. Before becoming a renowned travel consultant dedicated to Orlando, I had already made hundreds of visits to the parks, cultivating my knowledge and passion mainly over the last 7 years as a consultant and specialist in Disney travel.
My journey into this enchanted world began in 1995, when I took my first trip to Orlando. Since then, my love for Disney and the city has only grown. In 2023, we celebrate the sixth anniversary of 'Partiu Disney Parks', consolidating our role as one of the main sources of information about Disney and Orlando Parks.
During these six years of existence, we have continued to offer quality and updated content, being the reliable source for all those looking for essential information to plan their trip to Disney and Orlando. With my vast experience and passion for this magical destination, I am here to guide you every step of the way towards the most incredible Orlando and Disney experience!