Disney’s California Grill at the Contemporary Resort

Of alllll the places we have dined at Disney, California Grill at the Contemporary Resort remains at the very top of my list. The food and service are phenomenal, the views are memorable, and overall it is just a wonderful experience.

This signature dining experience is a wonderful place to mark a birthday, anniversary or special occasion during your Walt Disney World vacation. The restaurant does book solid at 180 days in advance so always plan accordingly. I can rarely find it for clients booking inside of that 6 month booking window.

Via private elevator, ascend to the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, where you’ll discover exquisite panoramic views of the shimmering lagoon, Floridian woodland and Cinderella Castle. Inside, enjoy the vibrant sights and sounds of the lively onstage kitchen, where chefs combine global flavors in deliciously inventive new ways.

Californian cuisine celebrates fresh, seasonal ingredients and the international, melting-pot culture of the Golden State. Changing seasonally, the menu may include such specialties as handmade Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli, Atlantic Yellowfin Tuna and Oak-fired Choice Angus Filet of Beef.

Delight in mouthwatering sushi, as well as flavorful brick oven-fired flatbreads. Then, polish off a perfect meal with decadent desserts like Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake and Blueberry Cheesecake.

To complement their entrées, Guests 21 years of age and up can select from over 300 hand-picked wines—most of which are from California. Over 50 are available by the glass, and sommeliers are on hand to offer pairing suggestions.

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We always start with a salad – all of them are wonderful but I particularly love whichever one (Season) has the fried goat cheese. In September, it was with peaches and candied pecans.

The sushi is the best at Disney, in our opinion, and you can’t go wrong with it. We love the dragon roll.

Finally, the filet is always our favorite entree. And by “our”, I mean between Honey, Sister, her mister, Daddy-O, Mother, John AND myself! Like the sushi, I’d argue it’s the best steak at Disney (or tied with Le Cellier.)

The blueberry lemondrop martini is my favorite cocktail anywhere on earth, and I’ve been trying to recreate it for ages. If anyone knows how, PLEASE report back! I’ll send you a gift card for your knowledge. Haha!

We’ve celebrated anniversaries and birthdays here, but the most special was my parent’s 70th birthdays!

We often plan dinner to catch the Magic Kingdom fireworks, but you can also return to the viewing area before or after dinner if the timing isn’t exactly right. They dim the lights inside, pause service and pipe in the music. There is also a private balcony guests can step out on for viewing.

Kids are absolutely welcome at California Grill, and every other restaurant other than Victoria and Alberts. Now that I travel with a built in sitter (my teenager), we get food for the boys and leave them to their devices. I often work with clients to set up an in room sitter so that they can enjoy this meal.

Have a magical Monday!

As Premier Level Gold Key Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise LineDisneyland® Resort, Disney Aulani Hawaii, Universal, Sea World and to 35 countries on 6 continents through Adventures by Disney®.

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