My favorite restaurant in all of Walt Disney World is California Grill. With its outstanding food and wine selections, unparalleled service, its magnificent views of the Seven Seas Lagoon, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Magic Kingdom and the Electrical Water Pageant, California Grill is a jewel in the Disney Crown.
California Grill is located on the 15th floor of the Contemporary resort . Check-in is on the 2nd floor. You are then escorted up a special elevator with a cast member. The restaurant is decorated with a modern flair: light woods, tall ceilings and open kitchen. It’s fresh and very inviting and in my opinion the BEST place to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Reservations are required for dining room seating.
Because California Grill uses only the freshest ingredients, the menu changes weekly. The flat breads are wonderful and great for a starter or a meal for a less adventurous eater. I have always had excellent food at the California Grill whether it be corn bisque, summer salad, or valrhona chocolate cake. I try to order something different each time I go. Their sushi is outstanding. The California Grill introduced us to sushi and the sushi I eat other places pales in comparison. The Oak Fire Filet of Beef has been offered at most of our visits and is a family favorite. The California Grill is a little slice of culinary heaven.
An added bonus of the California Grill is the wonderful viewing location for the fireworks show. The lights are dimmed and the Wishes soundtrack is piped into the restaurant. I have often had a window table, but my favorite place to view them is from the rooftop deck. The soundtrack is also piped outside as well. I promise you, it brings a tear to my eye every time. It makes me feel is though all is right with the world. (Can you tell I’ve swallowed the pixie dust ;). The cast members go out of their way to time your food with the fireworks. You will not come back to your table to find cold food waiting for you.
If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, it will require 2 of your Table Service Credits as it is a Signature Dining Restaurant. The Unofficial Guide does not suggest you use your credits in this manner. While the atmosphere is upscale, it isn’t stuffy. This is a special meal. You may want to lose the regular park touring attire in favor of something a little nicer. Disney prefers that you dress business casual at all Signature Dining locations. Tank tops, swimsuits or swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs or torn clothing of any kind are not permitted.