California Grill At Disney's Contemporary Resort Review
Review - WDW 25-Oct-2022
California Grill is a fine dining restaurant located at the top of Disney's Contemporary Resort currently serving a 50th-anniversary celebration three-course Prix Fixe menu. It's $89 for adults and $39 for kids. In summary:
✅ Phenomenal view of Magic Kingdom IF you're lucky enough to get a seat at the window (which of course not everyone can)
✅ Impeccable service throughout
✅ Nice calm and relaxing atmosphere and ambience
✅ The food was high quality, although parts were not to my taste
✅ Ability to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks after your meal
We ate at California Grill for our final night to end on something a little fancier (little did we know at the time but we changed our plans to go on the Disney Wish after Walt Disney World so the magic continued).
We went up to the top floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort and got checked in. Our host walked us to our table, which was a table on the right side of the restaurant but towards the back. I didn't expect to get a window table because not everybody can, but when we got to our table our host looked a bit confused. She was about to sit us at a four-person table but then paused. She then asked us to walk back to the check-in desk with her and we were told to wait by the bar while she went back to her computer. Upon her return, she apologised and asked us to follow her again. She then walked us over to a two-person table by the window! She said "this will probably be better for you" I was so excited! We thanked her and sat down. This was our view of Magic Kingdom for our meal.
Our table was set up nicely and you're offered to take the menu home if you want as a keepsake.
Our server Aaron was incredible throughout. I'd go as far as to say the best and most professional server of our trip. He handed us our menus and told us we can pick one appetiser, one entree, and one dessert.
First, we had a bread service which was fresh and delicious served with their beautiful signature dipping oil.
To start we had the short rib wontons and the duck pizza. The wontons were delicious and spot on. The orange duck pizza was nice but it had a strong punch of flavours I didn't particularly care for- a lot was going on with that dish.
For our mains, we had the beef filet and pork tenderloin. The filet was cooked and seasoned perfectly (unlike the steaks at Flying Fish). The only knock I'd give is that it is quite a tiny piece of filet, which is likely why they don't display the weight on the menu. The pork tenderloin was delicious and we didn't realise until we received the dish that it had pork belly with it as well. The Zinfandel glaze finished the flavours off well.
The dessert course was probably the weakest of the three courses. None of the options stood out to me, but we ordered the five magical bites and the creme brulee to have a variety of things to try. The creme brulee was good but nothing amazing, and the give magical bites offered a variety of mini desserts which all packed quite the punch.
Overall, a really lovely meal at California Grill and we would recommend the experience. While it's likely they'll return to an a la carte menu after March 2023 (when the 50th celebrations end) it'll depend on that menu if we will return next time. The food was really nice, but just taking the food into account doesn't result in this making our top list. However, taking into account the experience as a whole with the view it would make our top list, but you can't guarantee that window seat. Eating with that view is just incredible.
Either during or after your meal you can step outside to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks. We ate at California Grill on a Halloween party night so got to watch Mickey's Not-So-Spooky Spectacular. Which worked out for the best because the fireworks aspect of Mickey's Not-So-Spooky Spectacular is superior to Disney Enchantment. This is probably one of the best ways to end a Walt Disney World trip.
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