California Grill Disney World Restaurant Ultimate Review

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California Grill Disney World Restaurant Ultimate Review

California Grill Disney World

As a food lover and Disney enthusiast, I was excited to experience the award-winning California Grill at Disney World. With its incredible views, tantalizing cuisine, and elegant ambiance, the California Grill Disney is one of the most sought-after dining establishments at Walt Disney World.

During my visit, I had the opportunity to indulge in the delectable dishes and soak up the breathtaking views. In this blog post, I will provide a comprehensive review of the California Grill, including the dining experience, the menu, and the overall atmosphere. Whether you’re a foodie or seeking a memorable dining experience, read on to discover why the California Grill is a must-visit destination at Disney World.

Before we dive in, let’s take a closer look at what makes the California Grill so special. Situated on the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the California Grill offers stunning panoramic views of the Magic Kingdom, Seven Seas Lagoon, and the surrounding Disney property. The views alone are worth a visit, but the culinary experience is equally impressive.

Let’s explore the dining experience at the California Grill, including the menu and atmosphere.

Captivating Views at California Grill

California Grill Disney

As you enter the California Grill, you’ll be immediately drawn to the stunning views of Walt Disney World Resort. With its prime location on the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the restaurant offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Magic Kingdom, Seven Seas Lagoon, and surrounding areas. Whether you’re enjoying a romantic dinner for two or a family celebration, the scenic views from the restaurant provide the perfect backdrop for any occasion.

The California Grill’s expansive windows allow for ample natural light to flow through the dining area, providing a bright and inviting atmosphere. As the sun sets over the horizon, the twinkling lights of the Magic Kingdom provide a magical ambiance. Guests can even enjoy the stunning fireworks display from the comfort of their tables.

Additionally, the restaurant has an outdoor observation deck that offers an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscapes. You can step outside to take in the scenery, snap some photos, and enjoy a beautiful evening breeze.

The captivating views at California Grill make for a truly immersive dining experience that you won’t soon forget. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning guest, the views alone are reason enough to make a reservation at this must-visit Disney World restaurant.

First Impressions of the California Grill Dining Experience

California Grill Disney

​As I sit here and reflect on my recent dining experience at California Grill, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with emotions. This was not your typical Disney World restaurant. First we checked in on the 4th floor of the Disney’s Contemporary Resort where a Cast Member greets you and verifies your reservation, this Cast Member host also filters those people that only want to have a drink at the bar to watch the fireworks, we waited for about 15 minutes before being indicated to take the elevator to the 15th floor where we were also greeted by another hostess that would take us to our table.

From the moment you step into the lobby, you are transported to a different world. The sleek and modern décor set the tone for what was about to come.

We were seated in a beautiful corner booth that overlooked Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s Castle. The view was breathtaking and it was hard to believe we were actually in Disney World. As we took our seats, we were given menus and given some time to peruse the options.

We dined at the California Grill on October 31, which happened to be the last night of Mickey’s Not So Scary Party. Our reservation was for 9:55 PM, just 20 minutes before the fireworks show called ‘Hallowishes’ began. We quickly placed our food order, ensuring it would be ready after the fireworks.

After that, we headed to the exterior promenade to enjoy the spectacular fireworks display. It was an unforgettable experience that left a lasting impression.

California Grill Contemporary Resort Location

If you’re planning to dine at the California Grill, you’ll find it located within Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This resort is a modern and sleek hotel that’s easily recognizable from its unique A-frame structure and monorail running through the middle of the building. The California Grill is situated on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Because of its prime location, the California Grill is accessible to anyone visiting Walt Disney World, not just those staying at the hotel. The Contemporary Resort is ideally located near Magic Kingdom, making it a convenient stop for those spending the day at the theme park.

If you’re driving to the restaurant, you can park at Disney’s Contemporary Resort parking lot, and if you’re arriving by monorail, you’ll need to disembark at the fourth floor of the hotel and take an elevator up to the 15th floor where the California Grill is located.

Disney's Contemporary Resort

California Grill Contemporary Resort Location – Contact Information:

Address:4600 North World Drive, Orlando, Florida 32830
Hours:5:00 PM – 9:55 PM (Last Reservation)

Dining Experience at California Grill

Californi Grill Disney

The dining experience at California Grill is one of the most unforgettable experiences you can have at Disney World. The ambiance is elegant and contemporary, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic views of the Magic Kingdom, Seven Seas Lagoon, and beyond.

The restaurant’s open kitchen allows you to see the skilled chefs at work, adding to the overall dining experience. The attentive and knowledgeable staff is always on hand to offer recommendations and ensure that every guest’s needs are met.

The California Grill Menu

California Grill Menu

The California Grill at Disney World offers guests a diverse Three-Course menu featuring a variety of dishes inspired by the flavors of California. With an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients and innovative techniques, the menu is designed to impress even the most discerning palates.This unique dining experience features 3 Categories the Market Inspirations (Appetizer), Chef’s Journey (Main Entrèe) and Sweet Creations menu (Desserts). I’m gonna share in each category my review of some of the dishes I tried during my California Grill Dinner Experience.

Price for adults starts at $89 per person, making this a great option for a special occasion or date night.

Market Inspirations: The Appetizers

Start your meal off right with one of the California Grill’s delectable appetizers. From succulent seafood options to lighter vegetarian fare, there’s something for everyone on the appetizer menu. Some must-try options include:

  • The Sonoma Goat Cheese Raviolo
  • Spicy Kazan Roll
  • Sashimi and Nigiri Sampler
  • California Stone Fruit Salad

The Sonoma Goat Cheese Raviolo

California Grill Disney

There’s something about the Sonoma Goat Cheese Raviolo at California Grill Disney that just makes my heart sing. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s made with fresh, local ingredients, or maybe it’s the way the creamy goat cheese filling melts in your mouth. Whatever the reason, this dish is definitely one of my all-time favorite things to eat at California Grill.

The Sonoma Goat Cheese Raviolo is a pretty simple dish, but it’s so incredibly flavorful. The ravioli is filled with a rich, creamy goat cheese filling,Tomato Broth, Mushroom Ragoût, Fennel. It’s the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and tangy, and I just can’t get enough of it.

Something that really caught my attention is definitely the color if this Dish, its visually attractive that makes you want to taste it after receiving the dish at your table. The Green Color has a Basil taste that makes it simply delicious, this is also what our waiter recommended as food appetizer to start our dining experience.

The Spicy Kazan Roll

Spicy Kazan Roll
The Spicy Kazan Roll

​If you’re looking for a truly unique and amazing appetizer, look no further than the Spicy Kazan Roll offered on the California Grill Menu. This sushi roll is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before realted to sushi dishes, and it’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

The Kazan Roll is made with a variety of colorful ingredients like Crab, Shrimp, Scallops, Tuna, Fireball Sauce. This is a beautiful and vibrant presentation. But it’s not just the looks that make this dish so special. The Spicy Kazan Roll is also incredibly delicious, and I was not expecting this since Im not a huge fan of Sushi (I actually ordered the Goat Cheese Raviolo) but after trying it, I dare to say that this was one of the main highlights of all the Dishes offered in the Menu.It has a spicy touch but very tolerable for those concerned on the spicy level of the dish.

Chef’s Journey: Main Entrèes

Main courses at California Grill are just as impressive as the appetizers. Guests can choose from a selection of meats, seafood, and vegetarian options, cooked to perfection and presented with care. The following dishes are some of the highlights of the entree menu:

Grilled VenisonHasselback Potatoes, Leek Soubise, Roasted Chanterelle Mushrooms, Braised Cippolini Onion
Wild Alaskan HalibutFarro Risotto, Eggplant Fondants, Sun-dried Tomato-Peppadew Emulsion, Pickled Pearl Onions
Oak-Fired Filet of

Roasted Gourds, Mixed Root Vegetables, Romesco, Cabernet Veal Jus

These are the 3 dishes that my party ordered during our recent visit to the California Grill Restaurant. From Steak to seafood options, I love that this Menu offers incredible options for all people. Let’s Dive In:

The Cast Iron-Grilled Pork Tenderloin: An amazing Main Course at California Grill

​If you’re like most people, when you think of California Grill, you think of contemporary American cuisine with a focus on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. And while that’s certainly true, the restaurant also offers some amazing main courses that are sure to please even the most discerning palate. One of people’s favorites is the Cast Iron-Grilled Pork Tenderloin.

This dish features a succulent pork tenderloin that has been rubbed with a special blend of spices and then grilled to perfection. The pork is served with a creamy polenta and on the center it features an incredible Pork Belly Side dish that is really tasty to try with the pork tenderloin, its greast but tasty at the same time.​

The Oak-Fired Filet of Beef Main Course Dish at California Grill Disney

​If you’re looking for an amazing steak dinner, you have to try the Oak-Fired Filet of Beef from California Grill. The filet is cooked to perfection and comes with Roasted Gourds, Mixed Root Vegetables, Romesco, Cabernet Veal Jus that makes the Steak less Dry and more flavorful.The Oak-Fired Filet of Beef is one of the most popular dishes at California Grill, and it’s easy to see why. Our Server mentioned us that this dish has been famous at this place since its opening in 1995 and that its a classic dish to try in this restaurant.​

​The Atlantic Halibut: A Dish option for Seafood Lovers at California Grill

California Grill Disney

The Atlantic Halibut is a must-try for any seafood lover and is definitely one of the best dishes on the menu. The fish is cooked to perfection and is served with a delicious creamy sauce. The dish also comes with Farro Risotto, Eggplant Fondants, Sun-dried Tomato-Peppadew Emulsion, Pickled Pearl Onions. I normally don’t eat fish but Halibut is one of the only types of fish I can eat and it tasted amazing as always, what I like about the Halibut and you are probably gonna laugh is that the fish itself does not have a strong Fish Flavor, it’s actually very subtle and buttery.

Sweet Creations: Desserts

End your meal on a sweet note with one of the California Grill’s decadent desserts. From indulgent chocolate creations to lighter Plant-based options, the dessert menu has something for every taste preference. Some top picks include:

desserts at California Grill

Valhona Ganache TorteCoffee Cream, Praline Crunch, Salted Caramel, Cocoa Nibs
Meyer Lemon Chiffon CakeChevre Whip, Meringue, Blueberry Foam, Blueberry Gel
Peanut and Banana TorteShortbread, Peanut Ganache, Miso Caramel, Nut Crumble, Caramelized Bananas (Plant-based)
White Chocolate Cherry Crème BrûléeAlmond Chiffon, Dark Chocolate Crémeux, Almond Crunch, Morello Cherry Gel, Black Plums
Chef’s Selections of California CheesesFeaturing Three Unique Cheeses and House-made Accompaniments

Here are some of the Desserts I tried from the Menu

The Peanut and Banana Torte: A plant based Dessert

This decadent dessert features a shortbread crust made with gluten-free flour, peanut butter filling, and a delicious white chocolate glaze. The torte is served with blackberry-banana sauce, miso caramel, peanut crumble, and caramelized bananas.

If you’re looking for a delicious, unique dessert, I highly recommend the Peanut and Banana Torte at California Grill Contemporary. 

The White Chocolate Cherry Crème Brulèe

White Chocolate Creme Brulee California Grill Disney

I’m gonna say it now, this is perhaps one of the best Crème Brulèe desserts I’ve ever had in my life and probably the best part of my dinner experience here.​ This unique take on the classic crème brulée features white chocolate as a crust, Almond Chiffon, Dark Chocolate Crémeux, Almond Crunch, Morello Cherry Gel, Black Plums

The white chocolate crust gives it a creamy and solid taste to the crème Brulèe, with a perfect sweetness that is balanced by the tartness of the cherries. The crisp, caramelized sugar topping provides a lovely contrast in texture, and the whole dish is garnished with a cherry sauce and chocolate for extra flavor and flair.

I would probably come back to this restaurant just to try this amazing dessert which is now in my top 3 all time Desserts on Disney Property.

Sample the Local Cheeses as a Dessert Option

California Grill Disney

​If you’re looking for a unique and delicious dessert option, why not try sampling three local cheeses for dessert? California Grill at Disney World’s Contemporary Resort is known for its amazing selection of cheeses from the California Region, and it’s the perfect place to indulge in a little bit of everything.

The board typically features a variety of cheese, all of which are sourced from local farms and purveyors. This means that you’re getting the freshest and most delicious ingredients, which really makes a difference in the overall taste. And since the board is always changing, you’ll never get bored with your selections.

Reservation Tips for California Grill

If you’re planning a visit to Disney World’s California Grill, it’s essential to book a reservation well in advance. As a popular dining destination, tables at California Grill fill up fast, especially during peak seasons. Here are some reservation tips to help increase your chances of securing a table:

  1. Book Early: As soon as you know your travel dates, make a reservation for California Grill. Reservations can be booked up to 60 days in advance, and it’s best to book as early as possible to ensure availability.
  2. Be Flexible: If you’re having trouble finding a reservation for your preferred date and time, try adjusting your schedule. Consider dining at an off-peak time or on a different day of the week.
  3. Keep Checking: Cancellations happen, so keep checking the reservation system for availability. You never know when a table may open up. You can do this by constantly monitoring the My Disney Experience App. I’ve been very succesful getting last minute reservations with this technique
  4. Consider a Hotel Package: All Disney World hotels offer the Famous Disney Dining Plan that include a reservation and points to use for your dinner at California Grill.

The Wine Selection

Wine Selection California Grill

Wine lovers will delight in the extensive and carefully curated wine selection at California Grill. The restaurant’s wine list includes over 300 selections from around the world, including rare and hard-to-find bottles.

The knowledgeable sommeliers at California Grill can guide guests in selecting the perfect wine to complement their meal. From bold and fruity reds to crisp and refreshing whites, the wine selection at California Grill is sure to impress even the most discerning palate.

If wine isn’t your drink of choice, don’t worry – California Grill also features an impressive selection of craft beers, cocktails, and spirits to enjoy during your meal.

Signature Cocktails

California Grill Signature Cocktails

One of the highlights of dining at the California Grill is the extensive and creative cocktail menu. The mixologists at California Grill don’t just make drinks; they craft experiences that perfectly complement the restaurant’s cuisine and ambiance. From classic cocktails to innovative concoctions, there is something for every palate on the menu.

Some of the must-try signature cocktails at California Grill include:

Signature CocktailIngredients
Icewine MartiniBelvedere Vodka, Inniskillin Vidal Icewine, Flame Raisins on the Vine
Zacapa No. 23 SidecarRon Zacapa Centenario No. 23 Rum, Cointreau Liqueur, Sweet-and-Sour Splash
California Grill SourWidow Jane Small Batch Whiskey, DISARONNO Originale Liqueur, Sweet-and-Sour Splash and Dow’s 2016 Porto

I Tried the Mai Thai Cocktail

​ For this Dinner Experience I wanted to try a cocktail Classic with my Food so I ordered the famous Mai-Thai Cocktail.

Mai Thai California Grill Disney

This refreshing drink is made with rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine. It’s then topped with a float of Myer’s Dark Rum and garnished with a fresh lime wedge. The Mai Thai is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and it’s sure to hit the spot on a hot day at Disney World.

Pair your signature cocktail with a delicious appetizer or entree for the ultimate California Grill experience. And don’t forget to save room for one of their decadent desserts!

California Grill Dress Code

If you’re planning a visit to the California Grill at Disney World, it’s important to note that there is a dress code in place. The dress code is in place to ensure a sophisticated and upscale dining experience for all guests, and it’s expected that visitors adhere to it.

The dress code at California Grill is categorized as “Signature Dining,” which means that a level of formality is required. Here are the main guidelines to follow:

  • Men: Business casual attire is required, including slacks or khakis, a dress shirt, and a sports coat or blazer. Jeans are permitted as long as they are in good shape
  • Women: Business casual attire is required, including a dress, skirt or dressy pants, and a blouse. The jeans policy for women stays the same as Men.

The only thing that they are very strict and will not let you in is if you use swimwear of any type, aside from that I find it very difficult for you to not be let in to your tab

Final Thoughts and Veridict

California Grill Disney

Overall, my experience at the California Grill at Disney World exceeded all expectations. From the captivating views of the Disney property to the tantalizing cuisine, every aspect of the dining experience is truly magical.

Perfect for Any Occasion

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for an unforgettable dining experience, the California Grill offers something for everyone. The contemporary atmosphere and attentive service make it an ideal destination for a romantic date night or a family celebration.

A True Culinary Delight

The menu at California Grill is a culinary delight, combining fresh seasonal ingredients with innovative flavors to create dishes that are both delicious and visually stunning. From the sushi to the steak, every dish is expertly prepared and beautifully presented.

Overall, the California Grill at Disney World exceeded all of my expectations. From the exquisite food to the stunning views, it truly is a dining experience that should not be missed.

Youtube Video of my California Grill Experience

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