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Walt Disney World Orlando Restaurants

California Grill

Updated 04/30/2014

Fodor's Review

The view from the surrounding Disney parks from this 15th-floor restaurant—the World's signature dining establishment since 1995—is as stunning as the food, especially after dark, when you can watch the nightly Magic Kingdom fireworks. The entire space and menu underwent major transformations in 2013, from new midcentury modern furnishings and chandeliers to kitchen equipment such as a cast-iron flat grill designed specifically for cooking fish. Expect locally sourced

foods where possible, made-from-scratch items such as the sausage-in-a-duck sampler appetizer, and many items cooked in the wood-fired oven. Sushi remains a highlight, alongside creative, globally inspired entrées. Specialties include a short-rib fillet cooked at a low temperature for 24 hours sous-vide style and served with red-wine butter, and scallops with homemade gnocchi, smoked pork, and Parmesan foam. A 10- to 14-course omakase (tasting menu) is available.

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Restaurant Information

Address:

Contemporary Resort, 4600 N. World Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Florida, 32830, USA

Map It

Phone:

407-939–3463

Restaurant Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • No lunch
  • Reservations essential

Updated 04/30/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
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Jul 22, 2009

WOW

My husband and I went there on our honeymoon and they brought us a beautiful dessert that said congratulations. It was wonderfull. the staff was nice, the food was great, and the restaurant was neat looking. We watched the MK fireworks to. It is our favorite restaurant.

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Jan 28, 2009

Fabulous

A wonderful place for the Adult crowd at Disney. Food and wine were great. After reading other reviews, I am thankful that the manager has enough guts to say something to the parents of a running 3 year old. This is not the Magic Kingdom!

By nbkm7l1

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Oct 21, 2007

Great Place

We really enjoyed our meal here except for the manager getting on to us because our 3 year old was running around a bit...this is Disney after all....lol I would say that the filet at Jikos is better than the filet at California Grill. The California Grill has a great wine list and has diversity within its menu. The service was outstanding aside from the manager's comments....the guy ought to be re-assigned to a walk-up. The decor was very

dated and the temp quite cool along with the manger's attitude towards small children.

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By Beth

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Mar 11, 2005

Outstanding!

I'll start with the only negative: the restaurant was freezing cold. Bring a sweater! Service and food lived up to its reputation. Had a window table and enjoyed the Epcot firewords, and electric water parade while dining. Be sure to try a flatbread as an appetizer - the four cheese was out of this world. Let's hear it for fontina! I also recommend the squash lasagna and the duck trio.

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Feb 14, 2005

Good experience

We recently ate here for my husband's birthday while in WDW. The food was good, but not "over the top." The service was also good. The atmosphere was extremely nosiy -- seems to be missing the ambience you think of when you go to a restaurant with these prices.

By Kevin

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Sep 13, 2004

It Works -- for an occasional nice stop

Although I think they have changed their policies about the fireworks and do not let people up to the area without reservations. As we checked in at ground level in the Contemporary Hotel and then were escorted up to the restaurant on the elevator. Meal was excellent, but as with many top-notch restaurants the portions are small. We mentioned it was our anniversary and they did provide a free glass of champagne which was very nice and considerate,

as we did not partake in any other drinks while there. We did not time our reservations real well for the fireworks so we did go to the lounge and order a coke while waiting. The waiter forgot to charge us for that..... I tried twice to pay and then just left. The place is a bit noisey, but pleasant and did not feel out of place in nice shorts and shirt. I would go again, once I have enough money... :-). I think we were the only couple to get out of there that night for less than $100 for dinner. Ours was $90 without any alcohol.

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By Roger

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Jan 28, 2004

Fireworks going off INSIDE CA Grill

We have eaten here in the past. Our priority seating did us no good to get us a table at fireworks time. People come early and park until the show is over, then they run you over to get to the elevators. We ended up getting served cold food by an unconcerned waiter at around 9:30 Too late for my 3 year old, who fell asleep at the table. I was not happy but again no one cared. I will try it again this year and see if I can arrange it so that we can

be seated for the fireworks and camp out until the show is over. If that doesn't work out then I will probably just walk, not worth having the same miserable experience twice. We were among a crowd of disgruntled people and wondered why I never heard about this before.

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By Karen

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Dec 4, 2003

Great

This place is wonderful. It is nice to be able to take your family (kids) to a high quality restaurant and not feel out of place. Once you get past the pseudo reservations (priority seating) you will get a meal that is excellent, good sevice and a nice atmosphere.

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Oct 22, 2002

The best in Orlando

Excellent food, although expensive. We all loved the view of Magic Kingdom also. If you love Flying Fish or Chathams, this is comparable food. Very modern decor. Great waiter.

By James

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Sep 27, 2002

View from the Top with Top-Notch Food

Great view of the "World". Try to schedule to see the fireworks from your table. Food was excellent, as was the service.

By T

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Sep 22, 2002

My terrible birthday dinner!

My family had reservations for 7:30 and we did not get seeted until 8:30. The atmosphere was not what I expected, very noisy! We then waited over an hour to get our entrees and they were cold! When we called our manager over to see what was going on he just said "the kitchen is behind". After we ate the average tasting meals, there was a firework show. The fireworks were nice, however everyone from the Contemporary Hotel Comes up to the top floor

(where the California Grill is located) to view the fireworks. People who are not even dining here are standing around to watch the show which made the restaurant very crowded. The waiter came over to us and said the manager will give us a free desert, I guess he forgot it was my birthday because my parents already told him to bring out a cake. By that time we just wanted to leave so I did not eat dessert we just paid for dinner and split. The story does not end here because we had to wait 30 minutes to get on an elvevator (because of the crowd for the fireworks).

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By Cyndy

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Jul 27, 2002

One word: SUPERB

One of the best meals I've ever had. Simply delicious.

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Jul 1, 2002

Perfect for a Wedding Reception

This is by far the best restaurant in WDW. We go to Disney at least once a year and always have dinner there. We love it so much that we had our Disney Wedding Reception there in December of 2001. It was Beautiful! We have always had wonderful food, wonderful service, and the view is breath taking anytime of day.

By Sarah

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Oct 27, 2001

The best at WDW...

We absolutely LOVED this restaurant! Yes, it's pricey, but seeing the Magic Kingdom fireworks, eating the delicious food and being treated to such first-rate service is worth it!! I will definitely return in 2002!

By Kathi

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Jan 25, 2001

Great Food, Great View

We are Disney nuts and go at least once a year. Our last trip (for New Year's 2001) we ate at the California Grill TWICE. The food is so fresh and creative. The sushi is WONDERFUL and the service was excellent. Extensive wine list and amazing desserts. The view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks is not to be missed!!

By Michael

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Jul 14, 2000

GO TO THE INSTEAD

The food was just average for an upscale restaurant. Our waitress was more suited to a drive through. The manager, without our having to say a word,apologized for the abysmal service and sub-par food, so maybe we just hit a very bad night. We went to the Flying Fish at the Boardwalk and that was definitely an A+ while California Grill was at most a C

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