I was going through some of my pictures this morning and came across this beautiful sunset. This picture in no way does justice to the sheer beauty that was this sunset. This gorgeous surprise happened while we were eating at the California Grill and I literally found myself running out to the balcony to try and capture this moment. :0)
For those of you who haven’t heard about the California Grill, let us be the first to recommend it. The restaurant itself is on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort, which you get to by a private elevator! The views from the floor-to-ceiling windows are absolutely awesome. You can see the Magic Kingdom (Space Mountain looks so close!), Seven Seas Lagoon, and you can even see some of the Grand Floridian across the lagoon. As beautiful as it is in the daylight, just wait until the sun starts to set. First of all, you get beautiful picture opportunities like the one above, but it’s also fun to see all the lights come on in the Magic Kingdom.
In terms of menu, I would say there is something there for everyone. The website describes the cuisine as American/Seafood/Sushi. As always, there are kid friendly options. Reservations are recommended given the restaurant’s popularity and some dining plans are accepted. As for the pricing, the California Grill is listed as a fine/signature dining location. So you can expect to spend a fair amount of money, but the food is definitely worth it. Everyone in our group really enjoyed their meals.
But here is the truly fun part!!!!! If you do eat there, save your receipt. Why? Because you can present your receipt later on in the evening and view the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the restaurant’s balcony. It was a perfect compromise for my kids who didn’t like the loud noises of the fireworks from Wishes, but still wanted to see them. From this balcony you have a perfect view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. The noise of the fireworks is toned down just enough for everyone to enjoy and there are speakers on the balcony that allow you to hear the show’s music and narration. The balcony doesn’t have chairs, so it’s standing room only. I would recommend bringing a jacket, because it is high up and we were a little chilly that night. Be sure to get there early because this is a popular place to watch the fireworks.
If you end up eating dinner early and have time before Wishes starts, you can always take a spin around on the monorail. We did that with the kids before going back up to the balcony and they loved it. If you are eating in the restaurant while the fireworks are happening you can leave your table to view them on the observation deck or you can watch them from your table. The restaurant dims the lights and pipes in the narration.
Take a look at a clip from the fireworks viewing area at California Grill.
Have you ever watched fireworks from California Grill?
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