Disney World’s 50th anniversary has lots going on and more things get announced as we get closer to October 1. One of the latest announcements for the 50th is a special menu to help celebrate the anniversary.
This week’s featured photo takes us to the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Hey Disney Fans!
If you haven’t guessed it, I’ve been doing some early spring cleaning. During spring cleaning I’ve been finding some fun Disney stuff that’s brought me down memory lane.
Disney’s California Grill has spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom and the nightly fireworks show. Soon guests will be able to take advantage of a new dining experience at the 15th floor restaurant.
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)
Today’s Picture of the Day comes from the California Grill.
Disney’s fireworks show for New Year’s Eve is one of their most popular shows. People get to the park early to make sure they don’t shut out due to the park reaching capacity.
California Grill has some of the best views of the Magic Kingdom and watching Wishes from the observation deck is high on this list of top experiences at Disney World. Up until now, California Grill has only been open for dinner. That will change on February 7.
I was talking with someone the other day who was very excited for a girls only trip she is taking to Disney World for her next birthday. We started talking about all the fun adult things they can do there, since the kids won’t be with her, and I mentioned the monorail bar crawl.
Have you heard of this? It’s a real thing. People will board the monorail for an evening of drinking themselves around the monorail resort loop. There are a decent amount of lounges to check out at the monorail resorts.
I’ll start at the Contemporary and we can work our way around from there. So, keep clear of the doors and get ready to ride the monorail for the monorail bar crawl!
First Stop: Contemporary Resort
- California Grill Lounge
- Location: 15th floor
- Hours: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
- Food: The lounge offers the same menu as the restaurant.
- Drink: They have an extensive wine list (over 300), delicious mixed drinks, quite a few different beers to choose from, scotch, etc. I really enjoyed the martini I had here and my husband and our friends were happy with the scotch selection.
- Extras: They huge windows that give you a great view of the Magic Kingdom and surrounding area. If you time it right, you can catch Wishes at the Magic Kingdom from the restaurant. However, the lounge is first come first served and the closer it gets to the start of Wishes the more difficult it will be to find a seat.
- Dress Code: From Disney’s website, “Men may wear khakis, slacks, jeans or dress shorts and collared shirts. Sport coats are optional.Women may wear Capri pants, skirts, dresses, jeans or dress shorts.Not permitted are tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs, torn clothing and t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics.”
- Outer Rim
- Location: 4th Floor
- Hours: 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
- Food: Bar menu available
- Drink: Beer, wine, Disney Resort drinks, specialty cocktails, and more.
- Extras: If you are there during the Electrical Water Pageant, you will be able to see it from the big windows that look out over the lake.
- The Wave Lounge
- Location: Lobby Floor (inside The Wave…of American Flavors)
- Hours: 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.
- Food: They do have a menu of appetizers and other bar food available.
- Drink: Specialty cocktails, organic beers, tequila, and New World wines
- Extras: The Wave prides itself on the freshness of its food, with a lot of the food coming from local or regional sources. Plus, I think the organic beer piques a lot of people’s interest.
Second Stop: Polynesian Village Resort
- Tambu Lounge
- Location: Great Ceremonial House – 2nd Floor
- Hours: 1 p.m. – 12 a.m.
- Food: Full bar menu available
- Drink: Specialty drinks like the Lapu Lapu and the Backscratcher
- Extras: With all of the additions to the Polynesian Village Resort, it’s definitely worth a stroll after you finish your drinks.
- Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
- This lounge is not open yet, but should be opening soon. A post from Disney Parks Blog gave examples of some of the drinks that will be offered. The Castaway Crush, the Polynesian Pearl, the Nautilus, the Dark and Tropical Stormy, and the Tahitian Torch are some of the drinks that will be available.
- It will be on the first floor by Capt. Cook’s and looks like it will be open from 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. As for extras, it’s new, so that’s reason enough for a lot of people. However, there will be some special effects that happen inside the lounge. (Source: touringplans.com)
Final Stop: Grand Floridian
- Citricos Lounge
- Location: 2nd Floor
- Hours: 5 p.m. -10 p.m.
- Food: Tapas
- Drink: Specialty cocktails, international wines, and a variety of beers
- Extras: Beautiful views of the courtyard out of large windows. The whole restaurant looks beautiful and makes for a nice dining (or lounging) experience.
- Dress code: From Disney’s website, “Men may wear khakis, slacks, jeans or dress shorts and collared shirts. Sport coats are optional.Women may wear Capri pants, skirts, dresses, jeans or dress shorts.Not permitted are tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs, torn clothing and t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics.”
- Mizner’s Lounge
- Location: Upstairs behind the bandstand
- Hours: 4:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.
- Food: Appetizers and desserts
- Drink: Specialty cocktails, champagnes, wines, domestic beers, ports, cognacs, bourbons, single malts and blended scotch
- Extras: Enjoy jazz music while you sip your drink. Cigars are also available.
A couple of other things:
- If you are doing this with someone who does not wish to drink, the lounges serve non-alcoholic drinks as well.
- There are other restaurants at these resorts that have alcoholic beverages, but they don’t have a lounge. So you would need a dining reservation to be able to order a drink.
Lastly, if you are participating in the monorail bar crawl, just remember to keep it calm. There are kids around, even during the later hours, so try not to get sloppy drunk.
Well, there you have it! The monorail bar crawl. If you are traveling with an adults only party or you have a babysitter watching the kids, then give it a try.
You don’t have to be staying at a monorail resort to try this. You can get a bus from the Magic Kingdom, take the monorail to Epcot and grab a bus there, or take a taxi (the taxi you would have to pay for) to get back to your resort.
Even if you don’t want to drink around the monorail resort loop, it’s still fun to go around and look at all the monorail resorts. There are lots of things to experience at each of the resort hotels!
Thanks for reading!
We finally have a room booked! Initially we had been trying to get a room at the Beach Club, but it is a very popular resort and there were a lot of people waiting in the queue with us for rooms. So, because we were afraid of things booking up, we decided to switch our request to the Boardwalk Villas and we are so excited! The resort looks so nice, the kids are not afraid of the clown slide, and we are still within walking distance to Epcot for Food and Wine Festival! We just received our info packet (no flash drive or magnet though), so it feels real! Now comes the fun part…planning our dining and activities!
Usually, once the room has been booked the first thing we start to plan are our dining reservations. I had a planning session with one of our friends we are traveling with and we started making lists. These lists included any dining, attraction, or extra activities that we may want to experience while in Disney. It really does help to make lists and plan things out. Especially for a place as big as Disney World.
For our next planning session we will probably concentrate on the dining reservation list, since those are the next reservations we can make. We don’t do the dining plan (it never seems to make financial sense for us), but because of the dining plan popular restaurants, like Be Our Guest (BOG), tend to book up really fast. So, since we can book at 180 days out, we will probably try to get reservations for the more popular places early. It’s kind of a pain, but that’s what the dining plan has done to dining in Disney World.
Here is what we have planned so far:
- Boma – Flavors of Africa (Dinner) – We have had breakfast here a few times and loved it, so we are hoping dinner is just as good.
- California Grill – We had dinner here last time and loved it. Between the view while you dine, the delicious food, and the awesome view of the fireworks, we definitely had to have it on the list for this trip. Check out my review here.
- Be Our Guest – I doubt we will get reservations at the 180 days out. So, I will be checking everyday for reservations (crazy Disney fanatic right here!).
- Crystal Palace (Breakfast) – This has been on the list before, but something has always been in the way of us eating here. Hopefully we will be able to this time. Plus, I think having a picture taken in front of the castle before the park opens is something everyone should experience.
- Kona Cafe (Breakfast) – We had breakfast here on our last trip and I loved the Tonga Toast. I don’t think the rest of the group was as impressed with their meals though. One of our friends didn’t get to try it (she was running the marathon when we ate there), so I’m thinking a girls only breakfast at Kona is a must for the next trip. Bring on the Tonga Toast!
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – Since we will be within walking distance of Epcot and traveling with two little girls who love princesses, how could we not make reservations here?
- Cinderella’s Royal Table – Dining in the castle? Sold.
- T-Rex – The kids will love all the animatronic dinosaurs. Plus, we can take them to Build-a-Dino after we are done eating. Fun!
- 1900 Park Fare (Dinner) – I have heard that even though the food is delicious, the real reason to go for dinner is to see the stepsisters. Everyone says they are hysterical!
This list is no where near complete. There are so many dining options all over Disney! It’s fun to look at all the restaurants, read reviews, and look at pictures. Tripadvisor is great for seeing a lot of pictures of the different restaurants.
Since we are within walking distance to the Boardwalk and Epcot, there are so many dining options available. We are so excited to be in planning mode! After all, planning is half the fun!
Thanks for reading!