Why it is Important to Treat Yourself on Your Vacation
We all know how expensive a Disney trip can be. There are ways to save money, but even with the savings Disney is not a trip everyone can take once a year and for some people it is a once in a lifetime trip. So it is understandable why you would want to keep costs down where you can and that includes dining. If you have a room with a kitchenette or a full size kitchen it makes it a little easier to prepare food in your room. You can also bring food into the parks, so that way dining out is kept to a minimum, or just go to the quick service restaurants. It’s great to save money while you are in Disney, if you can have fun and still not spend a lot of money while you are in Disney it almost feels like you got one over on Disney.
Now with all of that said, I would definitely recommend planning for at least one signature dining experience in Disney, if you can. Cooking for yourself and using quick service dining is great and it certainly does help you to save money, but putting aside a savings for an evening at a signature dining restaurant is worth the experience. It definitely was worth it for us. I have heard that some of the signature dining restaurants have had a reduction in the quality of food due to the dining plan, but that was not our experience at California Grill.
The Contemporary Resort
(Where California Grill is located)
Everyone in the party absolutely loved California Grill and that includes the kids! They do have a kids menu with offerings that the kids will enjoy and all the kids in our party loved the pizza the each ordered off the kids menu. As for the adults in the party, we all thought the food was delicious! Whether it was steak, seafood, or pasta, everyone was very pleased with their meals. We were so pleased, we have decided to add California Grill to our reservation list for the next trip. My husband and two of our friends each had a scotch that they enjoyed, this was their dessert and they were not disappointed. I can say that the martinis are very good as well! For dessert I, as well as our friend Jay, ordered the Sundae Sampler and it was delicious. It’s going to be hard for me to try another dessert the next time we go.
The Sundae Sampler from California Grill
Not only was the food delicious, but the service at California Grill was fantastic and the restaurant itself was beautiful. The view the Magic Kingdom made the dining experience even more magical, for both the kids and adults! The best part was watching the fireworks from their observation deck. That was an amazing night for all of us. For more information on California Grill you can see my review here.
The view of Magic Kingdom from our table.
Fireworks from the Observation Deck
While we really enjoyed our signature dining experience, I know there are other people who have been disappointed in some of the other signature dining restaurants. One that I have been wanting to try, but have not because of such negative reviews is Le Cellier Steakhouse located in the Canada pavilion in Epcot. My husband works with someone who says this is a must-do restaurant, but I have read so many negative reviews and that is what is holding me back. However, you don’t know what the person who is giving the review is like, so you have to take everything with a grain of salt. The main thing I hear about Le Cellier is that the quality has gone down hill since the dining plan was put into place. I am thinking that since this would be our first experience here then we wouldn’t know what we are missing. Le Cellier has been put on the “maybe” list for a date night for me and my husband. It is good to do some research on the restaurants that you are thinking of trying, but just remember that everyone’s opinion is different and your experience might not be the same as the person who gave the review.
Another reason to experience a signature dining restaurant is that it is a good reason to have a date night, if you brought the kids with you. We didn’t do date nights during the last trip, but when we started planning the next trip with our friends that was one of the first things we all discussed and agreed it would be a good idea. So, we are going to have alternating date nights. Plus, that helps to save on paying babysitters.
There are definitely reasons to put a little extra aside, if you can, and try a signature dining experience. Make sure to read some reviews before you make your selection, but also remember that your dining experience and opinions will probably be different than a lot of the reviewers. It’s hard to make a reservation somewhere that doesn’t get stellar reviews, especially if you are spending a lot of money on dinner. I would have a few to choose from before you do your research, so that way you have backups if your first choice does not get good reviews. TripAdvisor is always a good place to start and you can see pictures from other people’s visits to go along with the reviews. If you are interested in dining at California Grill you can see other reviews and pictures on TripAdvisor.
We found the extra cost to be worth the dining experience. If you are looking for a reason to have an adults only night, the signature dining experiences are a good reason to have a date night. Go ahead and enjoy!
Thanks for reading!