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A Taste of Disney: The California Grill!

by Kristin Casagrand

This week in “A Taste of Disney,” I want to give you all a heads up about a unique Disney restaurant reopening in the next few weeks. Maybe you’ve been before for a romantic dinner out with a loved one, or a special occasion, or maybe just  quiet dinner with family. After a full renovation and menu change, California Grill will be opening again atop the Contemporary Resort on September 9th. Apparently, people could start making reservations this past Monday, August 26th.New-CA-Grill-Dining-Room-toward-bar-and-entrance-640x331

For those who have been, you know the California Grill is on the top floor of the  Contemporary and offers a spectacular view of the Disney property from their wall of windows. The restaurant is a special treat at night because if you are seated during the Magic Kingdom fireworks, you can see the entire show while you eat. Last time I went, they even dimmed the lights in the restaurant for better fireworks viewing.

California Grill is a more upscale restaurant on property and offers very different menu items than you might find in other restaurants in WDW. I would comment on my prior experience and love of the menu items, but of that all has changed this year, so all of that is irrelevant now! However, I will say that I love the isolated feel of the restaurant. You have to take an elevator up to the restaurant and it feels like you are in on a secret by getting to see the fabulous view of the property and special view of the fireworks.

After searching for news on the restaurant’s update, I have come across some rumored menu items! Sushi will be present on the menu, also including traditional Japanese dishes like wasabi root, salmon roe, bone marrow with crusty panko, and onion and beef tartare.  In addition, the menu will feature delicious meat plates such as braised beef short rib, “pork two ways,” oak-fired three meat meatballs, and halibut. I’m looking forward to seeing what else will be served at the California Grill and hearing what guests have to say about the new look.

There’s no recipe to share this week since the restaurant hasn’t opened with the new menu yet, but please share with us if you have any experiences with the renovated California Grill in the upcoming weeks!


Kristin Casagrand is a student currently studying physical therapy at Bellarmine University. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kristin has taken many a family vacations as a child driving 24 hrs, cramped in the back of the car and fighting with her sister to get to Disney (definitely worth it though). She looks forward to sharing “A taste of Disney” with everyone each week.