Contemporary Dining with a View: Dinner at California Grill

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Disney’s Contemporary Resort features a unique theme that perfectly blends retro and modern architecture and style with stunning details like the monorail silently gliding through the Grand Canyon Concourse and a towering mural by Mary Blair. In addition to the theming, Disney’s Contemporary Resort is also home to some of the best dining options at the Walt Disney World Resort including a table service location that combines a delicious menu with unforgettable views.

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Disney's Contemporary Resort

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California Grill is located on the fifteenth floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort and can be reached only via an elevator found on the Grand Canyon Concourse accessible only to those with dining reservations. After being whisked to the top of the Disney Resort, Guests emerge into a stunning dining room that features bright pops of color and a modern, yet timeless, design.

California Grill

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The interior of California Grill is an eclectic mix of bright and bold patterns on the carpeting and booth seating that offset the clean, mid-century modern lines of the furniture and chairs. There are also beautiful modular light fixtures that combine a sense of whimsy and modern style that could easily be found in the 1970s or today.

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California Grill

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Guests can also spot an impressive collection of Californian wines on display in a brightly colored, massive case that lead into the California Grill Lounge, a small bar area where Guests can enjoy a limited selection from the menu as well as specialty cocktails.


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While the décor of California Grill is beautiful, it is the view that steals the show. Massive floor to ceiling windows look out from the Disney Resort offering unparalleled views of the Magic Kingdom, Seven Seas Lagoon, Bay Lake Tower, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. As the sun sets, the view only becomes more gorgeous, and Guests are sure to be delighted by the bird’s eye view of Disney Enchantment in the skies over Cinderella Castle and the Disney Park each evening.

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In addition to the views through the windows, California Grill also features two outdoor observation decks for Guests who want to enjoy the view or nightly fireworks display while soaking in the breeze. Guests who gaze in the opposite direction of the Magic Kingdom can even spot the beautiful fireworks bursts from Harmonious each evening from World Showcase Lagoon in EPCOT.

California Grill

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The menu at California Grill has always highlighted contemporary American cuisine with a specific focus on the flavors and diverse culinary styles popular in California. During the Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, California Grill is offering a three course special dining experience with menu items designed to celebrate the year that the Walt Disney World Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort opened as well as the future of the vacation destination. The current dinner menu is priced at $89 for adults and $39 for children and offers the choice of one appetizer, one entrée, and one dessert, all of which pair perfectly with the view.

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Before choosing menu options for their meals, Guests should check out the vast array of beverages available to enjoy at California Grill including an extensive collection of California wines that the Cast Members are very well versed in for recommendations. Guests can also enjoy a selection of teas, beer, sake, soft drinks, and specialty cocktails including the Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini, Copper Martini, Ancho Rancho Spicy Margarita, Golden Haze Margarita, and indulgent California Grill Signature Cocktail that costs a whopping $137.

Florida Peach & Raspberry Salad

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After choosing a beverage, Guests can check out the Market Inspiration (appetizer) selections that include the Florida Peach and Raspberry Salad with grilled peaches, raspberries, steel-cut oatmeal granola tart, red onion, and whipped raspberry vinaigrette. This is a great light and fresh option for Guests who want to save room for the other courses to come.

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Seafood lovers also have several Market Inspiration options to choose from including the comforting Florida Blue Crab Bisque with sweet corn, popped sorghum, popcorn shoots, and lump blue crab. Sushi lovers can choose between the California Grill Sushi Classics Trio featuring a blue crab California roll, shrimp tempura roll, and spicy kazan roll or the Cascade Roll with tuna, salmon, and Hamachi poke accompanied by jicama, cucumber, yuzu-avocado puree, masago arare, and soy gel.

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House-made Artisanal-style Duck A L'Orange Pizza

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A unique a savory meat-based Market Inspiration option at California Grill is the House-made Artisanal-style Duck A L’Orange Flatbread which pairs duck prosciutto and confit with pickled shallots, orange-black mission fig jam, aged blue cheese, and arugula.

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Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons

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The final Market Inspiration choice to begin a dinner at California Grill is the Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons which are perfect pockets of meat with doenjang miso-cola-onion sauce, crispy garlic-chili oil, radish, and pickled lotus root.

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The Chef’s Journey (entrée options) at California Grill pack bold flavor and delicious ingredients in to every bite beginning with seafood options like the Wild Alaskan Halibut served with crispy blue masa, chipotle heirloom carrots, charred avocado, mole verde, and salsa macha. Guests can also enjoy the Florida Black Grouper served over a bed of herbed basmati rice, cashew chutney, bok choy, baby shiitake, and green curry-coconut nage.

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Steak at California Grill

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Guests looking to enjoy incredible steak options can dig into the Oak-fired Filet of Beef which is cooked to perfection and served with brown butter chateau potatoes, cauliflower, golden raisin vinaigrette, and roasted tomato butter. Guests who are open to sharing a meal can opt for the 35oz Beef Rib-Eye Tomahawk Steak for Two which is served with mouthwatering two year-aged Gouda macaroni and cheese, honey-glazed heirloom carrots, and black garlic butter.

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Cast Iron-grilled Pork Tenderloin

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Other meat-based options on the menu for dinner at California Grill include the Free-range Plancha-seared Chicken with sunchoke, confit-studded mousseline, pearl onions, foraged mushrooms, and madeira sauce and the Cast Iron-grilled Pork Tenderloin with a creamy goat cheese polenta, artichoke barigoule, mushrooms, spring onions, lacquered pork belly, and zinfandel glaze.

Dining Room

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California Grill also serves up a vegetarian entrée option in the Peas and Carrots Risotto which features a combination of garden heirloom tomatoes, English peas, green garlic, confit onion, and sweet carrot glaze for a comforting and flavorful meal.

5 Magical Bites California Grill

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With such delicious and flavorful Market Inspiration and Chef’s Journey choices, it can be hard to save room for dessert, or Sweet Creations, at California Grill, but the options are too amazing to pass up! Guests can currently enjoy the Five Magical Bites 50 Years in the Making which features a beautiful presentation of honey, lemon, carrot, strawberry, and chocolate small bites beautifully garnished and surrounding a chocolate 50th anniversary medallion.

Chef's Selection of California Cheeses

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Also available for dessert are the Valrhona Chocolate Tart, EARidescent Grand Marnier Crème Brulee, and plant-based Lavender Sugar Doughnuts. The perfect savory end to a meal can also be enjoyed with the Chef’s Selections of California Cheeses which features three unique cheeses paired with a variety of house-made accompaniments.

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California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is an absolute must enjoy table service location that perfectly combines mouthwatering contemporary American cuisine with unforgettable views of the Magic Kingdom and more. With a special menu helping to celebrate the Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary, there is no better time than now to enjoy a stunning Disney dining experience at California Grill.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a child and has developed a deep love and appreciation of the Disney Parks with a particular interest in the small details and history that can be found all around. Visiting every chance she gets, Caitlin loves to enjoy the ambiance of the Disney Parks and try something new every time. She can often be found eating and drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, riding the Haunted Mansion, sipping on a Lapu Lapu, pretending Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was still in existence, and enjoying seeing the magic through the eyes of her children. When not in WDW, Caitlin can be found at home in New York dreaming of a ride on Living with the Land and counting down the days until her next trip.