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“Best dining experience I've ever had in my life, period.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of California Grill

California Grill
Ranked #47 of 3,762 Restaurants in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $80
Cuisines: Japanese, American, Sushi
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Scenic view, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: "California Grill is a Signature Dining restaurant that serves up award-winning gourmet dinners and sweeping views atop Disney's Contemporary Resort. Venture into this vibrant and charged atmosphere and watch the creation of culinary masterpieces in the on-stage kitchen.
Pikeville, Kentucky, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Best dining experience I've ever had in my life, period.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

I'd eaten at the California Grill twice before, but this was my first time since the new remodel. We had 4 adults, my wife and I, along with my mother and father in-law. I was a little worried after hearing a few less than shining reviews after the renovations. But it turns out all my worries were for nothing, as I ended up having an incredible experience that I will not soon forget. They described the new look as mid-century modern, and I preferred the new style over the previous. We were seated almost immediately, and as luck would have it, we got a table right next to the window, with probably the best view in the entire restaurant. The service was top notch as always. Our waiter was very nice, took the time to explain everything in detail, and never seemed rushed. I don't want to go into extreme detail about the food, so I'll mention a couple highlights. The wife and I both enjoyed sushi as an appetizer, and it was some of the best out there. Even my picky father-in-law agreed to try some, and he is now hooked on sushi. I highly recommend the spicy kazan roll. For the main course, I tasted the filet of beef, bison striploin, atlantic swordfish, and georges bank scallops. All of them were mouthwatering and top notch as you would expect from an establishment such as this. The filet was cooked to perfection, and not a single complaint was had. Just as our waiter had finished taking our dessert order, it was time for the fireworks to start. All of the lights were dimmed, and they pumped in the music over the speakers in the restaurant. I can't even put into words how beautiful it was, I almost shed a tear. I just wanted to freeze that moment and just stay in it forever. I had viewed it from their balcony before, but never from such a good table. If you want to catch the fireworks mid-dinner, I would book a 7:30 reservation. They encourage you to go watch them out on the balcony or from your table. By the time dessert came, I was already stuffed. Chocolate lovers will love the pudding cake, it doesn't get much richer. I had the fritters, and they were quite good, though I couldn't finish. We were on the disney dining plan, which made this a great value. Our check came to 390.59, all of it was covered by the dining plan other than our alcoholic beverages and a well-deserved tip. We all agreed that it was the best dinner we'd ever had, but for me this wasn't just another meal, it became a memory that I will treasure for the rest of my life. You simply can't put a price on such an experience.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Rob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,826 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Conroe, Texas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Amazing view of the Magic Kingdom”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

If you have a chance you should give it a try even if it is just for a drink. The food is really good and the view of the park is amazing especially at night. It's a great place to watch the fireworks from.

Visited December 2013
Thank Jwain1253
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
43 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Special dinner”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

I was so looking forward to eating at the California Grill. There had been such fabulous reviews. maybe I set myself up for being disappointed. The surroundings were beautiful and lowkey. Our server was switched between giving our drink orders and receiving them. I had to return my filet because it was cooked too much. I was going to just eat it, but then decided $49 for a steak was too much not to have it cooked correctly. My husband had swordfish and enjoyed it. We were able to go onto the observation deck for the fireworks afterwards which was nice. I could not give this review an average because it was better than that. Like I said, My expectations were probably too high

Visited December 2013
Thank RetiredTravleler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
335 reviews
215 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Exceptional meal, service, experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

Absolutely exceptional meal at the new California Grill.

We booked at the 180 day mark to be sure to secure a dinner reservation during the holiday week. It did not disappoint.

Our server was Ryan from Indiana. He was friendly, fun, professional and efficient. I will always remember him!

We had a window seat for our 7 pm reservation and experienced the 8:30 pm fireworks. No words can describe how special this was.

What did we have?

I was so excited for my meal, specially created, called "Vegan Unplugged." It was chef's choice of 4 vegan small plates, one tastier than the other, and super cool because it had its own name. Again, at Disney, restaurants are so cool about accommodating vegans and others with dietary requests and restrictions. There, you do not feel like an outsider! Love that.

My husband started with the romaine salad and enjoyed the chicken as his entree, For dessert, he had the Seasonal Tasting. My dad enjoyed the Three-Meat Signature Meat Balls (large portion) and the Pork Two Ways. He topped off his meal with the cheesecake.

I also enjoyed the sorbet and an amazing glass of port, which was recommended by Ryan. (Who also game me tips on what ports to look for at home!)

I was in my glory at California Grill. It was an awesome dining experience!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank smep013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, California
Level Contributor
181 reviews
164 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2013

Dress code applies (no tank tops, please). 8 PM dinner with seats by the window gets you a front row view of the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. The breezeway outside the dining room makes for some fantastic photos too!
Gary was our server and he was fantastic with attentive service, recommended dragon roll as an appetizer.

Visited December 2013
2 Thank Peanut4Life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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