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One of the most coveted reservations in all of Walt Disney World is lunch or dinner at the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. I know many could argue that there are other hard-to-get reservations that are “much more” coveted, but for us it was all about “the Grill.” It is, however, a two credit, signature dining experience. Many people have asked me if it’s “worth it” to eat there. Keep reading to find out exactly what I think and what your money (or dining credits) will be paying for!

Is Disney’s California Grill Worth It?

In case you don’t already know, California Grill is one of the few restaurants in the Walt Disney World resort that requires a dress code to enter. It’s not as strict as “coat and tie” (jeans are allowed), but I would highly recommend you jazz up your “park wear” for the occasion or you might feel slightly out of place. I mean, the wait staff wears coats and ties for goodness sake. I wore a sundress because I thought I might feel a little out of place in “dress shorts” (which are allowed), and I’m very glad I did.

Where is California Grill Located?

Upon checking in at the desk on the 2nd floor, you will be given a pager to wait (when necessary), and then you will be whisked up to the 15th floor to be seated at your table with some of the best views of the Magic Kingdom that I’ve ever seen. Seriously, check out the view when you get up there. It’s wonderful. We were there just in time to see the sunset, and it was a truly unique experience.

What to Eat

If you only go to the California Grill for the food, it will have been time (and money) well spent. Because our family was on the dining plan, we were only going to order appetizers, entrees, and desserts, but, thanks to fellow Disney fans, I just knew my husband and I would be sad if we didn’t try the sushi. We were so excited to dive in, that I only managed to get a photo of the last two pieces!


Almost everyone at the table chose the Oak-Fired Filet of Beef. It was so tender and juicy you could cut it with a fork. My mom chose a little differently and got the Bison Strip Loin. It’s been a long time since I’ve had Bison, so I was unsure of how this one would taste. Let me tell you, it was just as tender and juicy as our steak. The flavors and seasoning on all of our meats were perfect and really helped highlight the well-cooked food.


If we had not been on the Disney Dining plan, I would have stopped after the main course because I was so stuffed. However, every single dessert we tried was scrumptious. The apple pie was warm and crisp. Creme Brulee was creamy and sweet, and the doughnuts were not heavy or greasy. They even have a kid’s “dessert sushi” which my daughter loved! I really appreciate such a “fancy” restaurant accommodating kids in such a fun way.

Stay for the Fireworks

Finally, our night ended in truly magical Disney fashion with our own private viewing of “Happily Ever After” outside on the viewing deck. They dimmed the walkway lights, piped in the soundtrack, and we watched as the fireworks lit up the sky. Have you ever eaten at California Grill? What did you/would you get from their menu?