California Grill Restaurant Review

Happy #tastytuesday friends!! I am back this week to review one of my top 3 favorite restaurants in all of Walt Disney World: California Grill! California Grill is a signature restaurant located at the very top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The menu features fresh California inspired food and wine, and it is 2 table service credits on the Disney Dining Plan.

To check in at the California Grill, you take the escalators up from the lobby of the Contemporary to the second floor, where you will find a podium next to a set of elevators. The last time my mom and I went in November 2019, we checked in at the podium for our 6:00pm reservation. The cast member took our phone number, and we were texted about 10 minutes later that our table was ready. From there, we went back to the podium and were escorted on the elevator up to the restaurant.

One of the main reasons this restaurant is at the top of my list is because of the AH-mazing view that this restaurant has of Magic Kingdom Park. When I checked into my reservation, I asked for a Magic Kingdom view, which made our wait a little longer, but well worth it. If you time your reservation right, you can also have the chance to watch the Happily Ever After fireworks show at the restaurant with access to an exclusive viewing deck. Additionally, all other guests who have dined earlier in the evening can keep their receipts and come back to watch the fireworks if they would also like.

The menu is very extensive, so bear with me while I post all of the allergy friendly options.

Just a minute…almost there…

Whew, we made it! Usually Walt Disney World restaurants have much shorter menus, but it’s nice to know that there are several allergy friendly options to choose from.

As my mom and I were on the Disney Dining Plan, we were able to order an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Keep in mind that not all of the small plates may be accepted on the Disney Dining Plan, so ask your server to make sure that your food items count. I chose to go with the standard California roll. Normally, I don’t like California rolls because they are made with imitation crab. Not this roll! The crab was fresh and seasoned so well; this roll was one of the best sushi rolls I have ever had.

For my main entree, I decided to go with the Oak Fired Filet of Beef, which was a recommendation from our sever. As the mac ‘n cheese was not allergy friendly, the chef modified my entree by adding extra veggies. The filet was tender and cooked well, and the veggies were seasoned very well. No complaints on my end!

To finish off dinner, I decided to try the plant based Cashew Cheesecake. To be honest, I was a little disappointed with this dessert. The cheesecake was very nutty and too savory for my liking. I ended up picking off a lot of the chocolate and eating it with the raspberries. I was expecting it to be more sweet, but this dessert may be good for a more savory palate.

All in all, I have never had a bad meal (or drink!) at California Grill. The only other item I would note is that California Grill does have a dress code that it expects its guests to follow that is more business causal, so I would suggest looking it up before eating at this restaurant. All in all, it’s a worthwhile experience!!

Here’s to loving our best and most delicious Disney lives! <3

~ Meagan

Meagan has been living with many food allergies and sensitivities since she was 19 years old. She is currently a Personal Vacation Advisor for Magical Vacation Planner, specializing in helping her guests book trips to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. Meagan enjoys researching fitness and nutrition and has taken a special interest in finding allergy friendly options at Walt Disney World.

Interested in having Meagan help you plan your next trip? Send her an email at or get a free quote at!

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