California Grill
  • On Jan 25, 2023
    Jillian from NC Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi, is the bar at California Grill first come, first serve and does it have a separate bar menu instead of the pre-fixed 50th one? Also if you finish at the bar before the fireworks but want to return for them can you do so if you have the receipt? Thanks!

    Welcome to planDisney, Jillian!

    California Grill is my favorite restaurant at the Walt Disney World Resort. I remember the first time my wife and I visited this restaurant. We couldn't get dining reservations, yet, we managed to get a seat at the bar. We ordered some very tasty beers and watched the fireworks from the outside deck. It's one of our most magical memories. 

    You'll be glad to know that the lounge at California Grill is first come, first served. In fact, if you don't have a dining reservation, they only allow you to take the elevator up to the restaurant if there is space in the lounge. At the moment, the bar mainly serves drinks. However, you're able to order a cheese board to go with your beverages. I had a Cast Member confirm that for me.

    Finally, when it comes to returning to the restaurant for the fireworks, there doesn't seem to be a policy regarding the lounge specifically. However, Guests who have dined at California Grill earlier in the evening may return with their receipt. If I were you, I'd check with a Cast Member when you arrive at Disney's Contemporary Resort. I do know that, for safety reasons, the restaurant can only fit a certain number of Guests. Once they reach their maximum, they no longer let people up. Therefore, if you'd like to watch the show, your best bet might be to maybe let some of that cheese age for a few more minutes and order another drink. Having watched the nighttime spectacular a few times from California Grill, I can testify that it'll be worth the wait!

    One more piece of advice: Guests at or visiting Disney's Contemporary Resort can also view fireworks from the north end of the 4th floor. You'll still get views of Cinderella Castle and Magic Kingdom Park, as well as be able to hear the background music.

    I hope that's helpful, Jillian. Thanks so much for stopping by planDisney!

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Meet the Panelist: Mike, Virginia

I'm Mike, a Disney-loving "scouser." I have a wonderful wife and two young children who share my obsession for all things Disney. I've always been enchanted by the magic of Walt Disney World Resort - the charming music, captivating beauty, enthralling attractions, and breathtaking shows spark my imagination and fill me with a sense of awe. I'm perpetually planning my next Disney adventure! If you're interested in makin' memories at "The Most Magical Place on Earth" then you've got a friend in me.
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