California Grill
  • On Dec 25, 2021
    Janet from MD Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Is the California Grill Lounge open? Do you need a reservation? Can you use a reservation for the restaurant to sit at the lounge? We would love to enjoy the fireworks, but do not need to order the prix fix meal since we will have dinner already.

    Hi there Janet, and welcome back to planDisney!

    Thanks for coming back to visit us; I always love seeing fellow Maryland Mouseketeers here. It looks like your winter escape is just around the corner, so let's get going!

    Dining at the California Grill is one of my favorite evening experiences in Walt Disney World. Though I haven't had the pleasure of trying the new 50th-anniversary menu, it looks fantastic, and several of my panelist pals have given it rave reviews. In the past, my husband and I have enjoyed dining in the lounge when we haven't been able to secure a table here. 

    At this time, the lounge area is being used to serve Guests with reservations. The lounge seating has been removed, and there are regular tables here now. If you're looking to have drinks or dessert without a reservation, stop by the check-in desk on the fifth floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort to inquire about seats at the bar. My friends and I did this last spring, but it was on a night when fireworks were not taking place, so the host easily found space for us. It might be more difficult to secure a seat before a showing of Disney Enchantment, so an alternative plan could be grabbing a drink from the Outer Rim on the fourth floor of the resort. When the fireworks are about to start, walk past the shops in the main concourse and head out onto the terrace near the bridge to Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort. You'll have a nice view from there. 

    I hope this is helpful, Janet! Best wishes for an amazing vacation, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that your weather in Florida is sunny and Olaf-approved during your stay. Thanks for sending another great question our way, and we'll see ya real soon!

    Happy New Year,
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Meet the Panelist: Betsy, Maryland

Greetings! I'm Betsy, a middle school teacher, wife, and mom of two. My family and I love to travel the world, but our best memories are those made when we're visiting Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort. No matter how many times we visit, there is always something new to see, ride, or eat at the Disney Parks. Learn More About Betsy

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