• On Mar 19, 2018
    Adriana from PA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We are heading to WDW for the 6th time but first time dining at California Grill - we have dinner planned so we can go back to watch the FW at MK. Is it worth it, how crowded is the view and can anyone with a receipt that day get in or only dinner? TIA!

    Hi Adriana,

    Welcome back to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! I am delighted that you have a dining reservation at California Grill!

    When we do dinner at California Grill, we always make a reservation for about 30 minutes prior to the Happily Ever After fireworks show so that we can dine during the fireworks. Since we typically visit in the summer months, our dinner reservation times are between 8:30 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. Although it is a bit late for dinner, the view is spectacular and, during the show, the music and narration plays in the restaurant. Since we normally go to celebrate my husband's birthday, we arrive about 30 minutes prior to our reservation and request a window table. Although not guaranteed, our request has been honored and we have enjoyed fantastic views of Magic Kingdom!

    If you dine earlier, you can certainly return to watch the show from the lounge area or the observation deck, weather permitting. Take your receipt to the check-in station on the second floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort. On our first visit to California Grill, we watched the fireworks from the observation deck and it was lovely. Now, we just watch from our table inside the restaurant. The views are simply stunning.

    If you decide to return to Magic Kingdom to watch the show, I suggest that you walk back to Magic Kingdom and enter the park at least two hours prior to the show so that you can find a good viewing location. The closer it gets to the time of the show, the more congested the crowds get and cast members start blocking off certain walkways. 

    Adriana, I trust you will have a scrumptious dining experience at California Grill!

    Magic, memories and Minnie Mouse hugs,

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Meet the Panelist: Donyell, North Carolina

Hello from North Carolina! I am a mom of twin girls, wife, and university professor who has been inspired by the creativity of Disney for a lifetime. Since my first Disney visit when I was 12-years-old, I have been drawn to the adventures crafted by Disney Imagineers. Planning Disney vacations helps connect me to families who will find in Disney the kind of joy my family has experienced over the years. Allow me to help you map your own Disney journey so that you, too can create the memories of a lifetime! Learn More About Donyell

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