• On Feb 25, 2020
    Karen 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 have 9:30pm dinner at the California Grill. I assume we will finish dinner in no more than 2 hrs (11:30PM). I'm not sure if there are Disney buses back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge this late. How can we ensure that we can make it back to the Hotel?

    Hi Karen!

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! I am delighted to hear that you have a dinner reservation at California Grill. It is one of our favorite dining experiences!

    First, I suggest that you check the park hours for the date of your dinner. We have always been able to utilize Resort & Theme Park Transportation when returning to our resort hotel after dinner reservations, but given your dinner time, I understand why you might be concerned. Buses returning to Walt Disney World Resort Hotels stop service two hours after park closing. Although you could try catching the Resort Monorail back to Magic Kingdom after dinner, luckily, you can walk as well. Given the short distance to Magic Kingdom from Disney's Contemporary Resort, I would suggest that you walk unless you have folks with you who have difficulty walking. The resort monorail operates until one hour after the last park closes. Once you get back to Magic Kingdom, you could catch a bus to your resort hotel.

    If, for some reason, you are delayed with dinner, I recommend that you use the Disney Minnie Van™ Service Connected by Lyft. Using the Lyft Mobile App, search for a ride, and select a Disney Minnie Van™. The vehicles are adorable and our drivers have always been courteous. The door-to-door service is reassuring late at night and very early in the morning as we make our way to and from advanced dining reservations

    Also, one of the reasons we adore dining at California Grill is because we can view the Happily Ever After fireworks show from the restaurant - the window views are stunning. Check the time of the show for the date of your reservation. When we have visited in the past, the show has been at either 8:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. depending on the time of year. If you care to see the fireworks, I suggest modifying that dining reservation once you determine the time of the show. If you cannot modify the reservation, try arriving early and see if they will escort you upstairs to wait in the lounge until your table is ready!

    Karen, sending you lots of pixie dust as you prepare for your trip!

    Magic and memories,
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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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