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

    Trying to surprise sister for Birthday. She has made two reservations. 1. Desserts at magic kingdom. 2. Dinner at contemporary on 17 floor. How can I add myself to her reservation without her knowing?

    Welcome, Steve!  

    Wow, you sound like such a special brother to be planning this amazing surprise for your sister! I’m sure she will be so touched by your efforts and I’m happy to help you think through how to connect to her plans without spoiling anything.

    When you make reservations for things like dining and special dessert parties, these appear in My Disney Experience with specific Guests linked to the reservation who are connected as Family and Friends. If you’ve ever visited the Walt Disney World Resort with your sister before and have this link, my first piece of advice is to edit your Family and Friends setting for her so that she sees “only our shared plans.” My planDisney friends Shannon and Mandy each answered similar questions and have great guidance on setting up your account this way for surprises. I suggest that for both special events, you make your own reservation as a party of one (1) and then be added to her plans once you have surprised her in person. If you’ve changed the setting above, she won’t see your secret visit scheduled at the same time as her vacation.

    For the dessert party, there are now three options for viewing the nighttime spectacular “Happily Ever After”: a Pre-Party, Post-Party, and Seats and Sweets. If you know which one your sister has booked, you can make a reservation for yourself at the same date and time. Once on site together, you can speak to the host at check-in about your arrangement and enjoy the event as one group. If a reservation isn’t available, please keep trying as Guests do change plans often and I hope some pixie dust will open a spot for you before May. While these events do sell out and have capacity limits, you could also ask that evening at the host stand for any last-minute openings if you haven’t secured one before then.

    Dinner at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is such a special treat! The views are spectacular, spanning from Magic Kingdom Park and around the picturesque Seven Seas Lagoon. Again, I suggest you make a reservation for a table for one (1) person at the same approximate time to align with your sister’s plans and then request to be seated together at the host stand. You will likely have an easier time with this one, as your sister can also add one more person to her reservation when she checks in for her dinner that night using the My Disney Experience App. I suggest you try both ways to be sure you can enjoy this celebratory meal together.

    I love your kindness and generosity in wanting to surprise your sister, Steve! I hope everything works out smoothly for you to join her. Please let me know if you have any more questions about theme park tickets and reservations, resorts, or connecting other plans as you put this special vacation together.

    YOU are the magic, 
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Meet the Panelist: Amy, Virginia

Hi friends! I'm Amy, a lifelong Disney dreamer from horse-and-wine country, Virginia. My family of three is BIG on fun and treasures every adventure together. We've been making memories at the Walt Disney World Resort and aboard Disney Cruise Line since my son was a toddler; we love our family traditions balanced with "what's new" each visit. I have a passion for Disney details, a love of digital tools, and an eye for practical planning. I can't wait to help you make the MOST of your magical vacation! Learn More About Amy

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