Brunching at Disney: California Grill Review
There are a few special dining experiences at Disney that I truly find worth the money. One of these is Brunch at the Top at the California Grill. While it may be pricey, you should experience this at least once when visiting Walt Disney World.
Brunch is offered Sunday’s from 10:00am-1:00pm. California Grill is located at the Contemporary resort, right next to the Magic Kingdom. The price is $80 a person and includes bottomless mimosas, an entree, the buffet, valet parking, a spectacular view of the Magic Kingdom and the ability to come back in the evening and watch fireworks from the restaurant. When you think of it like that, then $80 is a bit of an easier pill to swallow.
To begin your journey, you arrive at the Contemporary resort and use the complimentary valet service. You are directed inside to the lobby to find the check in desk for California Grill. Once you are checked in, they will show you the way to the dedicated elevator to the restaurant which is located at the top of the resort.
As you step off the elevator, you are wowed by the view in the all glass windows restaurant and the musicians playing softly in the background. You provide your name and a host or hostess will show you the way to your table. While headed there, you will be offered a mimosa or a cranberry spritzer. The friend I was with had the mimosa and I had the spritzer. After trying mine, she said she preferred the spritzer and went to get one herself.
As you are seated, you are given a menu to select an entree off of. Your server will come over and explain how things work. You place your entree order and any other drinks you may want, then you are able to begin your buffet visit. They let you know there is no rush and you are welcome to stay and enjoy as long as you want.
The buffet was one of the best I have ever seen. It included charcuterie, sushi, salads, pastries, fruit and more. It has a great balance of sweet and savory options. For those who are wanting something stronger than a mimosa, there is a full Bloody Mary bar and plenty of drink options for an extra charge.
I ordered the crispy-fried chicken and my friend ordered the blueberry pancakes. Both dishes were so yummy and unique. The chicken had a sweet and spicy sauce with a great kick and perfect crunch to it. As we finished our entrees, we took a stroll out to the outdoor walkway for some views of the Magic Kingdom and surrounding lakes.
Once we felt we had a little room left in our stomach, dessert is served. It is a platter brought to your table that includes small desserts, macarons and chocolate truffles. After your meal, your server will let you know that you are welcome to come back for firework viewing on the outside walkway. You simply need to show your receipt from brunch and they will show you right up.
With a full belly and complete contentment, I would love to go back again. It was well worth the price!