California Grill: The Legendary Restaurant and Entertainment Venue at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is one of the most popular and prestigious restaurants in Walt Disney World. The upscale eatery boasts stunning panoramic views of Magic Kingdom, and it is known for its innovative cuisine and exceptional wine selection. But did you know that California Grill has a fascinating history that dates back to the early days of Walt Disney World?
Top of the World
Before it became California Grill, the restaurant atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort was known as Top of the World. The restaurant originally opened in 1971, the same year as the resort itself, and quickly became a popular destination for fine dining and breathtaking views. At the time, Top of the World was one of the highest restaurants in the world, situated on the 15th floor of the resort’s iconic A-frame structure.
Over the years, Top of the World became a beloved institution at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, with many guests returning year after year to enjoy its spectacular cuisine and stunning views. The restaurant was known for its elegant atmosphere, impeccable service, and innovative cuisine, which combined classic French techniques with modern American flavors.
In the late 1990s, the restaurant underwent a major renovation and was rebranded as California Grill. While the name and menu changed, the restaurant’s commitment to excellence remained the same. Today, California Grill is still a beloved destination for Disney fans and foodies alike, offering some of the best dining and views in all of Walt Disney World.
In 1999, California Grill underwent a complete renovation and rebranding. The new concept was a fine-dining restaurant with a focus on modern American cuisine and an extensive wine list. The updated restaurant featured a sleek, contemporary design and an open kitchen, allowing guests to watch the chefs in action. It quickly became a favorite among Disney fans and food critics alike, earning rave reviews and numerous awards.
Over the years, California Grill has continued to evolve and innovate, while staying true to its commitment to exceptional food and wine. In 2013, the restaurant underwent another major renovation, which included the addition of a show kitchen, a new sushi bar, and a revamped menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and modern cooking techniques.
One of the things that makes California Grill so unique is its location. Situated atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the restaurant offers stunning views of the Magic Kingdom and its nightly fireworks display. This makes it a popular spot for couples celebrating special occasions, as well as families looking for a memorable dining experience. The restaurant’s outdoor observation deck is also a great place to take in the view, with telescopes available for guests to use.
In addition to its world-class cuisine, California Grill is also known for its exceptional wine selection. The restaurant’s wine list has won numerous awards over the years, and features bottles from around the world, including rare vintages and hard-to-find labels. The restaurant’s sommeliers are experts at helping guests choose the perfect wine to complement their meal, and they offer wine pairing options for each dish on the menu.
California Grill Brunch
Another unique feature of California Grill is its brunch service, which is only offered on Sundays. The restaurant’s brunch menu features a variety of sweet and savory dishes, including lobster eggs benedict, sushi rolls, and artisanal cheeses. Guests can also enjoy unlimited mimosas, bellinis, and Bloody Marys as part of the brunch experience. With its stunning views, exceptional food, and lively atmosphere, California Grill’s brunch service is a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.
Today, California Grill remains one of the premier dining destinations in Walt Disney World. Guests can enjoy dishes such as oak-fired filet of beef, sushi rolls, and artisanal cheeses while taking in breathtaking views of Magic Kingdom from the restaurant’s 15th-floor location. And with an award-winning wine list featuring over 1,000 bottles from around the world, California Grill is the perfect place to toast to a magical day at the parks.
In conclusion, the history of California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a testament to Disney’s commitment to innovation and excellence. From its humble beginnings as a counter-service noodle shop to its current status as a world-class fine-dining establishment, California Grill has always been a trailblazer in the Disney dining scene. Whether you’re a foodie looking for a culinary adventure or a Disney fan seeking the ultimate dining experience, California Grill is a must-visit destination.
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