California Grill is serving up a new Celebration menu for Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary and on a recent trip we were lucky enough to snag a dining reservation to try it out. With this specific Celebration Menu, they are offering a limited time three course menu with dishes inspired by years past favorites along with some yummy new creations. This three course meal includes an appetizer, an entree and a dessert all for the cost of $89 per adult and $39 per child (this is without any type of Annual Pass or DVC discounts applied). As usual, the California Grill does have a dress code. You can find the Signature Dining Dress code on the California Grill web page. With a fine dining reservation such as this, we always find it fun to be able to dress up and get out of our park gear for the night. Most of the guests in the restaurant will be dressed for this fine dining experience. This can be a romantic dinner for those of you traveling without children.
The menu has a decent amount of selections, which makes it very hard for those foodies to make a choice and stick with it. My only logic for this is that I will need to go back again to try some of the other menu items I have my eye on. They also offer wine pairing for an additional price.
We started our meal out with some house-made Focaccia bread that is also served with a rich dipping oil loaded with from tomato conserva, chives, and spices. This is so yummy it is hard to remind yourself that you need to save room for all of the food that will be shortly served! For my appetizer I enjoyed the Cascade Roll which is Tuna, Salmon and Hamachi Poke, Jicama, Cucumber, Yuzu-Avocado Purée, Masago Arare, with Soy Gel. I am a sucker for sushi and this did not disappoint. The portion size was just enough to hit the spot and not fill you up.
For my meal I selected the Oak-fired Filet of Beef with Black Truffle-Brown Butter Chateau Potatoes, Golden Raisins Vinaigrette, Cauliflower, and Roasted Tomato Butter. This dish has been a main-stay here at Walt Disney World for as long as I can remember and it is no surprise because it tastes so good. The meat melts in your mouth and for those fans of cauliflower this is a must try!
For dessert we just had to order the Five Magical Bites 50 Years in the Making: Honey, Lemon, Carrot, Strawberry, Chocolate. This featured bite-sized desserts chosen from the Top of the World/California Grill menus from each decade which we thought was super fun. Although the nostalgia is great, this specific dessert was just that......fun. It lacks some of the incredible tastes my other selections had. Again, just another reason for me to revisit and try a different dessert.
After your done dining you can step out onto the deck to enjoy the Electrical Water Pageant and Disney's Enchantment fireworks at the Magic Kingdom if your there at the right time. Nothing adds more magic than viewing the fireworks on a full stomach! For those looking for something different to add to their 50th Anniversary trip, check out the new "Celebration at the Top: 50th Flavors & Fireworks at Disney's Contemporary Resort" cocktail and dessert party.
The best time to attempt to make a dining reservation here would be two hours prior to the Magic Kingdom Fireworks. That would give you enough time to dine and then head out to the observation platform. However, dining reservations are difficult to come by for this specific experience right now so you may not have that luxury. If you are lucky enough to find a time that will put you there during the fireworks, make sure to let your server know ahead of time that you will be watching the fireworks so your meal can be cooked accordingly. As a last resort, you can show your receipt at the elevator to return later for fireworks, but it is not as magical as just being there already.
I would say this menu is worth giving it a shot. The food was great, minus our dessert, the atmosphere was charming, and the excitement of the celebration is spot on. I also love to recommend this dining experience during the holidays as well. Anytime they have the addition of Christmas decorations included in a beautiful area like this makes it that much more special.
For more information on how to book your Walt Disney World vacation to celebrate the 50th Anniversary, reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner today!