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DFB Reader Questions Answered: Dinner and Fireworks Timing at Magic Kingdom

It’s time to delve once more into the Disney Food Blog Reader Questions Mailbag! We’re pretty sure that if one of you is asking about something, then many of you are probably wondering the same thing. :-)

Today, we are featuring a couple of questions that are all about how to ensure a good dining game plan to view Wishes at Magic Kingdom.

Wishes at Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest Restaurant and Fireworks Viewing

Our DFB Reader asks…

When should we make our reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant so that we have sufficient time to enjoy our meal, and so we are on time to see the Electrical Parade and Wishes?

The long and short answer for this? It depends! Note that you won’t be able to see Wishes or the Parade FROM the restaurant, so dining first and then finding a viewing spot out in the park is important.

When you’re making a dinner reservation for Be Our Guest Restaurant (or any other dining location) and you’d like to view the Electrical Parade and Wishes, it’s important to check park hours to find out when each of the events are taking place on that particular evening.

Check Park Hours to Confirm Parade and Fireworks Times
First, confirm that they’re running the Electrical Parade at least once on the day in question, and then determine the time. Sometimes they run the parade twice, which means you’ll have ample opportunity to catch the show.

Once you know when the parade and fireworks take place, book your meal time so that you finish an hour before to make sure you can get a good parade and/or fireworks spot. Here’s a Tip!: It’s always easier to find a good parade viewing spot at the second parade of the night because so many folks go home after the fireworks.

Dinner at Be Our Guest Followed by the Electrical Parade and Wishes Make for a Magical Evening

California Grill and Fireworks Viewing

Our next reader has specific questions about a top fireworks viewing spot:

What are the best places inside the California Grill to view Wishes? When should we make our reservation at California Grill to be able to see Wishes during or right after our meal?

There are plenty of restaurants where you can watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks while dining, but California Grill is one of our favorites! The restaurant, located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is currently undergoing a refurbishment, but the new set-up should be similar to the old. We can guess that they will continue to offer fantastic views of Wishes since they’re so well known for them.

Our guess is that the best spots will still be tables next to the windows closest to the Magic Kingdom. When you check in, be sure to request a window table as close to the Magic Kingdom side of the restaurant as possible.

Regarding the second California Grill question, this would also depend on when Wishes is scheduled for that particular evening. To be sure, check the schedule for the fireworks, and then book your reservation for 1.5 hours beforehand to make sure you get a fireworks view table.

Snagging a Table by the Window at California Grill is an Absolute Must!

Remember — guests who dine at California Grill at any time during the evening are usually welcomed back to view Wishes from the viewing platform even if their reservation isn’t during the fireworks.

Also, should the restaurant continue to offer lounge dining, guests may be able to snag an awesome view without a reservation by eating in the bar/lounge! These seats are first come, first served.

Now it’s your turn to share your expertise! We know you’ve booked a reservation around parade and fireworks viewing in the past, so tell us your best bets!

To see more great restaurants from which to view the fireworks, check out this Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dining post!

And for more details about watching fireworks while dining anywhere in Disney World (including tips about how to get those coveted tables!), check out our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book!

What are your best tips for enjoying a fantastic dinner and still catching the parades and fireworks? Leave a comment below and share your experience!

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5 Comments

  1. Galloping gourmand says:

    After dinner at O’Hana or Kona walk out to the Poly beach. Allow a 10 minute walk to find a nice spot.

  2. Courtney says:

    Another great tip for Cali Grill – if you can’t find a time near enough to the fireworks, pick the later times. You can then arrive early and ask if there are any tables available, now. Last trip we did this and got seated abut an hour before our scheduled reservation, and just in time for Wishes.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Has anyone heard when California Grill will be reopening? We are keeping our fingers crossed for late August…

  4. Michelle P says:

    La Hacienda has an incredible Illuminations view. We’ve found that getting a reservation for 7:50 – 8:15 works best, and when you check in, request a fireworks view. Also, if you don’t get a view from your table, talk to your server – ours had no issue with us moving to a (now) empty table with a great view just as the fireworks began.

  5. Joanne says:

    We were there last year at the end of September and had an extraordinary dinner at California Grill followed by the great Wishes! firework display. We had already experienced Wishes! from inside The Magic Kingdom but I have to say it was so much more relaxing not being in the crowd. Dinner reservations @ 7:20 and show was at 9 pm.

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