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News! California Grill Opens September 9th; Reservations Available Monday, August 26

Circle this upcoming Monday, August 26, Disney Food Fans! That’s the day when we will finally be able to begin booking advance dining reservations for the newly renovated California Grill!

The NEW California Grill!

The signature restaurant, which sits high atop Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort, has been closed since early 2013 as it underwent a complete makeover.

It’s scheduled to open on September 9th, and will feature a new menu — including some awesome desserts!

Sundae Sampler Dessert Trio at California Grill!

Look for the new menu to continue to feature seasonal ingredients, but with a somewhat lighter hand.

While fan favorites like the flatbreads will continue to be around, Chef Brian Piasecki also plans to utilize the wood-burning oven for new dishes. These include Baked Local Prawns with Charred Lemon, and Savory Meatballs with Herbed Orzo.

Read our review of these delicious meatballs here!

Oak-Fired Three Meat Meatball will be a new Appetizer at California Grill

We can’t wait to sample the new menu and see the new decor at this guest-favorite hot spot!

When do you hope to visit the new California Grill? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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59 Comments

  1. Shayne says:

    Ok, we may have to re-think our dining plans for January to incorporate California Grill. Frankly, it’s been off my radar screen for so long because of the refurb, that it didn’t even occur to me that it would be re-opened during our next trip.

  2. Steve says:

    Will be there September 27th!

    Booked the Deluxe Dining plan for our 11 day vacation this year and I intend to hit up as many signature places as possible!

  3. YESSS. I’m hoping to book dinner in December. This is the last piece to my planning puzzle!

  4. Courtney says:

    What time can we start making these ADRs ?

  5. Lin says:

    I really liked the old menu and Yoshi’s sushi selections, and have to say that I’m not feeling the menu changes that have been shared thus far.
    I have dined at the CG almost every night during some of my stays and will greatly miss some of those entrees, especially the pork and the bananas and caramel.
    To be fair we haven’t seen the entire menu, and I’m sure that I’ll find something to eat. But I was hoping to just order off the menu and not ask for a bunch of substitutions either.

  6. Nicole S says:

    Yea!! This is very exciting news! Will be making our reservations for October 9th! It’ll be my first time trying out the California Grill!

  7. Joe G. says:

    We’ll be trying for the first and last nights of our trip in October.
    Got our fingers crossed.

  8. MeLissa says:

    Woo Hoo! Finally. Hopefully I can get in on 12/11.

  9. Noerdax says:

    Yay! it’s going to be open for my honeymoon in a few weeks!

  10. Jay says:

    What time of day will the website start taking reservations? I know the phone number starts at either 7:00 or 7:30 am EST, but what about the other?

  11. Sara says:

    Yay!!!!! Really hoping to get an ADR for our honeymoon this October!! :)

  12. Tricia says:

    YEAH!!! Hopefully we will not break the streak. We have gone every trip since our Honeymoon 17 years ago. Sept 12th is what we are trying for.

  13. Laura says:

    I am so excited to eat there again….it is really something special! Fingers crossed for december 8th!

    AJ- you should do a podcast about the new menu, once its reopened!…love those podcasts!

  14. Sabrina says:

    Trying for Sep 20 or 24. Fingers crossed!

  15. Mary says:

    What time do you think they’ll start taking reservations? Midnight online? 9 a.m.? I must know. My strategy depends on it! :-)

  16. Lloyd Vennie says:

    I’ve had a love affair with their filet of beef for years. I wonder if its completely gone now :) Oh well I bet the menu is outstanding!!

  17. Chelsea says:

    Yay! Have been looking forward to this announcement. Hopeful we’ll be able to book for our Anniversary dinner on 9/22! New menu items sound great!

  18. JanH. says:

    I agree with Lin, I hope they don’t change the menu to drastically. I don’t like trying anything to new and weird. The old menu was fine for me. We stopped going to the Wave because they started pairing with strange choices and it just was not good.

  19. Barry Moss says:

    I’m looking forward to dinner at the California Grill again–it’s one of my favourite places at WDW. I too would like to know when the reservations go live and whether the on-line reservations go live at the same time as the phone reservations.

  20. PaulG says:

    Hope we can get a res for our oct honeymoon birthday celebration.

  21. PaulG says:

    Will the online go live at midnight?

  22. Hilary says:

    Going in November and have been keeping an evening free from ADRs, waiting for reservations to start up again. So keeping everything crossed!

  23. AJ says:

    Online reservations will likely go live around 6am, but they could go live sooner.

  24. AJ says:

    Lloyd — The filet will remain on the menu! But the presentation will be changed up a bit.

  25. Iain says:

    Arriving 8th September for two weeks, been waiting patiently for reservations to become available.

    Does anyone know when the phone lines are open.? not sure if there is any advantage from my point of view as as I am in the Uk

  26. CH says:

    Thanks for the update. Where did you get your information? I called yesterday and was told that they did not have any information about ADR or opening dates.

  27. AJ says:

    Lin — Yoshi will definitely be missed! And the pork is actually returning as part of the “Pork Two Ways” dish. Hopefully that gives you something to look forward to!

    Steve, Jenn, Nicole, Joe, Melissa, Noerdax, Sara, Tricia, Sabrina, Chelsea, and Paul — Good luck!

    Laura — Fingers crossed! And thanks for the great idea!

    Hilary — I hope you can get your ADR!

    Iain — phone lines will open 7am Eastern Time. Normally, you can make reservations at 6am Eastern Time online. Best of luck!

  28. Iain says:

    AJ-Thank you for the reply. Just hoping it is not a mad rush which which will slow the web-site down.

  29. Holly B. says:

    Yay!! I’m hoping to get in for our November vacation…I hope they put the menu on the WDW website on the 26th too – I can’t wait to check it out!! :-)

  30. notchris says:

    Aj, have you heard more about the omakase? Will that be booked as a special event a la FF chef’s counter or just a regular menu option? I hope they’ve expanded the kitchen/staff during the refurb. CA Grill was one of the most infuriating restaurants at WDW. It has the best location and a great menu concept but so seldom delivers: for every great meal, we’ve had another 4-5 hot messes that make you wonder which is the norm.

  31. Lloyd Vennie says:

    Thank you AJ, its good to know my comfort meal will still be around. I hope its ok to ask, but its this everyone’s most favorite Walt Disney World restaurant?

  32. Mary says:

    Lloyd, it is certainly among my top five WDW restaurants. The view is spectacular (even without the fireworks), but recently it had gotten too loud and crowded for my taste, even late at night. Still, a trip to WDW isn’t complete without it!

  33. Heather says:

    I cannot wait for the restaurant to reopen, but exactly how long do you think it will be before the website crashes on Monday morning! :)

  34. Amanda says:

    Any idea if you can book an ADR and only sit at the bar? Would love to do this as a kid free option one evening!

  35. Kris B says:

    This has always been our favorite place to dine at WDW. The re-vamped place looks beautiful, and so does the food samples you are showing here. Just too bad we won’t be back until 2015!

  36. Janet Sala says:

    I will be trying to book it for one night during the week of Halloween–maybe even Halloween night. Even if they do not pipe in the music from a hard ticket event, I would think we could head out on to the viewing deck to see the HallowWishes fireworks. ;-)

  37. AJ says:

    CH — The information was released yesterday by Disney on their parks blog.

    Iain — Me too! I’d like to get a table during my upcoming trip as well!

    Holly — That would be great! If we hear more about the menu, we’ll be sure to share. In the meantime, check out this story on the new menu that we did a while back.

    NotChris — The Omakase menu will be part of the sushi menu and shouldn’t need to be booked as a chef’s table option. That said, I could have misinterpreted Chef Piasecki… and Disney could change the rules at any time.

    Lloyd — You’re welcome! I don’t know if it’s everyone’s most favorite, but it’s certainly right up there. :-)

  38. Caroline says:

    Hoping like a billion other people to get an ADR for my Fam of 4 on Thxgiving night. If not that day, then another day we are there ( all week). What time should I go for an ADR if I had a choice to view fireworks? Even if you finish early, are they going to allow you to hang around and go out to the viewing deck to see wishes at 10? thanks. :)

  39. Boudy says:

    Caroline, it doesn’t matter when your reservation is. If you keep your receipt they will allow you to leave and come back later for the fireworks.

  40. JD says:

    Oh no! We’re there Sept. 1-7, that’s a bummer! Does anyone know if they ever do “soft open” periods in advance of when things start up in earnest?

  41. Edie says:

    Soo excited ab this restaurant reopening. We did not get a chance to get in last year so hopefully can 11/2013!!!

  42. PaulG says:

    Got my res oct 24 9 pm

  43. Lloyd Vennie says:

    Whew! Those reservations are going fast. I know they were no times available between midnight and 1 am. I set my alarm and woke up at ten minutes till 6am and there were times available…but not many so I’m feeling pretty good I got a time when we could watch the fireworks, but barely :) Good Luck to you all!

  44. Debbie C says:

    YAY!!! Got the 2 ressies I wanted… one for a reunion w/ friends I haven’t seen in over a year and one for our wedding anniversary! My favorite restaurant in all of Disney (and I’ve been to virtually all of them at least once over the years!).

  45. Iain says:

    One happy person right now. Just booked two dates for our forthcoming two weeks in WDW, 10th and 17th September both for 7:30 pm.

    Hope everyone else gets what they want.

  46. Hilary says:

    Got mine – hope everyone else does too.

  47. Lisa says:

    Thank you for alerting us to the reopening! I got a 7:30 p.m. reservation for Saturday, Dec. 7, and that was the time I wanted. (It’s a Good luck to everyone else.

  48. Richelle says:

    We followed AJ’s advice and circled the 26th to make our CG reservations!
    Good news! We’re in! Party o’ three in early January! Cannot wait! Please remind us to save room for dessert! Is that Sundae Sampler cute or what??

  49. Brian says:

    Quick question, I picked up two dinner reservations for CG on a Not So Scary Halloween Party night so we could see the fireworks at 9:30. One is at 7:45 and one is at 8:50, and I’ll dump the extra in a day or two. For those who’ve eaten there, is it better to eat later while the show is going on, or be finished and come back with my receipt? Is the Electrical Wate Pagent interesting from the Contemperary Resor?

    Thanks.

  50. perryplatypus says:

    Yea, I was able to book for during Food and Wine and for earlier Dec. Thanks again AJ!

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