California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

(originally posted on my blog, Ultimate Travel Source)

This was by far the most expensive meal on my recent trip to the happiest place on earth.  I debated even making the reservation as I am not a person of unlimited means, but I really wanted the experience of dining on the roof of the Contemporary Resort during the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom.  The plan was to eat a big lunch and just have appetizers, but this plan was quickly foiled when we were seated next to the kitchen area with a view of all the entrees being set out for the servers to distribute.

My daughter and I exercised restraint, choosing to split a California combination roll and then each have an entree of the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli.  I had been looking forward to the California combination roll for six months as I had reviewed the menu and seen that it was made from jumbo lump crab meat as opposed to the crab sticks found at most sushi restaurants.  Perhaps I had built it up too much in my mind as the actual roll wasn’t anything special.  It tasted good, but for $24 a roll I expected a bit more.  The ravioli, on the other hand, was amazing.  It came with two large ravioli that were very filling and the goat cheese flavor was delicious and unique enough to more than justify the $30 price tag.

As soon as we had taken our seats and looked at the menu, I told my son he was forbidden to order the $75 ribeye.  So, naturally, this was exactly what he wanted and the fact that the children’s father (who was paying for himself and therefore exempt from my rule) chose that as his entree did not help.  After seeing the 19 oz ribeye being served to another table, my son wanted one so bad he offered to pay the $20 difference between it and most of the other entrees.  I agreed on the condition that he share it with me (I wasn’t sure yet how filling the ravioli would be).  When the steak arrived, the first thing my son did was take a picture of it to share with his friends.


In the bowl sitting next to the ribeye is gouda macaroni and cheese which I’m sure would have been delicious if anyone had room enough to try it.  My son was so focused on getting every bite of meat off the bone of his steak that the chef took pity on him and brought him a second one free of charge.


From the three ounces I was able to get of the first steak, I can say this steak was well worth $75 even without taking into account the free second one.  I’ve never had a steak melt in my mouth before but that is exactly what this one did.  My son hates to take pictures, but he enjoyed this meal so much that he asked to have his photo taken with the chef.  In the end, the entire kitchen staff and our server came out to pose with him.


Our server was also kind enough to take a picture of us at our table enjoying our meal.  Unfortunately, this was after we went outside to enjoy the fireworks and my hairstyle did not survive the show.


The entire bill including the tip came to about $300 for the four of us.  While this admittedly could have fed us quick service meals for most of the trip, this meal has become one of our fondest Disney memories, rivaled only by the time we rode Kali River Rapids fifteen times in a row.