California at the Contemporary



I usually have more than one mission when I book reservation at California Grill.  First, the food there is spectacular!   I’ve never had anything that didn’t provide great memories.   Second, the view from the observation deck is perfect for watching and photographing the Magic Kingdom fireworks show.  Magic Kingdom Fireworks

We have been lucky a few times to have a seat at a window overlooking the Magic Kingdom.  This most recent trip also landed us at a window table.

The flat bread appetizers are always delicious and provide a great to start to my meal.  Tonight I enjoyed the Oak-fired Filet of Beef – (Heirloom Tomato Risotto, Marinted Baby Vine Tomatoes, Basil, Tomato Butter)

The entire visit is special and I’m never in a hurry to leave.  After this dinner we move to the bar.  There’s plenty to choose from with 250 wine selections, 80 by the glass, an expanded sake list, eight kinds of craft beers and ciders and signature cocktails.


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The Hollywood Brown Derby

“Step into the Golden Age of Hollywood at this warm, wood-paneled restaurant serving contemporary American cuisine. “

We arrived here for our reservations just in time to remain dry.  Within second of entering the restaurant the clouds dropped bucket of rain that lasted for nearly two hours.   This was good for a needed break from jetting around to the desired attractions.      The caricatures are very interesting and you could possibly eat up several hours attempting to view all of them.


During this visit I ordered- Bibb Lettuce Salad drizzled with a Peppercorn-Sweet Onion Dressing, Cherry Tomatoes, Shaved Radishes, and Parmesan-Seed Frico and The Original Fettuccine Alfredo – Grilled chicken and pasta topped with Prosciuto Brittle and Parmigiano-Reggiano.  My favorite item of the meal could possibly be The Hollywood.  (2 parts Absolut Vodka, 1 part Chambord, and 6 parts pineapple juice.)


Dine in an authentic replica of the famous Brown Derby, a Tinseltown landmark steeped in glamour and glitz. The walls are adorned with caricatures of famous faces—a tradition that began with the original restaurant—and the upscale atmosphere harkens back to the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Located at Disney Studios


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Tutto Italia Ristorante – EPCOT

20140327-150351.jpgTutto Italia Ristorante is my favorite Italian Restaurant on Disney property.     The atmosphere and staff do a great job of creating the mood of being in Italy.

During this visit I chose the Ceasar Salad – (Romaine wedge, olive crostini, shaved parmesan) and Ravioli a delicious sauce.



From the Disney website:

“Relax in Old World ambience as you enjoy platters of chicken, fish, handmade pasta, lasagna and more.

On the outside patio or in the airy dining room amid murals of ancient Rome and sparkling chandeliers, relish the rich, textured flavors of authentic Italian dishes from a menu created by award-winning chef and California restaurateur Joachim Splichal.

Start with a tantalizing selection of appetizers and then continue with entrees that may include pan-roasted fish, grilled steak and seasoned potatoes, and classic spaghetti and meatballs.

Delight in such decadent dolci as gelato, chocolate cake and crispy cannoli to complete your delectable dining experience.

With attentive table service, plenty of vegetarian options, a wide-ranging wine list and a full children’s menu, Tutto Italia Ristorante will satisfy Guests of all tastes and interests. Reservations are recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.”

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Swan Lunch


We took a lunch break from meetings and were led to an area with a great selection of food and dessert.   Tables were setup outside for us to enjoy the warm Florida weather.     The prime rib and pasta salads knocked out my hunger, but the highlight for me was dessert!    The key lime mini pies were the best.  I considered sneaking a few out to snack on during the remainder of the days meetings.

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Cabana Bar & Beach Club


20140327-131528.jpgThe Cabana Bar & Beach Club is somewhat hidden on the opposite side of the Dolphin resort if you are arriving from the Boardwalk area.     I’ve been here twice and itf you are lucky to grab a seat in the Cabana go for it!  It’s a great place to relax and you have a good view of the pool area.     The menu has a great variety of food from light to heavy and the beverages are wonderful!



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Flametree BBQ is a tradition.

Flame Tree BBQ is a tradition when we visit Disneys Animal Kingdom.



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Mexican Dinner at Epcot




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California in Florida.

Disney’s California Grill is an excellent restaurant with delicious food and a magnificent view of Magic Kingdom.

“California Grill is a Signature Dining restaurant that serves award-winning gourmet dinners and sweeping views atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Venture into this vibrant and charged atmosphere and watch the creation of culinary masterpieces in the on-stage kitchen.”

Tonights dinner began with Rotisserie BBQ Chicken Flatbread . . . Chipotle-Corn Salsa, Roasted Peppers, Smoked Cheddar.  You could almost make a small meal out of this flatbread.

Next was the Oak-fired Filet of Beef . . . Buttered Purple Stokes Potatoes, Broccolini, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Teriyaki Barbecue.  Steak and mashed potatoes go so well together.   I could have eaten two portions.

Finally was dessert.  Valrhona Chocolate Cake with strawberries and ice-cream.

this is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a final dinner at Walt Disney World.







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Yak & Yeti! That has a weird ring to it.

We attempted to get a table at Yak and Yeti one year during thanksgiving week and it was packed.  Prior to the most recent trip we made reservations early to make sure that we would get to have dinner there.

“Situated at the base of Mt. Everest in the small town of Anandapur in the Asia area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, this grand old house turned restaurant sets out adventurous meals of Asian cuisine that combines flavors from China, India and Nepal.”

For my meal I chose Sweet & Sour Chicken – Tempura chicken, ginger, garlic, bell peppers, pineapple.  It was filling but left just enough room for Chocolate pudding cake, raspberry sauce.

After dinner I roamed around the building to admire the decorations.  There’s an array of artifacts from the collection “the proprietor” and his family amassed from their travels across Southeast Asia. Some of these souvenirs include statues, fine tapestries and 900-pound, gold inlaid silk puppets.

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Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is located at Beach Club Resort.   After a long day at one of the theme parks we exited the boat and hurried down the dock and toward Beaches& Cream in hopes of grabbing a late night dessert.   When we arrived it was obvious that the shop wasnt closing anytime soon.  there was a line to the door and the dining area was full.

While I was waiting to place an order I kept noticing large silver bowls on several tables.   After some quick research on the menu I realized that these items were called “Kitchen Sink Sundae”  – Eight scoops of Ice Cream served with all the Toppings in the house and a whole can of Whipped Cream.  The bowls contained enough ice-cream and toppings  for 5-6 people.   I am a bit picky about sharing plates or extra large bowls with other people.  It was fun to watch the other guests dig into their bowls.

Meanwhile my Old-fashioned hot fudge Sundae was being prepared. for my enjoyment. Fortunately we didn’t have a long walk to our room after eating the delight.





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