A lot of things go into making a Walt Disney World vacation truly a one of a kind experience. There are the unique attractions, which transport you into a story and place far more magical that what you might encounter in your daily life. There’s the stunning architecture and the incredible service, which make you feel like you’re at the center of a beautifully designed universe. There are the resorts, which are both impeccably designed and magnificently luxurious — all to create a feeling of comfort and homeiness.
But while all of those elements are important, over time, Disney has come to accept that there is one piece without which the Disney Parks experience just wouldn’t be the same. That is, of course, food.
It’s been a long journey for Disney in this area, going from a resort known mostly for greasy burgers and chicken fingers to a culinary Mecca for millions of vacationers. But the food, alone, isn’t the only selling point for Disney cuisine. In fact, the experience of eating that food is, for many, just as important.
So, yes, there is some amazing food to be had on the Walt Disney World property, but there are a handful of dining experiences that everyone should try once in their life — as much for the ambiance as the flavors.
Here are the bucket list meals every Disney fan should try.
California Grill, during the Magic Kingdom's nightly spectacular
The California Grill has long been one of the premier dining locations at the Walt Disney World Resort. Located high atop the Contemporary Resort alongside the Seven Seas Lagoon, this exquisitely-designed modern American spot has a tastefully simple menu with bold flavors and an impressive wine list.
But, more than any other feature of the restaurant, its view of the Magic Kingdom and its neighboring resorts is the show-stopping amenity.
While it’s true that any guest coming to California Grill for dinner may return to its stunning rooftop deck during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, all reservations are not created equal. If you are fortunate enough to have a window seat, and if you time your meal just right, you can enjoy your dessert while the lights in the restaurant dim and one of the most amazing nighttime shows on Earth unfolds right next to you.
A dinner at California Grill is special enough, but timing it perfectly alongside the fireworks is enough to make it truly extraordinary.