Cocktails and Fireworks at California Grille?


#1

Help from all you tenured Mousebuzzers, please?!?

We’re taking a last minute trip down to the happiest place on earth over Labor Day weekend…normally I plan my annual January trips WAY in advance, but we just made these ressies a few weeks ago. It’s just the DB and myself…no kids…no moms…and since we don’t have so many ages and tastes to accomodate this time, we wanted to try something different.

I’ve heard so much about California Grille, but I can’t get an ADR at this late date. Can we just go have cocktails WITHOUT ADRs? Can we take our cocktails out onto the deck (I’ve heard there’s a deck) to watch the fireworks? How busy does it get at fireworks time? Have I asked enough questions?


#2

I have honestly never heard of anyone being allowed up just to use the bar.
In fact, from what I’ve seen around a 45 minutes before fireworks, diners dawdle over their coffee and paid checks so much that people with reservations just stack up anywhere they can find a place to sit waiting for their tables to open up. I’ve seen it so bad that waiting guests were actually sitting on the floor! The bar and lounge areas are of course stacked two deep.
You’d better ask when you call to make your other reservations, but I highly doubt they’ll just let you up for drinks.
One thing most people don’t understand about California Grill is that if you eat there on any given night, you can finish your meal early and still you will be warmly welcomed back upstairs to watch that night’s fireworks. Instead, what you have is what I said, selfish people holding their tables until the last moment which forces new guests to have to wait as long as an hour for their table.


#3

Geez Doug , Are you still mad we bumped you from the table last year?


#4

Nobody bumped me. I’m disappointed I had to wait until 10:20 to be seated for a 9:30 reservation and had to sit on the floor with my back against the wall most of the time while waiting.
I’m mad that I had to pay $23 for a taxi back to the Yacht because we finished dinner so late that buses from the MK had stopped running about 20 minutes earlier.


#5

Well, Soundgod, you’ve convinced me to NOT show up for cocktails…and I was really looking forward to that…(that’s the sound of whining, in case you didn’t recognize it!)


#6

Di, try this instead: although the view isn’t the same and it certainly isn’t from on high, go to the bar at Narcoossee’s at the GF. (Or don’t if you don’t need the drink) and at showtime, go out on the deck that rings the restaurant and watch from there. The music is even piped in from the park. You can see almost everything from here.


#7

I’ve done drinks and fireworks at CG but that was way back in 2001 so who knows if they’ll allow it anymore or if you could even get in. I took a trip with my boyfriend at the time and we couldn’t afford anything as nice as CG for a meal so we just did what you’re wanting to do.

DH and I watched Wishes from the deck area Soundgod speaks of on our last trip as part of our anniversary celebration (had dinner at V&A’s). It was beautiful though not as great as at CG.

Have a great last-minute trip no matter what you decide to do!


#8

wait wait wait!!

My boyfriend and I tried to call and make an ADR at Cali Grill for just drinks and desserts, and we were told we couldn’t make one unless we were having dinner - we would have to just show up and be seated at the bar. We ended up at the little lounge area, had a great view of the castle, and then went outside for the fireworks. It’s kind of a first-come-first-served, seat yourself type of deal for the lounge and bar, so there were a lot of people hanging around tables and barstools when someone looked like they might be finished… :laugh:

As far as the fireworks, it can get a little crowded, but we try to head out there about 10 minutes before the fireworks start and get a good spot along the railing. The crowds come out when it’s closer to the show. I don’t know if you can take drinks out there - I’ve never tried and never noticed if anyone else did (too distracted with the show! :happy:).

You could always call Disney and see what they have to say about doing just drinks, just to be sure. I love Cali Grill, and the view of Wishes from there is a Disney must-do (in my humble opinion)! :heart:


#9

[QUOTE=PrincessJill;986992]wait wait wait!!

My boyfriend and I tried to call and make an ADR at Cali Grill for just drinks and desserts, and we were told we couldn’t make one unless we were having dinner - we would have to just show up and be seated at the bar. We ended up at the little lounge area, had a great view of the castle, and then went outside for the fireworks. It’s kind of a first-come-first-served, seat yourself type of deal for the lounge and bar, so there were a lot of people hanging around tables and barstools when someone looked like they might be finished… :laugh:

As far as the fireworks, it can get a little crowded, but we try to head out there about 10 minutes before the fireworks start and get a good spot along the railing. The crowds come out when it’s closer to the show. I don’t know if you can take drinks out there - I’ve never tried and never noticed if anyone else did (too distracted with the show! :happy:).

You could always call Disney and see what they have to say about doing just drinks, just to be sure. I love Cali Grill, and the view of Wishes from there is a Disney must-do (in my humble opinion)! :heart:[/QUOTE]

EXACTLY what we did! Glad to hear I’m not crazy or incorrect in how I’m recalling our experience!


#10

Some things to keep in mind.

  1. You’re viewing from far off axis so you’re almost watching two different shows, the castle effects show and the aerial explosions show. And the aerial bursts are far in back of the park.
  2. You’re over 150 feet off the ground and it can get quite windy up there, even on nice days.
  3. It may be 85 degrees on the ground, but you might need a jacket up there because of the wind chill effect.