If you’re going to eat at California Grill AND see Fantasmic on the same night, I would suggest doing it on a night where Fantasmic is performed at 7:30 or 8 and eat afterward. In September, when the sun doesn’t set until 7:30, it is more usual for 8:30 showtimes. The show is a half hour long and your best case scenario for getting to the Contemporary is about 45 minutes after the show ends. In that case, you’d be best eating when CG opens, at 5:30. But you’ll still be cutting things close and risk not even getting standing room for Fantasmic.
You will also need to keep in mind how you will be returning to your own resort after dinner, because unless MK buses are still running, you’re going to have to transfer through DTD, hire a taxi, or drive your own car.
And if your reservation is anywhere around MK’s fireworks time, be prepared to not be seated until long after your reservation.
One night we had 9:30 reservations and fireworks were at 10. We, and many others, did not get seated until 20-25 minutes after Wishes because so many selfish diners refuse to give up their tables despite being long finished with their meals. Waiting guests were stacked up so badly that there were a good 20 guests sitting on the floor at one point because the waiting areas and bar were packed and there was nowhere else for us to sit.
Anyway, we didn’t finish our meal until about 12:15, by which time the MK buses had stopped running, even though I had originally planned plenty of time to eat and catch a bus at MK. But the 50 minute delay in getting seated killed us.
A meal at CG is not a quick thing, same as the other signature restaurants, so that too should be planned accordingly.
I’m almost certain that I’ve never tried eating dinner at any monorail resort on the same night as we’re seeing Fantasmic in September.