In 1971, Top of the World opened on the 15th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, offering two dinner/dancing shows nightly featuring top-name entertainment. In 1981, “Broadway at the Top” dinner show was introduced with popular catchy show tunes sung by talented performers. In 1995, the space transformed into California Grill – with fresh, seasonal dishes prepared in the stunning on-stage kitchen. The impressive wine list showcasing the finest wines from highly allocated California vineyards further elevated the dining experience. California Grill was considered a cutting-edge concept (especially for a theme park), becoming a sought-after dining destination for our guests as well as catching the culinary world’s attention. And it continues to dazzle and impress all these years later!
Through the years, the menu has evolved but continues the focus on seasonal dining with a creative blending of flavors, textures, and techniques. The stellar award-winning wine list is still as impressive but has made room for craft cocktails and beers. What has remained constant is the stunning views of Magic Kingdom Park and Seven Seas Lagoon.
As part of “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” California Grill will offer a limited-time three-course menu with dishes inspired by past favorites as well as new market-fresh creations. Here are just a few items (OK, my faves!) on this 50th anniversary celebration menu.
Including sushi on this special menu was a given! The California Grill Sushi Classics Trio – Blue Crab California Roll, Shrimp Tempura Roll, Spicy Kazan Roll – brings together three of the most popular rolls on one plate. I love the Spicy Kazan Roll with blue crab, yellowfin tuna tataki, and sweet shrimp. But what makes this sushi roll unique is the Fireball Sauce with bay scallops, avocado, and mango, bringing the flavor to another level.
The House-Made Artisanal-Style Duck á la Orange Pizza has a fun backstory. Long Island Duckling with Orange Sauce was on the original Top of the World menu, and with artisanal flatbreads and pizzas from the on-stage wood-fired grills being a guest favorite, it made perfect sense to marry the two! Enter this delicious pizza with duck prosciutto and confit, orange-black mission fig jam, pickled shallots, aged blue cheese, and arugula – an homage to the classic from Top of the World and a California Grill staple.
The Oak-Fired Filet of Beef with Black Truffle-Brown Butter Château Potatoes, Golden Raisins Vinaigrette, Cauliflower, and Black Garlic Butter has layers of incredible flavors. I LOVE a great filet (and the chefs top this one with roasted tomato butter – yum!), but these Château Potatoes are beyond fabulous – slowly cooked in brown butter and topped with freshly shaved black winter truffles. Delicious!
The World’s Most Magical Celebration deserves a special sweet ending and the pastry team at California Grill delivers! In a nod to the original Top of the World menu that included assorted pastry bites, our pastry chefs took favorite dessert flavors from five of our past and present chefs to make a dessert that is 50 years in the making. With flavors of honey, lemon, carrot, strawberry, and chocolate, the Five Magical Bites dessert represents the contribution of those chefs to our culinary heritage at California Grill.
Peruse the full menu below. Enjoy!
This incredible limited-time three-course menu will be offered starting Oct. 3, with reservations available Sept. 23. To make reservations, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website.