On my December Disney World trip I was able to score one of the most coveted brunch reservations on property – Brunch at the Top at California Grill. This brunch is only held from 10:00am – 1:00pm on Sundays. So if you want to experience it for yourself make sure you book it at the 180-day mark or read our tips on how to score some of the hard-to-get dining reservations. It is an all-you-can-eat brunch for $99 a person or two table-service dining credits. Read the rest of the review to hear why I think this $99 brunch is well worth it.
Notice I called it an “all-you-can-eat brunch” rather than a buffet. This is for two reasons. One, I feel like buffets at Disney get a bad rep for so-so food and that is certainly not the case here. Second, it’s not only a buffet. This brunch is actually three courses – an appetizer buffet, a main course, and dessert. Oh, and did I mention this brunch has UNLIMITED MIMOSAS! That may or may not have been my favorite part. If mimosas aren’t your thing, there is a bloody mary bar as well, but that is an additional charge.
If you have ever dined at California Grill before you know that check-in is on the second-floor of the Contemporary Resort. You are then whisked away into an elevator with an attendant that takes you up to the 15th-floor where the restaurant is located. Since you have already checked-in, you are greeted by name once you reach the restaurant and shortly handed a mimosa as your waitress walks you to your table.
One of the best things about eating at California Grill for any meal is the view. California Grill has the best view of Magic Kingdom from any resort restaurant, including a look at Cinderella’s Castle. During brunch, the view is accompanied by live music playing some of your Disney favorites. I recommend arriving to your reservation a bit early and trying to request a view in the main room with a view of the castle. When I dined here we were seated in a room off to the side where our only view was downtown Orlando. While this didn’t ruin my experience, it made it a bit less magical.
Once seated at our table, our waitress came over to explain how the meal worked. As I mentioned, the meal is three-courses. Once you arrive you are able to go to the buffet which has items like charcuterie, sushi, pastries, deviled eggs, yogurt, and salad. Once you have had a chance to peruse the menu, your waiter will take your order for your main entreé. This included items like eggs benedict, a seasonal omelette, steak and eggs, blueberry pancakes, and much more. You can order sides of bacon, sausage, and potatoes plus I have heard that you can order more than one entreé if you would like. Once you finish your main entreé, your waiter will bring you a tray of desserts filled with small cookies, truffles, and other treats. The menu at California Grill changes seasonally, so while there are staples, expect your experience to differ slightly.
After our waitress explained what we could expect throughout the meal, we went straight to the buffet. This is not what you typically expect when thinking of a Disney buffet. The food on the buffet was the same quality you could expect when sitting down to dinner at California Grill. Some of my favorite items off of the buffet were the deviled eggs, sushi, and chocolate croissants. I tried not to fill up too much on the buffet because I was excited for my main entreé.
I ordered the Pineapple-Coconut Stuffed French Toast and was not disappointed. The french toast was filled with cream cheese filling and pineapple compote, and topped with toasted coconut. So good! My boyfriend ordered the Seasonal Garden Chef’s Omelette and enjoyed it as well. Throughout our entire meal our waitress made sure to not let our mango mimosas get empty. I have no idea how many I actually drank that morning because anytime I took a few sips from my glass, our waitress came back around to fill it up.
After the buffet and my Pineapple French Toast, I was starting to get full, but I still had a bit of room to try a few of the desserts on the dessert tray. These were fine. Definitely not the best dessert on property, but who goes to brunch for dessert anyways. About an hour and a half and who-knows-how-many mimosas later it was time to continue on with our day at Magic Kingdom, just a short walk away! Unfortunately, this was our departure day so we were not able to come back for fireworks. But if you bring your receipt back before the fireworks you will be let up to the restaurant to watch the fireworks from either the California Grill Lounge or the Observatory Deck.
Overall, this is one of my favorite dining experiences at Disney World and is the perfect meal for Childless Millennials. The ambience at California Grill is on par with the high price tag. The live musicians, superb service, unlimited mimosas, and excellent view are enough to keep me coming back. The food itself was delicious too, who doesn’t like sushi for breakfast?! While the price tag for this dining experience is high, to me it’s worth every penny.
Things to Note About Brunch at California Grill:
- All-inclusive meal with unlimited mimosas
- Free valet parking at the Contemporary
- $99/person or two credits on the dining plan
- 10% discount for AP/DVC and accepts Tables in Wonderland for 20% off
- If you bring your receipt back at night you can watch the fireworks at the California Grill Lounge or the observatory deck
- California Grill asks guests to adhere to the Signature Dining dress code
Have you ever dining at the Brunch at the Top at California Grill? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know in the comments below.