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Day 7 – Hey Mickey | Part 6 | Halloween in the Wilderness 2015

1900 Park Fare (Character Buffet Breakfast) | Magic Kingdom | Casey’s Corner (CS Lunch) | California Grill (Signature Dining) | HalloWishes

Continued from part 5…
October 29th, 2015

After our day at Magic Kingdom, we headed back to our resort – Wilderness Lodge – to chill out a bit, and get ready for our dinner that evening at California Grill. We dined at this signature restaurant in 2014, and had a great time. The restaurant is located at the very top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and has amazing views of Magic Kingdom from up there. What’s also nice, is that the music from the fireworks is piped into the restaurant, and the lights are dimmed down. You can watch from your table – we were lucky (both times) to have a table by the window – or out on the viewing platform.

HalloWishes from California Grill

I purposely booked this night for our dinner at California Grill because it was a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party night, and as such, we would be able to see HalloWishes without having a party ticket. We arrived at Contemporary, and took the elevator up to the 2nd floor, where you check in for your Advance Dining Reservation. A Cast Member then takes you up in the elevator to the top floor where you are either shown to your table straightaway, or sit in the lounge area, while you wait. On this occasion, our table was immediately ready. It was great to find out that we had a window table again.

California Grill at Contemporary Resort

Our server introduced himself, and brought us a bread basket and butter (which seems to be a standard thing in Disney’s Signature Restaurants), and took our drinks order.

When it comes to the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan at a signature restaurant you are entitled to one appetizer, one entrée, one dessert and one non-alcoholic beverage per person (usually refillable) for two credits per person.


Me: California Combination Roll – Jumbo Lump Crab, Avocado, Cucumber, Shrimp Tempura ($24)

Him: Three- Meat Signature Meatballs – Anson Mills Pork Belly-Laced Grits, Pickled Fresnos, Chimichurri ($16)

The Boy: Crispy Rock Shrimp Salad – Spicy Baby Greens, Subarashii pears, Soy Reduction, Wasabi Cream ($18)

Since we are now at the point where I really cannot remember how the food tasted etc., so I’m guessing from here on out there probably won’t be finer details – unless I can remember something that was AMAZING! Or if something was really bad.

My note taking on this trip was pretty poor, but I’ve just scanned the short entry about this day in my diary and I’ve written down: “the food was good, but I made bad dish choices”. When I say something like that, it usually means that I preferred what the boys had over my own! I seem to do this quite often at restaurants!

The food at California Grill was beautifully presented, and I expect nothing less from this sort of price point restaurant.

California Combination Roll - California Grill

Three-Meat Signature Meatballs - California Grill

Crispy Rock Shrimp Salad - California Grill


Me: Bison Strip Loin – Benzinger Arbequina Olive Oil Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, Cherrywood Bacon, Madeira-Fig Demi-Glace ($50)

Him: Pork Two Ways – Grilled Tenderloin, Goats Cheese Polenta, Mushrooms, Lacquered Belly, Country Applesauce ($39)

The Boy: Wagyu Beef Strip Loin – Snake River Farms Wagyu, Cauliflower Purée, Autumns Vegetables, Maple Gastrique ($55)

Bison Strip Loin - California Grill

Pork Two Ways - California Grill

Wagyu Beef Strip Loin - California Grill


Me: Sundae Sampler – Unique and Playful Sundaes with a Nostalgic Twist: Coconut Cheesecake Cone, Shirley Temple Float, White Chocolate, and Huckleberry ($13)

Him: Heirloom Apple and Walnut Cake – Heirloom Apple, Fig and Dried Cherry Compote, Roasted White Chocolate Mousse, Brown Sugar Ice Cream, and Candied Walnuts ($13)

The Boy: Chocolate Pudding Cake – Luscious Chocolate Cake with Nutella Filling, Meringue Kisses, and Chantilly Cream ($14)

Sundae Sampler - California Grill

Heirloom Apple and Walnut Cake - California Grill

Chocolate Pudding Cake - California Grill

California Grill

Bill Total: $274.30 (6 Credits) {Tip: $50.00}
DxDDP Running Totals: Bill: $1377.16 | Credits: 37/126 | Tips: $192.50

As well as seeing the fireworks, we also saw the Electric Water Pageant floating along Seven Seas Lagoon. I don’t have any good photos of my own of this – my camera just isn’t fast enough! But here is the blurry mess I do have!

Electric Water Pageant - Seven Seas Lagoon

HalloWishes from California Grill


HalloWishes from California Grill

HalloWishes was AMAZING! I absolutely loved the soundtrack (the music is piped into the restaurant), and these are some of the best fireworks I’ve ever seen in my life! One thing that marvelled all of us was just how far back from the park a lot of the fireworks are. I know it’s for safety issues, but seriously, they look so close when you’re down on Main Street USA!

HalloWishes from California Grill

A quick snap with my iPhone! You can see how far out the fireworks were!

Because of this, the video of HalloWishes below, doesn’t show too many of the big starburst fireworks, because they were simply out of shot. My husband set up the camera, and pretty much just left it on the window ledge to film, only zooming in and out a tiny bit. I said to him, when I watched the footage back recently, that it was such a shame – but he said with the lights from the restaurant (although they are dimmed down you can see the reflections and stuff, so that was why he was more zoomed in. Regardless, the video still has all the music, and the fireworks you can see directly behind the castle. By the end, we all just said “wow”, because that is the best way to describe them!


Read about the day after:
Day 8 – In The Slow Lane:
Roaring Fork (CS Lunch) | Shopping | Artist Point (Signature Dining)

Read about the day before:
Day 6 – Fine, Fancy, Fun:
Kona Cafe (TS Breakfast) | Silver Creek Springs | Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (Dinner Show)

Read ALL the days!

Halloween In The Wilderness 2015:
Trip Report Index | Pre-Trip Planning Report | Highs, Not So Highs, and Lows
All the photos from this day can be found here | Florida 2015 photo collection on Flickr here