Day 29 of WDW-40, the latest of my Disney Trip Reports, is here – our last day for this 2016 trip – and more than two years since we came back home from it! Today we went for Sunday Brunch at California Grill and flew home to London…
If you haven’t read my pre-trip planning report yet, why not have a quick read now to bring you up to speed about who we are, and why this trip report is called WDW-40! You might also want to start reading from the beginning of the report!
Day 29: Sunday Brunch at California Grill
Travel Day – MCO to LGW
October 2nd, 2016
My trip reports are generally photo heavy, images in tiled galleries can be clicked on to enlarge. All the photos from this day can be found here | Florida 2016 photo collection on Flickr here.
WDW-40, 2016: Trip Report Index | Pre-Trip Planning Report | About Us
Some days are split into several parts; please use the page numbers at the bottom of the post to continue reading.
Okay, so it’s taken me just over two years to get to the last day of this trip report – but it’s finally here! And then I can start on the 2017 one…
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because I still have to tell you about day 29. The morning of travel home day is always quite a downer – everything is packed away and you say things like “oh this time last week we were…” or “I wish we had just arrived…” or “do you think we can get more time off work and just stay?”
Here are our suitcases – including the eye-watering expensive Mickey Mouse one we bought yesterday. On the right end is a duffle type bag we bought at WalMart. We actually came to Orlando with three cases, and went home with six. Plus a carry-on case each and I had a large handbag. To say we had a lot to bring home was an understatement!
Once ready to vacate our room, we called Bell Services to collect our luggage and store for us until it was time to head to Orlando International Airport (MCO). We then went to the reception to pick up a print-out of our bill, not that there was much on there as we only stayed the one night. Handy to know is that even after you check-out, you can still charge to your room with your Magic Band as they have your card details, so if you’ve used up all your cash, you can still spend!
I seemed to have taken a few more pictures of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort – I hadn’t realised I had them until I came to edit today’s photos. (So didn’t include them in yesterday’s trip report.)
I will say again how lovely a resort SSR is – we would love to come back here in the future.
All resorts have an area with a small television and chairs for kids – big and small – to watch Disney cartoons. At Saratoga Springs the area was adorned with drawings of Disney horses which I thought was very cool!
Leaving our luggage safely behind with Bell Services, we drove to Disney’s Contemporary Resort for brunch. I think the brunch at California Grill was still fairly new at this point, so we were lucky to grab an ADR for it. We enjoyed it so much, we booked to do it again on our 2017 trip too.
I am pretty sure we received complimentary Valet Parking, so we left our car with the Valet and went inside the hotel. We took an elevator up to the second floor to check-in, and were then taken up in the private elevator to 15th floor where California Grill is located – it feels like the top of the World up here!
We have dined here a few times now, but have never been all this way up during the day. The view was just AMAZING!
Sadly my photos came out blurry and rubbish, but I’m going to have to share them anyway. Someone also lost a balloon – I always feel so sad when I see a Disney balloon drifting up into the sky – mainly because I know how expensive those bad boys are!
Of course you can still see the view at night, all lit up and magical, but during the day it’s pretty breathtaking. I did a timelapse video of the view – pretty cool to see all the Disney Transport in action from up high!
Since the Sunday Brunch is all we did today (other than go to the airport and fly home, but you know…) you’re going to get ALL the food pics I took! By this point I was over it with my DSLR, it was starting to annoy me that I couldn’t focus the lens properly, so I just used my iPhone to take all the food photos.
With that out of the way, onto the brunch at California Grill!
We were greeted with a complimentary Mimosa – which is essentially champagne and orange juice. Why is it not a Buck’s Fizz? I’ll tell you! A Buck’s Fizz has 2 parts bubbly to 1 part OJ, while a Mimosa is equal measure. The more you know!
The restaurant wasn’t overly busy which was nice, and with the live musicians playing piano and double bass, it made for a relaxing time – which is perfect for brunch!
We were shown to our table – not quite in the window, but close enough to have a view – and then our server came over and introduced themselves to us.
He explained that Sunday Brunch is part buffet (all-you-care-to-enjoy) and part table service. Essentially your starters are from the buffet, you are then brought out an entree, and finally a platter of pastries and sweets.
The Mimosas are included (you can get Faux-Mosa – without the alcohol – too) in the price which is $80 per adult. You can order cocktails and wine by the glass, and there is also a Bloody Mary Bar (priced extra). Oops, nearly forgot about the coffee which is also served.
The Bloody Mary Bar, was impressive. More like a glassful of brunch in itself judging by this sneaky snap I managed to get of another guest’s cocktail!
Along with your choice of vodka and hot sauce you can also choose from a selection (5) of condiments which included huge shrimp, pickled vegetables, cheese, olives, bacon, and chorizo, all skewered and stuck into a celery stick.
Prices at the time depended on the vodka choice:
Absolut Peppar – $15
Belvedere – $16
Belvedere Bloody Mary – $17