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United544
11-10-2008, 12:12 PM
Hi,

Is California Grill an appropriate place to take kids (5,3 and 1). Or is it mainly an adults-only restaurant?

Thanks!

- Chris

crisi
11-10-2008, 12:44 PM
There will be kids there. And they do provide a kids menu. And its loud.

HOWEVER, its also very expensive, it took us over two (and closer to three) hours to eat, the four of us (including our two kids who were eight and nine when we ate there) had a $500 bill (there was an expensive bottle of wine involved), and there isn't really anywhere for an antsy kid to run around between courses. Your kids might be the type to let you sit through a two hour meal and enjoy it - mine never were and so we waited until they could get through a several hour meal.

United544
11-10-2008, 01:07 PM
The expense is one reason we want to go there :) Seems like it would be a great use of our deluxe dining plan.

I wasn't aware that the dining time though was 2+ hours... our kids do very well at restaurants, but not sure if they'd enjoy 2 hours of sitting in a restaurant. Thanks for the info.

Uncleromulus
11-10-2008, 01:39 PM
Most of our meals are in the 2 hour range as well. But it's fine for kids--there are MANY kids there each and every time we dine at CG.

hmillerbarilla
11-10-2008, 01:45 PM
I don't know if I'd take a 1 year old there. Sure, there are kids there, but it really is an adult place I think. I always have left mine with a sitter so I could actually enjoy the whole experience. Maybe my kids are just too "jumpy" to handle it. We are usually there for at least 2 hours as well.

The food is delicious. It is my favorite place on property. You will love it!

crisi
11-10-2008, 02:04 PM
The expense is one reason we want to go there :) Seems like it would be a great use of our deluxe dining plan.

I wasn't aware that the dining time though was 2+ hours... our kids do very well at restaurants, but not sure if they'd enjoy 2 hours of sitting in a restaurant. Thanks for the info.

This is a complete reflection of my own preferences and opinions (as well as those of the children I travel with), but I couldn't imagine spending the sort of time one would need to spend on the Deluxe Dining plan with three children those ages. The Deluxe Dining Plan means a commitment to food - ADRs, time to eat. When we travel with little kids (and we just got back from a trip with a two and four year old) we never can make that sort of commitment. Between naps and bedtimes, antsy kids, and the amount of things the kids need to see - we just don't have time for much more than a table service dinner ever few days with the kids.

I love food - and I love to make the time to eat at signature spots. But even with our older kids we limit sit down to once a day (maybe twice if one of those times involves characters) and signature to a few times a trip - the time it takes is just too much of a burden otherwise - and we end up missing things that we really wanted to see because we need to get to dinner.

BCV23
11-10-2008, 02:36 PM
We used to do the Gold Key plan which included three meals per day when we first started doing it (later changed to 3/night). No double credits for signature. Unlimited recreation. The first time we enjoyed that are boys were 3 and 1. Our daughter came along and we continued to enjoy it.

For us, relaxed family meals are an essential part of any vacation. WDW is a great place to dine with children because the servers really know how to pace the meal for little ones. Or at least that was true when our children were small. All in their 20s now.:goodvibes

It is also possible to skip appetizers and/or desserts if the meal seems too long.

I also would not take any child to CG who didn't understand that it was not an option to get up during the meal. Bottoms firmly planted in their seats at all times. But our rules were the same at Mickey Ds.;)

CG used to put butcher paper on the tables when the party included little ones so they could draw on it. Is the same true today? I haven't noticed lately.

blanq
11-10-2008, 06:48 PM
You know your kids best, and if they can handle a 2-3 hour meal without melting down. I know that when my DS was 1, he never could have handled the experience. Part of the reason, besides the length of the meal, would have been the noise. It really is loud here, as Crisi mentioned, and it can cause sensory overload (for adults as well as kids). Our DS was 6 when he first when to CG, and that was a perfect age for him to sit through the meal and enjoy it. I must say that our waiter gave our DS extra special attention (such as kneeling down to talk eye to eye with him), which made the experience more fun for him.

ToddyLu
11-10-2008, 06:57 PM
:) They might enjoy it. When we were there last Dec. It was very loud to me ( DH and I unfortunately do not have little ones). One of the reasons we go is to see the fireworks from high up. Just remember for the little ones to see from the cat walk you are going to have to hold them so they can see over the protective walls that are about 3.5 feet high. They might can see them from the windows--they do pipe the music in. :confused3 Why not take em--call ahead and see when the fireworks are.

Laugh O. Grams
11-10-2008, 07:03 PM
Although you can do a 2 or 3 hour meal there, it's certainly not the norm. You can get in and out in an hour without a problem. It's not like you're required to do a four course meal when you sit down. It all depends on the diner, not the establishment. And as far as kids, we eat there with ours just about every time we visit and see all ages, from newborns to teens, at all hours of the evening.

crisi
11-10-2008, 08:39 PM
Although you can do a 2 or 3 hour meal there, it's certainly not the norm. You can get in and out in an hour without a problem. It's not like you're required to do a four course meal when you sit down. It all depends on the diner, not the establishment. And as far as kids, we eat there with ours just about every time we visit and see all ages, from newborns to teens, at all hours of the evening.

I'd actually guess that 2+ meals there ARE the norm. The restaurant is notorious for diners who draw out their meal stretching a 6:00 pm reservations into fireworks at nine. Which can be another issue with kids - it isn't uncommon here to get seated an hour AFTER your ADR time (it isn't uncommon here to get seated on time, either, though).

shellybaxter
11-10-2008, 09:01 PM
Although you can do a 2 or 3 hour meal there, it's certainly not the norm. You can get in and out in an hour without a problem. It's not like you're required to do a four course meal when you sit down. It all depends on the diner, not the establishment. And as far as kids, we eat there with ours just about every time we visit and see all ages, from newborns to teens, at all hours of the evening.


I would have to disagree. I think 2 hour meals are the norm. I've never eaten there in under 2 hours. If the OP wants to go to Cali Grill because she can maximize her deluxe dining plan then she will be ordering appetizers, entrees, and desserts. That will easily take (and should for the kind of restaurant Cali Grill is) two hours.

BCV23
11-10-2008, 09:32 PM
Although you can do a 2 or 3 hour meal there, it's certainly not the norm. You can get in and out in an hour without a problem. It's not like you're required to do a four course meal when you sit down. It all depends on the diner, not the establishment. And as far as kids, we eat there with ours just about every time we visit and see all ages, from newborns to teens, at all hours of the evening.

I agree that it depends on the diner. And also that it's possible to dine in an hour. We did that a couple years ago. We were seated next to a family with kids out of control. The father had his feet upon a chair and was wearing what appeared to be swim trunks. We ordered one course each and were out of there!

I'd actually guess that 2+ meals there ARE the norm. The restaurant is notorious for diners who draw out their meal stretching a 6:00 pm reservations into fireworks at nine. Which can be another issue with kids - it isn't uncommon here to get seated an hour AFTER your ADR time (it isn't uncommon here to get seated on time, either, though).

I don't know what the mean dining time is but just because others draw out their meals doesn't mean the OP must do so. To eliminate a long wait for a table, book early in the evening and enjoy the dinner rather than worry about fireworks. (not saying that you do Crisi:) )

Our dinners there now are also usually in the 2 hour range. But we order a beverage while deciding on appetizers, etc. When our kids were little, you bet we were ready to order everything at once when we dined at any restaurant.

I would have to disagree. I think 2 hour meals are the norm. I've never eaten there in under 2 hours. If the OP wants to go to Cali Grill because she can maximize her deluxe dining plan then she will be ordering appetizers, entrees, and desserts. That will easily take (and should for the kind of restaurant Cali Grill is) two hours.

On the deluxe plan, it makes it easier not to stress about "maximizing" I think.

It's fun to discuss this with so many reasonable people all of whom's opinions I enjoy reading.:surfweb:

United544
11-10-2008, 10:44 PM
For us, relaxed family meals are an essential part of any vacation. WDW is a great place to dine with children because the servers really know how to pace the meal for little ones. Or at least that was true when our children were small. All in their 20s now.:goodvibes


Us too :) Although it doesn't seem to be the norm, we absolutely love having sit-down, relaxed family meals on our vacations, even if it means taking away from touring the parks.

Thanks for the info on the CG - my wife and I are still deciding on if we're going to do it or not, but from the majority of the posts, it seems like if we decided to, the kids wouldn't be out of place.

Thanks again.