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Old 01-15-2014, 03:24 PM   #1
Alexsandra
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California Grill with young Children?

I booked California Grill for my upcoming trip in February on my Magic Kingdom day. I have an early reservation for 5:20. I have two young boys, aged 3 and 7. Since I ate at CG last trip in September alone with my husband, I liked the view so much I thought the kids would like to see it. My children are not picky eaters and like eating finer foods so I thought why not. However, now, I am having second thoughts. With two young boys maybe this is not an ideal place to eat. I don't want my kids upsetting some other clients who want to have a romantic dinner.Plus it is an expensive restaurant so should I just cancel and opt for a more family oriented restaurant? Plus I would have to head back to the resort to get changed to respect the dress code.
What do you think?
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:26 PM   #2
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That place is going to be full of children, especially that early. If anybody is trying to have a romantic meal at 5:20, if it's not your kids it will be someone else's. Besides, it is not a quiet restaurant.

If you don't like the price, then that is another thing.

Not sure why you'd have to change to meet the dress code unless you're going to have bathing suits or torn clothing on.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:37 PM   #3
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My friends just did this CG with their Grandkids, and things did not work out very well. She said that the server was not child friendly at all, and that service was super slow, and that the kids did not want anything to eat on the menu. The server was put out by the fact that they request their meals without the sauce and such. Their ADR was at 6:30 they arrived early and they were seated right away, and they were still there at 8:00 when MK fireworks started, they went out on the walkway to watch, the server brought the dessert, and the kids ice cream was all but melted. The server was put out by the fact they wanted frozen ice cream. Also I should say that the youngest fell asleep before the entrée was delivered.

For me when my DD's where that age we would choose something fun for them, Chef Mickeys, Crystal Palace, My DD's really loved Coral Reef at this age and they had something to do and see while we were at dinner.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:11 PM   #4
Donna in NJ
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My husband and I have no children but when we go to Disney we know that all restaurant we go to ( can't afford V&A ) will have children. To me Disney is not Disney without little ones. One of the cutest thing we have ever seen at Disney was a little girl at the next table at CG. She could not have been older than 3 .She sat so nice with her parents trying differant foods off their plates with chopsticks. They put her drink in a little teacup and she was a perfect princess. If your kids can sit long enough for you and them to enjoy your meal I would say California Grill is a wonderful choice. If you, your husband and kids will be stressed at sitting for a long meal and not enjoy it I would Change the ADR. I feel a parent is the only one who knows if it is too much for their family. The fact that you are asking says to me you are not the type to let your boys run wild screaming and kicking people( I have seen this while parents pretend not to notice). Have a wonderful trip.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:28 PM   #5
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Although I usually do adult only dining, I have taken my grandchildren on 2 WDW vacations and we dined at many signatures. Ca Grill is one of the most child friendly signatures at WDW. Most of the servers are used to dealing with young diners. If your children are not picky and they are used to sitting quietly for 60-90 minutes, you shouldn't avoid the signatures at WDW. Most people dining at that early time will be families with children.

As far as dress code, there isn't much of one. For almost everyone, you could go straight from the park to the restaurant. It would only be if you personally are uncomfortable in park attire that you would need to change.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:34 PM   #6
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DH and i do not have children either and we love CG. We never mind children there as long as they are well behaved. We received a free dessert a couple of years ago because of the table next to us....CG .....it was awful behavior...including the adults.

But I think the kids would get a kick out of the sunset and FW. So I would eat and finish the meal and then leave, explore the CR and then go back up to watch the FW. They will let you do that...so you are not stuck at the table til 9p.m.

DH wears khakis and I wear something sparkly but nothing special. But that's just me. I expect to see comfy clothes at CG.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:36 PM   #7
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:50 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your input. I am relieved to hear that it is child friendly. My kids are used to eating out in nice restaurants. Here, in Montreal, we are big on restaurants (it's the European influence) I though it had a fancy dress code but if I can go in park attire that eliminates another one of my concerns. The price tag was another one of my concerns only because I don't want to waste that much on a meal my family won't enjoy however I think my kids will like seeing the sunset onto magic kingdom. I think I might just keep my reservation after all
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:41 PM   #9
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We have eaten at CG twice with our 4 young children (9 months, 3, 5, and 7 the first time and 8, 6, 4 and 17 months the 2nd) and really enjoyed it both times. We ate early both times because that's when our kids are used to eating but I'm sure there are kids there all night. The first time our younger 2 had fallen asleep in our double stroller and they were very accommodating and let us bring it in so they could keep sleeping. Our server on our 2nd visit was Jenny and she was fantastic. She was great with the kids. CG was closed for refurb last time we were there but we are looking forward to our ADR there in May.

We have eaten at many signatures with our 4 and our meals have never taken too long. I think the servers can tell that we aren't able to enjoy a long, leisurely meal with 4 kids!
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:47 AM   #10
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We have taken DD there many, many times and never had a bad server We always have appys, entrée and dessert and are usually out of there in 1.5 hours. I think they move a little faster when you have kids. DD always gets the kids steak and rice crispy sushi for dessert. DD brings her ds (no sound) to play while waiting. They always bring out a dish of goldfish for DD when we get there. We always eat at 5:30pm and there are plenty of well behaved kids and few precious ones. I particularly enjoyed the one that crawled around my feet for a while before lying on the floor beside me and taking a nap. DD kept asking why that kid was sleeping on the floor Besides the nasty aspect of a child laying on a floor in a public restaurant I was a bit worried the server would trip on him. But the parents ignored him and so did the staff DH said he'd rather step over him than listen to him scream the whole meal
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:45 AM   #11
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We ate at CG last Monday, January 5th. We enjoyed our meal but I think you should be prepared for 90 minutes plus experience. We had reservations at approximately 5:50 p.m. and didn't finish until around 8:30 p.m. Our server informed us that this would be a leisurely meal so we could enjoy the fireworks at 8:00 p.m. It may help to mention to the server that you don't want to linger unnecessarily because of the children. But, that is up to you and you may want to have a slower paced meal.

As far as attire, I wouldn't worry too much about what you are wearing. We saw a little bit of everything. As we were eating we saw a young child (around 3 or 4) walk by in pajamas with the feet attached. My son and I just looked at each other and said, "does he have pj's on"? It was kind of cute but surprising that a child who can walk around was wearing them at a signature restaurant. Also, we were seated right by the walkway to view the fireworks and one father was playing ninja with his son while we were eating. Over the years, I just expect that you are going to have a pretty casual dining experience even at the signatures. But, it just seems weird to pay $60 - $75 for some entrees and have the atmosphere be so laid back.

Even with the above observations, CG was one of our favorite meals this trip. It wasn't the best food we ate but the overall experience was really enjoyable. We had a good server, nice table by the window and viewing the fireworks was fun.
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:03 PM   #12
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I have eaten here for years and it is my favorite restaurant. I used to go before i had kids and now i have a 7yo DD that this is her favorite restaurant
she loves the sushi dessert. We were there in December and there was a larger group next to us at a big round table and these kids were horrible up and down and kept opening and closing the door to the outside and running all the way to the end and screaming and then opening the door, and you know what the parents did ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING. so we tried to ignore it and enjoy the meal and we did so it wont deter me from going there i love it and so does the rest of my family
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:44 AM   #13
Alexsandra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticdisneylovers View Post
We have taken DD there many, many times and never had a bad server We always have appys, entrée and dessert and are usually out of there in 1.5 hours. I think they move a little faster when you have kids. DD always gets the kids steak and rice crispy sushi for dessert. DD brings her ds (no sound) to play while waiting. They always bring out a dish of goldfish for DD when we get there. We always eat at 5:30pm and there are plenty of well behaved kids and few precious ones. I particularly enjoyed the one that crawled around my feet for a while before lying on the floor beside me and taking a nap. DD kept asking why that kid was sleeping on the floor Besides the nasty aspect of a child laying on a floor in a public restaurant I was a bit worried the server would trip on him. But the parents ignored him and so did the staff DH said he'd rather step over him than listen to him scream the whole meal
Whaaaat?! I swear, sometimes I wonder why people like this even bother having kids!
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:30 PM   #14
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I think all the disney restaurants (except v&a obviously) are fine for kids that age. My 4 year old has been to most of the signature restaurants in disney and he has generally been fine. we have had a moment or two where he's been cranky right before the meal but settles down once he eats. I understand not wanting to ruin anyone elses night but there will be plenty of children there and unless your kids get out of hand there shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:44 AM   #15
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The place is a madhouse, don't worry.
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