California Grill Questions

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by DisneyGlider, May 26, 2007.

  1. DisneyGlider

    DisneyGlider Earning My Ears

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    1. The Unofficial Guide says "California Grill - Customers: Hotel guests, locals". Does this mean only guests of the Contemporary and locals with Florida ID cards can eat there?

    2. I believe it requires two TS credits. I've seen a post that said they would be paying out of pocket. Is it better to do that than use two TS credits?

    3. How long prior to the fireworks show should one book reservations for in November?
     
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  3. bicker

    bicker DIS Veteran<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/di

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    Anyone can make reservations to eat at the California Grill.

    I personally feel that we were better off just using our Dining Plan credits at 1TS restaurants -- that using 2TS at CG wouldn't be as good of a value as using 1TS for two meals at other restaurants.

    I'd make reservations for 60-70 minutes prior to Wishes.
     
  4. DisneyGlider

    DisneyGlider Earning My Ears

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    bicker,
    Thanks a lot for your help,
    DisneyGlider
     
  5. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Reserving the right to make jokes out of typos - b

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    1 = Just for general information, though - it means that's the typical California Grill guest, not that the venue is restricted to those people.

    3 = Forty-five minutes to an hour.
     
  6. JimMIA

    JimMIA There's more to life than mice...

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    I agree with this math. However, on our recent trip we used one CS for a dinner at Cosmic Rays and then two TSs at California Grill the next night. With that combo, we came out with a value we were very comfortable with. We'd do it in a heartbeat if we use DDP again.

    Which will be very difficult to get, and Disney Dining doesn't always have the right schedule for Wishes. We couldn't get an ADR 60 minutes prior, but they were using the wrong times, so we would have been disappointed in any event. We were told that if we ate at CG at any time during a particular evening, we were welcome to come back up and view Wishes from the observation deck. DD5 is still a little afraid of fireworks, so we didn't take them up on the offer, and therefore I'm not positive that's accurate.
     
  7. bicker

    bicker DIS Veteran<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/di

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    I suspect it is something that they offer when they can, i.e., when they don't anticipate a problem. Subject to change. So no one should come to expect that they will be extended the same offer you were.
     
  8. JimMIA

    JimMIA There's more to life than mice...

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    Surely you're not implying that a Disney "policy" might be subject to change and/or interpretation??? :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:
     
  9. bicker

    bicker DIS Veteran<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/di

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    Everything is subject to change, of course. Many things are indeed subject to the server's/cashier's interpretation. That's why it is very important to be nice to the CMs.
     
  10. TheyCallMeTiggs

    TheyCallMeTiggs Mouseketeer

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    Yes, if you have had a meal at CG and have a valid receipt, you are entitled to return to CG the same evening to view Wishes on the observation deck.
     
  11. JimMIA

    JimMIA There's more to life than mice...

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    ::yes::
     
  12. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    :sad1: Ours are for 40 minutes before Wishes; think we should try and change them?
     
  13. Golden Rose

    Golden Rose Princess by Choice

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    Make them earlier. Possibly much earlier.

    In our experience, people hogged tables until Wishes and lots of guests with ADRs were left sitting in the waiting area complaining FOR HOURS. Seriously, we were amazed at how many increasingly unhappy people were in the bar/waiting area and we wondered why they hadn't come up with some way of handling it better. Of course, that was a couple of years ago, so maybe now they have.

    Fortunately, we weren't among the unhappy, being among the aforementioned table hoggers. (Ok, so we ordered many courses in order to make sure we weren't being too obnoxious about it... we didn't even have our desserts by the time wishes started.) But the waiters were being super nice to those already seated; we heard them encourage several people to stay and relax since Wishes would start in half an hour or so... (I was astonished to hear them say that when the manager was handling complaints from people who had reservations for an hour earlier.)

    For our upcoming trip, we made our reservations for early - 6:10, I believe. We hope to have a very leisurely dinner and finish up just in time to watch the fireworks and go.

    But if it is still run the way it was then, and I can't believe that it has changed so much that cast members are kicking people out of their tables because they have been there two hours or so, I'd make sure you had a reservation for a minimum of an hour and a bit before Wishes.
     
  14. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    Yikes, I am on hold with dining now...............I can change my 7:20 for a 5:50. Think if I slip the server a $20 they would be okay with us sitting there? It would be in addition to the 18% gratuity.
     
  15. Golden Rose

    Golden Rose Princess by Choice

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    If things haven't changed much in the last couple of years (someone who has been more recently could answer that), that is definitely what I would do. We ordered a lot of food, and I think my husband ordered a cocktail or wine to start off the evening (I was pregnant and wasn't drinking on that trip)... I know we had some sort of sushi appetizer, a flatbread, maybe another course of either soup or salad, entrees, and a shared dessert. Yes, we were sort of intentionally dragging out the evening to be there for fireworks, but they weren't rushing us along AT ALL. We had planned to eat our dessert and then watch fireworks and go, but they hadn't even brought out the dessert before the music keyed up and everyone went out on the balcony, so we actually couldn't even immediately free up a table for the very unhappy patrons waiting to be seated. We left a large tip on a large bill.
     
  16. DisneyGlider

    DisneyGlider Earning My Ears

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    :) :) :)


    Wow, they let people sit for about 2 hours to eat? I never had a dinner (other than Chinese 9 course dinners) that took more than 1.5 hours to eat and that's stretching it. What does one drink and eat to stretch it to 2 hours? (or 1hr, 50min+ in your case starting at 6:10.)

    We need to learn how to do that .... :ssst: :stir: :flower:
     
  17. bicker

    bicker DIS Veteran<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/di

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    I've read that one of the restaurants (was it Rose and Crown?) is now limiting how long you can sit and eat dinner -- either two or three hours. I suspect/hope that they'd extend that practice to all restaurants that have obligations to other diners.
     
  18. Golden Rose

    Golden Rose Princess by Choice

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    We'd have been over a two hour limit, not over a three hour one when we did it a couple of years ago. (And we were far from the only table doing it...) I think our reservation was for 6:30 then, actually.

    As for what we had, I'm not 100% sure since it was 2 and a bit years ago. Attempting to recreate from the current menu, since some things are definitely familiar...

    1-
    DH : some drink (wine or cocktail) while we looked at the menus

    2-
    DH: a sushi or sashimi platter - I think yellowfin tuna three ways
    me: no clue; I wasn't eating much sushi during the pregnancy, not sure if I snuck some that night; probably a salad

    3-
    shared: flatbread - probably triple cheese with onions

    4-
    DH: something salady
    me: goat cheese ravioli

    5-
    DH: Grilled Pork Tenderloin
    me: nothing looks right on current menu; maybe I had a special?

    6-
    shared: something chocolate; again nothing looks right on current menu


    So six courses if you include a drink as a course, five if you don't. Easy to stretch into hours... you don't actually have any choice about it. I will add, they were completely full, and they weren't quick to bring out the food; we had some periods of waiting with nothing in front of us. (I really noticed; I was ravenous during the pregnancy.) It was A LOT of food, but I was pregnant and my husband is a big guy.

    I'm actually not sure what we're going to do this time. We're traveling with my mom, who hates long, drawn out meals, and our DS - age 2. We do have lots of sit down meals with him (1.5 hour brunch with him this morning, actually), and he's usually extremely good for about 45 minutes to an hour, then he wants to wander around or try color the tablecloth because by then he is bored with whatever coloring page we provided him with.

    We have a early ADRs planned for every single night we're going to be there, because what we don't want to happen is to get caught behind any collection of slow tables and end up hungry. Neither my mom nor I am fun to be around when we're hungry. Seriously.

    Anyway, we're actually planning on playing the California Grill meal by ear. If we finish early, we finish early, and just plan on coming back for the fireworks. If we're lingering over multiple courses, which DH and I really like to do, we'll still be around for fireworks.
     
  19. jonkatony

    jonkatony DIS Veteran

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    We have booked a table for 9pm are I am right in thinking we will be waiting over an hour to be seated? Surely no restaurant keeps its guests waiting this long everytime :mad:
     
  20. Mrs Doubtfire

    Mrs Doubtfire DIS Veteran

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    We ate on Christmas Day & our server delayed our meal so we could watch wishes:woohoo: We were there for nearly 3 hours in the end!!
     
  21. Golden Rose

    Golden Rose Princess by Choice

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    jonkatony, I really don't know. It depends on when Wishes is that night, and if their policies have changed since end of 2004. There was a max exodus after the fireworks, and lots of people were seated almost immediately after the show ended. The guests kept waiting for an hour plus were, in many cases, seriously unhappy. And there were many cases of people kept waiting.

    We heard multiple people complaining to the someone I assume was a manager, and they were always reminded that Priority Seating is NOT a reservation and your time is not gauranteed, it just gaurantees you the next available table after other people with earlier Priority Seating "reservations." It was such a madhouse that DH and I couldn't believe that it could be standard, but our waiter said something like "oh, it's that way almost every night" when we commented.

    I can't believe a restaurant could continue to operate that way, with such a high percentage of really unhappy waiting guests, but I don't really know how they could fix it except to make sure waiters bring food out really fast and don't encourage people to stay at all. And waiters that night were encouraging people to linger, which does seem counter-productive. You make some guests really, really happy, and you really piss others off. Maybe the DDP helps since people sticking to it won't be tempted to have as many courses? They could get people in and out in less than an hour with only three courses, and most people wouldn't feel right about staying at a table for an hour after they have finished. (I know we wouldn't have... which was part of why we ordered so much food!)


    We will be on DDP on our upcoming trip, but we're still planning on ordering multiple courses... we'll just pay OOP.
     

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