California Grill and Fireworks

I have a 5:15 pm reservation for California Grill and I have a few questions from those more experienced:

  1. Are we still allowed to return to the restaurant to watch the fireworks if our dinner reservation is for a MNSSHP date and we do NOT have event tickets? Is that firework show different from the “traditional” Enchantment firework show?

  2. I imagine we will have about 2 hours to fill between dinner and the fireworks. What time should we return to California Grill (I think the first show that night is 9:30 pm)?

  3. On this particular date we were NOT planning to go into MK (it’s our HS day). Are we allowed to take the monorail from the Contemporary to the other two hotels - Grand Floridian and Polynesian to explore the hotel a bit in between dinner and the show: thinking some pretty photos in the lobby, nothing crazy.

  4. I also have a 5:15 reservation the day before, which is a MK day for us, but with a later arrival (college tour in the morning). Would you go to MK around 3 pm - go to dinner for 5:15 - return to MK after dinner - return to California Grill for fireworks, instead of what I proposed above? Seems like a lot of back and forth and burning a park ticket for not that much time in the park (we have a full MK day scheduled for earlier in the week), but would love to hear thoughts.


Yes! Anyone can ride the various forms of Disney transportation, no matter where you are staying or going to. It’s very common to ride the monorail around to the various hotels to look at them, to wander around, or to eat/drink/shop there.

Yes, keep your receipt from dinner to return. The MNSSHP fireworks are special event fireworks and are not to be missed!

Thank you. That is very helpful.

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@PrincipalTinker - thank you so much. That is very helpful. I’m thinking we will stay in MK on Wednesday for the Enchantment fireworks (with all the crowds!) and then have dinner at CG on Thursday and return for the MNSSHP fireworks show - best of both worlds.

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Be liberal with your return time to CG:

  • All guest access to CG is via an express elevator

  • There is a CM at the elevator to moderate who gets access to the elevator and guests with a current ADR get priority

  • Like any other ride at WDW the capacity is limited and the line for “viewers” can get rather long

Thank you so much for this advice! If the show starts at 9:30 pm I’m thinking an hour earlier would probably be good?

That should be good. Don’t be intimidated if you see an extremely long line when you arrive at the checkin. They will run full elevators of returning guests pretty consistently to get everyone up in time.