Considering California Grill for dinner and fireworks on arrival night. Plan to begin first day of park tickets the next day. Staying at Art of Animation. Since this restaurant is in the Contemporary Hotel, can we get in for dinner and fireworks without a valid park ticket? Thanks!
Yes, you don’t need park ticket for resort restaurants
You don’t even have to pay for parking, pull up to the right hand parking booths and tell them where you’re going and you can park at the Contemporary by giving your ADR number to the security guy.
This is my favorite way to watch the fireworks on a non-park day! Like @p800aul said, if you’re driving there make sure you have your ADR confirmation # (I’d print the page, or have it up on my phone) ready to give the person in the booth.
If you’re not driving then you’ll take the bus from Art of Animation to Magic Kingdom. The bus will drop you off at the MK bus stops and from there you’ll have 2 options to get to Contemporary…
- If you follow the path around to the left (toward the ferry dock and busses back to hotels) you can take the walkway to Contemporary… it’s a nice walk, and really not too long
- If you go straight ahead (toward the MK security lines) you’ll eventually arrive at the Resort Monorail, which will take you right into the lobby of the Contemporary. This will take you longer (the ride takes awhile, plus waiting for it to show up at the station and you have to actually get to the station), but it’s a nice ride and in a/c if the heat is unbearable for you… I personally love cruising right into the hotel lobby on a train!
I appreciate this info! So we can ride the monorail from near the MK security lines into the Contemporary, also without a park ticket? That sounds fun for our first night!
Yes, anyone can ride a monorail. No ticket ever needed. No room reservation needed. It’s a fun thing to do, at no cost, even if you are just passing through the Orlando area for other reasons but have that urge to set foot on WDW.
When we’ve had dinner at the CG it’s early for the fireworks so we take a trip on the monorail while waiting, we pop into the GF and the Poly arrive back with your check and they allow you back up to the bar and deck. The GF has a band playing Disney favorites get a beer or a coffee and kick back. https://goo.gl/photos/mYDvs2QaUsQNyxAc8
A most enjoyable evening.
Yup… as the other said, sometimes it’s nice to just travel around the MK area resorts just to kill time and it’s totally free. They all have shops and such to browse, and a lounge/bar in the lobby as well. The GF lobby is the most pleasant to just hang out in for a spell because they have the band or the piano man, but I can easily kill 2-3 hours making the complete rounds to look at decorations at Christmas time!
Love the idea if hitting all 3 resorts. Dinner at the Cali Grill, drink at Trader Sam and maybe a dole whip at Pineapple Lanai, Wishes from Narcoossee. Nice. FYI. If you don’t have an ADR yet, they can be challenging at the Cali Grill…especially around Wishes.
Sounds lovely. Thanks!
Thanks. We go in March, so just planning ahead