Top 10 things to do in Florida

1. Watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from the viewing platform at The Contemporary

If you love Disney, fireworks, good food and wine – this is one addition you must make to your bucket list.

To make it extra special, book this as your evening meal for your last night before you fly home. Nothing else will compare.

California Grill is a restaurant on the top (16th) floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It opened on 15th May 1995. The menu changes regularly with fresh, locally-sourced produce. The wine selection rivals that of any supermarket.

The wine selection at Disney’s California Grill restaurant rivals that of any supermarket or wine store.

That alone would be enough to get my recommendation, but the secret to the California Grill is its viewing platform. Anyone dining in the restaurant is free to use it to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks show (Happily Ever After) from high above the park.

The soundtrack to the show is even played through speakers on the platform and throughout the Contemporary. It’s just like being there, but without the crowds!

The staff even stop serving food while the show is on so you don’t come back to a table of cold food!

I’m not gonna lie – it ain’t cheap. A glass of wine will set you back about $20. Budget for around $100-$150 per person if you have 3 courses and a couple of drinks each.

The best time to book California Grill is as early as possible – it fills up quickly. You can book up to 6 months before your holiday.

If you want to catch the fireworks, I recommend reserving your table between an hour to 1 hour and a half before the show starts (9pm or 10pm, depending on the season.) This gives you time to get seated, get a drink and order your food before the show, leaving you free to enjoy your meal afterward.

Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After fireworks show, as viewed from the viewing platform at the California Grill restaurant. Cinderella’s castle is visible in the bottom-left of the picture, Space Mountain at the bottom-right.

That’s my list. Is there something on yours that I’ve missed?

Leave me a comment below!


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  • Reply

    Elizabeth says

    1st July 2018 at 12:05 pm

    There are dozens more things but then it’s what makes you happy that matters. The Keys, The Everglades, Anna Maria Island on the beautiful Gulf Coast, St Augustine, Leu Gardens near downtown Orlando. I won’t go on but that’s why I will be there for four months this year.

    • Reply

      Andy Heathershaw says

      1st July 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Absolutely! There’s loads more I’d like to explore of the state that I haven’t experienced or can write about yet.

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