California Grill: Here and There

:DIStherapyWe have a very special Guest today! Please give a warm welcome to our friend Donna! Donna is a wife, mom, physical therapist and blogger from the almost year-old blog :DISTherapy.  She is also a non-profit caretaker for special needs causes and participates in running events that benefit the same. You can find Donna aboard Magical Blogorail Yellow with us, at WDW FanZone and at Babes in Disneyland. She is also hosting 20 Days to 20 Years, a countdown to celebrating Disneyland Resort Paris’ 20th anniversary. We’ll be joining her to celebrate the year 2010 next week.

Most Disney fans I know simply love the California Grill experience at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. From the stellar view of the Magic Kingdom (and its fireworks if your timing is right), to the innovative California-inspired menu to the open stage kitchen, dining atop the Contemporary Resort is certainly an event unto itself. And so, during our trip research last spring, we were quite excited to read that Disneyland Paris had its own version of this Disney World institution. On our first night in Paris, we simply had to try the California Grill there.

Located in the deluxe Disneyland Hotel, this upscale restaurant is also known for its view.  Though its perch is not nearly as high as the Florida cousin (4th floor vs. 15th floor), it is situated on the threshold of Main Street, U.S.A., and has a direct vista of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

California Grill Disneyland Paris Distherapy
California Grill Disneyland Paris Distherapy

Unfortunately, we were not visiting during the fireworks season (last year, the nightly fireworks ran from the end of June through the end of August). I imagine in high season you would have a prime seat for that show.

Most Americans are well familiar with the Wolfgang Puck style that the Orlando version is fashioned after; its sleek, minimalist appearance certainly fits in well with its Contemporary home. The same could be said for the European equivalent; the Victorian styling and pastel appointments are in keeping with the design of the Disneyland Hotel, which most closely resembles the Grand Floridian Resort.

California Grill Disneyland Paris Distherapy

Perhaps you can spot the glass-enclosed show kitchen at the far end of the dining room.  Few tables have a unobstructed view of these chefs in action, which is quite different from the wide-open spectacle that U.S. Disney Guests are familiar with.  Missing is the Chef’s Counter seating and a bar. While you might go to the Contemporary’s California Grill solely for its cocktail lounge and panorama, in Paris you would need to find a seat in the Disneyland Hotel’s Cafe Fantasia. Regrettably, this lounge’s view is limited to the Resort gardens.

Bon Appetit! The award winning Orlando restaurant features a Pan-Asian California fusion menu, with both sushi and flatbread offerings. Zagat lists the average per person total dinner charge here as $57. In France, as you might expect (and want), there is a decidedly more Parisian flair to their haute cuisine.  

My teen son had the Kobe California Burger and fries for 37 euros-that was $56 this past June-before a soda, appetizer and dessert. The food was delicious, the service was fair, but the bill was tre expensive. To be fair, the dollar to euro exchange rate was not in our favor, which made the final tally difficult to swallow. Would we have passed up the chance to dine there? Never! Will we go back? Perhaps; we would look for the prix-fixe menu and might share a course.

We are grateful that we have sampled the California Grill here and there, and wouldn’t change a thing.  Vive la difference!

I’ve enjoyed each of Jodi’s Disneyland Paris posts this month.  I just can’t get enough, and I appreciate the chance to join her here.  [Thank you so much, Donna!]

Today’s Takeaway:
The value of a currency differs around the globe. Play shop today. Have one child man the register and siblings do some shopping. Use this handy conversion calculator to determine how much money is due in EuroDollars.

Here’s a sample grocery list in American dollars (at Texas prices):
1 gallon milk                            $  1.99
1 dozen organic eggs               $  3.99
Land ‘o Lakes Butter               $  1.99
1 loaf bread                             $  2.29
Oscar Meyer bologna              $  3.99
Lays Potato Chips                   $  3.00
2.16 lb bananas ($.49/lb)         $  1.06
3 Granny Smith apples (3/$1)   $  1.00

Add your own items to the list. And don’t forget to purchase your 1 Day/1 Park Disneyland Resort Paris tickets! Adults (age 12+) $81 and children (age 3-11) $73.

SKILL LEVEL: Elementary
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Business / Economics

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  • :DISTherapy

    Thanks for having me Jodi- Boy, I could have used this conversion lesson last summer!!