Special Dining Events with Reserved Viewing for Shows

UPDATED October 25,  2016

There are all sorts of special events at Disneyland, including those that I think are worth the extra money. And, I almost always think dining with characters is worth the money.

Dining in Disneyland and dining in California Adventure can be fun on many levels.

But, did you know there are even more opportunities for you to indulge? Let’s look at a few options that include a special meal and then reserved viewing at two very popular shows.

Before we get started, let me make an important note: Disneyland and California Adventure shows are outdoors. While it’s rare for World of Color and Paint the Night to be cancelled all together, Disneyland Forever Fireworks are cancelled quite frequently due to high winds. Because of this, I recommend committing your Disneyland Paint the Night reservation to early on in your visit. Although the fireworks are not technically part of the package, staying in the reserved viewing area for the fireworks is certainly a bonus and part of what I think makes these options a great value. If the fireworks are cancelled the night of your reservation, that’s unfortunate. But, you can try again on another night during your visit and you already have the parade crossed off your list.

OK, to the special dining event options:


photo credit

World of Color Dining Package (California Adventure)

****Reservations can be made online or by calling (714) 781-SHOW (7469).

The World of Color Dining Package includes three locations at California Adventure for your actual meal. You will choose one:

  • Ariel’s Grotto – Dine inside or outside in the grotto. (Note: Characters, while at breakfast and lunch here, do not attend this dinner.) Pricing includes $48.58 for adults and $26.98 for children ages 3 to 9. *The WOC Dining option is only available for dinner at this location.
  • Wine Country Trattoria – This location boasts a Napa Valley or Tuscan feel to it with matching culinary options and wine selections offered at an additional price. Pricing includes $34.55 for adults and $22.66 for children ages 3 to 9 (for lunch). Dinner pricing includes $48.58 for adults and $26.98 for children ages 3 to 9.
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant – Seafood, meat and vegetarian options are most popular here, as is the ambiance of old Hollywood glamour. Pricing includes $44.29 for adults and $23.76 for children ages 3 to 9 (for lunch). Dinner pricing includes $66.96 for adults and $27.01 for children ages 3 to 9.

***I have done all three of these dining experiences. Check out the photos and notes below on each.

 Details of the dining package include:

  • Reserved World of Color viewing areas (still standing room only).
  • After payment of your meal, your server will give you your Dining Package Seating Voucher and will direct you where you’ll sit and when to arrive.
  • Phone reservations for dining packages may be made 60 days in advance 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily (Pacific Time). Please call (714) 781-DINE (3463).
  • If weather prevents the World of Color show, no refunds are given.
  • Check out this page for more details such as cancellation policies and more.

Timing for World of Color Shows

*When two World of Color shows are scheduled for the evening, use these parameters to select the early (9:00pm) or later (10:15pm) show:

  • For Ariel’s Grotto, your dining reservation must be made between 5:30 and 6:30pm for the earlier show. Anything after will be assigned to the later show.
  • For Wine Country Trattoria, lunch is always assigned to the earlier show. For dinner, be sure to schedule between 4:00pm and 6:30pm for the earlier show. Anything after will be assigned to the later show.
  • For Carthay Circle, you can choose which show if you dine during lunch. For dinner, be sure to schedule between 4:00pm and 6:30pm for the earlier show. Anything after will be assigned to the later show. Also, note: The Carthay Circle dining experience should be allotted at least 1.5 hours to fully appreciate the experience.

***There may be some variation on this, so call Disney Dining to confirm or if you have any questions.

Bonus Tip:

If you don’t mind eating late, inquire as to when the Disneyland Forever fireworks go off at Disneyland and plan your dinner WOC Carthay Circle dining experience exactly 1.5 hours prior to it and request patio seating. You’ll be able to enjoy your lovely meal and then see the fireworks from the patio, where Carthay Circle plays the music that accompanies the fireworks. Then, be sure to make your World of Color show time!

Here are some photos from my Carthay Circle Dining experience:

The menu:

(These change seasonally and sometimes without notice, so this image is here just to give you an idea of what to expect.)


***This menu can change seasonally.

We sat outside on the patio – per special request – and it was lovely. If you want patio seating, make this clear in your online reservation. Then, swing by the restaurant during the day sometime so that they know to seat you there, too.



There are lovely options inside, too. The restaurant is first class. Seriously. The bathrooms are nicer than my house.


We both started with the Spanish Roasted Tomato Broth accented with Chorizo.


I had the Grilled Angus New York. It was heavenly.


My date had the Thick Cut Pork Chop. He loved it.


 We each chose a different dessert so we could sample them both.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Bar:

(We pronounced it Mouse Bar. Just to be annoying.)


Tahitian Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee Tart.


The meal was divine. And, then the real fun started. From the balcony, you can watch the Disneyland Forever Firework show. Carthay Circle Restaurant plays the music that accompanies the shows. You can even see Tinker Bella and Nemo all the way from here!

Again, in order to make this arrangement, I suggest looking at the entertainment schedule and confirming that your timing will work. Our dinner reservation was at 8:00pm. A dining experience here lasts around 1.5 hours, so we were just about finished when the 9:3opm fireworks began. All the diners on the patio stood up to watch the show. It was awesome.

Then, we hustled over to get in place for the 10:15pm World of Color show.

Throughout the year, the number of shows each night, as well as the timing, will change. So, be sure to call in or be super confident about the entertainment schedule if you’re planning on merging your dining with the fireworks.



Show time!


We were escorted down this path. Felt a little like the red carpet since we were headed to such a premier viewing area.




Excellent view.


Here are some photos from my Ariel’s Grotto Dining experience:




We chose to dine outside, but can you choose indoors, too.


Bread to start.


I chose the clam chowder and it was delicious.


Grilled lobster and tri-tip for me.


My friend, Tyler, had the pork chops.


Dessert was lovely! We each got this sampler plate. Creme Brulee, a smores treat and a chocolate covered strawberry.


Here is the ticket you will receive after paying your bill.


Enter here to find your reserved viewing spot. Ariel’s Grotto and Wine Country Trattoria share a viewing spot, so arrive early to set up where you want.


We chose right by the water. This is a ‘wet’ zone, but we barely felt the mist. And, we got front row!

Here are some photos from my Wine Country Trattoria Dining experience:





Bread for the table and salad to start.


I believe this was a Tuscan Vegetable Soup.


I had the potato gnocchi. It was divine.


My friend had the Tuscan salad with sauteed shrimp.


And, another friend had the braised beef ravioli. I loved everyone of these dishes.


The ticket you will receive after your meal.

****I didn’t note the viewing area or entry because it’s the exact same as can be seen above for Ariel’s Grotto. They share a reserved viewing area for World of Color. Scroll up to see those photos.

Here is where you’ll stand with the reserved viewing:

(preferred dining section is in green)


 photo credit

World of Color Dessert Party (California Adventure)

The WOC Dessert Party is unlike any of the dining packages because it provides actual seating. It costs $79 per person, adult or child, and Annual Passholder discounts do not apply. This is also the only dining experience that must be pre-paid in full. This is also technically a “shared seating” event, however, most tables are set up in 2s or 4s, so I doubt sharing will be much of an issue.

An hour prior to showtime, find the sign in the photo, below, across from Ariel’s Undersea Adventure on Paradise Pier.


The line will form quickly. And, although there is seating for everyone who bought a ticket, I would get there early enough to request a bar table, rather than a regular height table. The line looks like this:


Since you don’t have printed tickets like you receive at a dining event, the cast member will confirm your reservation before allowing you in. Have the printed confirmation or email readily available on your phone and your ID out, too. Once confirmed, you’ll receive a paper bracelet to allow you into the seating area. This will also allow you to exit and re-enter if you need to use the restroom. (The closest restroom is toward Grizzly River Rapids, to the right.)

The tables to choose from can be seen in the photo, below. I recommend the bar level, but kids may do better at the standard size since those tables include regular metal chairs instead of director’s barstools.

You’ll see the show fine from either option.


Here is your view and here is where I was sold on this package. Sitting after a long day was lovely, too.


Each table is brought a bread basket to share and then everyone gets his or her own dessert plate. And, it’s plentiful!



You’ll receive up to 2 drinks – with a few choices with and without alcohol. These drinks need to be enjoyed or at least ordered prior to showtime. Once the show starts, the cast members are sparse so that they’re not blocking the view. They seemed very flexible, too, on what you ordered. I ordered 2 glasses of champagne and then got hot chocolate, too.

And, here is the show. I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would. It’s pricey, but a nice indulgence.


Paint the Night Dining Package (Disneyland)

***Paint the Night ended its scheduled run for the 60th celebration on September 5, 2016. It’s scheduled to return in limited release during the 2016 Disney Holidays season. No word yet on if these packages will be offered, but the information will remain here until we know more. Fingers crossed they come back!

****Reservations can be made online or by calling (714) 781-SHOW (7469).

The Paint the Night Dining Packages include two entirely different experiences. Both have advantages and two very different price tags. Check them out.

I’ve enjoyed both options and recommend both of them. Blue Bayou is a ‘fancy’ dinner and the parade viewing on Main Street is great. Aladdin’s Oasis is way more laid back and the parade viewing near it’s a small world is good, too, and a perfect fit for families.

If the park is hosting two Paint the Night Parades during your visit, the schedule typically includes matching lunch reservations (at either location) to the earlier parade and dinner reservations (at either location) to the later parade. Check the entertainment schedule to confirm that the time that matches your lunch or dinner works for your crew. Not all kids will make it to the later parade, so you might consider lunch. Also, fireworks only happen after the first parade. Although fireworks are not technically part of the Paint the Night dining package, it’s definitely a bonus to see them after the parade since you’re already set up. With that being said, the later parade is usually much lower in crowds, so that could appeal to many people as well.

Blue Bayou

This is a premier dining experience with table service and a cost to match. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Check out the photos for what you can expect from the meal:




Surf and Turf:




And, from the parade experience:

You’ll receive this ticket at the end of your meal after paying the bill.


About an hour prior to showtime, arrive near the Main Street Train Station to claim your spot. The ticket you receive will suggest only 30 minutes, but people will be lined up before that. Originally, this location was on Main, near Carnation Cafe. As of early April 2016, it changed to near the train station. Here are photos of the new location:



It stretches from just beyond the sides of each of those sets of trash cans, up to the curb and then back toward the flag pole. I’ve heard that this area has been easier to control – meaning, fewer non-ticket holders are sneaking in – because there is less traffic here than on busy Main in front of Carnation Cafe.


Here is the view from the back.


If you choose this location and want to see fireworks shortly after, move toward the flag pole and then toward Main Street as quickly as you can after the Sorcerer Mickey float goes by. Projections that accompany the Disneyland Forever Fireworks show will be visible on Main Street and on the castle, but not the train station. So, you’ll want to get a better view.


Aladdin’s Oasis On-the-Go

This more budget-friendly option is ideal for big families and especially those with young children. Both your dining location and parade spot leave lots of room for kids to run around and you won’t stress about how their behavior is affecting those around you.

First, the menu:


You may take your food to go or you may stay and dine at the Aladdin’s Oasis location. The seating area is gorgeous, has its own companion bathroom and is rarely busy at all.



If you choose to leave with your food, it’s packed to go with utensils, napkins, salad dressing, and butter for your bread. Drink of your choice is also included.


And, if you choose to stay, you can just open up your meal and dine on site. I had the vegetable lasagna and it was really good. Cold, crisp salad and warm lasagna.


Here is what the mac-n-cheese kids’ meal looks like:


When you pay for your meal, you’ll be given your tickets for the parade viewing spot that evening.


About an hour prior to your parade time, arrive near it’s a small world to claim a spot.


If there is one parade, it should start very close to you near it’s a small world and end in Town Center close to the entrance of the park. Because you’ll see the beginning of the parade, there will be about a 20 minute break between the parade and fireworks. I recommend staying in the same location for fireworks, but if you prefer to see the castle, you’ll have time to move over there.

If you stay for the fireworks, the projections that accompany the fireworks will be seen on the facade of the ride it’s a small world.

Here is the area behind the reserved section that I think is wonderful for children to run around in. My kids played here for 30 minutes before the parade started. It was perfect.


And, here is your view of the fireworks. You can see the projections on it’s a small world and then how the fireworks are set just to the left.


Frozen Carthay Circle Lunch 

****Reservations can be made online or by calling (714) 781-SHOW (7469).

The Frozen Carthay Circle Lunch is lovely.

The Lunch is $99 per adult and would be $79 for kids. That included lunch and preferred seating at Frozen Live at the Hyperion.


I enjoyed the experience a few days after it became available. Check out my Facebook post for lots more details, including information on the free Carthay Circle Restaurant Tour that is available every day at 10:30am.

Take a look at the Carthay Circle Lunch:

Adults Menu


Kid Menu:


The adult meal was lovely. We started with bread and butter:


Act One – “Stone Trolls” = Norwegian Meatballs, Baby Portobello Mushrooms and a Lingonberry Jam.


Act Two – Summer Yellow Tomato “Sopa De Ajo” and Carthay Circle Citrus Salad.


Main Act – My sister had the Herb Crusted Petite Filet of Angus Beef with Blue Cheese Risotto, Spinach and Wild Mushrooms.


I had the Roasted Breast of Chicken with Heirloom Tomatoes and Avacado with Poblano-Lime Vinaigrette.


Dessert is the same for everyone. It included two cream puffs, chocolate, white chocolate and more. It was really decadent




You’ll receive a wrist band and lanyard with collectible pin before entering the actual Frozen Live show that looks like this:


For the preferred seating option, I recommend sitting dead center in the first row of the tiered section. Front row is lots of fun, too, but you’ll see more in the tiered section because projections are shown onto the curtains that flank the stage and characters walk up and down the aisle, too.


Here is my sister walking to the place we sat:


Enjoy the show!

Some Tips:

  • If you’re considering a meal at any of these restaurants, I highly recommend tying in the show with your experience. If you’re already going to spend the money on one of these pricier meals, add the show to get the most out of your money. The experience is worth it.
  • Both locations for Paint the Night have advantages. With Blue Bayou, the food is more upscale and the dining experience is fancier. The viewing area is good for the parade, but many people don’t love that you’re set so far back on Main Street to see the fireworks. As I advised earlier, move onto Main immediately after the parade to make that situation better. The Blue Bayou option is great for older kids and adults. I prefer it’s a small world for families with young children because it’s far less busy, the kids have room to run around prior to the show, bathrooms are easily accessible and it’s all around more family friendly.
  • Even with reserved seating, you’ll want to arrive early to get the best of the reserved seating. All of these indulgences are popular. I recommend arriving early – an hour prior.


Tickets I recommend (read why)
Enter code DLRPS at checkout to save an additional $2 on each ticket.


  1. My family and I would just like to thank you so much for all your insight! I used your site for all my Disneyland planning for our trip last month. We made a reservation for the 10 of us at Aladdin’s Oasis and my goodness was it absolutely worth it. We made reservations for 1:00pm and we were over an hour late! But it was not a problem and they were happy to accommodate our group and take our orders and get us in. Aladdin and Genie were right near the entrance and the kids took pictures as we went into the outside seating area to get our table. It was a very warm summer day but we had large table in the shade away from the crowds and it was indeed an oasis. The food came quickly and we all enjoyed our meals. There are few options but even our pickiest little eater finished his Mac and cheese with roll. It was nice to eat something besides all the delicious junk food we continued to eat the rest of the day after the oasis! Genie and Aladdin were in and out of the restaurant and were so fun to interact with while we ate with the family. So around 7:00pm we made our way to It’s a Small World. We rode the ride and while half the group went into ToonTown, we went to the reserved Paint the Night parade area. They let us in at 7:50pm and we claimed our spots right at the front near the bricks and waited for the rest of our group. The parade was amazing! The area was spacious, no crowding. It was worth it, 100%! We stayed in the same area for the Disneyland Forever fireworks show which is hands down the best fireworks display we have seen! So beautiful! Thank you so much for all the details and info, we couldn’t have done DL without you!!

  2. We are looking at booking the World of Colour Dinner package for Monday at end of September for the five of us (2 adults and 3 kids). I see that the show starts at 8.15pm. Even with our preferred voucher for dining what time should we get to get good spots? Trying to decide what time to eat at Tratorria – the latest time seems to be 6pm. Would 6pm give us enough time to eat and get there for a good spot or should we eat earlier?

    • You should arrive about an hour prior to showtime for WOC. 6pm sounds fine, but you can dine at anytime. You’ll receive FASTPASSES for your viewing area, when you pay your bill, so you can return whenever you wish.

      • Thanks Casey! Were keen to go back for a swim at hotel before coming back for the evening which is why was going to make it dinner. So if we have a booking at 6pm is the service fairly quick that we will be out of there in one hour so we can start walking towards WOC to be there by 7.15pm. Otherwise perhaps we should eat at 5.30pm if not enough time to eat. Just curious that if we got a FP instead (as we have early magic hours staying at a Disney resort and could therefore get one easily) would it be one hour prior as well to get a good spot. Not sure if we are gaining much by paying for the dinner then?

  3. Hi Casey! Your website is amazing! Thanks for all the helpful tips!

    We are planning to eat “lunch” at Aladdin’s Oasis and get tickets to the earlier parade. Do you know what time frame is considered “lunch.” I’d like to pick up food around 2pm but don’t want to end up with tickets to the later parades. My kiddos will be long gone by then!

  4. Hi Casey!

    First – long time reader, first time commenter. You have been a lifesaver & a super fun read since my first trip to Disneyland last Dec, so thank you! ^_^

    We’re going to be visiting again this month, and I am really interested in the Frozen dining package + pre-show. However, I’m a little confused by how to time it.

    Is it possible to get the lunch / pre-show package for the 1:35 show, and if so, when would we need to be at the pre-show?


    • Hi, there. Thank you for your kind words!

      Each day, the Frozen Pre-Show differs a bit. I highly recommend calling to set up your time because the cast member can then walk you through your options on timing and how the meal will work with the show you want. Call (714) 781-DINE (3463) between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM daily (Pacific Time).

  5. I will be in the parks 9/2-9/4 participating in the DL Half. This is our first visit to DLR. Seeing PTN was very high on list and even more so now that it is closing on the 5th. I fear the crowds are going to be even higher during this weekend due to the announcements of closures.
    I booked the Aladdin’s Oasis dinner package for PTN on 9/2. It is for the 2nd showing of PTN (10:45). It is just DH and I. I would prefer to see Disneyland Forever from Main Street as opposed to Small World area. Do you think it is possible to be somewhere on Main Street for the fireworks at 9:30 and then make it to AO reserved area for the 10:45 PTN? If so, where should we try to be standing for fireworks? If not, would you cancel the dinner package and try to get the best spot possible on Main Street after the fireworks for PTN or keep the dinner package and watch the fireworks from an area closer to the AO PTN area?


    • Hi, Melissa.

      You can absolutely see the fireworks at 9:30pm and then enjoy the AO section for PTN at 10:45pm. I would stand somewhere mid-way through Main Street – perhaps near Candy Palace – to watch Disneyland Forever. That gives you a great view of the projections and then a peek at the castle, too. As the show is nearing the end, start inching your way over to the right side of Main so that you can jump on the sidewalk to get out of that area quickly and en route to it’s a small world to get the best spot possible for PTN. Enjoy them both!

      • Thank you so much Casey! I have learned so much from your site and I am looking forward to my first visit to DLR! Your pictures are great and you definitely inspired my planned park attire. Keep up the great work!!

  6. I can’t thank you enough for this review and the info. First, I had no idea they were doing the dessert party at CA. Second, it was really helpful to see where the viewing areas are for the parade before committing.

    This info is invaluable! Thanks again!!

  7. Casey, can’t thank you enough for the wealth of information you’ve provided! Our family is so excited for our first DLR/Southern California Adventure in 2.5 wks. After reading your post I am torn between Plaza Inn Fried Chicken & Aladdin on the Go for dinner before parade and fireworks. What would you do? We only have 1 day at each park and are WDW vets. Which is more unique to DL?

    • I’m a huge fan of both, but Aladdin’s Oasis incorporates both the meal and the parade viewing, so I totally vote for that. The experience is awesome. Arrive an hour prior to when they tell you to so that you can get in line to get first place. Enjoy it!

  8. Hi 🙂

    I was just wondering, do you have any insight into whether World of Colour Celebrate! will revert back to the original (and in my opinion better) version after the 5th September?

  9. Hello there, thanks for the great review. We have the Blue Bayou package for 7:30, so thinking of seeing the fireworks first and then the parade. Question for you – does the second parade go the opposite way(starting at the train station) ? Also with a 7:30 reservation, would that give us enough time to eat and catch the fireworks? How early would we need to be on Main Street for fireworks? Thank you 🙂

    • Hi, Vessy.

      Yes, the second parade starts at the front of the park, just outside Town Square, near Mad Hatter. With the Blue Bayou package, you’ll be set up near the train station. It’s fun!

      Fireworks typically start at 9:30pm (check the schedule to confirm for your date), so you’ll have enough time to eat and then grab a spot on Main Street. It will be crowded, but you can walk from Blue Bayou and then work your way onto Main to find a spot. You’ll be fine with your timing if you intend to watch mid-way down Main. For up-close castle views, people set up HOURS before, but I don’t recommend doing so.

  10. Thanks so much for this info on the Frozen Pre-Show Package! We are traveling to Disneyland Sunday August 28 – Wednesday August 31 (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday in the park). We want to see the Frozen show, and my biggest priority is to keep waiting in line time down as much as possible for my 4-year old. The Pre-Show seems like a good option for that reason. However, I am trying to save money, so I was wondering if this plan would work: make an afternoon reservation for a Tuesday Pre-Show. On Monday, scope out the FastPass lines and see how long they are. If the lines are relatively short, cancel the Pre-Show (within 24 hours), and then on Tuesday morning grab a FastPass. If the lines are long, keep the Pre-Show. Does that make sense? Do you think this is a good plan? I would love your advice!

  11. Wonderful advice. I have booked a Disneyland resort package for 12/31/16-1/1/2017 for my 30th Birthday. Forsure I am booking the Blu Bayou for my birthday dinner. Will this work even on New Year’s Eve?

  12. If I choose lunch at Carthay Circle, do I get the same World of Color tickets as if I chose dinner? Also, how much time in advance of show start time do we have to head to the Preferred area if we choose the Carthay Circle dining and have those tickets? I have some very impatient kids and waiting for an hour before show start is too long.

    • Hi, John. All WOC tickets are the same, meaning you all have access to the same spot. If there are two WOC shows, lunch will get you in the earlier show. Dinner will get you in the later one. The viewing area is excellent and I’ve had good luck with arriving just before showtime and getting a good spot. I recommend arriving earlier to ensure you get the place you want, but this is one option where you don’t absolutely have to.

      • Thanks for the quick reply! I love how informative you are with this site! One last question if you don’t mind. As far as Aladdin’s Oasis goes, is that a sit down dining place where you have to make reservations to get Paint the Night tickets? Looking at the DL dining page, Aladdin’s Oasis is not listed like all the other restaurants. The closest thing I can find is “Paint the Night packages” and “Paint the Night on the go”. So do I have to make reservations like any other DL restaurant? Or is it more like a normal food stand where I can just walk up and order and automatically get tickets? Thanks in advance for your insight!

        • Aladdin’s Oasis is a grab and go option for the Paint the Night packages. You may dine there at the location or take the food with you, as it is wrapped up to go. Lots of photos of it in this post. I recommend having reservations, but you can often walk up and get them the day of.

  13. The Blue Bayou prices don’t seem to have changed from the Fantasmic package to the Paint the Night package but the Fantasmic package included a souvenir cushion. I’m assuming since you have to stand for Paint the Night that they aren’t including a cushion. Is that correct? I’m debating our upcoming trip options as we’re trying to splurge only one night so that means choosing between Blue Bayou and Carthay Circle.

  14. Hi! I am considering doing the blue bayou package for PTN on a Tuesday in August. I have 4 little kids. 2 will be in a double jogging stroller. How realistic is it for the 6 of us to quickly move up & get a good spot on Main Street where you can see the fireworks, nemo, tinker bell, projections & everything else after PTN? Does the street get jam packed right away where we won’t be able to move up very far? I am considering Aladdin too but really really want to eat at BB & see the fireworks from Main Street as I have heard that is the best spot! Thanks!!

    • It will be rather difficult to maneuver from the BB section up toward Main Street, but it’s not impossible. Jump into the parade route and follow after the Sorcerer Mickey float until the parade ends. Then, pass the Showcase Store on your right and move into Main as quickly as possible. You can do it!

  15. Hi Casey – thanks so much for all the wonderful info on your site. My family are visiting from 25th July with 3 day park hopper passes. We’re from Australia – our first time overseas and disneyland is dream for us! And wow – I never realised the need to plan for the visit in such detail in advance – so a great resource. A quick question about the preferred viewing for shows – how do you know which colour area you are allocated to? I’ve read through several times and may have missed that sorry – but can you please explain which dining packages go with which viewing areas. Also if you pull a fastpass for world of colour – where exactly do you go to watch this – is it the same preferred viewing areas? Thank you!

    • There’s a map about mid-way through this post noting where the locations are. Ariel’s Grotto and Wine Country share the same section and Carthay Circle has its own. Carthay is the best and is in the middle of everything. Carthay is in the green, just in front of the yellow circle. Wine Country and Ariel’s is closer to the water and technically to the show, however the area is tiered, so Carthay puts you above the others, making it easier to see. Blue, yellow and red make up the space that a FASTPASS will hold for you. I know there is a lot to cover. Please let me know what other questions you have. Happy to help!

  16. Hi! Thank you so much for this post (and so many of your others!). We are planning a quick DL/CA trip in a couple of weeks to celebrate our boys’ bdays. I’ve booked and re-booked so many meals trying to figure out what we want to do. We only have 1 day at DL. Top of our list is Star Wars for our 9 year old (we must get Jedi Training without Magic Morning – eek!) and meeting Mickey for the 2 year old. We realize how imperative the early morning is in the park, so I’m wondering if you think Minnie’s Breakfast at the Plaza is worth sacrificing valuable park time for? If we meet Mickey there, it would be worth it (then we could take toontown off of our list). We’ve done Goofy’s Kitchen the past two visits on our departing morning and thought we’d do it again until I read this post … I’ve changed our reservation to PCH. So, is Minnie’s worth it? Or should we just stick with 1 character breakfast at PCH and utilize that valuable morning park time?

  17. Hi, Casey!
    I’ve read this post probably a dozen times, trying to decide which options we want for our July trip, but I can’t make up my mind! I even had DH read it, and he couldn’t decide either. I wanted to ask you which packages you recommend for each event. We went in October of last year, and did Ariel’s Grotto, so we want to try something different this time – is Carthay Circle worth the cost over WCT? How about Blue Bayou over Aladdin’s (I know they are totally different experiences…)? It’s just DH and myself – we saw WOC when we were there in Oct, but didn’t catch the parade and the fireworks like the good Disney fanatics we are, haha. Just curious about your opinion on how they compare. Thanks in advance!

    • I love Blue Bayou and Aladdin’s Oasis. I actually prefer OA because of the viewing area. But you have to be ok with no castle view. Go with Carthay Circle. Lovely meal and great view!!!!

      • Thanks so much, Casey! I think we are going to go with Carthay Circle and Aladdin’s – we are totally okay with no castle view – especially with the projections showing on Small World.

  18. We just did the Aladdin’s Oasis Paint the Night last Wednesday. Thank you so much for the advice. We never would have known this was available. It was great. Food was good and eating in the restaurant was a very nice and peaceful way to relax. Saw Aladdin, Genie, and Jasmine walk through. Good spot at IASW for parade and fireworks. Got to parade location about 40 minutes early and front row spots were taken by the time we were admitted, but stood in the second elevated area and leaned against the gate that had a small ledge that small children could stand on to see parade. Plenty of room. I would definitely recommend this for lunch and viewing.

  19. Hi Casey,

    We are heading there on the 30th November but am I reading that the Fantasmic show is no longer on? We were looking at the BB dinner package but now not sure? My kiddies are 6 and 8 and its our first trip.
    Thanks kindly

    • Hi, Bonnie! Fantasmic! is on hiatus during the rerouting of the Rivers of America and train tracks for Star Wars Land. Blue Bayou is a ton of fun. Aladdin’s Oasis, too. You can’t go wrong with either!

  20. Wow!! This is fantastic. This is exactly the information I was looking for but couldn’t find anywhere. I almost booked a reservation at Ariel’s Grotto thinking we would get to see the show during our meal…so glad I found your post first!

  21. Great information. Just wanted to say thank you! I usually feel like I’m pretty “up”on everything but had not heard anything about the World of Color Dessert Package. We used to do the Fantasmic! balcony seating as a splurge when it was offered but this would be a double or triple splurge – but still thinking about it for a special occasion. It will be interesting to see what they offer when Fantasmic! returns.

  22. Hi Casey, thank you for all very helpful information. I wrote my questions on your other blog, but probably this one is more appropriate place for my questions:
    We are arriving 5/2, going to Disneyland 5/3 and CA adventure on 5/4. We are celebrating our daughter’s 5th birthday (my husband is turning 40 during the trip). Couple of questions:
    • Any recommendation for food when we arrive on 5/2. We don’t’ have tickets to parks until 5/3, so somewhere nearby would be great (it’s okay if it’s pricey). Maybe dinner with a character. Not sure if there is anything that is available do late in the game.
    • We would like to see the parade and fireworks on 5/3. What do you recommend we do for dinner to insure we get good viewing spots? I read about BB package, but looks like the viewing area might not be ideal. Can you please comment

    Thank you so much!!!

  23. Hi – we are heading to Disneyland from May 8 – 12. We always go during off peak times so generally don’t have an issue with finding a parade spot but like the idea of getting the reserved seats! If we do Aladdin’s oasis and end up in a small world, is it hard to evacuate out of there for the fireworks? Our little girl sometimes wants to leave when the fireworks start. Thanks in advance!!!

    • Hi, Shannon. it’s a small world is far from the entrance. It’s tucked back in the park near Toontown. If you want to skip fireworks, I recommend doing the Blue Bayou option instead, as that reserved viewing area is right by the main entrance. Have you considered ear plugs? You can buy them ahead of time, of course, but if you forget, the baby center has them (most of the time). That may help with the noise if that is your issue. Enjoy!

  24. This has been so helpful. I am trying to decide with the WOC package and if we go at lunch or dinner and which restaurant. We are going in June for our 20th wedding anniversary. I like all the menus but I am thinking to save money to go for lunch but I want to do the WOC late show if they offer one. Is that possible if you have lunch or does having lunch put you at the early show. Also doing PTN parade and reading this wondering about doing Aladins just because it will be summer and I will have a spot do you recommend it or not. Thanks for all the suggestions they are great booking all the dining now just booked breakfast with Minnie and friends on our anniversary so that will be a fun way to start the magic. So excited about this trip been to wdw more times than I can count but first time to Disneyland. Thanks again

    • Lunch WOC typically gives you the passes for the earlier show if there are two. You can call the dining line phone number in this post just to be sure. I LOVE Aladdin’s Oasis. Such an awesome value. Recommend. And happy anniversary!

  25. hi ,,i was wondering if you have tried the World of Color dessert Party ? i know its pretty new …..i have reservations in May ….thx

      • We were just there last week and did the World of Color Dessert Party. Without a doubt it was 100% worth it. A SIT DOWN reserved table, away from the crowds, yes please! You get to enter in through a special line, a host takes you to a reserved table with chairs. MOST of the chairs are high tops (meaning like bar height) so you can see the show over the crowd better. However, my MIL was in a wheelchair so we were taken to a special section with lower tables. We could still see the show just fine. First they brought out a bread basket and then you had a choice of champagne or hot chocolate. Each person could get 2 glasses of champagne. We were a party of 4, 2 of us did not drink but we could have each ordered the 2 glasses of champagne and given to the rest in our party. They did not seem really stingy with this. And of course they give you a whole plate of desserts. I’m not a big dessert person so I barely ate any of mine but they will give you a to go box to take it all home. Sorry for the long comment but I know a lot of people will weigh whether the money is worth it for this so have tried to give as much detail as possible. Now, I only wish they had a seated section like this for the parades. To me, a trip to Disney is so Magical why not do everything you can to make it extra Magical? 🙂

  26. This has been the most helpful post on show dining expierences!! Thanks for posting the menus too! My fiancé can be picky on food, so we’ve always hesitated on booking a show dinner reservation since we can’t find current menus. At least now we have something recent to look at 🙂 How often do you update menu photos from your trips? Or how often do they change? Thanks!!

  27. I reserved the Aladdins to go for my family. Do we pre order our food? and I scheduled it for 12:15 and I’ve seen conflicting things do we pick it up then or on another site I saw you puck it up any time after 12. I’m just confused. Thanks

    • You will order your food when you arrive. And your reservation time is the time you should pick up your food – just like any other reservation. Because there is a seating area, they treat the reservations according to a regular restaurant’s protocol.

  28. Hi Casey,

    I’ve been reading reports that the Blue Bayou PTN viewing area has been moved from Main Street to near the train station – in fact, some reports say FACING the train station. We have BB package booked, but plan to cancel if this is, in fact, still the case next month during our trip. Please let us know if you find any updates on this! Thanks!

      • Thanks for everything you do! If they keep the new BB viewing area, we plan to do Aladdin’s instead, so thanks for your detailed review on that, too!

  29. I also forgot to ask, what are the childrens options for WCT? Do they choose from the adult menu, or is it a separate menu and you just didn’t get one?

  30. Hi there. Thanks so much for the detailed info. You are the only place I have found the menu and pricing for the PTN packages, and the menus for the WOC. We have booked Wine Country Trattoria lunch for WOC, but I am on the fence about which to do for PTN. I mean, do I save 150 bucks, or do I splurge? If you were me, with a 7 month old, and 4 and 5 year old, which do you think would be the better choice? Not worried about the kids being behaved, and they would like the food at BB better I believe, but I want the BEST viewing of the parade without having to wait for it, and as far as the fireworks, I don’t want my kids being trampled since we will be there on Grad night. I’m so confused!! My heart tells me BB but my head says stick to Aladdin’s, because it will be less crowded near IASW. Help!

  31. Hi Casey,

    Thank you for your article, it helps very much!
    Can I ask you a few more questions?

    1) do you Know if the Prices you mentioned still the Same in 2016? And is the Tax included ? For Example Arielles Grotto $48.58 , does it include the Tax?

    2) what does the sentence mean (Arielles Grotto menue) “Check includes Charge for each individual ”

    3) which Package for World of Color would you prefer? We (my parents and I , 19 years old) carthay circle Dinner is too expensive for us. So would eat at Wine Country or Arielles Grotto ? It’s our First and Maybe our Last Trip to disneyland.

    We are from Germany and I would be very thankful if you answer my questions , exspecially with the Tax ? i ask this because the Tax is always included in Germany?

    Thank you in advance


    • Tax should not be included, but the pricing there should be up to date. I do my best to keep them current. Wine Country Trattoria is lovely. I recommend it over Ariel’s. I believe that sentence means that the charge included is for the show and each individual dining will be able to enjoy the show. Hope this helps!

  32. We just booked the blue bayou paint the night package and are excited for the adult meal options. However, we are going with our picky 2 year old. Technically the kids meal of $25 is for kids aged 3-9. Would we have to pay for the$25 meal? He will not be interested in eating anything from that kids meal. Could we order something else for him? (Such as fries or nuggets?) He eats so little and would not be worth spending $25 on. Since he’s so young is there a provision for this considering it’s a prix fix kind of deal?

    • You do not have to order a meal for him. He will be allowed in the restaurant to dine and the viewing area without a pass because he’s 2. You can ask to order off the regular menu if something works for him. Or bring in something you know he will eat.

  33. Casey,
    I would love to know what settings you used for your night time photos on your camera! They are great photos! Great post and helpful suggestions, by the way. I cannot wait for our trip in May 2016! It will be our kids’ first visit (ages 3 and 4) and our 1 year anniversary as a family (we adopted them) and our 12th wedding anniversary! Yes, we are CELEBRATING! :). Thanks. Angie

  34. Hello – Great blog! We are visiting on 4th April and I’m thinking of booking the Aladdin On-The-Go Dining package to try to make life a little easier, but am confused as to how we will be allocated to the PTN shows – it looks like there will be two performances that day (8:45 and 10:45) – is there any way of being sure we get allocated preferred viewing for the first? Our kids are only little and I don’t think they will make the later showing, even with an afternoon nap …

  35. We will be there in early August with 3 children (ages 4, 6, and 2 months). The Aladin option looks good for us. We would do reservations for lunch or an early dinner and then get the pass? Planning to get a fast pass for World of Color since those packages are out of our price zone. We’ve done Disney many times but haven’t been since 2006. Did do WDW in 2010. We also plan to do a character breakfast on the day we head home at one of the hotels.

      • Now that I’ve read more would it be to our benefit to do lunch at Wine Country Tratoria over just getting a fast pass. We will be there in August, very crowded, and I want to make sure it’s not too stressful with a 2 month old, 4 year old, and 6 year old. What is the children’s menu for the lunch? I saw the adult and it looks delicious. Similar to an Italian restaurant we have here in Puyallup near Pacific Lutheran University. Was already planning on doing the Aladdin lunch over in Disneyland on a different day. We will have 4 days total for both parks from July 31 to August 3, with non park hopping tickets although we may upgrade for the last day. Doing a Disney breakfast on the 4th before we leave over at Paradise Pier. We are driving down from Washington, doing the coast on the way down.

      • Odd question. My cousin who will be 18 is a picky eater. Do you think they’d let her pay the adult price but get the kids meal?

  36. Do you think getting a fast pass first thing for WOC would be just as good as the dining package with the resrved seating?

  37. We’ll be on our first DL trip in early August with our two girls ages 3 and 7. Would it make sense to get the Aladdin’s Oasis PTN reservation for 5:30 and take it to the viewing area to eat, or would it be better to just use the reservation for lunch since it’s across the park? We’re a WDW family, so I really have no idea what the park size is like and the actual distance between the two areas! Once we’re in the reserved viewing area, can someone just leave and bring back food?

    • In my post, I asked about getting a reservation for 5:30…I probably should have said “1 1/2 hours before the parade time” since the start time is probably seasonal.

  38. This is great! Thanks for all your info. I’m going Tuesday or Thursday this week with my son to Disneyland and hope to stay for Paint the Night. Does it always start near Small World if there’s only one show per night? If we do the Aladdin dining option, watch the parade near Small World, do you think we could then walk down toward Main Street and catch the Fireworks/Snow there?

  39. First timer here. I was wondering how long it takes to walk from downtown to main st to view the paint the night parade? We have a 530 reservation at catal on 2/13. Thanks and thanks for all the great info. We are so excited.

  40. Hi Casey!

    So we’ve already booked 2 character meals & Aladdin’s/PTN for our 4 day DL trip 2/1-2/4. Do you think I can get get away with aiming to get a WOC FastPass instead of booking ANOTHER meal? Thanks!!

  41. We will be there the first week of February. Assuming, the crowds will be similar to this past week, do you think the Paint the Night package is necessary to secure a spot for the parade? I’m debating whether or not to just wing it and hope the crowds are light or play it safe and get a reservation for Aladdin’s Oasis.

  42. Do they allow strollers in the Blue Bayou reserved area? Also, is it possible for one person to stake out a spot and have 2 others arrive later, or would it be hard to elbow your way through the crowd?

  43. I should mention its two adults and no kids if that helps? It’s our first time and I really just want to get the most out of our trip and it be magical *.*

  44. Hi!
    I’m going to Disneyland on Jan 11 – 12, 2016 and have found your website extremely helpful! I tried making a WOC dining reservation at Carthay Circle to kill two birds with one stone as suggested and get to watch the firework show followed by WOC there after… but the Firework show starts at 8:40pm on the 11th and World of Color starts at 8:15PM. Any suggestions on how I would be able to catch both? I love the idea of a dining reservation so that I don’t have to spend time hunting down a spot.

    • It’s not always possible…..it has to line up with the schedule Disneyland provides. If it doesn’t work with the timing of your visit, I’m sorry. 🙁 I’ve walked quickly from WOC to the Disneyland fireworks, however. That is possible…..though not easy with a group of people.

  45. Casey,
    We will be visiting Disneyland for the first time at the beginning of August 2016. I heard Fantasmic may close temporarily in January for the construction of Star Wars land? Is this true, and if so do you know when it will start back up?

  46. Hi Casey, Thank you so much for such a great site with a wealth of info! We are visiting for the first time with kids from New Zealand mid Jan 2016. We have 3 boys 6yrs & 4yr old twins. We were planning to visit tues/wed/thurs 19th – 21st Jan but I just checked schedule for shows and notice World of Colour isnt on any of those days. It is on the day before Monday 18th so we could rearrange things and come a day early but I noticed a comment you made above “I don’t even take my 8 and 9 year old to WOC because I find the viewing so frustrating.”
    And was wondering if its worth it then. i can imagine if they cannot see they will all lose interest and get very whiney at that time of the night.
    What do you think?

    • Hi, Dana.

      It can be frustrating if you don’t get the right viewing spot. If you do a dining meal that works with the WOC shows, as mentioned in this post, you’ll have a great viewing area.

      You can also achieve that with a FASTPASS that is free and is distributed near Grizzly River Run. Grab those in the morning. If you can ask a cast member when the blue section is being distributed (usually early) and get on the bridge, you’ll be in good shape.

      It’s likely closing for refurbishment on the days it’s showing that it’s not running because it typically goes down shortly after the holidays.

      Hope this helps!

  47. Hi Casey.
    Is the map that you put up that has been dated back to 11/2011 (for the world of color seating), is it the same as it would be present time? And how do you get the best seating?

  48. Hi Casey. We’re going on December 31 and want to see the Fantasmic Show. We are a party of eleven, including two toddlers and a 7 month pregnant mom. Does the Blue Bayou includes a chair or only the seat cushion to seat on the floor?
    Is the same area for all the restaurants? Last summer we bought the Aladdin Oasis ‘Fantasmic on the go’ and we coudn’t find good places, althought we were there 30 minutes before the show.
    Thank you very much 🙂

    • Hi, Marlyne.

      Blue Bayou is the only option that includes a seat cushion and no chairs are available, actually. None of the other dining options offer a cushion at all or other accommodations. BB is your best option.

  49. Casey,
    I was wondering if you have heard about what the Blue Bayou will be doing once Fantasmic stops. I have never eaten there, and it’s definitely our plan to eat there on our January trip (Jan.14-19). And I know their Special Dining Events gets more bang for your buck! Either way we will be having dinner there!
    Thanks for any info you know!

    • They should be operating as normal, but you bring up a good point. Perhaps they’ll provide another Special Dining Event to coordinate with the fireworks or parade? I’ll let you know if I learn anything! Great question.

  50. Hi Casey,

    My daughter and I did the Carthay WOC package. The food was excellent, however when we got to the reserved area, my daughter couldn’t see much. There were too many people in front of us. I had no problem seeing the show but my daughter was not tall enough. Is there a spot that is elevated for shorter people or do we have to go there super early and hope to get in the rail or rope?

    Btw, the Blue Bayou Fantasmic was excellent! We thought the Carthay WOC would be similar (in terms of great viewing), but unfortunately not for the little ones.


    • Hi, Daniel.

      I totally agree with your comments and find this very frustrating. Fantasmic!/Blue Bayou is so awesome because you can sit. WOC is difficult to see at any space. Typically, World of Color/Carthay Circle includes the tiered section, which allows people to find space on the steps to see over others, but perhaps those spaces were filled? I don’t even take my 8 and 9 year old to WOC because I find the viewing so frustrating. I wish I had a better answer for you! If I find any tricks, I’ll post them within this post.

  51. Two questions…
    1) Is there a published menu for lunch at Carthay Circle? I am looking for vegetarian options.

    2) At the Blue Bayou, are all of the tables inside the ride, or just some?

  52. Do you know what time World of Color show will be held in Dec? We will be at Disney Dec 7-11 and wonder what time to make dinner reservations at Cathay Circle.Can we still see fireworks over in Disneyland while having dinner? Do you know what the park(s) hours are then?

    • I don’t have information on park hours or dining/fireworks. I recommend checking back often to see when hours are released and calling the dining line as soon as you’re eligible to make your reservation (60 days out). They should be able to tell you when you can dine and hopefully how to coordinate with the fireworks at Disneyland as I’ve detailed in this post. Schedule your WOC meal 1.5 hours prior to fireworks at Disneyland, but make sure that also works with the WOC timing so you don’t miss that show.

  53. Hi there, for a family with 2 adults and 2 kids (age 8), which restaurant (in either park) would you recommend? Just can’t decide, is the reserved viewing better for one show over the other? Thanks for your help!

    • Hi, Lisa.

      I recommend Blue Bayou for Fantasmic! The experience – both dining and the show – is so much fun and the viewing spot is the best possible between the two parks and two shows. You’ll receive a souvenir seat cushion to sit on, you are front center for Fantasmic! and then you can stay afterwards to watch the fireworks from where you sat for Fantasmic! Plus the restaurant is a Disneyland icon and housed in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, so you get to see the boats go by while you dine. Hope that helps!

  54. What time would you recommend I make dinner reservations for Blue Bayou on the first Saturday in December if I hope to secure a table by the water?

  55. Do they offer any allergy free options for the dining event packages? E.g., we have a dairy allergy – do they offer substitutes for mashed potatoes etc?

  56. Hi Casey,

    This is great information. I’m planning to do the late Carthay Circle dinner on November 13th in order to see the fireworks and then move onto WOC..question though what time should we make the reservation? I noticed the entertainment schedule is not posted yet so don’t know what times WOC & Fireworks will be yet. Also I can begin making dining reservations on Monday for regular dining but it looks like right now the WOC dinner packages are 9-10 days behind..is this accurate? I’m a long time Disneyworld goer but first time in Disneyland so trying to make sure I have everything in line! Thanks

    • Hi, Megan. Hard to tell. Dining at DLR is quite different and sometimes, the 60 days out option is late, as you’ve seen. Your best bet is to keep calling each day until you are allowed to make your reservation. The dining dept will know the calendar and times/entertainment schedule before Disneyland publishes it on their website, so that will be your key – calling them to learn more.

      • At Disneyland, you are allowed to make reservations at 60 days in advance – each day. So instead of being able to book ALL of your reservations in advance immediately at 180 days in advance as with WDW, you must do it a day at a time at 60 days at Disneyland.

        • Exactly. And sometimes, some reservations are not even available 60 days out. DLR is a different experience. We’re super laid back. I know that’s difficult coming from the well oiled machine of WDW, but it’s how we roll.

  57. I’ve been looking everywhere for Wine Country Trattoria’s current WOC menu. Do you happen to have it or know where to find it? Trying to pick a place for dinner with several picky people so I have to have the menus up front.

  58. Fantasmic! will not be shown on Halloween party dates, but World of Color will be shown at 8:15 on both the 28th and 29th. Unfortunately, Fantasmic! will not be shown during any of those days. 🙁

  59. hi, just making sure I have this correct, we will be there Sept 28, 29, 30 I know the Halloween party will take place on the 28 and 29, does that mean there will be no fantasmic or world of color shows those days?

  60. Hey great post! We will be there on a Tuesday late September. How early should we pull a fast pass for World of Color and what is the best color to have if you don’t have a dining reservation? Also how do you check to see if there will be a WOC show during our vacation.