UPDATED January 16, 2017
***Main Street Electrical Parade and Remember….Dreams Come True Fireworks info below. Scroll down to find that. Both are arriving soon at Disneyland!
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 Disneyland parades to be cancelled all together, fireworks are cancelled quite frequently due to high winds. Because of this, I recommend committing your Disneyland parade reservation to early on in your visit. Although the fireworks are not technically part of the package, coordinating your strategy 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:
In this article
- World of Color Dining Package (California Adventure)
- Timing for World of Color Shows
- Here are some photos from my Carthay Circle Dining experience:
- Here are some photos from my Ariel’s Grotto Dining experience:
- Here are some photos from my Wine Country Trattoria Dining experience:
- World of Color Dessert Party (California Adventure)
- Paint the Night Dining Package (Disneyland)/ Main Street Electrical Parade Dining Package
- Aladdin’s Oasis On-the-Go
- Frozen Carthay Circle Lunch
- Some Tips:
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 or later 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.
Here are some photos from my Carthay Circle Dining experience:
(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 sometimes watch the Disneyland fireworks show. Carthay Circle Restaurant plays the music that accompanies the shows.
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 9:30pm 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.
We were escorted down this path. Felt a little like the red carpet since we were headed to such a premier viewing area.
Here are some photos from my Ariel’s Grotto Dining experience:
(Does not include characters. Review character meal options to see the princesses at breakfast and lunch at Ariel’s Grotto.)
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:
The dining area is outdoors. It’s lovely.
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 every one of these dishes.
This is 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)
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)/ Main Street Electrical Parade Dining Package
***Paint the Night ended 1.8.2017. Main Street Electrical Parade starts 1.20.2017 with the same dining package options. I’ll be at the park on the first day of MSEP and will be dining at Aladdin’s Oasis with the MSEP dining package. I’ll share that experience with you and edit this post as needed. The parade offers an option at Blue Bayou, too. I’m expecting both options to follow similarly to the PTN options, as detailed below.
***Remember……Dreams Come True Fireworks begin 2.3.2017. I’ll be in the parks on this day, too, with the Aladdin’s Oasis dining package to share how to coordinate your parade viewing from the reserved areas with the fireworks show (scheduled at 9:25pm).
****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 happen after the first parade.
Most evenings for the 2016 holiday season include the first parade at 6:30pm, fireworks at 9:30pm and then the second parade at 10:30pm. Follow the guidelines below for how to coordinate the parade with fireworks.
If your parade is at 6:30pm:
Blue Bayou – Arrive an hour early to get in line for the viewing area (shown below in photos), enjoy the parade at 6:30pm, take a break for a snack and maybe a few attractions with short lines (Fantasyland for Pinocchio, Mr Toad, Snow White), then return to Main Street to watch the fireworks at 9:30pm. The castle will show projections to coordinate with fireworks, so do your best to get a view of the castle, but don’t stress with trying to get close to the castle because people will have been set up there prior to the parade time and it’s quite chaotic. Watch for snow on Main Street to arrive with fireworks.
Aladdin’s Oasis – Arrive an hour early to get in line for the viewing area (shown below in photos), enjoy the parade at 6:30pm, take a break for a snack and maybe a few attractions with short wait times (Fantasyland for Pinocchio, Mr Toad, Snow White) and then return to the parade viewing area for fireworks near it’s a small world Holiday. Be there by 9:00pm to secure a spot. Projections will be shown onto it’s a small world and fireworks will go off to the slight left of the attraction. This area is great for small children and less stressful than Main Street or the castle area. You will miss a few fireworks that go off specifically behind the castle, but I will always trade that to have more space with kids and less chaos. Watch for snow near it’s a small world to arrive with fireworks.
If your parade is at 10:30pm:
Blue Bayou – Set up on Main Street about 30 minutes prior to 9:30pm fireworks. Enjoy the show (with snow!) and then quickly walk back to the Blue Bayou viewing area (shown below in photos) near the Main Street RR Station. Be there as soon as you can after fireworks. The actual PTN viewing area isn’t great for actual fireworks viewing, so I recommend watching from Main and then setting up for the parade.
Aladdin’s Oasis – Set up near it’s a small world about 30 minutes prior to 9:30pm fireworks. Enjoy the show (with snow!) and then quickly arrive at the viewing area (shown below in photos) to claim your spot for Paint the Night viewing. You won’t be able to get in line until about 10:00pm due to cast members clearing the area from fireworks. When choosing a spot for fireworks, make it as close as you can to the viewing area for PTN so that you can get in line asap.
***Most days will include times like these for Paint the Night and fireworks. Adjust them, as needed, if your times vary. The basic set up should be similar.
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.
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.
Here is the view from the back.
This more budget-friendly option is ideal for 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. Pricing is now actually closer to $24 for adults and $15 for kids. I’ll update the photo asap:
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. You will dine here or take your food with you and then enjoy the parade in front of it’s a small world. Aladdin’s Oasis is located in Adventureland to the left of Jungle Cruise.
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.
Here is the viewing area for Aladdin’s Oasis:
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, although they are not technically part of the Aladdin’s Oasis package. You can see the projections on it’s a small world and then how the fireworks are set just to the left.
****Reservations can be made online or by calling (714) 781-SHOW (7469).
The Frozen Carthay Circle Lunch is lovely. There is typically only one show time available for this package per day.
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:
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!
- 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. I prefer Aladdin’s Oasis 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.
- The three options for World of Color are all very different, too. Ariel’s was my least favorite, as I didn’t enjoy the food there as much as the other two. Wine Country Trattoria is great for families with young children since you dine outdoors and parents often feel better about a little one being loud in this setting. Carthay Circle is the best, and children are welcome, but some prefer not to bring kids since it’s a “fancy” experience. There will be children wherever you dine. Choose what you are most interested in and the kids will be just fine.
- The World of Color Dessert Party is the only option at either park with actual seating. If this is important to you, go for it. It’s pricey, but is a lovely way to enjoy the show.
- Even with reserved viewing, you’ll want to arrive early to get the best of the reserved viewing. All of these indulgences are popular. I recommend arriving early.
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