UPDATED October 25, 2016
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:
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)
- 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 (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.
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:
(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.
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:
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)
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.
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.
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.
****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:
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. 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.
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