UPDATED June 15, 2017
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)
- Main Street Electrical Parade Dining Packages (Disneyland)
- Frozen Carthay Circle Lunch
- Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge
- 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.
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.
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.
Take a look at the map for updated viewing sections for World of Color:
Main Street Electrical Parade Dining Packages (Disneyland)
****Reservations can be made online or by calling (714) 781-SHOW (7469).
The Main Street Electrical Dining Packages include two entirely different experiences. Both have advantages and two very different price tags. Check them out.
Go here to book for Blue Bayou.
Go here to book for Aladdin’s Oasis.
You may not reserve these on the Disneyland app, as you can with most dining reservations. You must go online or call in. When looking for this reservation online, don’t look under “A” for Aladdin’s Oasis or “B” for Blue Bayou. Scroll down to “M” for Main Street Electrical Parade Dining Package.
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 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.
When making reservations online, you will click on the time you prefer from what is available. After clicking on that time, the next screen will read, “Main Street Electrical Parade – 1st Show” or “Main Street Electrical Parade – 2nd Show”. Do not confirm this time if it doesn’t coordinate with the show you want to see. Change your time if you prefer the other. That second screen, noting which show you will attend, looks like this:
If you call in to make your reservation, ask the cast member to confirm which show you will see before you commit.
Most often, when there are two parades, if you book a meal before 6:10pm at Blue Bayou, you will receive access to the viewing area for the first parade. Anything later will be for the second parade. If you book before 4pm for Aladdin’s Oasis, you have access to the first parade. Reservations for after 4pm have access to the second parade.
I prefer Aladdin’s Oasis for the viewing area, and I also love that the first parade starts at this spot, just next to it’s a small world. So, at parade time, you will see it immediately. If you’re at the Blue Bayou viewing area, you’ll wait 20ish minutes for the parade to reach that part of the park. Again, this is better or kids who don’t want to wait.
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. Annual Pass discounts do apply.
Adults – $65
Kids – $25
Book this package here.
Check out my latest experience, in March 2017, in full detail here.
Arrive one hour prior to parade time to secure your spot in the viewing area. You can arrive later, but you’ll have less chance at getting front row.
You will dine at Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square at whatever time your reservation is set for. Then, you will arrive at the viewing location – in a totally separate area of the park – prior to the parade. Here is the location of the viewing area:
And, here is what the restaurant looks like:
Here is Blue Bayou inside:
Let’s take a look at what dishes are included.
Surf and Turf:
(An ode to the MSEP snail. It’s a cherry chocolate mousse.)
The snail, deconstructed.
And, from the parade experience:
You’ll receive this ticket at the end of your meal after paying the bill. Keep it in a safe place because you will need it to enter the viewing area at parade time.
You’ll also receive this light up lanyard. The lights blink and have three settings.
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.
If you attend the first parade and want to watch fireworks after, move up Main Street as soon as you see the final float – the American flag – go by. Do your best to get as close to the castle as possible so that you can enjoy the projections that coordinate with the show. If you don’t care about the projections on the castle, stay put right there around the flag pole. You can see fireworks from there and then will have an easy escape from the park if you’re ready to go after the show.
Aladdin’s Oasis Grab and Go
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. Annual Pass discounts do apply.
Adults are $29.99.
Kids are $18.99.
Book this package here.
Review details from my most recent experience with this dining package, in February 2017, here.
Arrive 1-1.5 hours prior to parade time to secure your spot in this reserved viewing area.
With Disneyland’s latest attempt at crowd control for the parades, this dining package has become less attractive to me. Time will tell if it’s more in need as summer crowds arrive. Beginning early March 2017, cast members started deterring guests from setting up hours before the parade. I’ve elaborated more on those “New Rules” in my post on parade set up. With this in mind, the dining package options seem less attractive since most guests are arriving around the same time as you would for a dining package reserved viewing area. When guests were saving spots 5 hours in advance, the dining packages were a lovely option because you don’t have to arrive until around an hour prior.
Aladdin’s Oasis prices continue to increase. And, they’ve removed the spots in this section that allowed guests to sit front row. There are still good viewing areas and I still like this dining experience. But with parade viewing more reasonable, this dining package isn’t all that it used to be.
You may take your food to go or you may stay and dine at the Aladdin’s Oasis location. It’s just to the left of the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland. I recommend dining here. You will dine here at whatever time you choose and then enjoy the parade in front of it’s a small world. In that area, there are rarely crowded restrooms nearby, snack carts, and room for kids to run around. This is a much better option for families or for those who don’t like the chaos and crowds of Main Street, where the Blue Bayou location is.
Here is the location for the Aladdin’s Oasis package:
Here is what the restaurant looks like:
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. Don’t lose these. You will turn them in at parade time, just like a FASTPASS.
Here are some photos of the viewing area for Aladdin’s Oasis:
From the two spots above, you’ll have a great view, as this area is set above the crowd in front of you.
My favorite spot in right behind the Guest Relations/VIP section. Set up behind that iron railing. It looks like this:
We claimed out spot with our Matador blanket (worth every penny) and had great viewing. One adult may sit here to claim your spot until parade time. My husband took our kids to enjoy rides while I sat for an hour. Each person will need a ticket to join whomever is holding the family’s spot, so be sure each person has one upon returning. Have everyone arrive back 10 minutes prior to parade time.
Here is what the parade looks like.
(You’re facing it’s a small world, which has a wall up in front of it in this photo, as they are taking down it’s a small world Holiday at this time.)
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. I saw the return-debut of Remember….Dreams Come True fireworks on 2.3.2017 and watched it from the same section for parade viewing. So, stay put if you have fireworks after the parade on your schedule. You’ll love the show.
****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 $89 per adult and would be $59 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. (Details may change, but this is what you can expect from the experience, overall.)
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!
Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge
This new experience arrived at Disneyland on May 26, 2017. I was there the next day to try it out and share my experience with you.
Find out what you can expect, a concern I have for this option, photos and more in this post.
- 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 parades at Disneyland 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.