Disney is offering three different dining packages for reserved viewing space at the World of Color nighttime spectacular.
The least expensive, and perhaps best option for the money, are the Picnic Boxes. Jeanine shares her experience here.
Last night Beci, Jeanine and I dined at the Wine Country Trattoria in Disney's California Adventure. As soon as I heard dining packages were available I called and reserved this. The cost is $39.99 plus gratuity, which enables you to receive a Disney Dining Preferred Viewing pass for the World of Color show.
The Trattoria has just reopened after a rehab and menu change. I had never eaten here before, so have nothing to compare it to. Also, keep in mind as you read this, everyone's tastes are unique and you may have a totally different experience with the food.
We checked in and were asked to go upstairs (where it appeared all dining package guests were directed) for our table. A Cast Member brought us to a lovely table, in the shade, under a ceiling fan with a cool breeze. While not a stifling hot day, it was a nice respite from the sun and crowds.
The Dining Package Prix Fixe Menu offered choices for entrees while everyone had the same salad and desserts. Our server, Tammy, was friendly with a great smile and did her best to accommodate all of our requests.
Fresh bread, two herbed rolls and two plain rolls, along with cruets of balsamic vinegar and oil were placed on the table. We enjoyed our own small plate of olive oil for dipping the yummy bread.
Salad - arugula fennel, red onion, spiced walnuts, and goat cheese with a fig-balsamic dressing.
We all asked for our salads without the onions and Beci asked for no goat cheese. Our server was happy to oblige. The dressing was tasty, but was an over pour for me, I'll ask for it on the side in the future. The greens were fresh and the two figs were good, however the fennel had been soaking in dressing way too long and didn't have the crunch I enjoy with fennel. Overall we gave the salad good marks; it was a nice way to begin the meal.
We were in no hurry so did not order our entrees until we had our salads. Our server was happy to allow us a relaxed pace. She did explain that depending on how busy the kitchen was, it could take as much as 25 minutes for our entrees to come out.
Seafood Pasta - Spaghetti tossed with Sauteed Jumbo Shrimp and Scallops with garlic and herbs in a light Pomodoro Sauce.
The entree was as described and Jeanine said it was good, she would order it again. It came with a side of fresh grated cheese.
Roast New York - Seasoned and slow-roasted to medium rare, topped with Salsa Verde served with Gorgonzola potatoes and sauteed green beans.
Although a friend recommended the steak, Beci found it very disappointing. As you can see from the photo, there were very few green beans. The potatoes were basic breakfast potatoes with a couple small chunks of gorgonzola, and the steak was tough. We spoke with folks later who share Beci's disappointment in the entree.
Herb-Roasted Chicken Breast - served with broccolini, caramelized onions, red peppers and tagliatelle pasta with a white wine garlic sauce.
I asked for no onions, no pasta and extra broccolini with my chicken. This was a good solid entree. The chicken was ever so lightly coated with a tasty herb mix and was moist. Since I opted out of the pasta, I was expecting more vegetables, so my guess is with the pasta, you just get a small taste of broccolini and peppers. I enjoyed my chicken and would certainly order it again.
Dessert Plate - Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, Seasonal Berries, and Chocolate Espresso Tart with Caramel Sauce.
We were all anticipating dessert as a great way to finish off our meal. Panna Cotta, light and creamy -- yummmm, fresh seasonal berries (my fave) and for chocolate lovers, a Chocolate Tart. Unfortunately, we were all disappointed. In concept the dessert plate is a great idea. Everyone gets to taste small portions of three different desserts. This is a great alternative to a huge heavy dessert to follow a meal.
I requested simply a serving of the fresh berries. The server said she would just ask for extra berries on our plate, that works. When dessert arrived and we all just stared at it. For us, the menu description and what was presented didn't match, but we were eager to taste.
The berries, while fresh, came drenched in a balsamic sauce that was overly sweet. We each had a small taste and none of us cared for it. I asked the server if I could have simply fresh berries with no sauce and she was happy to oblige. The Panna Cotta was, well, we weren't sure what. There were three layers and some sort of lemon gel sauce, the panna cotta, and then a berry layer. Neither Jeanine nor Beci liked the panna cotta and told me not to bother with a taste. About this time my berries arrived and I happily dug in. The chocolate tart was a small round graham cracker crust and inside the liquid espresso chocolate. This really fell short of our expectations as well. Each of us felt the desserts at the Fantasmic Dessert offering were far superior.
Despite not being thrilled with the food, we were all full and ready to find our World of Color Viewing area.
With the check we received our World of Color Preferred Viewing Passes.
We headed over to the viewing area and were directed to an area for Preferred Dining seating. We were VERY happy with the area we had. It was second level center in front of the Mickey Wheel. This was what we paid for, preferred viewing, and it was indeed!
We arrived about 7:20 and folks were being allowed in the area so we went in to find some space. It will be important for the first show to arrive early... late-comers will still be in the preferred section but will be several people back.
We sat down, met a nice family sitting near us and enjoyed the beautiful night air until the pre-show began at 8:30. You'll have to wait for another blog about the very cool pre-show entertainment.
Perhaps it is an age thing, but I am not real good about waiting in long lines and being part of a large, well, extremely large, group of folks trying for general seating.
Therefore, I recommend getting one of the dining packages. While it is still crowded and you still wait, I liked the preferred viewing area very much. And with the passes, it didn't feel quite so crazy trying to scope out a place to watch the show.
Tonight we are trying the other sit-down dinner package at Ariel's. Look for that blog soon!
Oh, and if you haven't read my comments about the World of Color show, it is NOT to be missed!
The previous post in this blog was World of Color Blue Carpet Interviews with Bob Iger, Tom Staggs, and Others.
The next post in this blog is Disneyland/World of Color Debut - Day 6.