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Disneyland Dining Packages — Where to Splurge & Where to Save

by Mommy Frog on April 2, 2024 15

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Summary

Finding the best viewing of Disneyland shows can be stressful, especially if you have never done it before. It can be time-consuming to camp out in a spot hours before the show starts when you could be off enjoying the rest of the park. What if we told you there was a way to make it easier, relieve some stress, get a good view and maybe save some time with Disneyland dining packages? Your froggy friends are here to help you decide if they are worth it for your family and share which ones offer the best value or are a good splurge for celebrating a special occasion.

Disneyland Dining Packages - Mickey Shoots Sparks in Fantasmic

Overview of Disneyland Dining Packages

The Disneyland dining packages offer a stress-free way to catch must-see entertainment. While all parades and shows offer free standby viewing areas, a few offer dining packages and dessert parties to give you a reserved (and sometimes better) area to watch the show. Are Disneyland dining packages worth it? We will help you decide that for yourself with a comparison of all the packages and their pros and cons. After all, that convenience and premium view or seat comes with a cost. You can determine the packages that offer the most value and the shows where you might be able to save some green by skipping a costly package. And keep in mind that you have to eat lunch or dinner anyway, so a dining package might make sense to combine a meal with access to a show.

Disneyland Dining Packages - Hungry Bear Voucher

Most large nighttime spectaculars and parades offer Disneyland dining packages that come with a meal and a guaranteed spot to watch the show. We have tried all the viewing locations and found ones we think are absolutely worth it and others that we would rather save our money for Mickey bars and Mickey pretzels while finding free viewing or a more affordable package. Most offer time savings and convenience, and a few packages offer a superior view or a seat if that's important to you. Those may be worth the splurge! Others might not be as valuable since those shows offer great viewing areas for no extra cost. For those, we say to save your money for something else. We frogs always want to get the most for our money, balancing out the time savings versus the cost.

One important thing to keep in mind is that shows can get canceled last minute. If you have spent a lot of money on a dining package and the show is canceled, there is no refund or replacement. You got a meal or experience that you may not have otherwise paid for, and you will have to make the best of the situation. So before you spend any money, ask yourself if you actually want to eat there and if you are going to be able to accept a show cancellation. The show most likely to get canceled is fireworks (and the package viewing areas are not the best) so we usually opt for the free viewing of that. The other shows are a pretty reliable bet and rarely get canceled. However, they could be canceled due to weather or technical difficulties, so it’s always a possibility.

One way to see shows without paying for a package is to see the second show or parade when offered. You can usually get good standby viewing for the latest show of the day due to lower crowds.

Disneyland Dining Packages Available in Disneyland Park

Disneyland Dining Packages - Characters pass by on Mark Twain Riverboat

You can reserve Disneyland dining packages for parades, Fantasmic! and fireworks. The offerings can change seasonally. Here's what each package costs and what you get for it. We are not going to get too specific on menus since they are subject to change. You can apply any Magic Key or Disney Visa discounts to most packages.

Fantasmic! Dining Packages (Temporarily paused until the show returns May 24, 2024. We expect to hear updates on dining packages soon.) 

Disneyland Dining Packages - Voucher for show

Fantasmic! takes place on the Rivers of America. It does not have stadium seating like Disney World's Fantasmic! has, so viewing can be a little trickier at Disneyland.

We think the Fantasmic! dining packages are the most worth it of all the Disneyland dining packages, and here’s why. The viewing areas are absolutely front and center without obstruction (just don’t sit behind light poles at the edges of each section). You can save time and stress while getting a decent meal and a fantastic view. Plus, you can sit to watch the show, and your kids can actually see it! All viewing areas are seated on the ground (with accommodations for people who need them), except for one package, which has you seated in your restaurant seat. You do not need to be front row for these viewing areas, In fact, the front row is seated behind a fence railing. We like to be halfway back or toward the back of the viewing area to see over the fence and have a little stretching room for our frog legs.

You might get treated to two different nighttime spectaculars if you time it right, depending on the night you visit. On nights with fireworks, the fireworks show starts three minutes after the first Fantasmic! show ends, so stay in place (actually, they'll ask you to stand up) for a special view with projections, music and fountains to enhance the fireworks show.

There are many standby viewing areas, but they are all standing areas and many have minor to major obstructions (such as light poles, equipment or trees) or distractions (such as people walking in front of you or cast members using lights to direct foot traffic). You'll want to get in place early for the front of any section (such as behind a fence or planter railing) or else your tadpoles will not be able to see above the people in front of them. You can hop over to our post on fantastic tips for viewing Fantasmic! to weigh your options and decide if you want to camp out for a decent spot or pay for an upgraded viewing experience with Fantasmic! dining packages. Again, the last show of the day has easier access for standby viewers. Just hop in place after the fireworks end.

Here is a look at all of the Fantasmic! packages:

Disneyland Dining Packages - Fantasmic Menu and view from the table at Blue BayouBlue Bayou

Blue Bayou is the most expensive Fantasmic! dining package for adults at $89 ($35 for kids 3 to 9) plus tax and gratuity, but it does offer the absolute best view of the show, the best table-service dining ambiance and the best food. The other two packages are pretty close in view quality but having sat in all three, we can say there is no competition for the Blue Bayou view. On the night we visited, our section was less crowded than the packed-in Hungry Bear, so we had plenty of room to stretch out.

Blue Bayou is a dining experience in itself, located next to the waters of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It's always a romantic, twilight "outdoor" patio in the Bayou with crickets chirping and frogs croaking. It's always a pricier, but special, meal.

But let's talk about the price of the dining package. We priced out the items we ate on the package a la carte off the menu. If you were to dine at Blue Bayou without the package and purchase a salad, an entree (such as filet mignon), a dessert and a mint julep, the price comes to $80.50. That's $8.50 less than the price of the $89 Fantasmic! package. If you were going to dine at Blue Bayou anyway and could walk up to the front and center of viewing 30 minutes to show time with a great view of Fantasmic! for $8.50 more per person, you should toadally do it! (The alternative is to wait at least an hour for a lesser view.) But if it's not in your budget, the other dining packages offer a similar view for less.

Disneyland Dining Packages - Filet at Blue BayouTo get this package, make a reservation for Blue Bayou. When we dined, we had a reservation and asked our server about upgrading to the Fantasmic! dining package. You do not have to reserve a package in advance.

Here’s what’s on the menu at Blue Bayou (subject to change and you can choose items from the main menu): choice of a starter, entree and dessert. Items may include gumbo, heirloom tomato and watermelon salad, hearts of palm escabèche, fava bean and pistachio pesto pasta, Monte Cristo sandwich & seasonal salad, fish, filet mignon (or another steak), a specialty nonalcoholic drink and a Fantasmic! specialty dessert.

This prix fixe menu is made of most items from the regular menu, although there is a special dessert. The dessert is a special Fantasmic! Mickey-themed mouse with white chocolate. You could substitute a different dessert such as crème brûlée!

Pros: It's the best Fantasmic! viewing you can get. Blue Bayou is a high-demand restaurant for its ambiance. It makes for a nice park visit to dine here and watch the show stress-free. Save it for a special occasion.

Disneyland Dining Packages - Dessert with Blue Bayou Fantasmic! package

Cons: It's the priciest package. It might not be such a good dining value if you are vegetarian or get the Monte Cristo (compared to if you order the filet mignon). Also, it's a high cost for a large family. It's hard to get a reservation, but you may have good luck with Walk-Up Availability.

River Belle Terrace

Disneyland Dining Packages - Rapunzel and Flynn Rider

This table-service dining location offers two dining packages, the standard and premium packages.

Disneyland Dining Packages - River Belle MenuStandard Package costs $50 per adult and $30 per child aged 3 to 9, plus tax and gratuity, and is available for both shows. To book this, reserve a regular brunch or dinner (or join the Walk-Up List in the Disneyland app) and ask your server about upgrading to the Fantasmic! Dining Package.

The menu is a prix fixe 3-course meal with special items, or you can select items off the main menu. The menu items vary seasonally.

Disneyland Dining Packages - River Belle VoucherYou’ll receive a voucher to go to the viewing section. This section is usually just to the right of the Blue Bayou viewing and is excellent. Arrive early to sit as far left as possible, but this is a great viewing section. Arrive at least 30 minutes early. The area can fill in closer to show time.

If you want the 9 p.m. show, aim to eat by 5 p.m. as once that show sells out (demand may vary per day), the later diners will receive the later show. For the later show, the viewing area may be even more centered since there may be fewer dining package diners.

Disneyland Dining Packages - Belle and the Beast

Pros: You have a great and usually uncrowded viewing area near the front and center of the show for a mid-price. The floats and the music that goes with them are lined up with where you sit. You probably want to arrive about a half hour before show time unless you want the very front (but you don't need to be in front to see well). The second show viewing may be more centered. We liked the deviled meatball starter and pudding dessert (with cake and fruit filling). Disneyland Dining Packages - River Belle Dessert

Cons: When it comes to food quality, we prefer the budget-friendly Hungry Bear or the quality food, ambiance and more comfortable chairs at Blue Bayou. But this is a decent middle-price choice if you want table service.

The Premium Package for the 9 p.m. show only costs $75 per adult and $45 for ages 3 to 9 plus tax and gratuity. (That's about $4 less for an adult and child than an adult and child at Blue Bayou, BTW.)  Guests must reserve this package at this link for 7:15 p.m. You can stay at your dining table for the 9 p.m. show. You can order from the Fantasmic! menu or choose items from the normal menu. There is no package for the second show.

Pros: You have a chair to sit on and space around you and a more relaxed night.

Cons: You are not as close to the show as the seating on the ground, but you are a little elevated. Guests walk in front of the dining area and cast members direct foot traffic with lights. We prefer the food at the other two Fantasmic! dining packages, so if you choose this one, you are going for the chair and may be less about the food.

Hungry Bear On-the-Go (available for both showings)

Disneyland Dining Packages - Hungry Bear ribs and chicken

This is the most affordable package at a quick-service restaurant at $35 for adults and $25 for ages 3 to 9 plus tax. The viewing area is immediately to the left of Blue Bayou, but that is subject to change each night based on how many people purchase each package. We sat to the right of Blue Bayou one night. While the viewing area is good for the price, you’ll want to arrive early enough to get a spot that is more centered rather than further to the side. You don't need to be right up front. In fact, we enjoy sitting in the back half so the fence is visually out of our way.

Pros: It's the most affordable Fantasmic! dining package. You'll also save even more over other packages because there is no gratuity added here. The viewing area is great, and maybe even better, for the second show. We liked the chicken and ribs! You do not need to sit up front for this. Because people are seated, you can see well from the back of the viewing section.

Cons: You'll want to arrive as soon as you can to get seating toward the center stage. This is a more crowded section where you are more likely to be sitting cross-legged and closer to other families. The sides were not our favorite items on the menu, even though we loved the main course. The ground can be hard, cold or warm, so bring a blanket or towel for more comfortable viewing.

Parade Dining Packages

Disneyland Dining Packages - Parade viewing voucher

The parade packages save you a little time and stress. We like them for viewing the parade with little kids because there is no stress about finding a spot early and waiting there for a while. But you also need to show up earlier than stated on your voucher if you want a curb spot .

You can find parade packages for the current parade at Disneyland. You'll also see different packages Disney California Adventure, such as the Frightfully Fun Parade packages during the Oogie Boogie Bash (discussed further below) or potentially the Better Together parade launching for Pixar Fest (TBD). Parade packages at Disneyland are for viewing for the second parade of the night. Look for Magic Happens Packages up to 60 days in advance.

Plaza Inn

Disneyland Dining Packages - Magic Happens mealPlaza Inn offers a quick-service dining package for various parades. The holiday parade dining package and the Magic Happens Parade package cost $55 for adults and $28 for ages 3 to 9. Dining times are between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. You get a credential lanyard to wear in your viewing area and a voucher that grants you access. The parade viewing area is seated on the ground across from the train station near the park entrance. There are limited benches available on a first-come, first-served basis, behind the other viewers.

This meal can change seasonally. Current menus are online on the Plaza Inn Dining Package page. Be sure to check the dates for this package, as it is not available on select dates and holidays, nights with After Dark events, nor on select nights around the Candlelight Ceremony in December.

Disneyland Dining Packages - Finale float

Pros: You save time and stress over finding a place to sit. The food is great (can you really go wrong with Plaza Inn fried chicken or tender short rib (and plant-based options?). This spot is a perfectly fine spot to watch the parade. You can apply discounts to your package. The parade viewing is near the park exit if you plan to leave after it's over. Because you are at the start of that parade, you'll beat the crowds out of the park (or to Disney California Adventure).

Cons: You'll save some time but will still want to arrive about an hour before the parade starts to get a curb spot. You can find seating for no extra cost all along the parade route if you want to camp out for about an hour and a half to two hours depending on the crowds. This package is only available for the second parade. You can get a tasty (but different) Plaza Inn meal for half the cost of this package and find your own viewing.

If you like a spot where you can see it coming for a while, then you might want to find your own viewing spot. We recommend watching the second parade because you can sit below the train station, where the second parade starts on Main Street, U.S.A. Then you can exit the park ahead of the crowds once the parade ends. If you want to watch the first parade without the dining package, you'll have to invest some time in waiting for it.

Fireworks Dining Packages

Disneyland Dining Packages - Plaza Inn package sign

There are rarely fireworks packages for close viewing of Disneyland fireworks. The closest is Plaza Inn, which is a side and possibly obstructed view of the castle. You may keep an eye out for special holiday packages for the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve through Plaza Inn. There is a Plaza Inn Halloween Screams Dining Package with reserved viewing for Halloween Screams on select nights with fireworks. It costs $60 per adult and $30 per child (ages 3-9). The package is different from 2022. In 2023, it includes a meal. The menu is online. You must book between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to pick up your meal, beverage and credentials. Dining is at any open table. The viewing is on the north side of the outdoor Plaza Inn patio.

Keep in mind that fireworks can get canceled due to technical, weather or other issues. You cannot get a refund or exchange if the show is canceled.

The New Year's Eve package (did not return in 2023) is pricier at $125 per adult and $100 per child (ages 3-9). It includes a feast (menus online). Arrival time is between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. for the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Dining Package at Plaza Inn. (We are not seeing one for 2023.)

The July 4, 2023, package was $75 for adults and $45 for kids ages 3 to 9. You do not get a refund if the fireworks are canceled. You'll reserve a dining time between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The viewing area is on the north side of the outdoor Plaza Inn patio.

Pros: It's a good way to have a more relaxed experience. It's a seated fireworks option. It's a unique experience, but it may be more appealing to locals who have seen the full show or visitors who are overwhelmed by the fireworks crowds and mostly care about the actual fireworks than they do about the complete show with projections. Pregnant moms, grandparents and people with tired, small children may find this seated option appealing. It can be worth it for New Year's Eve when people line up hours early for the fireworks.

Cons: Your view may be obstructed by the tall bushes. You may not be able to see the projections, but you can see the fireworks and the top of the castle (and Jack Skellington and Zero for Halloween Screams). Views may vary based on where you are seated.  Some seats can see the projections better than others, but it's a side view. This is better for shows that are not big on projection.

It's a tight seating situation. Also, it may not save you more time than just getting your own viewing spot in the park. You can find free viewing of the fireworks in a lot of other places shortly before showtime if you do not feel the need to wait in front of the castle. This package may only be offered seasonally. You must book well in advance. If the fireworks get canceled, you do not get refunded. No discounts apply. The package may be more worth it for popular holidays, such as New Year's Eve or Fourth of July, in which projections are less important to the show than, say, Halloween Screams, and fireworks crowds are thick early on.

The only regular package that includes a fireworks viewing is the Tomorrowland Terrace Lounge Experience.

Mother's Day and Father's Day Brunch at Plaza Inn

Plaza Inn has special brunches on select holidays, such as Mother's Day and Father's Day. Father's Day Brunch features Goofy and Max in their Dapper Father's Day attire. You can enjoy special character experiences and added menu items. These special brunches are from 8 a.m. until noon. You'll want to reserve as early as you can as reservations are limited for these one-day celebrations. You can reserve on the Plaza Inn main page (as opposed to the dining package page). Prices are $79 per guest over 9 years and $39 for ages 3 to 9.

Tomorrowland Skyline Terrace Lounge Experience — Themes and prices may change seasonally

Disneyland Dining Packages - Fireworks view from Tomorrowland TerraceThis dining package is a bit different from all the others because it distances you from the show a bit but presents a different angle to enjoy it. It offers a view of the fireworks, but not the other parts of the show besides the music. You will not see projections. However, you will have a table for the night, a meal, unlimited cold and hot beverages, a phone charger and games. You can check in at the podium near Alien Pizza Planet and pick up your included boxed meal to enjoy above Star Wars Launch Bay.

There are seasonal themes with different pricing, food and inclusions. So check online to see which packages is offered for your visit. Generally, menu options may include:

  • Cold sandwiches
  • Composed salads
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Fruit
  • Pastries
  • Chocolate
  • A specialty-themed non-alcoholic beverage
  • Unlimited soft drinks, bottled water or hot chocolate

Seating is now indoor or outdoor, and preferences are not guaranteed. Everyone can access the balcony to enjoy the views. Seating is shared. If you are a small party of two, you may be seated with another party of two. You can eat your food and get all the cold drinks you want up top. You can come and go because your table is yours for the night. Play games at your table or play giant games with others. You can also ask for a blanket to use if you get cold. Catch the fireworks shooting off to the sides of the Matterhorn from this view.

This package is good for a party that needs a relaxing night and an escape from the crowds. The only tricky aspect of this package is that fireworks can get canceled pretty often due to winds at altitude, and that’s what happened the night we visited. The show got canceled, and we would not recommend paying that price for the food and space alone.

The menu includes a choice of an entree with a side (adult or child options) and a dessert. You can have all the hot or cold beverages you want. There are specialty, themed nonalcoholic beverage options. Condiments are located at the dining location.

The experience theme and price may change seasonally. It was Star Wars-themed on our last visit. You can view the current menu on the reservation page.

This cost is about $70  and includes tax but not gratuity. Prices may change seasonally. No discounts apply. If you need to cancel, make sure to do so at least two days in advance. Otherwise, you will be charged full price for each person in your party.

Disneyland Dining Packages - Tomorrowland Terrace Lounge GamesPros: You can come and go until 10 p.m. It’s a different experience for frequent Disneyland visitors, and you can play games and have all the drinks you want. It allows you to see the fireworks without being in a crowd-congested area and allows more space than other viewing areas. It may appeal to locals or Magic Key holders who can come back to view other shows or fireworks on another night.

Cons: It has a high cost, and fireworks can get canceled. Sitting in the lounge keeps you from experiencing dance parties, rides and other nighttime entertainment. (But you are free to leave the lounge to experience them and then come back.) The fireworks show is not the full show with special effects and projections in all its glory. You may be seated with others, but that could be a pro if you like making new friends!

For us, there are great fireworks locations you can hop in place for just before the show starts without spending any more money. Our Disneyland fireworks post can help you find the best place to watch the show. If you want adequate space and seating, and don’t mind seeing just the actual fireworks, this may be worth it, but ask yourself how you might feel if the show were to be canceled and you spent your whole evening in the lounge. If the fireworks are just a bonus, then this may be worth it to you. Do you want to see the show and also enjoy the rest of the park? Then, see the show on Main Street, U.S.A. for no extra cost and make the most of your night at Disneyland.

Disneyland After Dark Dining Packages

Disneyland Dining Packages - People kiss in photo backdrop at Sweethearts Nite

On select nights, Disneyland holds the ultimate date night. It's a sold-out, separately-ticketed event. These dining packages are only available for party ticket holders on After Dark nights. In 2024, there were four options for Sweethearts' Nite. You can read all about them here. Each event has different dining options. Star Wars Nite has a package at Café Orleans.

Pros: You get a themed meal (and sometimes a photo op with the Plaza Inn packages. You can reserve at 8 p.m., which is one hour before the party officially starts. Discounts apply.

Cons: It's a bit pricey for dining on top of party admission. You might not want to spend party time in a meal since the night usually goes so quickly and there is so much to see. Table-service dining can take away from party time.

Unless you are really excited about the food or theme, we say skip it and save your time for the actual party.

Disney California Adventure Dining Packages

Disneyland Dining Packages - World of Color viewing

World of Color is the main nighttime spectacular that has dining packages and a dessert party. Once a show returns to the Hyperion, there could be additional dining packages in the park. During Halloween Time, there are usually Frightfully Fun Parade dining packages and dessert parties to watch out for.

World of Color Dining Packages 

Disneyland Dining Packages - World of Color viewing

Two restaurants offer dining packages for World of Color. A third location also has a packages, but you'll need a Magic Key holder in your party to access it. All of them share the same standing viewing area. It is pretty well-centered, but people at the front of the section will have a better view than people in the crowd, so this is one you may want to arrive at the start of your return window.

Disneyland Dining Packages - World of Color Viewing

Keep in mind that World of Color has free standby viewing as well as a free virtual queue. You can join the virtual queue (here's how) at noon as long as you have entered a theme park and have a valid ticket. The virtual queue can put you in the very front rows (or on a higher railing) and give you an excellent view. But keep in mind that the front rows may get wet, depending on which direction the wind is blowing. So you can get a great view without paying extra. You should arrive early for the best viewing selection. You do not want to be to the far sides, especially not to the right, because it becomes harder to see the water screens.

Standby areas are not as great as the virtual queue or dining packages (although we do love the bridge). So if you cannot join the virtual queue, or are arriving later in the day, a dining package or dessert party is a great backup plan. The second show is the least crowded, so if you do not want to spend any money or time and are going to be in a standby area, then see the second show. If there is extra room in the viewing areas, you may be let in. As long as you are behind a fence or planter box, you will be able to see or near the back of a viewing section. Aim for a buffer of space between you and the people in front of you. You should be able to see this very tall show on fountains of water.

Wine Country Trattoria (available for both shows)

Wine Country Trattoria costs $62 per adult and $37 for ages 3 to 9 (plus tax and tip). It's a 3-course prix-fixe meal with a starter, entree and dessert and a nonalcoholic beverage. This Disney California Adventure table-service dining location gives you a taste of Tuscany with pasta dishes.

To book, reserve lunch (11:00 a.m. to 3:55 p.m.) or dinner (4 p.m. to 7:50 p.m.). Join the Walk-Up List in the Disneyland app if you don't have a reservation. Ask your server about upgrading to the World of Color dining package.

Pros: The viewing area is centered and has a buffer of space around it so it’s easy to see.

Cons: You’ll want to arrive early rather than late to your viewing location to get a front-row view in that section, especially if you have shorter tadpoles. If the section is busy when you arrive, try to go to the back of the section, putting a buffer of space between you and the people in front of you.

Storytellers Café (available for both shows)

Disneyland Dining Packages - Storytellers Buffet

Storytellers costs $64 per adult and $38 for ages 3 to 9 (plus tax and tip). This all-you-can-eat buffet is located outside the theme park in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. But don’t worry — a special theme park hotel entrance takes you right there. It’s just as close as if it were in the park.

You’ll book a normal dinner reservation and let your server know that you’d like to upgrade. If you can't get a reservation, look for Walk-Up availability in the app. You’ll get the same buffet food (along with some items your server can bring you), a voucher for the Preferred Dining Viewing area and a box of macarons to enjoy during the show.

If you want the first show, plan to dine between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. For the second show (or if there is only one show) dine between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Pros: It’s all you can eat, so you can fill up your hungry bellies. Plus take some dessert with you! The viewing area is centered and has a buffer of space around it so it’s easy to see.

Cons: You’ll want to arrive early rather than later at your viewing location to get a front-row view in that section, especially if you have shorter tadpoles. If the area is busy when you arrive, try to go to the back of the section, putting space between you and the people in front of you. You must cancel one day in advance.

Magic Key Terrace (for Magic Key holders and their guests)

This newish dining package requires a Magic Key holder to be in your group. Lunch and dinner packages are $62 for adults ($10 upcharge for the beef short ribs) and $37 for kids 3 to 9.

Price does not include tax, gratuity or alcohol. Enjoy food and (not included) themed cocktails with charming views of San Fransokyo Square at this second-story lounge for Magic Key holders.

World of Color Dessert Party (available for both shows)

Disneyland Dining Packages - World of Color Food and Drink from Dessert PartyThis is the only option that allows you to sit and dine while you enjoy the first or second World of Color show. It is pricey at $89 per guest, ages 3 and up. Tax and gratuity are included. No discounts are applied. You get cheese, crackers, fruit and desserts. You can get up to two drinks. Adult drinks are included. Kids get light-up sippers, if available. The show starts about 60 minutes after your dessert party reservation time.

It is nice to have a seat and a good view. This is a good experience to celebrate a special occasion or date night. Seating is toward the back of the viewing area (behind the dining packages). The first row has low-top tables and the back row has high tops. The seats have a buffer between them and the people in front at a lower elevation.

You can check in early near Redwood Creek Challenge Trail and pick your seat. We'd aim for something toward the center of the viewing area If we had to pick. We’d go with a high top especially since it gets you just a little higher than the crowd. Also, it can be confusing, but your reservation time is for the dessert party and does not reflect the actual show time.

Pros: You can sit after a long day, enjoy a drink and relax during the show. Look for the prompt when booking to add special dietary requests or allergies. (They have improved the allergy and plant-based options when you book online, but they may not be able to accommodate same-day requests. Be sure to note allergies when booking!)

Disneyland Dining Packages - World of Color Dessert Party view

Cons: You need to check in early and get seated early or you might not have time for a second drink. You might get seated with other parties. It is the most expensive choice for the least amount of food. You are toward the back of the viewing so you cannot see the bottom of the water, but you can see the show well. Keep an eye out for obstacles that could potentially get in your view. You pay in full when you reserve and must cancel a day in advance if you can't make it.

Rogers: The Musical Premium Viewing Experience (was available select days June 30 through Aug. 31, 2023. We'll leave this here in hopes that the show returns in 2024.)

Disneyland Dining Packages - Popcorn bucket package

Here's a package you cannot reserve in advance. Visit Studio Catering to purchase this $29 package until it's sold out or it's 90 minutes before the last show. We recommend purchasing this package as soon as Disney California Adventure opens, as it sells out quickly.

This dining package gives you priority access to the theater to choose your seats. Arrive up to 90 minutes early to check into Stage 12 at the Hyperion Theater. You can enjoy reserved seating in an exclusive lounge area before the show. It comes with a Rogers: The Musical souvenir popcorn bucket with red, white and blue kettle corn and your choice of Coca-Cola bottled beverage. Get your picture taken by a PhotoPass photographer at the photo opportunity.

Pros: You get great seats, some VIP treatment, a snack and a beverage without having to set an alarm for the virtual queue. It's the most affordable Disneyland dining package. And it's the best way to go if you want to sit right in front or get into the theater before the rest of the audience.

Cons: You can get a seat for free for this show and you also cannot reserve this experience in advance. It tends to sell out quickly, but there may be some later show availability after late arrivals or park hoppers enter the park. Availability can vary per day.

Parade Dining Packages

There are a few seasonal parade packages in Disney California Adventure.

Sonoma Terrace — Better Together: A Pixar Pals Celebration! Parade Viewing Dining Package

Disneyland Dining Packages - Better Together parade Dessert Party food

At Disney California Adventure, you can reserve a spot to watch one of two parades each day and enjoy some sweet treats. The parade starts April 26, 2024.

For $69 you get:

  • A selection of Pixar-inspired foods, desserts and cheeses
  • Unlimited soft drinks and bottled water, plus coffee and a specialty mocktail
  • Reserved seating for parade viewing at Sonoma Terrace

The parade starts about 45 minutes after your dining package time. Tables may be shared with other parties. You must cancel at least one day prior. You must have a reservation for Disney California Adventure or a park hopper ticket in order to access this package and watch the parade. Arrive early for the best seating.

Pros: You get a seat to watch the parade and some cute treats and unlimited drinks.

Cons: You have to check in early to get a good seat. Some seats may be in a second or third row or around the corner from the oncoming parade. Small parties may be seated together. You can save money by finding your own spot to save money. The dessert party is costly for a family, and you cannot apply discounts.

Disneyland Dining Packages - Haunted Mansion Bride in Frighfully Fun Parade

There are two parade dining packages for the Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party Frightfully Fun Parade.

Wine Country Trattoria Frightfully Fun Parade Dining Package

Wine Country Trattoria has a lunch and dinner dining package that provides a reserved but separate area to watch the parade. It is only available on Oogie Boogie Bash party dates for people with party tickets. It is a three-course meal with a starter, entree and dessert. The package costs $59 for adults and $36 for children ages 3 to 9, plus tax and gratuity (discounts do not apply). There is a $10 upcharge for ordering rib-eye steak. Upon arrival, you'll request an upgrade to the dining experience. You'll need to show your Oogie Boogie Bash ticket to get the experience.

You'll dine between 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. before or during the early entry time in the park. (You'll need a daytime ticket that gives you access before 3 p.m. if you reserve before 3 p.m. After 3 p.m. your Oogie Boogie ticket will get you in, but be sure to arrive early.) You will let your server know you'd like to upgrade to the package.

Pros: You don't have to waste any party time dining. You can fill your belly with a full meal before the party start. You know you have a place to watch the parade. If you cannot get a reservation, you may be able to walk up until 6 p.m. You may be able to apply discounts.

Cons: The packages are limited and not guaranteed, which may leave you in need of a plan B if they sell out. You may need to arrive at the reserved area earlier than stated to get a good spot. You need to make sure you have a ticket that gets you into the park for your reservation time. Oogie Boogie guests can enter as early as 3 p.m. Guests with a daytime ticket can dine earlier. You can find your own parade viewing for free.

Sonoma Terrace Oogie Boogie Bash Dessert Party 

Disneyland Dining Packages — Sonoma Terrace Halloween Dining width=This parade dessert party allows you to watch the parade from your table. It offers "ghoul-inary" delights including scrumptious themed desserts and two beverages (plus a bottle of water) along with reserved seated viewing of the parade in front of Sonoma Terrace. Adults may choose drinks with alcohol. Reservations can be made for the dessert party up to 60 days in advance. This experience is available in two sessions per night, with reservation times beginning at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. during party nights.

You'll be able to check in up to 45 minutes before the first parade (which starts at 7:50 p.m.) and up to 30 minutes before the second parade (which starts at 10:05 p.m.). Seating is first-come, first-served, so we highly recommend arriving earlier than recommended for the best seat. You may be seated with other guests or in a back row. The dessert party begins 30 minutes before the parade starts and can be enjoyed up until the parade ends. The front row is low tables and the back rows are high tops.

Tickets for the dessert party are paid for when you reserve. It's $89 per person (ages 3 and up) and includes tax and gratuity. Children ages 2 and under may attend free of charge, but they must be seated on the lap of an adult. You'll need to have Oogie Boogie Bash tickets to book. If the parade is canceled due to technical issues or weather, your dessert package will not be refunded.

Pros: You get a seat to watch the parade.

Cons: You have to check in early to get a good seat. Some seats are in a second or third row or around the corner from the oncoming parade. Small parties may be seated together. You can save money by hopping in place on the parade route around the same time you might check in for the dessert party without spending any extra money. You can use your trick-or-treating sweets to make your own dessert party for no added cost! The party is costly and you cannot apply discounts.

Tips for Disneyland Dining Packages

Disneyland Dining Packages - Blue Bayou fence view

If you are considering booking a Disneyland dining package here are a few tips:

  • Make sure you have a park reservation for that park or a park hopper ticket if starting in the other park.
  • Check the show schedule for your date of the visit so you know all show times (they can vary each day).
  • Choose a package that allows you to potentially see two shows. For example, after the first Fantasmic! show, you can stay for the fireworks. After the Main Street Electrical Parade, walk over to Main Street, U.S.A. to catch fireworks.
  • Decide whether you already want to eat at the restaurant where the dining package takes place. If so, that's a big plus.
  • Look at the menus ahead of time to make sure you like the choices. (There are vegetarian and gluten-free options or substitutions.)
  • Eat on the early side of the dining window as packages are limited.
  • Book 60 days in advance for the best selection.
  • If you do not get a reservation, keep checking as cancellations do pop up. Also, check to join the Walk-Up List in the Disneyland app.
  • Ask if you can add people to your party when you check in if others want to join you. We have been able to add people if there's availability.
  • Ask about discounts. Most packages can have Magic Key and Disney Visa discounts applied, but a few do not.
  • If you can't make your reservation, cancel in the expected time. Some packages can be canceled two hours in advance. Others a day or two before.
  • Only book if you are comfortable knowing that shows can be canceled last minute with no refund.
  • For Fantasmic! you are fine to sit in the middle or back half of the seated areas, rather than the front row against the fence.
  • Let your server know of any allergies (or note them when booking if offered).

Do you have any further questions about the Disneyland dining packages? Ask in the comments section below. You'll need a theme park ticket and reservation to view these shows. Save money on your Disneyland theme park tickets when you purchase from Undercover Tourist so you have a bigger budget for Disneyland dining packages. 

Related: Your Guide to All of the Frogtastic Disneyland Shows

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Jul 15, 2023 at 3:42 a.m. Cammie Says...

Hello! I’ll be traveling with a ten year old - he turns ten one week before - who won’t have the appetite for the adult options. Will it be a problem to order him a child package for any of the table service restaurants?

Reply
Apr 10, 2023 at 3:46 a.m. Ruth Says...

Thanks for the info! Will the Blue Bayou and River Belle offer the cushion for seating with the Fantasmic packages?

Reply
Apr 11, 2023 at 4:23 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ruth!

The seating no longer has a cushion.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Feb 17, 2023 at 3:20 p.m. Elizabeth Says...

How do the dining package (not dessert party) viewing area for World of Color compare to the Virtual Queue viewing area? Does the dining package provide a better view?

Reply
Feb 22, 2023 at 9:13 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Elizabeth!

In this particular instance, we prefer to save our money and use the virtual queue. If you want to be in front, go with the virtual queue and arrive as early as you can. Any spot on any railing, even on a higher tier, is also great with the virtual queue viewing area. With dining packages, you would stand in the middle but not right in front or at a railing and it can be harder to see over heads.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Feb 14, 2023 at 10:10 p.m. Liz Says...

Hey there! Thanks for all the great info!

I have scheduled for two Plaza Inn parade dining packages on March 7th and March 9th. My Disneyland confirmation email clearly says that my reservations are for "Plaza Inn Dining Package - Magic Happens" but on the Disneyland site it says that there are no parade packages when there are "after dark" events. Princesses After Dark is on both of those dates. Your thoughts?

Reply
Feb 15, 2023 at 2:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Liz!

Thanks for hopping by! Since you were able to make the dining package reservations, we think it should be fine! The Magic Happens parade is scheduled for 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. showings on those days, so unless your dining time is after 8 p.m. (which is when the park closes to the general public), we don't think it would impact the reservations.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Feb 6, 2023 at 7:15 p.m. Patty Says...

Hi! Planning a visit 4/12-13 and there are no schedules published yet : / How does one decide what to book?!? Do you think since it's Easter there is a better chance of actually getting Fantasmic! and fireworks during a weekday? Thanks!

Reply
Feb 13, 2023 at 12:58 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Patty!

We won't know for certain until entertainment schedules are published which usually happens about six weeks in advance. In the past, sometimes there have been nightly fireworks and shows around that time, but we can't guarantee that they will hoppen nightly when you visit.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 23, 2022 at 7:09 p.m. MamaNZ Says...

Hi there!

We are planning our first family trip to Disneyland (one day, no hopping), which will be a weekday in May 2023. Your site says to avoid Grad Nites, which is good advice. Where do I find out when these would be?

Thank you!

Reply
Nov 28, 2022 at 10:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi MamaNZ!

Grad Nites are planned for May 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 25, 30 and 31 in 2023. Mainly, they will just make the theme parks more crowded. At 9 p.m. all the kids head to DCA for a special nighttime party, but they mix in with regular park guests for most of the day.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 24, 2023 at 3:47 a.m. Katie Moroni Says...

On these grad days are they only at Disneyland during day? For example out trip is May 25/26 (25th is a grad night date) would it be better to do DCA on 25th and Disneyland on 26th? Thank You!!

Reply
Apr 24, 2023 at 10:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katie!

The Grad Night crowds can vary. But the grads can hop back and forth to either park during the day and then just check into DCA at 9 pm. The park closes an hour early to the public at 9 p.m. that night. That usually means there is one World of Color show for day guests at 9 p.m. Fireworks and Fantasmic! at Disneyland are only on weekends then so that would be the 26. If the nighttime entertainment is important to you, then we would book DCA on the 25th and Disneyland on the 26th. Have a great trip!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 10, 2022 at 5:38 p.m. Shewinked Says...

Do you know when the entertainment schedule for the holidays will be updated? It's so hard to plan when you don't know what will and won't be available. Thank you!

Reply
Oct 13, 2022 at 3:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shewinked!

Times can be posted 6 weeks out, but sometimes things do not populate until it gets closer. If you look at Nov. 17, you will get a general sense of what to expect. More times could be added to that day, as well. Overall, we'd say that most days would likely follow that schedule — though things might change slightly over the holiday break (or as it gets darker earlier at night, some things could move a little sooner). Dec. 3-4 can have some modifications due to the Candlelight Ceremony. Hours are not yet posted for December, but say if there were an unanticipated early closure midweek, then that could alter the schedule (none have been announced though). Hope this helps as more general advice!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
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