The new year brings in some new dining choices for Disneyland visitors. The choices range from new Paint the Night dining packages at Disneyland Park to a new afternoon tea at the Disneyland Hotel to a remodeled and larger Cove Bar at California Adventure. You can look forward to trying these new Disneyland dining options in early 2016.
New Disneyland Dining Options in 2016
Paint the Night Dining Packages
On Jan. 11, 2016, we say good-bye to the Fantasmic! dining packages and welcome in some dining options that provide priority seating for the Paint the Night parade. These might interest you if you really do not like waiting for a good spot to watch the parade or want to avoid the stress of finding a good viewing location. If you have wished that you could reserve your parade spot, then these packages may be perfect for you.
There are two Paint the Night dining options. You may order a meal on the go from Aladdin’s Oasis or enjoy a table-service dining experience at Blue Bayou. There are two separate parade-viewing areas available with these packages depending on where you eat. You can bet that the more expensive table-service option has a better viewing location, so make your decision carefully to decide if these packages are worth the investment. If you purchase a meal from Aladdin’s Oasis, your viewing location is near “it’s a small world.” If you eat at Blue Bayou, your viewing location will be on Main Street U.S.A. Your voucher will tell you the location, time to arrive and show performance. You can reserve these packages online or by calling the Disneyland reservations system.
Are these packages worth it? Well … we have hopped around and seen the parade without these dining options, and we have always managed to find a good viewing spot through either luck or good strategy. If you want to watch the early parade from Main Street, you are going to need to claim a front-row curbside spot at least an hour and a half before the parade (depending on how crowded the park is). If you don’t mind standing behind people you can arrive later. If you choose to watch a later parade, it is much easier to claim a spot. Check the entertainment schedule to see if they have a second parade that day; if they do and you can stay up that late, that might be a less-expensive option for good parade viewing. If you already plan to eat at Blue Bayou and see the parade on Main Street, then that package might work to your advantage.
If you want to watch the parade near “it’s a small world,” you probably don’t need to buy the Aladdin's Oasis meal to do that. We have had good luck arriving shortly (about 10 to 15 minutes) before the show starts by coming from the Matterhorn area and sitting on the raised area on the right-hand side of the street before you reach the VIP viewing area in front of “it’s a small world.” We do not yet know if these lucky spaces we have easily found in the past will now become part of the new reserved viewing area or if they will be in the current VIP area—stand by for updates.
Time for Tea
Starting on Jan. 22, you can make time for tea at the glamorous Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel. Lily and I love to have tea parties, so we can’t wait! Leap and Tad will probably pass on tea for a chance to eat at some of their favorite quick-service restaurants in California Adventure or in Disneyland. Let them have their hotdogs, while we dine in elegance. With tea, juices, scones, finger sandwiches, desserts and more, this tea service is sure to be a perfect dining experience fit for a princess of any age. We recently had a lovely tea offsite on one of our South Orange County day trips and are curious to see how the Disneyland tea compares.
The Steakhouse 55 tea is available from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can reserve up to 60 days in advance.
Chill Out at the Cove Bar
If you have always wanted to eat on Pardise Pier next to the water of Paradise Bay, but you did not want to wait for a table, here’s your chance. Disney has expanded the popular Cove Bar in Disney California Adventure, so hopefully you can get seated faster. This is one of our favorite table-service restaurants in California Adventure that is fun for a date night or even for the whole family to share lounge food like lobster nachos, flatbreads, dips or tri-tip sliders. There are fun and colorful cocktails (reminiscent of the adjacent nightly World of Color show) and other drinks. We can’t wait to check out the new bar in 2016.
We hope you enjoyed our sneak peek into the Disneyland dining options available in early 2016. We wish you a Hoppy New Year and hoppy eating!