Even if we had wanted to research like crazy for this trip, the quick turn-around from booking flights to actually landing in Anaheim would not have allowed for it (we decided to go on the trip on a Monday, and flew down on Thursday that same week). I did however take some time to talk to a few co-workers who I knew had taken their families to Disneyland within the past few years. The one thing I was told over and over - don't miss World of Colour at California Adventure Park. One co-worker mentioned that he really regretted not booking a fastpass or a dining package for preferred viewing - so I went online and looked into it. There are three restaurants that participate in this - Ariel's Grotto, Carthay Circle Restaurant and Wine Country Trattoria. Ariel's Grotto appeared to serve a lot of fish (go figure), and anything that comes from the water is disgusting and I refuse to eat it. L also has a slight shellfish allergy, so that eliminated that restaurant. The Carthay Circle Restaurant had a weird menu (I'm extremely fussy and bland with my palate) so that left Wine Country Trattoria. When you book the World of Color dining package, you can not just order from the normal menu. You select from a pre-determined menu at a set price per person, but your meal will include an appetizer (such as soup or salad) as well as dessert. The menu changes from each location. Check out the Ariel's Grotto menu HERE (dinner only), the Carthay Circle lunch menu HERE and dinner menu HERE, the Wine Country Trattoria lunch menu HERE and the dinner menu HERE.
I made a dinner reservation (I didn't spend enough time researching to know that lunch at Wine Country costs only $29.99 while dinner costs $42.99), but I also would not have cared about that. For our starters, L chose the salad (there's not a single thing in that salad I will eat, gross). That left me asking for the soup selections - they had minestrone that day which is something I will eat! For entrees L chose the chicken breast, which he really enjoyed. I went for the filet mignon - but of course I insist on all meat being cooked well-done. I prefer my steak to not still be mooing on my plate, thank you very much. (I take so much heat for this all the time - "You just ruined a great cut of meat!"). The first time they brought my steak out, I cut into it and it bled all over my plate so I of course asked to send it back (I try not to send things back at restaurants very often, it's pretty much only steak). I then had to wait over half an hour before they brought it back out to me (so L was finished his meal before I even started eating my filet mignon. When I did finally get it back however, it was cooked perfectly!
Then came dessert - and omg. It was fantastic! It was a sampler plate with 2 of each of the following: European macaroons, cream puffs, tiramisu and panna cotta. We were both full from our meal, and weren't able to clean off the dessert plate, but we did make sure we sampled everything.
To make up for the long wait I had for my steak to be re-cooked, our waitress offered us a fast-pass for the Radiator Springs Racers which we gladly accepted (they didn't have to offer anything, and The Cars ride had by far the longest waits of any ride in the park - and was also one of the most impressive). We paid our bill and headed over to use our Fast-pass, only to find out the ride had broken down :( A cast member directing people told us we could come back the next day to use the fast-pass, but we weren't coming back so it ended up going to waste. Oh well! We decided to just head to the reserved area for World of Color even though it didn't start for another 45 minutes. Turns out we made the right decision - we ended up being front and centre for it! We could actually feel the heat off the flames and some of the water from the cannons ended up landing on us.
The show itself is not to be missed - it is incredible. I was so caught up in watching it I ended up not taking a single picture of it (which is totally not like me at all!). For almost half an hour I just stood there in awe of what I was watching. The price of dinner was well worth having the best reserved viewing area - you can get fast-passes early in the day for the show, but the views are not as centred.
Next time we go back to Disney's California Adventure Park I will absolutely be booking another dining reservation for World of Color! I highly, highly recommend it and am so glad it's the one thing I booked in advance!
Our day at California Adventure: