WOC-SOL to Dessert Party, or not to Dessert Party

Next week we’re having an early dinner at Carthay Circle. Regular dinner - not the prix-fixe with the Dining Package for WOC-SOL. I had that reservation, then dropped it in favor of a regular reservation. Because - well, I’m not sure why. Probably because it’s our first time and we wanted to try the regular menu. I then picked up the dessert package. I was thinking since dinner is on the early side, the dessert package might be good since we won’t be hungry hungry. I’m just not sure it is worth it though and they don’t seem to be too popular. Also, when DH and I were in CA about 2 weeks ago, we really had a blast trying a bunch of stuff at the holiday food kiosks.

Now what I’m thinking is if we keep our early dinner and get hungry later - it would cost us less to hit up the food kiosks again (there will be 3 of us) even if we went full out than it would cost for the dessert package for 3. Yikes, I’m almost ready to dump the dessert package for that reason alone.

So if I do drop, we can try to get FP for WOC-SOL - not something I really want to do. Or maybe pick up an early lunch package? Cheapest is FP, keep our regular dinner and food kiosks for fun ways to kill the hunger.

I’m just not sure I want to deal with getting the FP. And is the viewing any different with the FP vs the Dinner package vs the dessert party? Thoughts?


It’s been several years since I’ve been, so things may have changed, but here are my experiences…

I can’t speak to the Dessert Party, but I’ve seen WOC both with the FP and with a Carthay Circle Dining Package. I will never go to WOC again without a dining package. Getting the FP is kind of a hassle and you can never be certain which show or section you’ll be in. And the PF guarantees that you’ll get into a section, but if you want the best spot in the section, you still have to line up early. With the DP I walked into the “reserved” section about 20 min before show time and had an awesome spot.

I missed your last question… At least when I went, all of the “reserved” areas were at show center and the FP areas were off to the sides. You can still see it all, but definitely not at as good an angle.

I go to DLR frequently, as recently as 2 weeks ago, and have a different perspective on WOC. I think the blue FP section on the bridge is the best viewpoint, and of course it is free. We have done the dining packages, and find to get front row of a tier you still have to be there an hour early. Front row of a tier is necessary if you are a shorter adult or a child. If we have to line up early, might as well do it for free. Honestly, if I was going to pay for anything to get a spot, it would be the dessert party since it actually offers seats, which is great at the end of a busy day. The dining package locations means you still have to stand. Getting a blue FP is quite easy, just head to the FP booths early. They have been staggering the colors (blue or yellow) pretty frequently, just ask the CM what color is being distributed. Two weeks ago we walked by there at rope drop on the way to TSMM and 2 CMs were just handing out blue FPs. Very quick, no need to even go to the kiosk (they were out in front of the water ride). I personally would do blue FP and eat where you want, although we were not overly impressed with Carthay in May. If you don’t want to do a FP, dessert party would be my next choice, followed last by a dining package. Honestly I think the food at Ariel’s Grotto is better than Carthay, and cheaper too.
The new WOC was great! You will love it. Such an awesome way to start the Holiday season. You can’t go wrong with any of the options as long as you get there early to stake your spot. Good luck deciding!

I’ve been trying to get this posted for DAYS, but I can never seem to finish my post. Not that I’ve decided anything really, I’ve just been going back and forth.

Ariel’s Grotto doesn’t have any more WOC dining packages for that day (I guess they only do dinner?). Right now I’m holding a lunch reservation dining package for Wine Country and Carthay - Regular Dinner at Carthay and the Dessert Party.

It will for sure be a long day. First the dog goes into impound. She will spend her day at the kennel. I hope to get her logged in early to be ready to stand in line to claim a candy cane.

After that, it’s do what ever until WOC. In all my years (who’s counting) I’ve never seen any of the shows. I’ve never seen Fantasmic, or Paint the Night. We’re just not the evening show kind of people. I think we’re just done by that time of the evening. But I really want to do it at least once.

When I told my DH the cost of the Dessert Party - he was shocked. I guess I (we) really needed to think about it a different way. You’re really paying for the experience. And while that is something I don’t usually mind doing, we’re going to WDW next year (September) and I’m not so sure I want to be spending money on experiences here when I need to have the funds to have the experience THERE. Because I could do HERE just about anytime.

I think I’m for sure dropping the dessert party. I’ll just check with the kid on which reservation we should keep - much will be dependent on the menu. I’ll let you know how it goes.

*we accidentally got a kitten and she tanked my previous post. She is quite the terror and really enjoying having people home today. I’m typing my reply in Word now so I can correct any keys the kitty paws attack and stop an early submission.

…back to the story. Do you ever have one of those Disney days when you should’ve just stayed home? That was yesterday. I won’t air my family’s dirty laundry, since that won’t help anyone – other than to know NOT to travel with my family. Let me just say – tall people, when short people say they’re fine, that they can see, please don’t insist (whine, complain and pester) that they move because you found a great spot. Do not even ask until you crouch down and see the view from our perspective. Because if you don’t, when we get there, and we can’t see, we can’t go back to where we were because someone else will have taken our spot. So – I didn’t get to see the show.

On with it - I can recommend the Carthay Circle viewing area, however I can’t recommend the food at Carthay. At least not for the dining package. @Wahoohokie – not impressed with Carthay Circle? I actually think that’s being kind. I was straight up disappointed. The service and theming were great, but the food…not so great.

We added the much raved about duck wings and fried biscuits to our meals. The duck wings were severed cool temperature) and the biscuits, maybe they’ve changed them from what people have been getting. No jalapeno, no bacon – just cheese – also a little cool.

I got the wagyu and truffle ravioli. I don’t eat meat often, but seeing wagyu with truffle in a ravioli, yes and yes! However, no truffle – and the wagyu was reminiscent of what you’d find in Chef Boyardee ravioli. Now I’m not opposed to some good ol’ Chef when I’m feeling nostalgic – but not at these prices!

DS had the tri tip blue cheese risotto. While the tri tip was good – I don’t know what was up with their blue cheese. You know the rind on brie? The blue didn’t taste like blue – it tasted like brie rind – I don’t like brie rind. I noticed this in my starter salad as well.

DH had the burger and really enjoyed it – but his fries were cold. So not only did we have temperature issues, we had flavor issues. And dessert – don’t get me started. DH had the monkey bread – which was not an option for me since I’m allergic to cinnamon. He said it was just ok. DS and I each got the peppermint (or was it Candy Cane) Valrhona Dark Chocolate Cake or something like that. It was totally forgettable. – there was this minty flavored fluff ball with some glittery goo artfully on the plate. If only it tasted at least as good as it looked.

And there you have it. I was going to get up this morning and get a FP for WOC – then I remembered I work from 4pm until midnight. I’ll see if I’m able to get up tomorrow and get over there to grab a FP, because it’s got to be Saturday or Sunday before my passes black out for the holidays and I’d like to see it before the end of the year.

Wow - things must have changed. My dinner at Cathay Circle was one of the best meals I’ve had inside a park on either coast. It was equal to or better than any WDW signature.

Sorry you weren’t able to see the show, I hope you are able to make it back. I went to Carthay in May with my daughter for lunch. We had appetizers as I had heard for many years how great the duck wings and fried biscuits were. They weren’t! Thought it was just us, but looks like you agree! I cannot believe the Chef Boyardee ravioli! Crazy!!!

It’s just one persons opinion. And I don’t want to write off Carthay all the way just yet. I won’t do the tasting menu again, and wouldn’t recommend it. I’d like to try the regular menu before passing judgement on the location as a whole. They could’ve been having an off day - but there was no obvious reason for it. It wasn’t that busy at all. The location wasn’t even full, and most tables sat clean for about 20 minutes or more before new seatings came. There have also been some poor Yelp! reviews recently. 5 1-2 star reviews (out of 11) since the 1st of December. Batting 50%? Something must be up.

One thing I overheard was particularly…baffling…someone ordered some type of steak at a nearby table. I wasn’t really tuned in, so I didn’t hear, but then the server asked, how would you like it cooked? The person asked for medium. And the server, I KID YOU NOT, said, “The kitchen tends to overcook the steaks, how about I put it in for rare and it should come out how you like it?” WHAT!!! I say again W-H-A-T? Why doesn’t the kitchen cook the steak, I don’t know, as requested to begin with?

Maybe it will resolve in time. But for now, I’m going to give it some space.

OK - two persons opinions. I too heard great things about the duck wings and fried biscuits!!! The way Pete Werner in one of the DIS Unplugged YouTube videos was saying before anything DEMAND the biscuits, I thought for sure they would be worth it. And really, they weren’t. However, looking at photos online - what we got only vaguely resembled what’s in the photos. Photos show golden brown balls breaking open to what looks like stringy, melty herbed cheese. We didn’t get that. Ours were dark brown, cool, plain white bland cheese that wasn’t all melty - if it was there at all.

As for the duck wings - I don’t like (won’t eat) meat cooked on the bone. But DH pulled some off and I braved my fears so I could try it. It was good duck, a little overcooked and cold. I could see how it would be good, it just wasn’t that time.

But yea, by far the worst offense was to the wagyu in the ravioli. When the plate was dropped, I thought - 4 ravioli? Granted they’re big, but 4 ravioli? Then I took the first bite and was thankful I only had 4 ravioli. Why oh why would anyone make wagyu mince then overcook that before stuffing it into pasta? I don’t really want to know why, I want to know why weren’t they stopped!

The steak thing was a service failure. If the server knows the cooks go a shade too done, they should have just put it for Med-Rare without letting the guest know the kitchen’s weakness.