Theme Park Insider

Cap the Night with Disneyland's World of Color Dessert Party

April 22, 2016, 12:03 AM · The Disneyland Resort invited us to the World of Color Dessert Party Thursday night, allowing us to sample one of the premium upsell experiences at the resort.

World of Color Dessert Party

For $79 per person (on top of theme park admission), the World of Color Dessert Party provides a reserved seat in a premium viewing area for the nightly show at Disney California Adventure, along with a dessert plate and drinks, served before the performance.

Now, let's put this out there right away — if your first reaction is "79 bucks — that's a lot of money," you're not the target market for this experience. Just forget about it and get your Fastpass for the show the old fashioned way. Disney created these dessert parties for families who plan their vacations by reading Robb Report, not by counting how many Disney gift cards they can buy at a discount from Target.

But if the price isn't an automatic deal killer — if you're just curious whether you're getting enough value in return, let's talk about that.

Dessert and a view

To me, the biggest value in the experience is that chair — a comfy director's-style chair placed with a clean view of the show. If you've ever stood through the wait for and the performance of World of Color, you'll appreciate the value of having a place to sit where you don't have to crane your neck or twist your body around the people in front of you to get a clear view.

The dessert plate

And having a nice bite to eat brought to you while you wait elevates World of Color from an attraction to an indulgence. The dessert plate includes:

There's also a small basket with baguette slices and toasted asiago sticks for the table. My favorite bites were the brie and the shortbread. I like the macaron, too (the French one), though I wished it had been the "normal" size. Drinks are included, including up to two glasses of champagne or specialty cocktails for adults or a "Made with Magic" light-up souvenir cup for kids 12 and under.

Made with Magic cup

Non-drinking adults are at the disadvantage here, missing out on the more expensive alcohol or the souvenir cup as they choose from the available soft drinks, coffee, tea, and cocoa. But when the show starts, everyone in the dessert party area gets to enjoy that great view.

Watching the show

Service is hit-and-miss. After we checked in and were escorted to our table, a server quickly brought us drinks... but never brought us our dessert plates. We had to track down another server and ask for our food. After the show, a manager appeared almost immediately to apologize for that delay and offer us another complete dessert plate in box to take home, along with our choice of extra drinks. Since we didn't want the alcohol, he hooked us up with one of those glowing souvenir cups instead. (Look for it in our next round of souvenir give-aways on the site.)

You can book the World of Color Dessert Party online or by calling +1-714-781-3463 up to 60 days before your visit. If you have allergies or any other special dietary requests, call instead of booking online to let Disney know. They'll gladly fix you a custom dessert plate that meets your needs. And be sure to arrive early to avoid the wait to check in... and to maximize your time enjoying your desserts and drinks before the show begins.

Replies (26)

April 22, 2016 at 6:28 AM · I will be out in Anaheim at the end of May and am seriously considering this one as I keep hearing that World of Color is a Must Do.

Do you get more that one plate of desserts? or it one and done with the 2 drinks?

April 22, 2016 at 7:27 AM · Just the one plate.

FWIW, "Celebrate" is my least favorite version of World of Color. I liked the original best, followed by Winter Dreams, then this one, which I don't think uses the fountains or the water screens as effectively as the other versions. It's as if Disney created a celebrity-hosted documentary about the park and just projected it on the water screens. The other versions used the media more impressively.

With Fantasmic! out of commission for the year, I'd rate WOC-Celebrate your third option for night-time shows at the resort, following (1) Disneyland Forever and (2) Paint the Night. If Disney brings back the original WOC after the 60th celebration ends in September, then WOC jumps up to pass Paint the Night and maybe even Disneyland Forever the the number-one evening must-see.

April 22, 2016 at 7:55 AM · $79 and they served you green grapes. I would expect red seedless grapes since they are sweeter and tastier. And where's the Mickey ice cream bar. I love those. My problem is they don't offer a salty version for those that can't eat sweets or prefer a more balanced diet. An appetizer version would be nice like salmon served on crackers, mozzarella sticks, and meatball kabobs. Overall, just say no to the whole thing.
April 22, 2016 at 8:09 AM · This is a total rip-off, I want it to be free and for them to cater specifically to my personal tastes and preferences. Nice "magic" Disney. I mean, seriously grapes!?! How common and boring, what about papaya or mango? Also, I don't like World of Color, why can't they make this a show where they put Dumbo on the water fountains. What would Walt think? This is the biggest travesty in the history of human existence. This is the part where I say I'm never going to go again and then book my next trip.
April 22, 2016 at 8:39 AM · Honestly, two (2) alcoholic beverages, a fairly substantial dessert plate, and a nice seat with a view all for $79 is a pretty good deal. Of course the perceived value is going to change from person to person. It's all what you prefer to spend your money on.
April 22, 2016 at 8:44 AM · First off, that's not a dessert plate, that's a cookie plate with grapes and what amounts to 2 slices of cheese at the most. I would price that plate at $20, and that's being generous. I'll admit that the 2 glasses of champagne is a surprise. I don't mind the pricing of these exclusive offerings at the parks from the Jungle Cruise Brunch, the disastrous Trader Sam's Mahaloween to the DCA Food and Wine celebrity panels. What I do mind is when the offer or event is both executed and planned poorly. From the untrained staff and low inventory at DCA's F&W, the actual bait & switch of what was advertised versus what was delivered at the Trader Sam's Mahaloween (the complaints went all the way to the top from what I heard), to what sounds like more untrained staff at your Dessert Party, and a very pathetic dessert offering. What they served you on that plate looks like it came from one of my office parties. I'd expect to see cheesecake, cake, macaroons, truffles, possibly a scoop of ice cream. My husband and I do attend these events, and spend good money, but we are more often disappointed than impressed. If Disney really wants to offer high-end events, products - then they need to do a much better job of planning and executing. I get the impression that TDA comes up with the idea, then hands it off to the most junior members of the staff. TDA needs to bring in team members with extensive hospitality experience. We are paying for dinner at the Ritz, but we're getting a snack at the Holiday Inn. I will say that the Jungle Cruise Brunch was exceptional. TDA needs to use that event as the standard.
April 22, 2016 at 9:14 AM · Sounds like it could be nice. But really, how is the view? Where is the section? How does it compare to viewing from the Carthay and other dining package areas? And do you have people in another section in front of you standing?
April 22, 2016 at 10:03 AM · I don't drink alcohol, so I lose a little value. Still, I've only been to DLR once (pre-CarsLand), and don't remember it all that well. In order for my next visit to be as memorable as possible, I don't think it's a bad idea to partake in a few upcharge events if they include premium seating for a show. I agree that that's where the value is.
April 22, 2016 at 11:14 AM · I'm a bit confused. $79/person. 1 person gets 1 drink and a plate of dessert samples. 2 people get 2 drinks and 1 dessert plate. What if you have 3 or more? How many have to share 1 plate?
April 22, 2016 at 11:24 AM · James, I read it as one plate of dessert each but the bread basket (to go with cheese) is shared amount the table. And I also read it as two alcoholic drinks per person.
April 22, 2016 at 11:35 AM · It's two drinks (or one souvenir cup, if a kid) and one dessert plate per person. And one bread basket for the table, which is typically four people.

The viewing area is in between the Blue Fastpass and Reserved Dining areas, about halfway up. I believe it was where the videography stand was set up for the WOC press event. It's the best view I've had for the show, minus the Let it Go fog blasts right in front of us.

April 22, 2016 at 12:28 PM · What's the old saying "a fool and his money is soon separated". I am sure Disney appreciates your kind donation.
April 22, 2016 at 2:15 PM · Thanks for the info Robert. Hmmmm..if it is anything like the Orlando events, one bread basket for 4 people will equal to whomever grabs the fastest gets the most..LOL

I am surprised for this amount though that they are not willing to set up dessert buffets where you can graze as you choose. Not all of us care for cheese.

I will have to reconsider this and decide if the good view is worth the money.

April 22, 2016 at 3:24 PM · BTW, the comment from 98.110.78.34 wins my best laugh on the Internet today. Well played.

As for "why not a buffet?" - my guess is it's because space is tight here and there's just not room for people to be queueing for buffet tables. Plus, buffets are typically wasteful (from the company's perspective) versus preparing plates for customers.

April 22, 2016 at 3:24 PM · First, the show is not that great, my wife and I decided to end it halfway to beat the crowd. We could afford this, but if I saw that as a dessert plate for this experience, I would be furious. A complete rip off.
April 22, 2016 at 4:16 PM · I attended a preview of SeaWorld's Holiday Shamu show a couple of years ago. As we entered the theater, we were given our choice of hot beverage and a prepackaged box of desserts. It had many of the same kinds of items included in the WOC dessert party, minus the cheese and bread. I though it was a perfect small treat to enjoy along with the holiday show. I agree with Robert - the real reason to pay for this is to have a place to sit and enjoy the show. I enjoy WOC, but HATE standing in the crowd to see the show. A big comfy place to sit, and a little nosh...perhaps not wort the price, but I can see what they were going for.
April 22, 2016 at 5:08 PM · Disney: No big, new adult rides, but have some wine...
April 22, 2016 at 10:45 PM · I like having the choice to partake in these kinds of up-charge events but this one doesn't seem worth it or executed well. I'd rather have lunch at the Carthay and take that reserved seating because the amenities here just seem kind of lame. Maybe it's because I don't drink alcohol that it doesn't seem worth it. For the dessert plate I'd expect a slice of cheesecake or tiramisu. Another poster put it aptly that this type of experience should feel like the Ritz and not the Holiday Inn.
April 23, 2016 at 1:33 PM · Robert, I normally enjoy your articles a lot. But, I found this statement very patronizing and symptomatic of a prevailing feeling coming from Disney. "if your first reaction is "79 bucks — that's a lot of money," you're not the target market for this experience. Just forget about it and get your Fastpass for the show the old fashioned way. Disney created these dessert parties for families who plan their vacations by reading Robb Report, not by counting how many Disney gift cards they can buy at a discount from Target."
Disney Parks is creating the view that staying in their hotels, buying a ticket, buying food is not enough; to be a valued guest you need to do more. It is getting harder to avoid crowds, long lines and overall to have an enjoyable experience. As a long time season pass holder, my family has become used to these things. But, for many first time families, they view Disney as a pain and not worth the expense. Now, even ardent fans, like myself, are finding it hard to defend Disney as nothing but a money grab.
The economics of business say Disney has two options, to compensate for a shortage of Disney brand Hotel’s in California and park overcrowding in its California theme parks and the Magic Kingdom in Florida:

A. Charge more: Which is the Disney current philosophy. The California onsite hotels are now charging an average of $300 per night. A three day one park ticket is now $255 per adult. The problem is that the price increases have not fixed the problem. The solution is to charge more, but you eventually run the risk of alienating your fan base. While Disney fans are passionate and you may be able to bring them back with price discounts, new rides, specials, your run the risk of alienating them and more importantly alienating future generations.

If you charge a premium price to get in, you better provide a premium experience and right now Disney doesn’t do it.

B. Expansion: Disney owns the land in California to expand. If it builds a top of the line park it will reduce capacity at the other two parks and they could build two additional hotels. In Florida, Disney could also expand, but it could start by fixing it’s other three parks.

Plan B, comes with risk, it’s own set of problems (parking?) and it requires a significant cash outlay. But, it at least tells the fan base for the next 10+ years, that we are doing something to fix the problem. Not the current statement “your money is not enough or good enough for us”

April 23, 2016 at 3:38 PM · Um, go on any DVC board and they are all buying the giftcards with their target cards. They are usually not the ones budgeting.

I kinda expected this kind of review from Robert. Disney greatly overprices their dessert events regardless of the park. What surprised me was that Robert sort of gave it a minor thumbs up. The object in these desert games is to get your "money's worth". It seems like Robert did just that!

Also, Fastpasses to World of Color are not being sold on the Black Market either. If you put in a little effort, you will be rewarded. They are not that rare!

April 23, 2016 at 4:19 PM · darkridefan- Roberts statement regarding who this type of up-sell is geared towards is probably exactly how Disney feels about it as well. This is a company looking to maximize profit however it can. They don't care about whether the average Joe can afford it. There is nothing wrong with targeting the upper class, something I believe Robert has talked about before. It would seem that Disney is doing just that by throwing as many "exclusive" additions as they can at those that can pay. It's a company folks...it does not care about your feelings nor does it owe you anything.
April 23, 2016 at 7:51 PM · Here is my point, Disney averages about 10% overall growth the past decade from it's domestic theme parks. The two categories it measures growth are by Volume (Attendance and Occupancy) and Guest spending. Typically that growth has come from the Guest spending (most years guest spending has shown a 7-8% growth). Contrary to popular belief, Average joe is driving attendance and hotel occupancy and for the most part spending. As evidence by the fact that hotel occupancy hit 87%, by far its highest year in the last 9 (2006 had 86%), and for the first time in 10 years the Volume portion out performed the Guest spending portion.

As a publicly traded company it is all about growth and profitability. But there is limit to how much you can get from the guest without affecting both attendance and spending. Eventually, you reach a tipping point. While having these up charge events can increase spending. It further risks alienating the average joe. Which is the largest driver of the Disney economy as a whole.

Without expansion of its parks and hotels, it has nowhere to grow except on the spending side. With it's competition upping their game and families not enjoying the Disney experience, Disney risks losing market share.

If you would like to read more about the Disney Financials or about it's concerns about future trends, cataclysmic events and so on, I suggest looking at the yearly November 10-K Securities and Exchange report.

April 23, 2016 at 9:28 PM · I am not going to dive into how Disney should grow its company or the finer points of its financials. I will leave that to people more qualified than me and those on message boards who want to sound smart.

When it comes to the up charge events- my point is they are expensive and the value may seem low to a lot with tighter budgets. These offerings are not designed for those travelers. Why is it necessary for everyone to flip out and cry fowl at Disney because not everything they offer is designed to be for them? Give me a break.

April 24, 2016 at 4:21 PM · $79? Some people have too much money, or too little sense.
My recommendation: just get a fast pass for the show. If it's on a weekday, you should have a good view.
April 24, 2016 at 8:39 PM · It really isn't about the food, it's about the convenience and experience. I remember our first trip to Disneyland and we tried to watch Fantasmic but my 8 year old son was practically trampled. The next time we returned we did their package deal and it was awesome. Reserved seating, great snacks and beverages, attentive Disney staff, well worth it. We have done this at most of our trips and plan for it, again, mostly for the convenience. If you can afford it, why not? We always plan and budget for these type of extras.
April 25, 2016 at 11:01 AM · At this point, I hope that regular readers understand how I try to write reviews. My goal is to write a review in such as way that if you would end up liking the experience, you'll think I am raving about it, and if you would hate the experience, you'll think I'm panning it.

In this case, if you're not all that price sensitive, but let's say you have a bad back and prefer to sit instead of standing through show, hey, this is a win for you. If you are price sensitive, it's hard to justify paying $79 for what you get here.

What I hope to avoid in either case is getting people angry about this. Hey, if you don't think you'll like it, don't go. The fact that Disney invited a bunch of writers to this a month after its launch tells me that sales probably aren't going as strong as Disney wished. If people keep blowing this off, it'll go away. Disney eventually bends to the wishes of its customers.

That's why I loved the anonymous comment I praised earlier. Many Disney fans complain about stuff... then keep buying it. Disney doesn't care about comments but does care greatly about sales. Vote with your wallet if you want to influence Disney.

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