Cap the Night with Disneyland's World of Color Dessert Party
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Green seedless grapes
- Manchego, Cheddar and Brie
- Chocolate mocha bundt cake
- Mickey coconut macaroon
- Waffle bowl with berries and lime yogurt mousse
- Shortbread cookie filled with dulce de leche
- Mini French macaron
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just the one plate.
$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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
What's the old saying "a fool and his money is soon separated". I am sure Disney appreciates your kind donation.
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
BTW, the comment from 126.96.36.199 wins my best laugh on the Internet today. Well played.
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.
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.
Disney: No big, new adult rides, but have some wine...
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.
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."
Um, go on any DVC board and they are all buying the giftcards with their target cards. They are usually not the ones budgeting.
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.
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.
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.
$79? Some people have too much money, or too little sense.
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.
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.
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