The World of Color nighttime spectacular at Disney’s California Adventure is a popular show and getting good seats can often take some time commitment. Guests have three options for the best viewing for the show: grabbing a spot through the virtual queue, using a dining package, or splurging on the World of Color Dessert Party.
When it comes to the higher price tag for the World of Color Dessert Party, the question everyone seems to ask: is it worth it?
We recently enjoyed this experience, and I’m here to help you answer that question! While the answer to questions like those are highly subjective, I really enjoyed the experience. It was a great way to enjoy the show after a long day at the parks.
Note: all of our dining reviews at Mickey Visit are based on our real vacation experiences in the parks and we pay out of pocket for anything we enjoyed.
If you’re interested in knowing the details for the World of Color Dessert Party for Seasons of Light (the holiday themed show) scroll down to the bottom of the article.
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World of Color Dessert Party Review- The Basics
The World of Color Dessert Party is the only viewing option that offers seated viewing for the show. This is party of the reason for that higher price tag. It may not seem like a huge perk while you’re comfortable researching your trip from home but after walking all day at the parks you will be happy you decided to splurge.
The dessert party viewing is located behind the FastPass tiers in front of The Little Mermaid attraction in the Paradise Gardens Park. The seating options include regular tables with padded folding chairs or high top tables with director chairs. Your package includes two alcoholic drinks for the adults 21 and over along with unlimited soft drinks, bottled water, or hot chocolate. The food included is a bread basket and a plate of desserts. Each member of the party will receive a plate and the table will share the bread basket.
- Price: $84 per person including tax and gratuity and must be prepaid in advance at the time of booking. No discounts apply.
- Your viewing area is located in Paradise Gardens Park in the World of Color preferred viewing area. Arrive an hour before the show starts to secure your spot and reservation at Disney’s request.
- Everyone in the party must purchase a ticket to the World of Color Dessert Party except those 2 and under.
You can see the viewing areas for the Yellow/Blue areas (formerly known as FastPass- now known as a virtual queue), dining packages, and Dessert Party in the image below.
Reservations are highly recommended for the World of Color Dessert Party. You can make your reservation up to 60 days in advance on the Disneyland Dining site or by calling (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463 between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM daily.
Some dining packages are extremely popular and will sell out before the date. Keep in mind that the Disneyland Dining website can often be a bit slow to get the dates available for the World of Color Dessert Party so keep checking back daily if it’s not showing up right at the 60 day mark.
World of Color Dessert Party Review- Our Experience
We experienced the World of Color Dessert party in June 2022 just a few short weeks after its return to California Adventure. The experience of lining up for the dessert party is vastly different now because of the high demand for this experience since the World of Color return. There are a larger numbers of dessert party reservations sold now as the space for dessert parties has been expanded further to both the left and right of the viewing experience to make room for more parties.
Here is the step by step of our experience for the World of Color Dessert Party which includes all the changes to this popular experience!
Lining Up for World of Color Dessert Party- Check In First
The process for lining up for the World of Color Dessert Party has now changed for both showtimes. You will first need to check in at the podium to the right of the Eureka building, right next to Grizzly River Rapids. Once you check in, you will be given a wristband and then be told to return to that same spot later on to be led to the viewing area.
If you want to pick your spot, it’s important you line up early for this first line! The cast member checking you in will allow you to pick your table type (high top or low) and location in the viewing area based on the order you check in. I would recommend lining up to check in as early as possible.
- For check in: we lined up around 830PM for the 9:15PM World of Color reservation time (for the 10:15PM showtime- second showing) and honestly could have arrived by at least 7:30PM to get closer to the front of the line as we got the last of the high top tables and were seated pretty far to the side in the viewing area.
- If you want to get an idea of what the check-in line is looking like, take a stroll past this area at least an hour before your dining time to gauge the situation.
- We were told to come back to this same spot by 9:45PM to line up again and they would then lead us over to the viewing area.
- We decided to enjoy a few rides and come back right at 9:45PM which was a mistake because were at the absolute back of the line to be lead to the dessert area meaning we didn’t get seated until about 10:05PM for a 10:15PM showtime for World of Color.
- Learn from my mistake and come back sooner if you want to enjoy a less ‘rushed’ dining experience before the show starts! We were told to order all our drinks at once since the cast member wouldn’t have time to come back since we were seated so late in the viewing area because we were towards the back of this second line.
Essentially, you line up twice: once to check-in and again to be seated in the viewing area.
As you can see above, the viewing area for the dessert parties now extends right alongside the entire viewing area for blue/yellow virtual queue areas so they can fit more guests.
We were seated to the far left of the viewing area, right next to the walking pathway, at a high top table in the second row of seats. Obviously, I would have preferred to be more centered in the front row of seats! Next time we will definitely arrive much earlier to check in for our wristbands to get the first choice of table viewing.
Each paying guest will receive a full dessert plate along with the choice of two speciality beverages and unlimited regular beverages. Cast members will not serve during the show so its important to make sure you order everything you like before the show starts!
The dessert plate was delicious! Our favorite treat was the Blue Raspberry Bundt Cake which definitely had the most unique flavor out of them all. I was disappointed to see that a bread basket is no longer included and instead each plate is given just two small packages of crackers. That wasn’t nearly enough to balance the cheese out so I really hope Disney brings the bread basket back at some point in the future!
The Cherry Breeze (non-alcoholic) tasted similar to a Shirley temple and we both enjoyed it.
I also ordered the sparkling wine. I skipped the tequila based drink based on previous reviews I had read that it is quite strong so if you’re looking for more ‘bang for buck’ you may want to go that route or order a beer!
Once the show started it was easy to see the price was worth the benefit of viewing the show from the comfort of a seated dining experience! Seeing everyone bunched together in standing room only areas below us did not look like a great way to end my park day but I am the type of guest that will always opt to pay extra for convenience. You could realistically get a good spot for the second showing of World of Color since it’s not nearly as crowded as the earlier show.
The projections are shown a bit lower on the water screens so at times they will be a bit harder to see but this didn’t impact our experience of this show by much. Most of the time we were easily able to see them!
Once the show started it really didn’t matter that we weren’t in the front row of the dessert party viewing, we had a great view from our spots.
Overall, I enjoyed this experience just as much as I had in the past once I figured out the new process for checking in and lining up before the show. Due to the amount of dessert parties being sold right now the process of checking in (line one!) and then returning for the actual party time (line two!) was a bit hectic and did eat up a lot of park time. However, I always think the price is worth it to be able to enjoy the show from a chair while you snack on dessert- that’s just how I prefer to tour the parks!
World of Color Dessert Party Review- 2019
This review is from pre-COVID before the parks closure and there have been some changes to World of Color since like I noted in the above review. We will leave this previous review here for reference since most of the experience remains the same as well as my thoughts on it!
The time for the World of Color show for our night was 10:15PM and my Disneyland Dining reservation reminder recommended that I arrive at 9:15PM. We decided to arrive at 9PM and when we did there were already at least four groups ahead of us. We had a tricky time at first finding the spot to line up as they don’t put the official Dessert Party sign up until 9:20PM. Don’t be afraid to ask a cast member if you have troubles.
Did we really need to line up 30 minutes early? I don’t think it was necessary but I’m the type of person that likes to be at the front of any line I’m in so I preferred to. Your ticket to the Dessert Party ensures your spot so even if you don’t show up until 9:15-9:30 you will still have a seat with a good view. I’d say if you have a preference over the regular table and folding chairs or the director style chairs and high tops- then show up early.
These are the high top table and director chairs.
We requested the director chairs and high top tables. The chairs were much more comfortable (at least to me!) than a regular padded folding chair. If you have real small children, you may want to consider going with the lower table and chairs if they’re fidgety.
Right at 9:30PM we were led to the viewing area. At the check-in stand you will give the cast member the name the reservation is under, show ID, and everyone in the party will be given blue wristbands. The wristbands are so anyone in the party can leave the area and be let back in. They will ask for your table preference and seat you according to your wishes and availability. Other reviews I read about the experience discussed a preference of being seated further to the right to have a more centered view. But we ended up being on the far left of the party and we had a fantastic view. So I really don’t think whether you sit left or right matters much. I felt like I could easily see everything.
Below see the World of Color dessert party menu!
Once you’re seated, you will be given the menu and asked for your drink order. If you noted that you had allergies on your reservation, you will be given alternatives to the pre-fix plate that is shown above. Make sure to note these allergies when you make the reservation so Disney Dining can be prepared for your requests.
Your two options for the alcoholic drinks are the Wonderful Cooler (made just for the show!) mixed drink and champagne.
The Wonderful Cooler is a mix of Sprite, lemonade, Blue liqueur, and coconut rum. I ordered both and ended up preferring the champagne.
The other adults in my party enjoyed the Wonderful Cooler and said it was good. I’m not a big drinker and it was a little too strong for me. I still drank it but my favorite was the champagne. But at least you know you’re getting your money’s worth and not being served a watered down drink.
Once we were served our drinks, we were brought the bread and dessert plates. This was pretty exciting for everyone- the dessert and cheese plate is huge! My nine year old son was overjoyed to have a plate all his own.
The bread basket includes parmesan coated breadsticks, twisted bread rolls, and crackers. The parmesan coated breadsticks are a bit crunchy but they were good. The crackers were great to pair with the cheese. We had a group of six and we were brought three bread baskets to share. We all still had a little bread left over at the end so it felt like plenty.
The items pictured starting clockwise: grapes, Mickey coconut macaroon, salted caramel cheesecake, raspberry filled shortbread cookie, mini french macaron, brie, mild cheddar, manchego and in the middle: the chocolate bundt cake with the edible World of Color sign.
Our favorite among the desserts was the salted caramel cheesecake. The chocolate bundt cake was moist and the edible sign tasted like white chocolate. My least favorite was the raspberry filled shortbread cookie but I’m not a big fan of jelly filled desserts. Others in the party enjoyed it. There wasn’t one item on the plate that at least one person didn’t enjoy in our party. Although to be honest, the grapes were left untouched by my nine year old. They did pair well with the cheese.
Our server was absolutely fantastic during the experience. She was extremely attentive to anything we needed and made sure we were stocked with drinks before the show started. Once the show starts, the servers will leave the area so everyone can see the show without anyone blocking their view. Make sure to order all your drinks before the show begins! The server was great about reminding us of that so we all had everything we needed with plenty of time to spare. She even offered to take a picture of all of us together at the end of the show which was a nice touch. You definitely feel that amazing Disney customer service at this experience.
The lights in the above picture will dim when the show starts and the lanterns surrounding the tables change colors in tune with the show along with the water fountains. This is something I’ve never noticed before when watching World of Color from the FastPass sections so that was a cool discovery.
While it’s not directly front row seating, I felt we had a great view for the show. I was easily able to see all the projections and the fountains. The only time I felt that I had to sit up good to see it well was when the projections were real low on the water screens which was only once or twice.
I’ve seen World of Color before in the standing areas whether it was in the yellow/blue sections or the dining packages and while being front and center can be great… having a seat for the show was even better. You don’t have to worry about trying to see over tall people in front of you or raising kids up to see the show.
Overall, the view of the show was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. It was a relaxing experience and just what I needed after a long day of walking in the parks. The kids also enjoyed the experience and the parents enjoyed not having to try and hold them up to be able to see over adults in a crowd. We only devoted 30 minutes to waiting in line for the party to start as opposed to the hour we would have sat reserving seats in a viewing area. The World of Color Dessert Party really does offer a great view of the show and does not disappoint.
Season of Light- Holiday World of Color Dessert Party
We have enjoyed the Dessert Party for the Christmas themed World of Color show called Season of Light. The process including cost, seating arrangements, and timing all detailed above are exactly the same.
The only difference is that you will receive holiday treats instead of the other treats served year round. The hot chocolate offered this time of year is also much more appreciated because of those cold California nights.
Here is the World of Color dessert party menu for the holiday version.
And the treats! We enjoyed the gingerbread cookie the most out of them all.
As you can see below, our seating was nearly identical to where we sat last time.
During the holiday season you will often see two showings offered for World of Color, as is the same with other peak times of the year. We decided to book the Dessert Party for the second show so we’d have more time to enjoy rides before the show. The check in process was a bit different for the second showing and there was some confusion on where to check in. After asking a cast member, we were directed to the area next to the Little Mermaid ride on the path towards Grizzly River Run. Once we checked in, the cast member then took us down to the same area we were seated in for our last experience.
There’s no need at all to line up early for a Dessert Party for the second show- half of the seating area was empty so I’d say it’s pretty rare they fill it for the second show. In all honesty, booking a Dessert Party for the second show isn’t necessary to begin with as you could easily walk up five minutes before it starts and get a good spot. But we wanted to enjoy the experience again for the holidays and it still felt worth it to me to have a table, chairs, and great desserts.
Is the Experience Worth the Splurge?
While the answer to this question is highly subjective based on the size of your group but I felt that the answer to this was yes! We absolutely loved this experience. Our entire party had a great time and we all agreed that the World of Color Dessert Party was worth the price we paid. Paying in advance was also convenient- it was nice knowing that this was one expense I had taken care of before we arrived.
The desserts were delicious, the champagne was decent, and the view was spectacular. I found the director chairs to be really comfortable. We felt like VIPs dining in style in those chairs! The kids in our group (ages 8 and 9) also enjoyed it and the food offered. At the end of the party, if you haven’t finished all your desserts and cheese, request a box to take them back to the hotel with you. You can also take some hot chocolate to go too!
We were unable to finish all our desserts so we brought them back to the hotel and ate them for breakfast. Hey, it’s vacation right?
This is my favorite way to watch World of Color after our experience. The high price tag was worth it to be able to sit down after a long day. I will definitely be budgeting the World of Color Dessert Party into our future trips because it was fantastic. It was one of the highlights of the trip and worth every penny, in my opinion.
But if you have a large family, this can easily become an expensive experience. If you’re worried about the expense and traveling on a budget, you can easily get a good view for the show using the virtual queue sections if you line up early enough. If you opt to see the second showing (if it’s offered during your trip) you can easily walk up 10 minutes before the show starts and get a great spot. Be sure to read our guide to the World of Color for tips on how to get a good seat.
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