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Your Ultimate Guide to Disney’s World of Color Dessert Party

Your Ultimate Guide to Disney's World of Color Dessert Party Tables WOC Dessert Party Large

If you are planning to visit the Disneyland Resort, the chances are you’re already familiar with some of the nightly entertainment that you can enjoy while visiting the parks. While Disneyland Park might be the place to go for fireworks and Fantasmic!, the neighboring Disney California Adventure Park has been holding its own since the introduction of World of Color in 2010. This projection extravaganza is a force of nature, enchanting audiences more and more with every iteration released.

While you can use a few different methods to get a decent viewing spot for this nighttime entertainment, one option is to book yourself a Dessert Party reservation and enjoy the festivities in style. Even though one might think this a very straightforward process, for first-timers, you will want to read this guide to make sure you make the most of your evening. Keep in mind that you will need three things to enjoy this experience. A day ticket, a park reservation (or park hopper ticket after 11 am), and a pre-paid reservation for the Dessert Party. The good news is that after that, all you need is some good planning and patience to enjoy the show.

We are going to use some hypothetical timing here to be able to give examples of how this system works. In this scenario, let’s say your show time is 9 pm. Your seating for the Dessert Party reservation will be at 8 pm.

Where Do I Check In?

Disney advises that you arrive just before your reservation time and check in at the Eureka water wheel near the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, but as you will see next, we suggest doing this much earlier. In terms of where to find the podium, it will pop up during the late afternoon near this spot. If you are trying to fit in those last-minute PIXAR Pier rides before the area shuts down for the show, keep coming around the edge past Goofy’s Sky School and then hang a left just after The Little Mermaid attraction.

Your Ultimate Guide to Disney's World of Color Dessert Party Eureka Wheel WOC Dessert Party Large

Completing Check-In: Do This as Early as Possible

Using the scenario above, your Dessert Party reservation will be at 8 pm. While many reviews might tell you that your check-in window will open an hour before (7 pm), my experience is that it can open sometimes even earlier, up to two hours beforehand (6 pm).

If you are a control freak like I am and insist on picking the exact table that you want, make a point of being there at the right time or at least lingering in the area so you can see where the podium appears. From the time the check-in opens, guests will be invited to have their reservation marked off, receive their wristbands, and choose their preferred table. From there, you will be given advice as to when to return, usually around 15 minutes prior to being seated.

On our last visit, we arrived for check-in at 6:30 pm (this same scenario), and there were already four parties checked in ahead of us. Luckily, none wanted the high-top seating that we did, so I still got my preferred table. Keep in mind that Disney does have a disclaimer that “Guests may be seated at a table with other parties,” giving you even more reason to get there early and choose your spot!

Your Ultimate Guide to Disney's World of Color Dessert Party Check in WOC Dessert Party Large

What Table Do I Want?

You can choose between high top and low top, as well as the best available position of each. I always go for the high top as it gives you that little extra height to see over those in front and have a clear view of the show. If you are familiar with the ground-level tiers in this area of the viewing space, you’ll know there isn’t much of a height difference from front to back. Because of this, any extra head clearance over those in front of you can be advantageous. I prefer the first tables of the walkway that give you a perfect view of the center.

In the map below, you can see roughly where the tables are situated, with the light blue representing the high-top tables and the darker blue showing the low-top tables. There is no scale or accurate number of tables here; it is just a rough guide to give you an idea of where you will be. I’ve even added a little star to my personal pick for the best table. If anyone in your party has a mobility issue, consider a low top, as the higher seating may be problematic to get in and out of.

Your Ultimate Guide to Disney's World of Color Dessert Party World-of-color-Large

When Should I Return?

Earlier than you are told to. I like to do something a little unorthodox here. Once I check in, I like to park myself on one of the benches, write an article, and send the kids off to enjoy an attraction or two nearby. When they come back, we might grab some savory snacks as a bit of a small dinner before the dessert party starts. On my last trip, I was quite partial to the Food and Wine stall that was conveniently located in front of the check-in podium, so that one came in handy. As people start filling in the line around you until it curves around the walkway almost out of sight, you will know that waiting was the right idea.

To be clear, your table is now already reserved. This is the line to be seated. Why would you want to be seated earlier? For two reasons; one is that you can start enjoying your desserts earlier, giving yourself some time before the lights go out to enjoy the experience before the show. At the end of the line, some guests were still in the process of being seated at the beginning of the show, so they weren’t enjoying the full experience and had to wait much longer while those in front of them were already eating yummy treats. The second reason is that you will be waiting either way (wait to be seated sooner) or wait longer for everyone ahead of you to be seated), so you might as well have it work to your advantage!

Your Ultimate Guide to Disney's World of Color Dessert Party Line WOC Dessert Party Large

What Happens Once You Are Seated?

Once you are seated, your server immediately starts to bring your goodies out. They will take your drink order, offering hot and cold beverages as well as alcoholic options. There is a limit of two alcoholic beverages per guest per transaction. Please note that if ID is required and you are visiting from outside the USA, Disney policy states that only a Passport can be used for identification. No ID Cards, Driver’s Licenses, etc. will be accepted. Despite being April, it was colder that night than California has ever been in all the winters I’ve ever visited, so we all chose the steaming Hot Chocolate. However, I was also delighted when tiny bottles of complimentary water came around as well.

Within a few minutes, your personal dessert platter will be delivered. If you are thinking about the $89 per person price tag and thinking this isn’t enough food, I get where you are coming from, although this was so filling that we all took at least half of it back to the resort. The grapes were divine, and the quality overall was so much higher than I was expecting. Those of you who know me by now might remember that I have a love/hate relationship with Disney Cupcakes; they look incredible but often don’t taste like much at all. Well, this was an unexpected departure from that experience, with everything on the plate full of flavor.

For anyone thinking that I missed the opportunity to turn this around before taking the photo, I am well aware. This 29,000-step day was on top of a 14-hour flight from Sydney, and there was nothing pretty about my ability to think straight at this point!

Your Ultimate Guide to Disney's World of Color Dessert Party Food WOC Dessert Party Large

When Does The Show Start?

Before long, within a few minutes of the scheduled starting time, the lights will begin to dim around the park, and the show will begin. World of Color – ONE will give you all the warm and fuzzy feelings of the earlier versions, with some of the newer Disney, Star Wars, and Disney Pixar characters added along the way. The show has a beautiful spirit that is conveyed through an energetic display that should be on everyone’s must-do list for Disney California Adventure Park.

Your Ultimate Guide to Disney's World of Color Dessert Party WOC Dessert Party Show Large

Was It Worth It?

Now, the question you might be asking yourselves is, was it worth it? It depends on what you are asking specifically. Was the food and drink alone the $89 per person? No, I can tell you that isn’t where 100% of the value is. It’s good but not life-changing. If you are wondering whether the investment gives you a better experience that is worth the money, then I would say yes. If you are spending the money required for Disney and want to make this vacation a memorable one, then the price is worth it for the comfort and taste of luxury that comes with enjoying this show in a seated setting with your loved ones.

You do not need to spend any additional money on dining packages or dessert parties in order to enjoy this nighttime spectacular, but you will need to give up a substantial part of your day if you want to have a decent vantage point to watch from. Guests started lining up for access to the area HOURS before the show. They were standing in line in the cold, just waiting. Even though I waited too, I did it on a comfortable bench, for less time, with some Food and Wine Festival treats in my hand and a family that was off enjoying the nearby rides. When we did have access, while the crowds pressed forward to find a place that each child could see from, we sat back in our comfortable chairs, sipping on hand-delivered hot beverages and enjoying the show. Actually, I think that is what it boils down to. There is seeing the show, and there is enjoying the experience. The World of Color – ONE Dessert Party definitely delivers on both accounts.

Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.

Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.


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