Belated Father’s Day to all those out there! For our Father’s Day / belated 5 year wedding anniversary celebration we went and visited Carthay Circle restaurant in California Adventure Park of Disney. To be honest, I had been to California Adventure at least 20 times and never even knew that it was a restaurant, because I would whip right past it to scoot to Midway Mania. I’m so glad a colleague recommended it!
The original Carthay Circle Theatre played a very significant role in the life of Walt Disney; it was the location where his first feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered in 1937. As you can see from the images above, this is a direct reflection of what the decor is inside of this restaurant. There is very little “Disney” going on inside, it is a whole lot of old Hollywood glam with vintage yet modern and elegant decor.
The downstairs area is a waiting area and bar/lounge. The lounge menu offers cocktails reminiscent of the era from which the Theatre was alive, and some signature drinks. There are also some appetizers. I saw a lot of younger adults and mature adults enjoying time in the plush chairs and relaxing from the hustle and bustle of the theme park.
The lighting is dim and there is a subtle sound of conversation around you.
Above is a sample from the lounge menu and the entrees are from the restaurant menu. Disney food is a bit pricey in general, so do not expect any exceptions here. You are not getting your standard cafeteria food, however. This is true foodie-food.
My four year old wasn’t going to touch the kid’s menu with a ten foot pole. Thankfully they were accommodating and made him a serving of french fries. We started off with the biscuits which took a little while to arrive but were very tasty. They were small circles of dough with a creamy, cheese, melting inside served with this sweet, pungent apricot butter. The serving of six disappeared quickly! My husband went all out… and ordered a hamburger. I got the sauteed short rib ravioli which I thought was delicious and savory. There was only four ravioli but they were rather large. Typical for a fancy shmancy place!
Overall it was a nice experience. We made reservations ahead of time to avoid having to wait for very long. Some of the staff seemed very young and aloof. Yet our waitress was quite knowledgeable (and apologetic) that my husband’s “medium well” burger was still moo-ing on the inside. They quickly got him a replacement.
The biggest disappointment for me was the fact that we stated that it was our anniversary during the reservation process and there was no mention of it once we arrived. Yet at tables around us we heard congratulations of all sorts – from birthdays to graduations. Perhaps it was a miscommunication from waitress to waitress because we did get a hand-off, but it made me a little upset. I’m not the kind of person to beg for something special or free, I just know I have seen a lot of people get neat desserts like his/hers mouse ear strawberries that say Happy Anniversary. It would at least been nice to have gotten an acknowledgement, as I had hoped that would have made it extra special.
My husband isn’t really wanting to go back again, so if I want to try something different on the menu I guess I will have to go without him!
Reservations are recommended for the restaurant.
Call Disney Dining at (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463.
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