The Carthay Circle Restaurant opened at Disney California Adventure Park back in June of 2012 as part of the make-over of what is now Buena Vista Street. Located at the end of Buena Vista Street at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard, it is just off the ‘hub’ of Disney California Adventure Park. This restaurant is inspired by the real Carthay Circle Theatre, which was the Los Angeles movie theater that premiered “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937. Here at Disney California Adventure Park, instead of a movie, you will experience fine dining experience surrounded by the decor of that Golden Age of Disney animated movies. Over the decades I have spent at the Disneyland Resort, I have tried every single dining option available inside the park. And I will make the argument that Carthay Circle is the best dining available.
Upon entering the restaurant on the first floor, you will proceed towards the back to check in for your reservation, as reservations are highly recommended. Diva Tip – If you have a special celebration, be sure to let the Cast Member know when you check in. We celebrated one of our wedding anniversaries here in 2015 and enjoyed a special celebration dessert. You can then take a load off your feet in the cushy chairs of the waiting area, or if you table is ready, you will be led up to the 2nd floor.
There is a set of stairs or a lift (elevator) to bring you up a level. The host will gladly tell you about the history of the Carthy Circle, the images of movie stars that you pass as you go to your table, and about the detail put into the decor – the light fixtures for example are authentic to the originals from the Theatre in 1926.
There is a main dining room, as well as several semi-private dining rooms, a second main dining room, and an outside dining terrace. Diva Tip – If you have a preference, note that when making your dining reservation and ask politely again when you check in for your reservation.
Yes, the decor and ambiance in this restaurant is top notch. What I have found as well over our many times here, is that the service is top notch as well. I have had very questionable service at the Blue Bayou, which many people consider the best restaurant over at Disneyland. I dined at Blue Bayou most recently in February 2020 with servers that reached over the table, served from the incorrect side, and asked us to hand him our used dishes. Blue Bayou has upscale prices and I expect that to be reflected in the service. And it is at Carthay Circle. All of our servers have exhibited perfect etiquette at Carthay Circle. They have also been responsive and flexible, as Disney always is, with any dietary needs.
Plus I have always enjoyed my food. The menu does change with the season and chef Chef Andrew Sutton, who is also the Culinary Director of the award-winning Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa, is the creator of this menu. Yes, Napa Rose is also arguable the best restaurant inside or outside the Disneyland Resort, so try both and let me know what you think.
I can recommend anything on the Carthay menu, and I can HIGHLY recommend that you add the Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits to your meal. These are fried and then stuffed with with white cheddar, bacon, and jalapeño with an apricot-honey butter. They are as amazing as they sound. And if you are into cocktails, the lounge on the first floor seven amazing concoctions, which you can also order in the dining room.
The quality of the food, the attention to service, and the expertly-prepared and drinks makes Carthay Circle the best restaurant inside either of the two Parks. The price point is high, but I believe it can be justified due to the experience of having a meal here. I highly recommend you give this a try on your next trip. And you are in luck because Disney will be reopening Carthay Circle along with Buena Vista Street in November 2020!
If you want help planning your trip to dine at Carthay Circle Restaurant, be sure to contact Patricia at All For Dreams Travel for a free vacation quote.
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