Best dining experience I've ever had at a theme park. Good food, good drinks, really awesome atmosphere. I would also recommend dining inside, it's loud outside and the atmosphere isn't as good in my opinion.
It is pricey, but really worth it to get out of the crowds. I think the best deal is to just have a drink downstairs and escape the masses, especially during a really hot or cold day. Personally I think the best deal is to have a meal and a drink at Story Tellers Cafe at Grand California, but the one time I had dinner at Carthay Circle I really enjoyed it. I must admit my father in law treated us so I didn't get any sticker shock. Probably worth it for special occasion, and get the World of Color deal to make it worth while.
I haven't updated that post yet, but we've dined there more recently, and service was much improved. From what I've heard, it's still a bit hit or miss on that, but is now generally pretty good.
Well written blog with excellent pictures!
My sister and I ate at Carthay Circle on Friday 11/8 at 1:30. I am pointing out dates and times as this was the start of a Holiday weekend and also a slightly later lunch time. As we only had one day to see both parks I thought this choice of dinning location was a little risky. I was not sure how long it would take if we had slow service.
However, this was an incredible experience. As we had been at Disneyland since rope drop the opportunity to actually sit and relax in such a beautiful location was so refreshing. We drank so much water and the service was attentive but not smothering.
our waiter was familiar with the menu offerings and helped with beverage selection. It was relaxing without being too slow, if that make sense. The food came fairly quickly and was quite tasty. Although we visited on a very busy day we did not visit at a popular time and that might of helped with the excellent service we received.
I would recommend trying this restaurant at least once.
My family and I have been multiple times for dinner mostly. We've never been disappointed by the food or service. Yes, it is expensive but well worth it. The menu changes every so often so it's not the same every time.
It's an experience you should take you time with. Don't go in a a hurry or wait until your starving and just "want to eat". Arrive early ahead of your reservation time and enjoy the Carthay lounge for while. They got great appetizers down stairs and grab drink!
The food is great. We've never had a bad experience with it. If I recall correctly, if you order any 3 course meal you get tickets to see World Of Color
Definitely try to get an indoor table for our first experience. It's really something else in there, but the balcony can be fun too!
I personally didn't care for it, but I'm able to form that opinion because I've experienced it. Curiosity will always kill the cat. SO, if you are curious to experience Carthay for yourself, then definitely do it.
Carthay Circle is our favorite special occasion place - and sometimes we invent special occasions as an excuse to go there! (Been quite a few time.)
It is expensive, but worth it. Food, service, setting are all consistently great - better than anything you'd expect inside a park. AP discounts do help with the bill. Never sat outside, actually asked to sit out on the balcony a couple of times, but was told that it was often not open.
The food at Carthay Circle is wonderful. I've been about three or four times and have not been disappointed with anything I ordered. If you are a true foodie, you will appreciate the culinary art behind the dishes. The menu changes by the season so there are new choices for each visit. The restaurant itself is beautiful as well. It has a 1920's Hollywood glam environment with many photographs on the walls of Walt Disney and various celebrities. However, the only down part is that the restaurant IS in a theme park. You are subjected to screaming kids and loud families that can spoil the experience. I found its best to speak up and be stern on requesting to be seated in a more quiet area. I say this because I found the hosts/hostesses to not really care about accommodating special requests. So speak up... you are the one paying for the meal!
There is a bar and lounge downstairs if you would like to have a drink while waiting to be seated. If you do decide to eat here, ask to take the elevator once you are called. Although not necessary, I feel it just enhances the experience a little.
As some have mentioned, the chef's table at Napa Rose would be another great option for an anniversary. It's about a hundred bucks a person and not too hard to get a reservation. Good luck with whatever you choose and happy anniversary!
I find it a bit overrated. The service is veryyy slow and the food is rather average. I found the portions for certain menu items kind of small too. Now, I understand that in a theme park, the main attraction to a restaurant is more about atmosphere, and the Carthay has a nice atmosphere. But I didnt like how claustrophobic the lack of windows make it. I think the Trattoria is the better DCA sit-down restaurant.