i would say an absolute YES! i had the same concerns earlier this year, but i went ahead and did it. The food is pretty good (not like blue bayou, but still really good =]) and the dining package viewing space for WoC is AWESOME. still, make sure you get in as soon as possible...it still gets a little crowded and good places fill quickly. if you can, get as close to the fence in the front as possible that way there is nothing blocking your view. I stood there for my first WoC and it was INCREDIBLE =] have fun!
November 7, 2008 - My Disneyland dream came true! And is was "SUITE"!
My entire party hated the food. Service was horrible for us. I ordered a beer and got it warm 20 minutes later. My wife had to go find the manager and ask him for our server and silverware. We will never eat there again.
If the WOC passes are what you are looking for, that's fine. But IMHO the food, service and price sucked!
My mother described it as the worst service she has ever had, anywhere. My entire party agreed. We had had good service and food there in the past, but when we did the World of Color meal back in October we were very disappointed. The food was not that good either. About the only thing we enjoyed was the view and the desert tray. I doubt we will ever eat there again.
We ate there the end of October for the WOC dining. The service was excellent, the view was perfect, the appetizers were awesome, our drinks were delicious. Spousal unit had the tri tip which was very tasty. I had the chicken which was horrid! The potatoes were nasty and the veggies overcooked and gross. The inside of the dining area was so filthy we actually called Disney Dining the next day to express our concerns. They transferred us to management who were very apologetic and assured us our observations were taken seriously. The carpet was filthy, our table was sticky, the beautiful light decorations were broken and dirty. It looked entirely unloved. Was it worth the money for the tickets? Other than my entree and the lack of love for the surroundings, I'd say yes. I think the food there is a crap shoot depending on what you get. The dessert was worth it to me. Especially yummy! Our view of WOC was awesome! Hope this helps!
I have done this dinner package two times. The food there is really good. The appetizers were good and so was the entrée. However, I didn't care for the dessert platter because most of the stuff on it is dark chocolate, which I hate. Regardless, it's still really good, and the premium seating is really good too. Overall, I would say it was worth it.
It's worth it, even W/O the WOC it's a decent deal (especially for in Park).
We had great service, and a great meal. I had the pasta (excellent). My Wife had the Tri-Tip, my in-laws had the Cioppino.
The Portions are large, the food was excellent... you wont go away anything near hungry.
We were there at 5PM on a Friday (Feb 4th of this month), but it wasn't crowded at all. Service was good, and they even brought free mac and cheese for my 2YO twins.
If you have an AP, they will knock the 10% off, making it a better deal.
I've also done the Trattoria, and it was Okay... at that place service was slow, portions were small, and they were strict to the menu. (I asked to have the salad w/o walnuts (I'm allergic), and was told that they could not.
Strangly, at the Grotto, they were able to make a change for my mother in law without any questions.
Basically IMHO for the WOC package... the grotto hands down. And even W/O WOC, it's not a bad place, in fact I'd put it as the best place in the Parks. (In the resort the Napa Rose is the winner, hands down).
The inside of the dining area was so filthy we actually called Disney Dining the next day to express our concerns. They transferred us to management who were very apologetic and assured us our observations were taken seriously. The carpet was filthy, our table was sticky, the beautiful light decorations were broken and dirty. It looked entirely unloved.
I had the same observations, but I wondered if I was just being picky. It reminded me of a run-down 80s steakhouse or seafood restaurant (like some Red Lobsters I've seen), and for being a DLR restaurant, that was surprising. I was expecting better ambiance for the level of cuisine.
Service was also disappointing. We were seated within about 10 minutes of our arrival, but then they left us sitting without a server for at least 15 minutes. I was very thirsty and hoped we could at least flag someone down for a glass of water, but nobody acknowledged us (as in, waiters seemed to purposely not make eye-contact with us when they walked by). When we finally did get service, we probably waited around 15 more minutes for our drinks, but then our meal courses came out in a timely manner after that. It was also our one year wedding anniversary, and even after informing Disney Dining of this when making the reservation, nobody acknowledged it that entire evening. Not my hugest complaint, but why bother asking if it was a special occasion when the reservation was made?
As far as the food went, it was definitely good, and both my husband and I enjoyed our meals. But the lack of ambiance and service really made the prix-fixe seem overpriced (by around $10 per person, I'd say). Though when you factor in the WOC tickets, there's the extra $10, I guess...
Although I haven't dined at the Trattoria for their WOC menu, I have been there twice previously, and had much better experiences both times. Service was a little lacking the second time, but still better than the Grotto, and the restaurant is much more inviting. I have a feeling both restaurants are being slammed due to the WOC menus, and maybe some of the service issues can be blamed on that. At any rate, I think the priority seating makes it a decent deal for either restaurant, but I'd suggest staying away from the Grotto and giving the Trattoria a chance.
Arials Grotto was the worst Disney Dinning experience we have had. Service was 5 on a scale of 10. I gave up getting a refill on ice tea. My wife had the chicken which was extremely dry. I had the tri tip which was way over cooked and very fatty. Our potatoes were very salty. Never again.
We have taken the grandchildren to character breakfasts at Goofy's Kitchen and the Plaza and had wonderful experiences. We tried Arials for a character lunch and were very disappointed. Food was barley average, service was poor, and the Princesses acted like they wanted to be elsewhere.
Appears to be a pattern with Arials, or is it a California Adventure problem?
We've done this three times, mostly it has been good. I think that when the park is busy the service is slower (duh), and the food might get a bit rushed. However you get a nice break from the crowd, and the viewing for WOC is really the best. We've also tried the picnic deal and gotta say the honey dipped fried chicken (and apple pie) made up for the poor viewing. A small tip for those that like beer, substitute a beer for the soda and ya get 3 bucks off.
For most part, I had a good time eating at Ariel's Grotto, but this was about 6 years ago. I've only been at that restaurant 3 times total, and it was fun with the characters roaming around. Goofy and Donald showed up where Goofy got his hand stuck on a railing on the patio. However, there was one time where gnats invaded the entire patio making it impossible to eat.
As for WOC's dinner, I can't say as I'm going to Wine Country for the first time ever this weekend.