Happy Birthday to Stephen! For his birthday, I decided to splurge and make reservations at the River Belle Terrace for the Fantasmic Preferred Viewing Dining at 8:00 pm. Our day started off at 9:am with breakfast at Carnation Café, and used our Disney Max Pass to get on attractions such as Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear, its a small world, and even went on the Mad Tea Party.
Our dinner reservations was for 8:00 pm. Preferred Viewing guests dined al fresco, facing the Rivers of America. The price was $45 per person for a 3-course meal, and non alcoholic drinks were included. In addition, there was a $25 per person “preferred” viewing fee, which could not be discounted with our annual pass.
Seating location was based on the order reservations were received, so if you want to sit by the railing, book your reservations as soon as they are opened up (60 days in advance, I believe).
I was not expecting much from the food, especially since it was “Theme Park” food. However, I was quite surprised at how delicious everything was. For our starter, I chose the salad, while Stephen had the corn chowder. Both were excellent but Stephen really liked my salad more.
For our entrée, Stephen chose the pork ribs, while I went with the “catch of the day”, which was an Arctic char, a cold water fish similar to salmon. Both came with baked beans in barbecue sauce, and the fish came with seasonal vegetables, which was carrots and Brussel sprouts. Stephen said the pork ribs were meaty and tasty, and even said he liked it better than our favorite rib joint in Long Beach! My fish was 2 generous portions of perfectly grilled char, and the Brussel sprouts was ah-maz-ing! Our server said they’re flash fried, which is why they were crisp like potato chips. It was so delicious, I asked for more.
By the time dessert was served, it was close to the 9:00 pm showtime for Fantasmic. Perfect timing! Stephen chose the Maleficent Dragon (and a candle was inserted to wish him a Happy Birthday) while I had the seasonal parfait, which was some sort of caramel chocolate concoction. We had coffee and tea to accompany it, and enjoyed it during the show. After Fantasmic was over, we were told to stay put for the PixarFest fireworks.
Before our discount, the total was $150, but with our annual pass discount, the total for 2 came to $136 before tip. Was it worth the splurge?? I think so.
Here’s a breakdown on what I thought:
- the seats were not the best…. but you pay for the convenience of not having to “scout” out a spot hours before the show. Also, the dining area is elevated, so even the shortest person can still see the show.
- you are able to sit comfortably at a table, enjoying a dessert and a beverage while watching the show.
- the River Belle Terrace provides a charging station, so you can have your phone or camera ready to go when the show starts.
If you are more picky and want the “best spot”, they do offer a dining package where you have pre-fixed meal, and then directed to a designated standing area by the Rivers of America. The Blue Bayou also has a dinner package as well.
Note: Reservations for the premium 8:00 PM seating can only be made at the restaurant or by calling (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463 between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM daily.