We left the car with valet at Downtown Disney – love this service – and enjoyed the atmosphere on the long walk to the entrance to DCA. We discussed whether we should have a pre-dinner drink at Hearthstone Lounge at the GC or at the Golden Vine Winery. Rich suggested we go straight to the winery so we’d be closer to Carthay Circle when it was time for our dinner ressie. Of course, he made perfect sense!
Actually, Rich thought we were talking about the Alfresco Lounge and I thought we were talking about the Winery so I grabbed a table while he eyed the podium where you now have to give your name before climbing the stairs to the Alfresco Lounge. lol!
Eventually we sorted that out and Rich got in line to fetch us a couple of glasses of wine.
Golden Vine Winery: Kuleto India Ink Red Wine Napa Valley (Cabernet/Syrah blend)
The wine was delicious but not having eaten since breakfast, it delightfully went to my head and I totally absorbed the magically romantic atmosphere perhaps more than usual. Seriously, we love this place and could hang out there every night. We talked about returning the next night.
It was getting close to our dinner ressie so we finished our wine on the way over.
When we approached Carthay Circle, there was a line snaking around the building with CMs barring the entrance. When we told them we had a reservation, they led us to the check-in desk.
We peeked around the lounge and were more impressed with the atmosphere in the evening light. Before we’d dropped in during the day and there wasn’t much magic to it. This was one reason we wanted to dine here on Valentine’s Day – it’s unusual for us to be at Disneyland Resort during Pacific Standard Time – it’s almost always DST. And we thought the atmosphere would be far superior at night – and it was!
The CM checked our name and then another CM led us upstairs to the restaurant, pointing out hidden Mickeys and photos of Walt. It became more and more magical with each step. We were seated in the main room (we’d worried we’d get stuck in some hallway like we’d read about on the Disney Food blog) just inside the door. I sat on the bench and Rich sat in the chair opposite me.
The CM pointed out the Snow White scene on the ceiling.
Our wait staff arrived – a very funny lady, her female assistant, and a management-type man. They wished us a Happy Valentine’s and joked about our main server not really working there. That was a running joke throughout the night. They also pointed out the Snow White scene depicted on the ceiling.
Before I get into the menu, I want to mention our fellow diners. Some of these people really got into costume and I got the feeling it wasn’t just for Valentine’s. The old Hollywood setting begs you to dress the part – maybe next time. Those who did dress up were in the minority but it led to the overall atmosphere, especially for Valentine’s dinner.
Next: Rich’s Valentine’s Dinner description