The Disneyland Resort extended their Downtown Disney shopping and dining experiences into Disney California Adventure Park, allowing Guests back into parts of the park for some Disney-themed shopping and dining opportunities. While several quick service food locations are open with mobile ordering, including Smokejumpers Grill, Award Wieners, and Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, the hardest dining location to get a table at is the only table-service restaurant, Carthay Circle Lounge.
Getting a table there is no easy task and the restaurant is not currently taking reservations ahead of time. The first step is getting into Buena Vista Street early enough to get to the restaurant’s podium before they book up for their lunch time seatings. Today was the first day of operation and Guests started lining up to get into Buena Vista Street starting at 4:00 am for a 10:00 scheduled opening time. Disney controls how many Guests are allowed into Buena Vista Street and when we asked a Cast Member at the restaurant today, they said they were booked solid for lunch by 10:30 am, meaning it only took a half-hour of a socially distant queue to hit their lunchtime reservation capacity.
If you can’t get in right away, the next batch of reservations will be released at 2:00 pm for dinnertime. If Buena Vista Street is at capacity, you can enter a virtual queue and hope to get in before the second batch of reservations are released. Once again, when the 2:00 reservations were released, they were gone in about 30-minutes.
Disney is able to give Guests a “rough estimate” return time and they will send a text message when it’s time to return. Guests have to be back within 15-minutes of the text message timestamp or they forfeit their reservation.
Other table service locations in Downtown Disney allow Guests to reserve a time by scanning a QR code. It’s unclear if Carthay Circle Lounge will offer a similar option in the future once demand dies down or if they will continue to require an in-person check-in.
Another thing to know is that while you’re technically being served from the kitchen inside the Carthay Circle Lounge, all seating is outdoors, which has been extended to in front of the Disney Junior Dance Party queue. The menu is also different, accessible here.
How to Get a Table at Carthay Circle Lounge
- Reservations are released in-person at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM for lunch and dinner respectively.
- Guests must be in Buena Vista Street in order to get a reservation and respond to their text message.
- On opening day, reservations were sold out within 30-minutes.
Alternate Downtown Disney Table Service Options
- Ballast Point Brewing Co.
- La Brea Bakery Cafe
- Naples Ristorante e Bar
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
- Tortilla Jo’s
- Uva Bar & Cafe