Just a few weeks before our first anniversary, I learned about a new dining opportunity being offered by Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. It's called the Sixth Floor Balcony Sweetheart Dinner, and it's a private dinner offered to only guests staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel celebrating a special event.
Mr. BFT and I talked it over and decided this would be a great treat for our first wedding anniversary! Once I had the reservation secured, I called 714-300-7526 to speak to Guest Services. They pulled up my hotel reservation and checked to make sure our preferred date was available (only one per night so limited availability!). Luckily our evening was available, and I say "luckily" because the night before and after were booked!
We had to order our meal ahead of time. We were given a few options. To start we were asked to chose either a bottle of Fairy Tale Cuvée, Rose Regale, or cider. We chose the Cuvée. We then were asked to chose a starter, either scallops or mushroom bisque. For our entree we could chose between the Angus beef tenderloin or the fish of the day. The dessert was "chef's special."
We made our reservation for 8pm to time with the fireworks at 9:25pm, around when dessert would be served. Right at 8pm we walked over to the Grand and went up the lobby elevators to floor 6. I was advised I would see our "private party" sign right away and they weren't kidding. When you step out of the elevator, the balcony is right there.
Our server for the night, Julie, saw us right away and identified us by name. Julie was attentive and accommodating all evening. She sat us at our table and made some small talk while she opened the champagne bottle (Rose Regale even though I requested the Cuvée, but no big deal).
After pouring the champagne she left and returned right away with the yummy Napa Rose bread basket. After about 20 minutes she returned with our bisque, which is always super delicious. Then after about another 20 minutes she returned with our entree. We both got the tenderloin and it was so soft you could cut it with a butter knife. Delicious.
Just a quick note about the "private" balcony. The balcony overlooks the Brisa Courtyard and looks out towards Disneyland. You can see Space Mountain clearly and the very tippy-top of Matterhorn (Mr BFT asked me if it was the top of the castle, he is too adorable). It is private in the sense you are the only table on the balcony. But the balcony is adjacent to the concierge lounge and there were lots of people mingling on their balcony, and you can see them and they can see you. Also, at one point a couple women sat on their hotel room balcony very close to us. So it's not, like, PRIVATE private. Perhaps a better word would be secluded.
We finished up our entree just as the fireworks were starting (and they pipe in the music, which is cool). I was a little disappointed with the timing because Julie brought our dessert out (some kind of thick chocolate mousse cake that I'm pretty sure I've had at Napa Rose before, along side cream stuffed strawberries) just as the fireworks started and was talking to us. It was distracting, but she offered to take a picture of us, so all is forgiven.
She was also asking me about the "special cake" I had ordered as a surprise to Mr. BFT. She kept saying it - "DO YOU WANT ME TO BRING THE SPECIAL CAKE NOW?" I said yes, and then I turned to Mr. BFT and said, "Guess what your surprise is?" And he said, "Is it cake?"
When I made the reservation I also requested a re-creation of the top tier of our wedding cake, sans overpriced white chocolate castle. The Cast Member assisting me on the phone asked me to email some pictures of the cake to her, so she could pass them on to the bakery. They did a great job! And our flavor - chocolate cake with Chambord soak and dark chocolate mousse and raspberry filling - was just as delicious as a year prior.
Wedding cake (Photo by Root Photography):
When the fireworks were over we enjoyed our cake and Julie told us we could stay on the balcony "all night if we wanted to." But, I was having a major allergy reaction to the meal and was anxious to get back to our hotel room. Unfortunately we were stalled a little bit by me wanting to use a gift card to pay for part of the meal, and then my credit card was declined so we had to give a different card ... there was a lot of waiting for Julie to go back and forth to the Room Service offices. Speaking paying, you're probably wondering how much all this costs. The cost of this experience was quoted as $300.24, all inclusive (which means tax and tip is included). BUT our receipt showed the bargain price of $299.45. SWEET. Here is the breakdown, according to our receipt:
Delivery Charge: $3
Service Charge (tip): $44.27
The anniversary cake was $85. The base cake is $39, decorations were an extra $26, then delivery charge, service charge, and tax.
If that is all just a little too painful, they also offer a dessert-only option for $92.11 inclusive. (Remember that prices and food options are always subject to change at any time.)
Was it worth it? In my opinion, yes and no. My allergy reaction clouded my enjoyment of the experience, which is my own fault. The service was wonderful and the food was incredible, as meals at Napa Rose are known to be. It was neat to be in our own secluded area and the view of the fireworks was great but I'm not sure we need to do it ever again. In fact, we ate at Carthay Circle Restaurant inside Disney's California Adventure the following day, and agreed the food and atmosphere was just as great as our private experience, but it cost $200 less. But if you are looking for something unique and special to do at The Disneyland Resort, the Balcony Sweetheart Dinner certainly qualifies.