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Dining in Disneyland: Review of 1901 Lounge in Disney California Adventure

When standing in front of Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure, you will notice three entrance doors. The two on the left lead you into the restaurant while the one on the right takes you somewhere very, very special.

Carthay Circle Restaurant Marquee

Atmosphere

1901, a private lounge reserved for Club 33 Platinum Members and their guests, is perhaps one of the most tranquil spots in all of Disney California Adventure. A variety of eats and treats are served here, which are also served at Carthay Circle Lounge (a spot that all park guests can access — no membership needed there).

With a simple 1901 plaque at its entrance, behind the door is a spectacular space filled with historic mementos that Walt himself would’ve probably chosen to put on display.

1901 Entrance Plaque

As with Carthay Circle Restaurant, when you walk into 1901, you are immediately taken back to the 1930′s. The colors, decor and furniture are inviting, almost as if you are walking into someone’s home. 

The lounge is divided into two areas.

The hallway that divides the room in two.

On one side of the room you’ll find comfy couches surrounded by some chairs, loveseats, and a few little tables with chairs.

Comfy Couches and Chairs

A table perfect for a game of UNO or Connect 4 (which are available to use)

More Seating

On this same side of the room there are also a few cozy spots for parties of two. I love these big leather chairs that are tucked away in the back corner.

Party of 2?

The other side is where you’ll see small tables with chairs and the gorgeous bar where one can easily imagine Walt sitting down and enjoying a glass of his favorite after work indulgence, scotch and water.

Or if you don’t want to picture Walt with alcohol, maybe he’s drinking his lunch time favorite, orange juice…

1901 Bar. Complete with spots for the Disney Family.

1901 Bar Close Up

The detailed decor here at 1901 is really and truly amazing. It is obvious that every piece was well thought out and placed with pride. 

My favorite items of decor are on the shelves in what I call the “family room” side of 1901. The shelves are lined with memorabilia that Walt might have placed himself. There’s a replica of his private plane, vintage Mickey and Minnie dolls, lots of books, and other treasures such as these cute Matryoshka nesting dolls.

A Replica of Walt's Private Plane

Vintage Mickey & Minnie

Matryoshka Nesting Dolls with Books & Walt's Time Magazine Cover

The walls of 1901 are adorned with amazing photographs of everything from Walt’s baby photo and the original Carthay Circle Theatre, to Walt working with his staff and much much more. 

One of my favorites is this large photo depicting some sort of office meeting with Walt and his team. Every single guy is smiling. Just makes me wonder what kind of awesomeness had just happened…

The Happiest Office on Earth!

Another amazing detail? A few of the frames are digital and change right in front of your very eyes. This uses the same technology that can be found on the Disney Fantasy and Dream cruise ships.

Photo Collage with Digital Frame

Digital Frame Featuring Progressive Snow White Drawing

A wall that I know is a big hit with guests is the wall that hosts the portable martini cart. Not only do martinis (and everything else on this cart) make people happy, but the tribute to Disney’s 9 Old Men makes people smile even more.

Disney's 9 Old Men & The Martini Cart's Parking Spot

I have a handful of favorite items inside of 1901. First is the gorgeous stained glass lamp

I just love the colors in this stained glass lamp.

Second is a side table with a very fun Hidden Mickey made of crocheted doilies!

The only Hidden Mickey inside of 1901.

This side table also contains a hilarious memo nixing belly buttons on Disney characters

April 6, 1935. The day Disney belly buttons were banned!

And last but not least, the phone chargers that sit atop several tables around the room. My phone can always use a power boost!

Why yes, my phone IS dying & I'd love to charge it!

And, before I get to what you’ve been waiting for, the food, there’s one last detail that I’d like to add. The fabulous wallpaper on the ceiling. I just love the dragonfly-spiderweby motif. The pattern is fab and so are the colors.

Ceiling Wallpaper in "Living Room" Area

OK, on to the food!

Eats

Now, for those of you thinking, “Why are you sharing all this yummy food from a place I can’t get into!?!” don’t fret. Remember that although you may not have an “in” to 1901, the food offered here is also available at the Carthay Circle Lounge right next door. Everyone is allowed in there at any time! 

First up, when you sit down at 1901 you are immediately greeted by a fabulous server who offers you “house olives.” I myself am not an olive fan, but my husband is and he LOVES them.

There is no charge for house olives. It’s their version of a bread basket!

House Olives

There are three menus at 1901. There’s an “eats” menu that is divided into Bites, Snacks, Rolls & Small Plates, as well as a very extensive Children’s Menu followed by a “Finger Desserts” menu.
 

Eats Menu

Let’s check out the main eats first…

1901 Menu Cover

Bites, Snacks, Rolls & Small Plates

“Bites” Section of the Menu
Fortunately I have been lucky enough to sample just about everything on the menu, so you guys are in for a treat today! From the bites portion of the menu, let’s start with the Santa Monica Deviled Eggs and Chilled Watermelon Skewers.

The Santa Monica Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Lemon Creme Fraiche are quite tasty. However, if you are looking for your Grandma’s traditional deviled eggs, these are not at all those. 

These have almost a tart taste with the lemon, and the salmon is a very light flavor. I really enjoyed them, but they are for sharing. There’s no way I could eat more than one or two at a sitting.

Santa Monica Deviled Eggs

The Chilled Watermelon Skewers with Mango Lime Sorbet are one of my favorite items. They are a fun, healthier alternative for dessert, and consist of a juicy cube of cold watermelon with a perfect mini scoop of mango lime sorbet on top.

If you do order these, I recommend eating them immediately or order them just before you are ready for them. The sweet yet tart sorbet melts quickly.

Chilled Watermelon Skewers with Mango Lime Sorbet

“Snacks” Section of the Menu
From the “Snacks” section of the menu, you’ve got three different options: The Vietnamese Twice Cooked Beef Tacos, Warm Spanish Pimentos, and Roasted Moroccan Lamb Meatballs. 

My absolute favorite item on the entire menu are the Vietnamese Twice Cooked Beef Tacos with Fresh Pineapple Mint Salsa. Not only is the presentation perfect, the portion size is great for a stand alone meal.

The beef on these has an amazing flavor — it has a bit of a kick, but not at all what I’d consider spicy. Plus, the sweetness of the pineapple mint salsa tones it down a bit. The dish comes with four mini tacos served in a fun stainless steel taco tray. This is my go-to dish at 1901.

Vietnamese Twice Cooked Beef Tacos

Next up we have the Warm Spanish Pimentos with Imported Chorizo, Mahon Cheese, Pine Nuts & Sultanas. This dish was very interesting; I’ve never had anything like it and was a bit scared of it to be honest with you. To my surprise though, it was really nice. 

The Pimentos were served warm, stuffed with all of the said ingredients. The chorizo had great flavor, and was not spicy at all. I love pine nuts, so they’re always welcome in my meals. 

Also, I had no idea what a sultana was, so I looked it up and apparently it’s a fancy word for a grape/raisin.

Warm Spanish Pimentos

The Roasted Moroccan Lamb Meatballs were also a hit in our dinner party. Served with Tzatziki and Pepperoncini, the meatballs come skewered between crouton-like cubes of bread. They were devoured.

Roasted Moroccan Lamb Meatballs

“Rolls” Section of the Menu
Moving on to the Rolls, we have 4 options: The Lobster Pad Thai Imperial Roll, the Spicy Chicken Roll, the Warm Barbecue Pork Roll, and the Ebi Shrimp Roll. Of these four rolls, I have personally tried two of them. 

The Warm Barbecue Pork Roll is served with Crispy Onions, Pea Shoots, Daikon (white radish), and Sesame Paper. This roll is amazing. 

The pork is sweet and the crisp onions compliment the flavor perfectly. I also love the sticky rice in this dish. I’d say this was most definitely one of my favorite items.

Warm Barbecue Pork Roll

Although I tried the Spicy Chicken, I do not have a photograph of it. I will tell you this, though, it had way too much cilantro for my liking. 

A friend of mine ordered both the Lobster Pad Thai Imperial Roll & the Ebi Shrimp Roll. The Lobster Pad Thai Imperial Roll is served with sweet Cashew Tamarind Sauce while the Ebi Shrimp Roll contains Red Jalapeno, Soy, Lemon Aioli, Avocado & Cucumber. 

Lobster Pad Thai Imperial Roll

Ebi Shrimp Roll

I didn’t try them, but both plates were empty at the end of the meal. So if you’re a seafood roll fan, order away!

“Small Plates” Section of the Menu
The Small Plates portion of the menu includes Jumbo Asparagus, a Butcher’s Plate as well as Duck Confit Sliders, and the Market Soup of the Season.

I love love love asparagus, pine nuts, and parmesan, so when I saw the Jumbo Asparagus on the menu, I knew it would make me happy. The dish is served with American Prosciutto, Toasted Pine Nuts, and Parmesan Aioli. Heaven on a plate.

Jumbo Asparagus

Another tasty menu item? The Duck Confit Sliders. Before trying Carthay’s Firecracker Duck Wings, I was not a duck fan. Cooked in the same kitchen, I thought I’d give these sliders a try — and I’m so glad I did! They are really amazing.

Served as a pair of two, the sliders are garnished with Apricot Conserve, Watercress, Crisp Onions, & Taleggio Cheese. Pretzel type buns are the perfect accompaniment, and they arrive to your table warm with perfectly melted cheese.

Duck Confit Sliders

I have not tried the Butcher’s Plate nor the Market Soup of the Season…yet!

Children’s Menu

The Children’s Menu at 1901 is the exact menu that is served in the Carthay Circle Lounge. Technically, it is for “guests” ages 9 and under, but at 1901 they let adults order from it, no questions asked.

I’m not sure about the policy at Carthay’s lounge, but I’m telling you, every single item on this menu is top notch and delicious.

Children's Menu

When I ordered the Grilled American Cheese Sandwich, it was not served with the veggie Crudite Chips and Ranch. It was even better because it came with a cup of tomato soup. Yes. Please.  

The sandwich is served on mini sourdough slices and is perfect for dipping. It also come with a side of really nice fresh fruit. And when I say nice I mean no honeydew or cantaloupe — we’re talking blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and orange slices. Yum!

Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup and Fresh Fruit

The Mini Hot Dogs are also amazing. Described as “wrapped with puff pastry,” really we’re talking Pigs in a Blanket. You know the awesome ones your mom used to make with the Pillsbury canned dough? Yeah. Those.

Here they are served with a “Trio of Dipping Sauces” which consist of ketchup, mustard & BBQ Sauce. The Mini Hot Dogs also come with a small side of fresh fruit. Another practically perfect meal.

Mini Hot Dogs with Fresh Fruit

Next up? The Udon Noodle Bowl with Beef, Snow Peas and Broccoli. This one is also fabulous, but I’m saying that as an adult, not a kid. I know my kids wouldn’t eat this; it’s the same beef used in the tacos on the regular menu, and it has a bit of a kick to it. 

The flavor is amazing and this is actually one of my husband’s favorite dishes.

Udon Noodle Bowl

And finally the last entree on this menu, the Mini Crispy Chicken Tacos with Black Beans, Rice, and Grated Cheese. Seriously, so good. 

Two cute little tacos served up with generous portions of black beans and rice along with a small side of fresh fruit. I honestly believe that the Carthay Lounge/1901 Children’s Menu is the best menu for kids in the park.

Mini Crispy Chicken Tacos

Dessert Menu

Both kids and adults have plenty of desserts to choose from. The “Adult” Menu has a dessert page with four sweet items entitled “Finger Desserts.”

Finger Desserts

I was really looking forward to the Trio of Cake Pops, but once they were in front of me and I tried them, I really wasn’t all that impressed. Don’t get me wrong, they were delicious, but for $9, just not spectacular. 

The three flavors include Double Dark Chocolate Chunk, Pineapple Macadamia Upside Down Cake, and Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake. All of the cake pops were moist and the cheesecake was very smooth. My favorite pop was definitely the Pineapple Macadamia Upside Down Cake. I also thought it was the most unique flavor of the three.

Cake Pop Trio

The Mini Mousse Cones are my favorite item on the Finger Desserts menu. Again served as a trio, you get three adorable little cones served on a fun arched acrylic display. 

The cones come in Chocolate Fudge Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache, Coconut Lemon Custard Snow Ball, & Tiramisu with Frangelico Chantilly and Hazlenut Brittle. The Chocolate Fudge and Salted Caramel, and Coconut Lemon Custard were my favorites. Such a great idea to serve up the mousse in mini sugar cones. I love this dessert!

Mini Mousse Cones

The Chocolate Truffles and Assorted Petit Cookies are really nothing to write home about. Two tasty items, but for the price, you’re way better off going with the Mousse, Cake Pops, or Kid’s Menu desserts. 

For $8 you can get a “Duo” (yes, only two) of Chocolate Truffles. One dark and one milk. They are good, but not $4 each good. AND I apologize for the photos, apparently I’m not great at photographing chocolates or cookies.

Chocolate Truffles

The Assorted Petit cookies will also set you back 8 bones, so unless you’re a big fancy cookie fan, these aren’t for you. Normally I AM a cookie fan, but these were not the soft chewy types of cookies I’m fond of. More like macarons and dry crunchy style cookies as well as two of the chocolate chocolate chip cookies that are used in the kid’s ice cream sandwich (which are yummy!).

Assorted Petit Cookies

More Assorted Petit Cookies

ANNNNND…the desserts on the kids’ menu rock!

I love the Green Apple Caramel Parfait Push Pop. It’s a fun “Push Up” style dessert (think orange Flintstones ones) but with alternating layers of green apple and lemon raspberry sorbet, and caramel. Such a fun and unique treat.

Green Apple Caramel Parfait Push Pop

Chocolate lover? The Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich will be right up your alley. Two chocolate cookies sandwich a generous portion of chocolate ice cream. The whole thing is served with chocolate dipping sauce. Chocolate x 3!

Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich

Although I’ve never tried the Seasonal Berries with Whipped Cream, I’m sure they are fantastic. But personally, Push Pop trumps berries…

Overall

I absolutely love 1901. Its atmosphere can’t be beat and the menu is wonderful too. The fact that you can get all of these great eats right next door at Carthay Circle Lounge is really nice.

AND Just for fun. If you’re in the area, see if you can spot this awesome & very Hidden Mickey on the ground in front of the 1901 door.

Hidden Mickey!

I can’t wait to hear your reviews and feedback on this 1901/Carthay Circle Lounge menu!

Have you been lucky enough to step into 1901 or have you tried any of the menu items at the Carthay Circle Lounge? Do you ever order off the kid’s menu, or is it just me? Let me know in the comments below!

Heather Sievers is the Disney Food Blog’s Dining in Disneyland columnist. See more of her columns here!

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20 Comments

  1. Wendy Darling says:

    Wow! Awesome review! 1901 looks fabulous.

  2. Jaia says:

    Thank you for the review! It looks delicious, especially those mousse cones and the kid’s menu. I love the idea of pigs in a blanket and a martini while at Disney!

  3. Prof. Brainard says:

    As the Dowager Countess of Grantham says in the trailer for season three of Downton Abbey, “nothing succeeds like excess.”

  4. Alan says:

    What a beautiful, intimate place to have a drink and some small plates. If I was younger, I would move to Anaheim, get a Disney job, and work my way upnthe ladder there, so that maybe one day I could access that room.

    Beautiful photos, Heather, it seems you have captured the ambience of 1901. Oh yeah, the food epics are great too!

  5. Christa says:

    You are so lucky! I’d love to try Club 33 or 1901 one day! Thanks for sharing with us.

    I loved this line…. “Or if you don’t want to picture Walt with alcohol, maybe he’s drinking his lunch time favorite, orange juice…”

  6. Aww! I was hoping to visit when I was in California next! Looks like the only menu item not containing meat is the watermelon though =/ Shucks! What a beautiful place though.

  7. Carrie says:

    We had two subpar experiences with the food at Carthay Circle upstairs, but when we ordered off this menu in the lounge we were much more impressed. I’m also going to steal your idea of ordering from the kids’ menu—I think the execution on some of their adult menu items does not match the aspiration, but the kids’ menu looks tasty AND impossible to screw up!

  8. Jeff says:

    I was interested to note that one of the four chairs at the bar now has a different name on it. When I was in 1901 on August 2nd the chair next to Roy was “Ub”, a reference to Ub Iwerks. I recognized the name, but I actually asked why Ub’s name was there and the response was that he was so important to the beginnings of the Disney story. Obviously lots of other people must have thought differently and they decided to change it to Roy’s wife Edna.

  9. It looks so elegant and pretty.

  10. Heather Sievers says:

    @Wendy – Thanks! It is a fabulous place!

    @Jaia – That sounds like a great combo.

    @Prof. Brainard – I totally had to Google that…

    @Alan – You’re never too old ; ) Glad you enjoyed the post.

    @Christa – I hope you get to go some day!

    @Jasmine – Many dishes can be made to be catered to your dietary needs. I think the eggs can be made without the salmon and if not they will create something for you. Also, don’t forget the tomato soup and grilled cheese! One of the best veggie options out there in my opinion.

    @Carrie – The hot dogs, get the hot dogs!

    @Jeff – I saw that too the night I went in for the Carsland Preview. Not sure when exactly it was changed out.

    @Jane – It’s gorgeous!

  11. Nancy says:

    We go to the 1901 nearly every week and I never even knew there WAS a childrens menu. I’m going to give it a try next time. Thanks for the tip!

  12. Heather Sievers says:

    @Nancy – I love the kids menu there!

  13. Jennie says:

    Went to Club 33 yesterday and my friend with the connection was offered 1901, but sadly didn’t talk to me first so I could tell her about the exclusivity only to Platinum members. Hoping to be going next summer.

    They had a new crab stuffed lobster item on the menu. It was very tasty, but I’m still. Very partial to the Chateaubriand and I could down a bucket of that potato cheese soup.

  14. Heather Sievers says:

    @Jennie – I love potato cheese soup, I hope they have it the next time I go!

  15. Branden Carlson says:

    I recently went to Lounge 1901 with my dad (whose is the member) my little brother and 10 friends. I can honestly say it was one of the most amazing and surreal eating experiences of my life. The atmosphere is so peaceful and disarming, you truly feel like one of Walt Disney’s personal guests. The food and drinks are spectacular but above all is the service. Specifically our waiter who doubled as the bartender. He joked around with us like a little kid but maintained an air of unmatched class and was a pleasure to talk to. His attitude is perfect for the lounge; a fancy little sanctuary in the middle of a themepark for kids. All i can say is this place is amazing and if you ever get the chance to go DO NOT PASS IT UP.

  16. Michele Wilson says:

    Really trying to find someone who is a member or how to get information on Membership, but I never get a reply.

  17. Michele Wilson says:

    Thank you Heather. I found all of this information, but cannot find anything on membership. I am going to assume they are not taking waitlists or apps for membership.

  18. Dennis London says:

    What a great review! Thanks Heather and fantastic job. We go to 1901 almost every time we visit the park(s) and can honestly say you did a beautiful job in capturing the atmosphere, both in pictures and words. My favorites would have to be The Lobster Pad Thai Imperial Roll and the Santa Monica Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon. If we need a little protein boost, we get the Butcher’s Plate. But let’s not forget the bar…oh my! They have a very nice selection (somewhat limited due to size) of wines and alcohol. I have to admit, my wine of choice is the Black Pearl. And not just because of the name, it truly is delicious.

  19. Heather S. says:

    @Dennis – Thank you for your kind words! I love that bar there too! And the servers are all so fantastic!

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