Magic Key Terrace Review: Superstar Dinner

Magic Key Terrace is the Annual Passholder lounge in Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort, serving appetizers and alcoholic drinks. This review features food photos, thoughts on the cuisine and ambiance, and whether this quasi-table service restaurant is worth your time and money.

As background, Magic Key Terrace has taken many forms and a couple of different names over the years. Most recently, it was the lounge for Legacy Annual Passholders. Before that, it was Alfresco Tasting Terrace. At its heart, the location has always been a quasi-table service restaurant. It’s like tapas, appetizers, or a blurring of the line between counter service and table service restaurants.

Magic Key terrace is only available to Magic Key passholders and their guests (for a total of 6 people per party). Upon arrival at Magic Key Terrace, the Magic Key holder must show their pass in the Disneyland app, and must also remain present for the entire experience. Magic Key passholders can check for dining availability at Magic Key Terrace via the mobile walk-up wait list on the Disneyland app, or by checking in at the location.

Basically, Magic Key Terrace is a lounge serving appetizers priced at or slightly above counter service prices, plus a bar. All told, it’s a pretty neat place, and it has given new life to this upstairs area. Per Disneyland, the location is an “enchanting outdoor locale–with one-of-a-kind park views and inspired beverage and dining menus–makes an ideal retreat for relaxing with friends and fellow Magic Key holders.”

That description is apt. We’ve loved this lounge for years. We used to come up here ages ago when Cars Land was still under construction, watching work and speculating about the future (now 10-year old!) expansion.

Even back then, the terrace was in its second or third concept. We’ve been recommending it for years in our Disneyland Bar Crawl Guide as a quiet spot that doesn’t draw crowds, but those days are probably over now that it’s available “exclusively” to Magic Keymasters. Disneyland fans love exclusivity, even when it’s added to things they didn’t care about at all previously.

“Back in the day” it didn’t have any prominent signage and often didn’t have a host at the bottom of the stairs. Half the time, you had to just wander up, which made it almost like a speakeasy for the Secret Society of Disney California Adventure Lushes.

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In any case, Magic Key Terrace is now hardly a secret, and it’s much more popular. Part of the Golden Vine Winery in Pacific Wharf (which makes no sense, but whatever), Golden Vine Winery also contains a craft beer counter, Wine Country Trattoria (which we reviewed separately), and Blue Sky Cellar.

With that background in place, let’s climb the not-so-secret steps up to Magic Key Terrace…

With the launch of the Magic Key” Annual Pass Program at Disneyland Resort, the terrace has once again reopened.

Magic Key Terrace is now serving a special menu packed with references to extinct Disney California Adventure attractions and other offerings. The drinks menu features park-inspired cocktails and a selection of wines and beer that were offered previously.

Around Magic Key Terrace, you’ll find concept art and nods to Disney California Adventure 1.0. My favorite is the Grizzly River Run concept art. While this is an exceptional raft ride, it could be so much better with a Country Bear Audio Animatronics figure or two!

Magic Key Terrace also plays the original Sunshine Plaza background music. For all of DCA 1.0’s faults, that BGM was not one of them. It’s a great mix of sun-soaked California classic rock.

Here’s what’s on the current Magic Key Terrace appetizer menu:

  • Condor Flats-Bread – Duck Confit, Goat Cheese, Seedless Grapes, Green Salad and Fig Jam – $16.00
  • Bountiful Valley Charcuterie – Chef’s selection of Cheeses and Meats – $18.00
  • Screamin’ Cauliflower Ceviche – Citrus-marinated Cauliflower, Cucumber, Tomato, Mango, Onions, Cilantro, Jalapeños and Avocado, with crispy Tortilla Chips and Mango-Habanero Sauce – $14.00
  • Mulholland Meatballs – House-made Meatballs, Spicy Creamy Tomato Sauce, Charred Broccolini, Orange Segments, Pickled Red Onions, Whipped Burrata, and Shaved Crostini – $16.00
  • Slider Invasion – Beef Tenderloin Sliders with Chimichurri and Pickled Red Onions – $18.00

The current Magic Key Terrace specialty drinks menu for Legacy Passholders:

  • The Stinger – Dulce Vida Pineapple-Jalapeño Tequila, Cointreau and House-made Orange-Habañero Simple Syrup – $15.00
  • Specialty Manhattan – Buffalo Trace Bourbon, MacMurray Estate Pinot Noir and Simple Syrup, garnished with a Charred Cinnamon Stick – $16.00
  • Drop In… If you Dare – Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, fresh Lemon Juice, and Maraschino Cherry Mix – $17.00
  • Ultra Flight – Trio of Gin-based Cocktails featuring flavors of Orange, Pine and Sea – $17.00
  • 5… 4… 3… 2… 1 – Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Bols Blue Curaçao, Coconut-Pineapple Cream, Simple Syrup, fresh Lime Juice – $15.00
  • Pizza Oom Mow Wow! – Pizza-inspired Bloody Mary with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and flavors of Pineapple, Pepperoncini, and Mushroom – $17.00
  • A Bug’s Drink (Non-Alcoholic) – Minute Maid Lemonade with Granny Smith Apple Syrup, with fresh Watermelon – $5.75

As a huge Pizza Oom Mow Mow fan (for reasons unknown–it’s just one of my weird curiosities), I really wanted to try that. However, I was dissuaded from that by the $17 price tag…and description of the drink, which is not exactly appetizing.

Now let’s review some of the food on the menu at Magic Key Terrace…

First up, the Screamin’ Cauliflower Ceviche with Citrus-marinated Cauliflower, Cucumber, Tomato, Mango, Onions, Cilantro, Jalapeños and Avocado, plus crispy Tortilla Chips and Mango-Habanero Sauce.

Sarah really enjoyed this, finding it to be to be refreshing and filling. It was also shockingly spicy by Disney standards. Normally, nothing served in the parks really “brings the heat.” This was the exception to that–I could only handle a couple of bites before throwing in the towel. Sarah fared much better, finishing the dish.

The portion size is fair and you could make a light meal out of this, but it’s probably better shared if you don’t want your mouth to be on fire afterwards. (Or maybe ours was just prepared with more jalapeno than normal? It’s hard to imagine Disney purposefully making a dish this spicy. That’s not their normal MO.)

Next up, Mulholland Meatballs: House-made Meatballs, Spicy Creamy Tomato Sauce, Charred Broccolini, Orange Segments, Pickled Red Onions, Whipped Burrata, and Shaved Crostini.

These are good. A couple of sizable and delicious meatballs, with plenty of tasty vegetables and accompaniments. We would prefer less emphasis on the presentation–and this come with another meatball instead, but still good. Recommended for those with smaller appetites.

Finally, the Condor Flats-Bread with Duck Confit, Goat Cheese, Seedless Grapes, Green Salad and Fig Jam.

This is far and away the highlight of the menu at Magic Key Terrace. It’s absolutely phenomenal–and would be the #1 counter service restaurant entree at Disney California Adventure.

It’s difficult to see from the photos, but there’s a hearty portion of duck confit under the greens. (I actually removed most of those before eating the flatbread, making a separate salad out of them.) There’s also a good amount of goat cheese, and the crust is pretty hearty and thick for a flatbread. The balsamic and fig jam bring everything together nicely, making it a fantastic pizza once some/most of the salad is removed.

At $16, this is slightly more expensive than a counter service entree, but infinitely superior. It’s exponentially better than the pizzas slow-cooked under the heat lamps at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta. I also found this to be superior to anything we’ve had at Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining.

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Overall, we are big fans of Magic Key Terrace, not just for its secluded and relaxed location, but for the menu, prices, and quality. You’re going to spend about as much here as you would at a counter service restaurant (assuming you don’t order wine) for a comparably filling meal that is typically higher quality than a counter service meal.

That’s especially true right now as Disney California Adventure is still in the midst of its phased reopening and counter service menus are scaled back. The only other solid alternative right now is Pym Test Kitchen in Avengers Campus. Two of our normal favorites, Paradise Garden Grill and Flo’s V8 Cafe in Cars Land, are serving menus that are shadows of their normal selves and incredibly limited. Accordingly, Magic Key Terrace is highly recommended for food, views, and atmosphere. It’s a great place to eat and watch the sunset while enjoying a laid back dinner.

Planning a Southern California vacation? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews & Rankings. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Have you dined at the Magic Key Terrace or its predecessors? What did you order? Did you enjoy your meal? Planning on eating here once you purchase your Magic Key Pass? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

7 Responses to “Magic Key Terrace Review: Superstar Dinner”
  1. George Benavente Corlew July 24, 2022
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