We have a friend named Daniel who went to each and every preview event for Cars Land! He had ALL of his wristbands on last night, so when John Lasseter came over to visit with us at our table, Daniel showed them to him and they took a photo together, with John looking "shocked" to see all his wristbands! It was really funny!
I was surprised/disappointed that we didn't get any D23 perks of any kind, we got the same statuette that everyone else received, the only difference between Saturdays vs. Sundays events was most probably that the Saturday people had Saturday's date on their Storyteller's plaque and we had Sunday's.
When it came to the dinner, they didn't let us know ahead of time what time our reservation was to be, which was disappointing. I wrote to them, specifically asking for that info, if it would be a fixed menu or if we could make choices, since I have health challenges that I have to work with when it comes to ordering food, etc., but I never got an answer back from them!
Via Facebook, we were able to find out a bit of who else was going that night, so we were able to ask the restaurant if 2 of our friends could be seated with us and they were able to do that.
The menu was almost totally fixed as it turned out - 3 courses, 2 of which were "Chef's Choice" and we had our choice of 4 mains, but all of them were spicy, so I had to request the one that was the least spicy and I ended up only being able to eat the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, but not the corn, other veggies and the sauce that came with it, because it was VERY spicy. For the starters, since there were 4 of us at the table, they brought out 4 different apps, but not 4 of each one, so that was odd. They said we were expected to "share" them, but again here, only one app wasn't too spicy, so I didn't have any of the others, except for one bite. I misunderstood what the waiter said and started to taste one of the apps, but it was SOOOO spicy, my lips were immediately on fire, so I had to inconspicuously spit the food into my napkin and had stomach troubles after dinner, so that was disappointing. Daniel said they had different food at his dinner, but he didn't remember exactly what it was.
For dessert, they only had 2 desserts - what looked like one of those Apple Blossom things you get at Trader Joe's, with a crumble topping or whatever and a lemon cake with HUGE blueberries. Again, they told us we were supposed to share (you'd think at $500 a pop we could've gotten our own servings of the first and last courses!!), but since my hubby was happy with his apple thing and I was happy with the lemon cake, I gave him a taste of mine and we ate the desserts set in front of us.
The other weird thing was they said they considered it to be a "wine tasting dinner", so when I explained I didn't really drink wine and asked what my alternate alcoholic possibilities were - the waiter said they were only doing *4* signature drinks that night and I couldn't get anything else, even tho they had a full bar in the place!
He knew the names of the drinks and said them as tho I was supposed to immediately already know what was in them, but when I asked him what was in them, he just repeated the names again, so I had to actually ask him if he could go ask someone what was in the 4 drinks, so I could decide between them, if I was interested in any. They were all hard liquor drinks I didn't want, so I settled for Barq's root beer for the main part of the meal and had the dessert wine at the dessert course. It was a really delicious Late Harvest, but he said they didn't know who the vineyard was, because they were concentrating on the Lasseter wines that night!! It was very frustrating service, since we'd paid in advance for this and that included the tip, so it didn't really encourage them to do a really good job. Hopefully, it will be a better situation, when we eat there with 19 of our D23 friends, the day before the Destination D event coming up in August. But even so, we'll still be sticking with Napa Rose as our favorite restaurant!
We weren't seated in the main dining room, but one to one side of the place. We were very happy we weren't seated outside, like some others were. They said they were staggering seatings to every 15 mins., starting at 6 pm and ours was 6:30. The group that was in the large, main dining room was being greeted and talked to by John Lasseter and Chef Andrew Sutton when we were being seated and they had lots of other talks going on with applause and all after that, but we had no idea what we were missing. JL and CAS did come by, to greet us and spoke briefly about the winery and menu, but that was it. After dinner, John and Nancy went around separately, to talk to each table, sign things and/or get photos taken, but they had a handler with them, who would rush them along, if they were staying too long. Luckily for us, the handler wasn't around when we spoke to him, so we had a chance to talk a bit and get some photos. After dinner, we looked for CAS and thanked him for the dinner. He said he won't be back over to Napa Rose until probably about July, when I told him we'd missed him the last time we were in, since he was working at DCA then. Gloria wasn't there, but we looked thru the little window and saw Frank working, he waved and we said hi to each other. AS asked how we thought Alex was working out over there and we told him we thought he was doing a great job, in his stead.
Any other questions? Feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer.