Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival Opens

| April 27, 2009

This weekend marked the opening of Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival at Disney’s California Adventure in the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.  There are many tantalizing and tasty events to choose from this year.  The free events include culinary demonstrations featuring well-known chefs, educational sessions, a junior chef program for kids, and wine and beer tasting seminars.

Festival Wine Walk

My young son and I participated in the Junior Chef program, where kids helped Chef Goofy make a mango popsicle. To quote my seven year old son directly, “It was lots of fun, but it didn’t pay off at the end.”  Translation: It was fun, but the mango popsicle didn’t taste good.

Chef Goofy tries to get the kids to make an unhealthy snack.

We also experienced a culinary demonstration by executive chefs from Dole.  It was interesting and tasty. Although my kid enjoyed it (especially the eating part), it is really more of an adult event.

For those of you willing to spend some money, the festival offers a variety of signature events ranging in cost from $50 (Saturday afternoon wine tastings) to $450 (Fortunately or unfortunately, the $450 Napa Rose Cooking School events are already sold out.).  Friday evenings feature Winemaker dinners at Steakhouse 55 for $135 per person.  World Celebration Dinners offer diners a chance to celebrate the cuisines of different countries. They are Wednesday evenings and cost $135 dollars per person.  Sweet Sundays ($65) feature a light dessert buffet, mornings at 10:30.  As of this weekend, only two still have spots available.  Finally, festival wine receptions happen on weekend evenings for 55 dollars.  A new signature event this year is “Behind the Scenes with…” hosted by Chef Jamie Gwen.  This event ($185) allows participants the opportunity to dine and speak with celebrity chefs, including Guy Fieri and Keegan Gerhard.  Most of the signature events require participants to be at least 21 years of age.

On the podcast, Pete mentioned something about the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival scaling back on merchandise.  Below are the pics of ALL of the official Food and Wine Festival merchandise.

On a side note, one interesting thing I noticed was the huge number of staff at the festival.  It seemed wherever I looked there was someone collecting data or observing a presentation.  At the Junior Chef program of 30 kids, I counted 15 employees.  I’ll let Pete and the gang decipher what all this means, but I just found it interesting.

One change to last year’s festival is that featured menu items now must be purchased at select counter service restaurants rather than being all in one location.

The festival runs daily April 24-June 7, 2009 at Disney’s California Adventure and the Disneyland Resort hotels and restaurants.

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  • dizneedoll

    Great info on Food and Wine and wonderful pictures too. I have a quick question…is there a menu of the featured menu items and at what counter service locations items can be purchased? I’d like to know ahead of time so I don’t have to go around to all the CS locations just to see what the offerings are. Thanks!

  • Tony Spittell

    To quote the official guide handed out at the entrance:

    “Delicious Festival-inspired items are available at
    Wine Country Trattoria
    Cove Bar
    Pizza Oom Mow Mow
    Pacific Wharf Cafe
    Farmer’s Market
    Award Wieners and
    Taste Pilots Grill.

    Expertly paired wines and beer may also be available for purchase. Select Disneyland Resort restaurants will offer prix-fixe dining options at Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival. Expertly paired wines may also be available.”

    I personally ate at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill and had an empanada and saw a special tamale plate on the menu.

    I hope this helps. Because of this question, I will try to get there this weekend and inventory the DCA special menu items.

    Tony Spittell

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