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  • Diana Brandt

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival

The happiest Food & Wine Festival returns!

When you get an email inviting you to come check out the Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure, you immediately rearrange your entire schedule, pack your bag and drive. Last year was the first time I had been to Disneyland and California Adventure since I was like 6 or 7. It brought back vague memories and flooded me with excitement, joy and I'll be honest, anxiety because let's face it, there's a lot to do and a lot of people and you feel like you won't be able to do it all.

I found that I had those same feelings last week when I arrived at the park but the feelings fade and you realize, you can do almost all of it, if not all of it. I have a new found love of both parks and all that they have to offer guests of all ages. It truly is a magical place, that added a bit of thrill into my life with that Guardians of the Galaxy Ride, but I'll get to that later. I want to talk about food and the festival that is currently going on right.this.minute!

Pictures Credit: Disney California Adventure

I'll include plenty of details and how to grab tickets down below. The first thing you notice when you head into the park is how they lined the streets with booths that filled the air with delightful smells. There are so many mouthwatering options at each booth and we enjoyed the beer and wine flights that they offered throughout as well. They don't just have flights either, they have full on drinks, some with and without alcohol. A few of my favorite bites from the festival (although it really was hard to pick only a few) the cheddar bread boule, the filet burger, the caramel popcorn krispie, and the grilled asparagus caesar. Let's just say that whatever you decide to try, you're going to be happy about it.

The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival runs March 2 to April 12, 2018, with flavors and fare inspired by the Golden State. The event hosts experiences daily during the six-week span so guests will always find something tasty to try and fun to do as they explore the uniquely Disney festival.

You'll also have the opportunity to experience presentations and demonstrations with celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine, Alex Guarnaschelli and Shaun O’Neale, food and beverage tastings, winemaker dinners, beer, wine and spirit seminars, and more.

Family-friendly seminars at the Backlot Stage in Hollywood Land will feature a variety of topics, cooking demonstrations and more on select days throughout the festival. From growing your own vegetables to learning how to prepare some of the festival marketplace favorites, guests of all ages will get inspired or even discover a new interest during these seminars.

Another guest-favorite returning to the festival is the complimentary Junior Chef experience, with hands-on fun led by Chef Goofy, for children ages 3 to 11. Aspiring young chefs follow a recipe and mix a variety of ingredients to create magical treats that ends with a tasty surprise.

If you are looking for more palate-pleasing experiences will want to try the festival’s signature events, including new offerings such as Celebrity Chef LIVE! at the Hyperion, as well as returning favorites like the Disney Family of Wines Dinner, Sweet Sundays and the Winemaker or Brewmaster Dinners. Some of this year’s signature events include:

  • Guy Fieri LIVE! at the Hyperion (March 9)

  • Robert Irvine LIVE! at the Hyperion (March 30)

  • Disney Family of Wines Dinner (March 29)

  • David Arthur Winemaker Dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant (April 5)

  • Karl Strauss Brewmaster Dinner at Steakhouse 55 (March 8)

  • Flora Springs Winemaker Dinner at Steakhouse 55 (March 15)

Many of the Disney California Food & Wine Festival events are included with admission to Disney California Adventure Park. Special signature events and seminars will require a separate fee. Additional details and reservations for the signature events and seminars can be made at You may also check for the latest information and schedules as they become available, at

In case you are still interested in trying some of the other food available at the parks, I had to try the infamous corn dog (amazing!), the strawberry rose churro (delish) and the fruity pebbles donut (YES!!). I wish I had had more time and more room in my stomach but there's always next time.

For those of you wondering, I did do a ton of rides, all the ones that I could handle in a short amount of time. My top three were:

Guardians of the Galaxy - What a thrill, I would ride it a few times in a row, just saying.

Radiator Springs Racer - This was super fun with the racing aspect and I definitely get why there is always a line.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - A true roller coaster that lasts a good amount of time.

Mention worthy:

Space Mountain: it was so fast that my eyes were watering

If Splash Mountain had been open, it would have been on my top three I think but we'll have to see how it goes next time.

Another question I got asked a ton was about how busy it was. Let me tell you that I don't have much to go off of, as far as a comparison goes. I'm sure it's always busy there but the wait times for most rides were around 20-35 mins during the day and down to 5-10 in the evening. The popular rides stayed at a steady 45-75 min wait. I also stayed at the Grand California Adventure Hotel, which I would highly recommend. I mean they have ruined me from ever wanting to stay anywhere else now. The hotel is magnificent, the staff is kind and knowledgeable, the rooms are comfy and homey (even though you probably won't spend much time in there), there are tons of restaurants on site, the pools are fabulous (especially for the families) but most of all the accessibility of both parks and Downtown Disney is AMAZING!!! And the extra hour you get at the parks, totally worth it (I went and did 4 rides in that amount of time.)

Until next time, I hope you are able to head on over and try out some of the food they have available for a limited time and that you can make some special memories.

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