At the beginning of April, Disney resurrected the Food and Wine Festival at California Adventure. The last time they held the festival was five or six years ago, and I honestly didn’t even know about it. Since I wasn’t super into food or wine at that time (and there was no Instagram), I probably didn’t even realize it was happening. But as soon as I heard about this year’s festival, I was all about it. Yummy food, wine tasting, and Disney? Hells to the yes. So I signed up for a beverage seminar, grabbed my DBFF (Disney Best Friend Forever) and headed down to California Adventure.
The main part of the festival is set up in the main walkway of California Adventure, leading from the central hub to the pier. The food and drink booths are set up on either side. Each booth has a theme, like LAstyle and By the Bay, and the booths typically offer two small food items, a dessert, and two wines. There is also a beer tasting booth and a wine tasting booth that serve just alcohol. There are some specialty non-alcoholic drinks available too. The booths are open throughout the month of April so you can go anytime during the week to get the food and drinks (and that’s the best part of the festival).
Brianna and I arrived at the park about an hour before our beverage seminar, so we grabbed a couple of small snacks and drinks to sample before the seminar. These are the Artichoke Chips with Spicy Aioli from the Gold Rush booth (which turned out to be the best booth). They were super tasty, I would eat the aioli with cardboard it was so good.
We also got the Apple Bacon Whoopie Pie with maple cream and it was un-freakin-believable. I will be getting this one again, and it was one of the best things we ate at the festival, if not the best.
After our first bites, we headed into our beverage seminar featuring Kita Wines. I had never heard of Kita before, but I love California wines, especially from the Santa Barbara area, so I figured we couldn’t go too wrong. When we walked into the seminar, held at Sonoma Terrace, the tables were set up with our three tastings, a bottle of water, and a paper and pen for notes. The pours were a little on the small side, but given that the price of the seminar was on par with any tasting I’ve done at wineries, I didn’t complain too much.
My main complaint about the beverage seminar is that they didn’t have enough seats set up, or they allowed people to register that day, and so they had to add in tables at the last minute. We had waited in line to get a spot in the front, but the last minute tables were put right in front of us so the people who didn’t pre-register got better seats than those of us who had been there waiting in line. I also could not believe how rude some of the other people were, getting up and leaving while the speaker was still presenting. Super annoying. Anyway, the presentation was interesting and the wines were pretty tasty. It was interesting to hear about the story of how the wine was made from the actual winemaker.
After the beverage seminar, we ate a couple more tasty treats. First we had the Triple Cheese Mac with Smoked Chicken and Flower Field Lemonade from the Gold Rush booth. I had heard mixed reviews about the mac, but I loved it. It wasn’t as hot as I would have liked, but it was delicious. I was also surprisingly into the lemonade. It was not super sweet (minus the sugar rim) which I enjoyed.
We also tried the White Cheddar Ale Soup with Bacon from the By the Bay booth and it was really tasty. It was cold and rainy when we were there so this really hit the spot.
Then we went dessert crazy, starting with the Blackberry Gallette and then moving to the Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart, both of which were awesome.
After those desserts we were pretty full, so we did some walking around to digest. Toward the end of the night, we did a little wine tasting at the Vineyard booth. I tried the Chardonnay wine flight. Chardonnay is my fave so I was in heaven, all of them were really good.
The worst thing about the Food and Wine Festival is that there was no way for me to taste everything I wanted in one day. I will be going back during the week to try some more of the goodies, but overall, I was really into everything we tried. I will probably be tempted to get some of them again (especially the desserts). I would definitely recommend checking out the festival if you are going to be in the parks at all this month and I really hope this becomes an annual tradition!