Restaurant Reviews

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2017

Ah — Food and Wine, my two favorite words in the English dictionary. If there is an event with food and wine in the name, you can bet your bottom I will find a way to be there. Needless to say, my visit to The Food and Wine Festival at Disney’s California Adventure was definitely a blast. I have been talking about visiting the festival for several years, and finally made the time to do so. I can safely say visiting this festival will be something I will look forward to in the coming years.

I was able to visit Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival a couple of weekends ago on a Sunday with my Disney Pal Dom. We arrived at the park at open, and were able to jump on a few rides before heading over to see the many booths at the festival. For those of you who don’t know, the Food & Wine Festival is an ongoing event that takes place March 10th through April 16th at California Adventure. Dozens of booths are set up throughout the park with California-themed dishes and beverages. The festival also holds various demonstrations; cooking classes, live music, and seminars revolving around food and wine. The event also hosts a variety of pop-up shops, which sell special merchandise. We had a nice time at the Saucy Lips shop, enjoying samples of their varieties of hot sauce.

There are several options of how one can participate in the festival. One option was to buy a ticket costing $45, which allowed you to sample a select number of the food items. I can’t recall exactly how many food items you were allotted with this ticket, but we passed on the ticket deal, opting instead to simply purchase items at the booths individually. Separately, the Wine and Beer Seminars cost $15-$20 to attend while the cooking classes cost $10 to attend. We did not attend these seminars this year, but will make sure to do so in the future.

One of my favorite parts of the festival was the themed marketplaces set up throughout the park. Each had a California food based theme, which I found really wonderful and helpful when deciding where to eat. I  Artichokes, Garlic Kissed, Nuts About Cheese, The Onion Lair, and Off the Cob were among my favorite themed booths. I loved that each place stuck to one idea and saw it through. I didn’t get to try a lot of items, which looked amazing, but I am most disappointed I missed out on Brie toast with fig jam and the Baked ham and swiss roles at Nuts about Cheese booth.

We hit up the food booths right at 11am when they opened, wanting to beat the crowds later in the day. We meticulously wandered by every booth, wanting to only try a couple of the best-looking bites. My first food item I purchased was the cream cheese deviled eggs with smoked trout and chives at the Seafood Sustained booth. The eggs were light and delicious and I popped them back in about 10 seconds. The very tasty eggs cost $4 for two.

Next, we hit up the Sweet & Sourdough booth and both got the item we had our eyes on all morning, the white cheddar lager soup topped with bacon, served in a mini sourdough bowl. The soup was $6 and my biggest regret was that I didn’t order more! My friend and I were both totally blown away by how delicious this soup was. I mean, liquid cheese + beer, how can you go wrong? Dom also ordered the milk chocolate sourdough bread pudding with vanilla bean sauce, which we shared. It was pretty tasty, but we were both very full after the rich soup so didn’t finish the whole portion. I did not actually drink any alcohol at the event, but Dom enjoyed a crisp coconut lime beer from a local brewery.

While I definitely think the Food and Wine Festival appeals more to adults than kids, there were several kid-friendly booths set up as well. There was a “Kitchen Crafts” booth where children could create their own chef hats. Is there anything cuter than kids running around pretending to be little cooks? Adorable.

Our intention was to make our way back to the festival in the evening for more tastes and treats, but sadly we ended up staying at Disneyland for the remainder of the day and did not make it back. Next year, I will definitely plan more trips to ensure I get to try more of the classes and food/beverage options the festival has to offer. I would highly recommend this festival for anyone who enjoys food and drinks as much as me!

– Cassie

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