What’s New/Touring Tips Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival Disney’s California Adventure

Disney's California Food and Wine Festival returns to Disney's California Adventure from April 24 – June 7 with a World Celebration theme.

This year's Festival features an expanded schedule with over 600 complimentary and signature events scheduled. There are also new venues, new events, and a larger selection of Festival food and wine offerings. Every day park visitors can attend complimentary demonstrations, including cooking demonstrations, and beer, wine, and spirit tasting events as well as try the Festival food items at selected restaurants around the park. Signature Events offer guests the opportunity to enjoy food and wine from around the world, meet famous chefs and winemakers, and to educate themselves on wine tasting and cooking techniques.

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The Festival Welcome Center has been moved to a larger booth next to the Information Center in Sunshine Plaza. The Festival Guide is available there, which includes maps and the daily event schedules, as well as information on the Signature Events.

The Chef's Showcase demonstration kitchen is also located in Sunshine Plaza. Those who remember sitting in the hot sun at previous festivals will appreciate the fact that a large tent completely covers the stage and seating area, which can accommodate 125 guests.

The Festival Gift Shop has been moved to Sunshine Plaza next to the Chef's Showcase.

On selected weekends during the Festival Autograph Sessions with featured chefs and cookbook authors will take place in Sunshine Plaza. Copies of the books will be for sale at the Gift Shop. Visiting chefs and celebrities this year include Chef Jamie Gwen, Richard Irvine, Cat Cora, Peter Greenberg, Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito, Guy Fieri, and Keegan Gerhard.

The Lounge is located on the upper terrace of the Golden Vine Winery. A number of wine flights are available for purchase, as are a selection of appetizers.

Wine Walks are new this year. There are two of them – one in the Bountiful Valley Farm, featuring California wines, and the other, featuring International wines, at the entrance to the Pacific Wharf. For $10 you receive four tastings.

The Beer Walk, showcasing international beers, is located next to the Lucky Fortune Cookery, in the area occupied by the main demonstration kitchen last year.

The Beer and Spirits Education seminars feature expanded topics in the area of spirits education. In addition to the popular tequila tasting, there are also sessions on sake, whiskies of the world, and single malt scotch. The tent is located in the Pacific Wharf area.

At the Golden Vine Winery the Festival Wine Shop & Bistro offers an expanded selection of wines for sale by the glass or by the bottle. A small selection of appetizers is also available.

The Junior Chef program returns to the Bountiful Farm area on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Kids aged 11 and younger will prepare a sweet treat with the help of a Disney chef and special guest Chef Goofy. Each child receives a chef's hat to take home as well as a frozen fruit bar to eat afterwards.

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There are multiple changes in the Signature Events this year. The popular Winemaker dinners, Festival Wine Receptions, the Taste finale event, Napa Rose Cooking School and Introduction to Wine Tasting, are all returning, and there are also a number of new offerings. To sign up for any of the Signature Events, visit http://www.disneyland.com/foodandwine.

The Sweet Sundays event is new this year. Held on most Sunday mornings, it showcases a guest pastry chef who will prepare three different sweet treats, with samples served to guests. A light breakfast buffet and sparkling wine will also be offered. The cost is $65. This has been a very popular offering, with all but one session sold out even before the Festival began.

In keeping with the Festival's theme, the World Celebration Dinners are also new. These take place on Wednesday nights, and highlight wine and cuisines from a different country each week, including France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Korea.

The new Behind the Scenes With… sessions are held on selected evenings. Chef Jamie Gwen hosts these wine receptions, each featuring a noted chef or winemaker. Scheduled guests are John and Nancy Lasseter, Guy Fieri, Keegan Gerhard, and Tommy Lasorda.

For wine aficionados, the Advanced Wine Course classes are also new this year. Taught by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan, this class consists of three intense two-hour sessions, held on three consecutive days. Sessions take place at the Grand Californian Convention Center.

The grand finale event of the Festival, Taste Food-Wine-Life will take place on two nights this year: Friday June 5 and Saturday June 6. Separate park admission is not required this year.

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On weekends most of the complimentary sessions are filling up early, especially for the celebrity chefs – plan to get to those at least an hour in advance. The early wine/beer sessions don't usually fill up on weekends, but later in the day are full 20-30 minutes in advance. Cast Members hand out a laminated card in advance to those in line, and only those with cards are allowed in. At the wine tasting or beer/spirits seminars all guest must also show proof of age and receive a wristband to be allowed into the venue.

While the venues for the various seminars/demonstrations are in the shade, the queue areas are not, and can get really warm on a sunny California day. Guests should come prepared with hats, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen.

NO ONE under the age of 21 is permitted in the wine tasting or beer education areas.

Reservations for Signature Events can be made on-line at the http://www.disneyland.com/foodandwine web site. Same day reservations for the Signature events (if available) can also be made at the Festival Information Center at Sunshine Plaza.

Be sure to pick up a Festival Guide at the Welcome Center – this nicely-designed pamphlet contains maps of the event venues, a schedule of events, and other information to help maximize your Festival experience.

The Festival Wine Shop, located at the Golden Vine Winery, offers a variety of wines from the group of wineries participating in the wine tasting sessions. Any wine purchases must be picked up at Package Pickup at the main entrance upon exiting the park.

A variety of festival-themed merchandise including pins, wine coolers, wine stoppers, glasses, t-shirts, hats, etc. is available at the Festival Merchandise Cart set up in Sunshine Plaza. Cookbooks by the celebrity chefs are also available for purchase there.

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Food and Wine Festival General Information
Festival Menus and Prices
2009 Festival Photo Gallery
new 2009 Sweet Sundays Review
Food and Wine Festival Rate and Review – Let us know what you think of Disney's California Food and Wine Festival!.

If you have comments or tips to share with others about touring Disney's California Adventure, please email us. Thank you.