I was finally able to attend the Food and Wine Festival at Disney’s California Adventure, and here is how it went!
As you all should know by now, I am no stranger to Disneyland or foodie adventures. What better way to spend a day than to combine them? California Adventure was hosting a food and wine festival, featuring all different types of cuisines and wine pairings. We were thoroughly excited to embark on this feast from around the world (well, mainly around the state of California, as I learned later).
About a month ago, I had ordered some matching Mike and Sulley Minnie Mouse ears, and they finally arrived two days prior to our trip. I had a green shirt, Danelle had a blue dress and purple tights, so clearly we were all set to Disneybound for the day!
We decided to only spend the day in DCA, as neither of us was in a big ride-going mood. We arrived at the park a little after 10am, much later than our usual start, and headed to the food and wine fest, only to find that food wasn’t going to be served until 11am. So we meandered around the park a bit, stopping to take the below photos with the man and the mouse!
Note that my giant pain-in-the-butt knee brace is no more! I only sported my lightweight hinged brace, which provided all the support I needed, with no soreness afterwards. Hurray!
After taking our photo with the statues, we had the most delightful interaction with a cast member named Chester. Danelle complimented him on his whistling as he swept up trash from the sidewalk, and then he rhymed/rapped compliments at us for a good two minutes, saying that our smiles brought him all the sunshine he needed on a cloudy day. I could not stop smiling at this adorable man! He then said “I need to stop, ’cause I’m still on the clock,” and handed us each “Honorary Citizen of Disneyland” buttons! I didn’t even know they existed, but I pinned it on immediately. This is reason #546 as to why I love Disneyland so darn much!
Feeling the love and the magic, and still with some time to kill, we headed over to the ride “Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!” where we knew we needed to take lots of photos. As we approached the entrance, another cast member named Christina smiled from ear-to-ear and asked us, “Have you two taken your pictures yet?” When we said we hadn’t yet, she snatched up my phone and took adorable photos of us in front of the ride!
We thanked her and before we were about to get in line, she handed us a “Buddy Pass,” which cast members hand out to guests they like to let them cut the lines! Another magical thing I never knew existed! We once again thanked Christina and walked right onto the ride! Reason #547 (I’m not actually keeping a list of the reasons I love Disneyland, I swear).
When we emerged from the ride, we stopped at a store to get ourselves some celebratory buttons. My birthday is in less than three weeks, so I figured I can say I’m here for my birthday, right? Danelle got an “I’m Celebrating” button and the cast member wrote “Adina’s Birthday” on it. Love it. I also picked up an “I’m Celebrating” button, for reasons that I will explain later on… 🙂
By then, it was finally after 11am, meaning it was time to stuff our faces with delicious foods! There were six different booths (seven if you include the one that only served beer), and Danelle and I had food from four of them. Here’s what we ate and drank, as well as my thoughts.
Stop #1: Gold Rush
Dishes we tried:
- Triple Cheese Mac with Smoked Chicken
- Artichoke Chips with Spicy Aioli
- The mac and cheese was absolutely delicious! The chicken wasn’t necessary, but did add a good smokiness. I gobbled this up to break my Passover “fast.”
- The artichoke chips were also great! The breading wasn’t too greasy and the sauce added a flavorful, but not too overpowering, kick.
- Overall, I would give the Gold Rush booth a 4.5/5.
Stop #2: ¡Viva Fresca!
Dishes we tried:
- Fried Shrimp Soft Taco
- OMG so delicious! The taco actually came in two small tortillas, so it was very easy to share. The sauce was creamy and the shrimp perfectly crispy. I could have easily gotten three more orders and still wanted more of these tacos.
- Overall, I would give the ¡Viva Fresca! booth a 5/5.
Stop #3: Wine Country
Dishes we tried:
- Roasted Yellow Beets and Purple Haze Goat Cheese
- Blackberry Tart
- Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Flight
- The beets were extremely underwhelming. All we really tasted was sweetness, and no detection of goat cheese.
- The tart, which we returned for later in the afternoon, was absolutely divine! A little difficult to eat (we ended up picking it up and taking bites), the contrast between the tart berries and sweet creme fraiche left us wanting more.
- The wines were pretty good. There were three wines included in the flight (seen below). None of them were outstanding, but not offensive in any way. My favorite was the Murphy Goode.
- Overall, I would give the Wine Country booth a 3.5/5.
Stop #4: LA Style
Dishes we tried:
- Pork Belly Bao Taco
- Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart
- The bao taco was definitely what I would call “LA Style,” as it was a fusion between cuisines. The meat was good, although it tasted more like beef to me, and the sauce was very sweet.
- The chocolate tart,which we also came back to eat later in the afternoon, was incredible and I wish it was much bigger. Worth every bite! (See below).
- Overall, I would give the LA Style booth a 4/5.
Although the tart was a close second, my favorite by far were the shrimp tacos. I just want them to be added to some menu in the park so I can have them again.
After round #1 of food (which were all of the savory dishes and the wine), we meandered around the park a bit. We rode Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, which I hadn’t been on before surprisingly, as well as rode on the sea creature merry-go-round. I got to ride my favorite sea animal, an otter! We named him Bartholomew.
We then picked ourselves up some margaritas, because why the heck not? I got a classic and Danelle got a strawberry. We sat on a bench people-watching for a bit, and got many compliments on our adorable Disneybounds!
Then after hitting up round #2 of food and wine fest (the two desserts), we felt that it was time to head out. I probably could’ve gone for another taco, but restrained myself. I’m really hoping that the food and wine fest returns to DCA next year! And next time I will attend more than once, as I think the foods change from week to week. There were also some food and beverage seminars being held that we did not go to, which I’m sure were very interesting.
So yes, another fun Disney day with Danelle! I’m sure you’ll see a few more of these on my blog in the near future, because I really can’t get enough of this magical place!
-Girl in Los Angeles 🙂