It is spring break vacation season in our Southern California parks and Disneyland has brought back its Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival running through April 16, 2017. These festivals are gauged to keep mom and dad semi-sane and happy despite the exhausting all kid environment. There are seminars and tastings galore for food, beer, and spirits, but my end game is always the wine. Back in the day when we were season pass holders, I remember this festival and was intrigued with what wineries they’d feature for seminars and tastings. However, my intrigue was fleeting since there was NO WAY my husband was going to let me jaunt off to this adults-only wine seminar while he dealt with kids begging for treats, toys, and their sudden sprints towards the costumed characters.
I decided to browse this 2017 festival’s agenda in thoughts of surprising the kids with a day trip and declaring I needed to “work” and attend a wine tasting. My kids are older now and can manage themselves. Heck, they were raised having to stay in California Adventure Park merely so my husband and I could have easy access to the wine and beer sold, if our own stash ran out.
There are two main wine components to the Food and Wine Festival – Winemaker Dinners and Tasting Seminars. There are three winemaker dinners – one occurred March 16 with Flora Springs Winery. Left on the schedule is March 30 with Duckhorn Vineyards as the April 13 Disney Family of Wines dinner is sold out. The Winemaker dinner includes “four courses carefully selected to enhance the flavor of the wine” for $150 per person, not including tax or gratuity. There is no food menu to peruse. No wine pairings listed to wet your whistle, nor even a notation of how many wines are poured. In order to attend the $150 dinner, you also have to purchase a California Adventure Park entry ticket, which will cost you another $100 bucks. Add in the parking, and monies required to pay off/keep my kids busy for an hour and that’s a hefty bill. I scratched the winemaker dinner off the list.
The Wine Education and Tasting Seminars feature wines from a different California wine region each week. There are several seatings a day for a 30-45 minute seminar from a sommelier or winery representative for “sample tastings.” The cost is $15 Monday-Thursday and $20 Friday-Sunday. The wineries featured are noted for each seating, but again, no clue how many “sample tastings” are poured. Even the beer seminars note three pours. Though the cost is more than fair, I am dismayed at the lack of information provided though wine is noted as a title component of this darned festival. You still have to pay the $100 bucks for park admission. Urgh … I scratched this off the list too.
So, there will be no partaking in the Disney California Adventure Food & “Wine” Festival. It is not only expensive, but offensive at the lack of information given or even excitement built for their chosen wines at the festival. If I were to surprise my kids with a jaunt up to see Mickey Mouse for a day, I’ll prepare our own snacks and drinks like I have for years. My kids learned early to ask which water bottle to drink from – one is water, and the other is always wine.
Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival – March 10-16, 2017