Disneyland Monorail

Important Update on Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival

posted on November 3rd, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


As many of you know, we are in the midst of a multi-year expansion of Disney California Adventure park. Our first key milestone occurred this past June with the premiere of “World of Color,” and next year, we’ll open The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. As we shared with you last Friday, Cars Land is well on its way to opening in 2012, and we’ll continue to share news and take you behind the scenes throughout the expansion here on the Disney Parks Blog.

While we are extremely excited with all of the progress to date, we have had to make some changes to accommodate our growth, and today we want to let you know we will not be hosting the 2011 and 2012 Disney’s California Food & Wine Festivals in Disney California Adventure park. This was not an easy decision, but expansion work over the next two years in some areas of the park present significant logistical challenges around scheduling the hundreds of festival offerings. This work includes transforming the park’s entry plaza as well as the hub area where the event main stage has been located. When the work is completed, it will be reminiscent of the Los Angeles that Walt found when he arrived in the 1920s, complete with Red Car Trolleys. Below is a rendering that we’ve not yet released on the Blog that shows what the area will look like when completed.

Rendering of Los Angeles in the 1920s

We realize the festival has been a guest favorite but feel it’s most important to ensure our park experience is the best it can be during this exciting time. After the expansion is completed and we open Cars Land in 2012, we will continue to look at opportunities for special events and festivals. Please stay tuned to the Blog for the most up-to-date information.

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A Taste of the Food & Wine Festival – How to Make Polenta at Home

posted on May 3rd, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Would you like to bring a bit of Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival into your home? Today’s video can show you how: Chef Jesse Tiascareno is preparing a dish that is typical of what is served at the Festival – “Spicy Chicken Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta.”

Chef Jesse is normally at Rancho del Zocalo. For the Festival, he is one of nearly 100 Disneyland Resort chefs who will be meeting and greeting guests and preparing unique fare for the 2010 event. If you’d like to meet Jesse, he is scheduled to appear May 24 at 4:00 p.m. at the Chef’s Showcase Stage. When you arrive, check the Festival Welcome Center for more details.

The full recipe is below. Let us know if you try it!

Spicy Chicken Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta
Wine selection: Château des Charmes Riesling

Serves 4

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, small dice
½ oz basil (1 tablespoon)
1 oz garlic (2 tablespoons)
2/3 cup fresh corn (1 cob), removed from cob
1 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup (optional)
1/3 cup regular polenta (ground yellow or white cornmeal)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped chives
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound spicy chicken sausage links

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add onions, basil, garlic and fresh corn and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add water, cream and maple syrup; bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in polenta. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes while continuing to stir.
  4. Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until polenta is creamy and has absorbed most of the liquid.
  5. Remove from oven and stir in chives and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste.
  6. Grill sausages, then slice in half. To serve, spoon polenta into warmed bowls and top with sausages.
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A Look at Wine Walks at Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival

posted on April 26th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Disney's California Food & Wine Festival
Disney's California Food & Wine Festival

Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival, themed “The Art of Flavor” in 2010, is now in full swing.

I attended the Festival on Opening Day and one of my favorite experiences was the “Taste of California” Marketplace. At the Marketplace, located in the Festival Showplace at the end of Hollywood Pictures Backlot, you can find tapas-size tastings of unique foods created specially for the Festival. My pick? You won’t want to miss the Beer Battered Halibut. I’m not a huge fan of fish and chips, but I love this dish.

Disney's California Food & Wine Festival

On the weekends (when I’m not working), I love the Festival Wine Walks. By purchasing a tasting passport, you can select up to four tastes from around the world, or from a single region. This year, the Wine Walks are Viva Italia, which features wines from Tuscany, Puglia and the Veneto, and California Classics, which features the best of California wine country.

Check out this video of the Festival Wine Walk from last year’s Festival, themed “World Celebration.”

** Guests must be at least 21 years of age to attend wine events; valid photo ID required. Separate admission to Disney’s California Adventure park is required and is not included in the event price. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

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Disney Parks ‘Quick Hits’ – April 23rd, 2010

posted on April 23rd, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Florida Farmer’s Market Celebration at Garden Town
We’ve got kumquats this weekend at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. The fruit is part of a special Florida Farmer’s Market celebration “Fresh from Florida” at Garden Town that begins today and runs through April 25. Stop by if you’re enjoying the Festival this weekend.

Also this week, the Walt Disney World Resort is looking for Quick Service food and beverage hosts and hostesses. If food is your passion, visit WaltDisneyWorld.jobs/jobfair for information.

Here are a few more items of interest that didn’t make it to the blog this week.

Where’s Goofy? — The Walt Disney World Moms Panel answers the question, “How can we make sure to see Goofy while we’re at Walt Disney World?”

Disney’s California Food and Wine Fest — Don’t miss the seminars and demos at Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival.

Disney Gardening at Home — Learn the top picks for mixed containers at the Disney Gardening at Home series at Epcot.

Vinylmation Mystery Pin Collection – Urban #4 — This limited release mystery collection features Mickey Mouse in various artistic styles, two randomly selected collector pins and one mystery chaser!

Disneyland Resort Pin Trading Night — Disneyland Resort Pin Trading Night, is tonight, April 23, from 7-10 pm in the Magic Kingdom Ballroom at the Disneyland Hotel.

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Disney Parks Blog Weekly Recap

posted on April 18th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Disney's California Food & Wine Festival

Are you following @Disneyland on Twitter? You should be — we’re giving away tickets to Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival and we launched your first chance to participate this week. Be sure and check Heather’s post for more information.

Here’s a recap of this week’s most popular posts:

100-Year-Old Celebrates His Birthday at Walt Disney World — We celebrated with John Schmitz as he marked his 100th birthday at Magic Kingdom Park.

Fly-Through Look at Animator’s Palate for the Disney Dream — This fly-through video showed us what the new Animator’s Palate aboard the Disney Dream will look like.

Dooney & Bourke Co-Branded Product Sets Sail on Disney Cruise Line — Ahoy Disney Cruise Line fans, we have something new just for you!

The Fleet at Rest — Paul Hiffmeyer showed the submarines of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage as they rested in the early morning light.

First Look: Inside D-Street — Disney Parks Blog readers got a sneak peek behind the doors of D-Street at Downtown Disney West Side in Florida. D-Street is now open — check it out and let us know what you think!

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Disney Parks ‘Quick Hits’ – April 15th, 2010

posted on April 15th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


D-Street Grand Opening

Dara and Steven did a great job of letting us know what to expect at tomorrow’s D-Street Grand Opening. But we have another surprise to share — world-renowned speed painter Rock Demarco will be painting his interpretation of Mickey Mouse at the event. Rock has also been commissioned to design some Vinylmation figures on Friday.

Guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will “Party for the Planet” during a park-wide Earth Day celebration on April 22. There will be special entertainment throughout the park on Earth Day:

  • Main Entrance: Jiminy Cricket (9 a.m.-1 p.m.)
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch: PIPA the talking recycling bin (11:20 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:50 p.m. and 2:40 p.m.), Jiminy Cricket (2-5 p.m.)
  • Gi-Tar Dan at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and Camp Minnie-Mickey (Sets run between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Camp Minnie-Mickey)

Also this week, the Walt Disney World Resort is hosting an online job fair! Apply now through April 18.

And we recently announced this year’s official lineup for Night of Joy at Walt Disney World. Here’s the updated schedule.

Friday, Sept. 10

  • Chris Tomlin
  • David Crowder
  • Casting Crowns
  • BarlowGirl
  • Francesca Battistelli
  • Group 1 Crew
  • 10th Avenue North

Saturday, Sept. 11

  • Mercyme
  • Third Day
  • Family Force 5
  • Smokie Norful
  • Red
  • Lecrae
  • Day of Fire
  • Sidewalk Prophets

Here are a few other items that didn’t make it to the blog this week:

Where To Start? — The Walt Disney World Moms Panel answers the question, “In which order should we visit the theme parks?”

Backstage Safari Tour — The Backstage Safari tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom gives you a 3-hour insider’s look at the ways the park’s animal inhabitants are cared for.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom — Did you know? The first permanent resident of Disney’s Animal Kingdom was a 1.5-year-old male giraffe named Miles.

“Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival 2010″ Pin — This limited release pin commemorates the 2010 Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival.

Must-Sees at Disney’s California Adventure Park — Check out this list of must-see attractions at Disney’s California Adventure.

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Eat This Up…

posted on April 15th, 2010 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


A flavorful set of offerings commemorates the 2010 Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival, “The Art of Flavor.” Product Developer Linda Votaw stopped by my desk just a few days ago brimming with excitement for some of the new items, including a chef apron and jackets, wine decanters and glasses, tees, a hat and, of course, the artwork that inspired it all.

Some of her favorite pieces have an artistic flair. Almost a year ago, she reached out to local artist Dave Avanzino, who helped create one of this year’s logos. His artistic expertise and flair for contemporary and whimsical artwork allowed him to incorporate all of the elements of food, wine, art and creativity into one image, which appears on several items.

Disney's California Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

Disney's California Food & Wine Festival Merchandise

Here are this year’s top five “must have” Food & Wine Festival items:

  1. 5th Anniversary Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival pin
  2. Recycled “Banner” totes (These unique totes were actually created from existing banners which hung throughout Disney’s California Adventure park in last year’s Food & Wine Festival. The bags are extremely limited, so you’ll want to grab these before they’re gone.)
  3. Button down all-over print shirt
  4. Etched wine glasses
  5. Dave Avanzino “Tower of Terror”-inspired, wine label multimedia sculpture

Disney's California Food & Wine Festival Pin

Annual Passholders: Be sure to look for merchandise created especially with you in mind, including a special limited edition pin and a glass coaster set.

Disney's California Food & Wine Festival Pin

I’ll leave you with a tip to cap off your Food & Wine experience: Autograph sessions will take place throughout the festival with notable Winemakers and Celebrity Chefs. For a complete list of autograph sessions and more events, visit Disneyland.com/FoodAndWine or ArtofDisneyParks.com.

All of this and more will be available at the Festival Gift Shop, so be sure to check it out!

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Announcing Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival Twitter Sweepstakes

posted on April 13th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


Here’s how you can participate in Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival Twitter Sweepstakes:

  1. Follow us on Twitter by going to twitter.com/disneyland.
  2. To enter, reply between 12:01 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. (PT) Wednesday with #DisneyFWFest & “Enter me in Disney’s California F&W Festival Sweepstakes.”
  3. Sweepstakes open to US residents 18 and over. No purchase necessary. 1 winner selected per week, on 4/14, 4/21 and 4/28/10. Void where prohibited. Please read the detailed rules to find out all the details.
  4. Winners will be notified by direct message the day after such Wednesday sweepstakes, and such winners should follow the directions in that message. In order to win and receive a direct message from @Disneyland, you must follow @Disneyland. Winners must reply by email with their full name, email address, physical mailing address and phone number within 24 hours of the time of such winning notification. Tickets and Disney Gift Cards will be shipped to the winner overnight. Tickets must be used by May 31, 2010, the final day of the Festival, or their use will be forfeited.

Disney's California Food & Wine Festival
Have you ever noshed your way around a theme park, sampling unique foods and wines? Maybe you’ve had the opportunity to attend one of the Food and Wine Festivals at Epcot in Florida or Disney’s California Adventure park in California?

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival or just curious to know more about it, we’re giving followers of the Disneyland Twitter handle (@Disneyland) a new opportunity to explore our Festival this year.

To participate, make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@Disneyland) because we’re giving away a tempting prize: two theme park tickets and a $50 Disney Gift Card to experience Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival. There will be one prize (2 1-Day, 1-Park tickets and a $50 Disney Gift Card) awarded every week for three weeks.
Disney's California Food & Wine Festival Disney Gift Card
There are of course a few things you should know. The sweepstakes will start tomorrow and is open to US residents 18 and over. No purchase necessary. 1 winner selected per week through 4/28/10. Void if prohibited. To participate tomorrow, check back for details and official rules.

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Sweet Sundays

posted on April 7th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


I have a soft spot for sweets, so I don’t know how I missed the sweetest event of Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival last year, Sweet Sundays. The popular event is returning for the 2010 Festival and features a sparkling toast and light buffet breakfast on six Sunday mornings at the new Festival Showplace in Disney’s California Adventure park. You can see demonstrations and enjoy elegant desserts created by acclaimed pastry chefs, including Jean-Marc Viallet and Jorge Sotelo of the Disneyland Resort. To get an idea of what the event is like, check out this video from last year’s delicious event.

If the video makes your sweet tooth ache for more, here are some details to help you decide which event will satisfy your craving.

  • Date: Sundays, April 18, May 2, 16, 23 (other dates are sold out)
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Festival Showplace, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, Disney’s California Adventure park
  • Price: $70 per person, plus tax, gratuity included. You can book online and check the latest information at disneyland.com/foodandwine.

**Guests must be at least 21 years of age to attend; valid ID required. Advance reservations required. Space is limited. Admission to Disney’s California Adventure park is required for events held within the Park and is not included in the event price.

Here’s the line-up of outstanding pastry chefs and bakers:

  • April 18: Jean-Marc Viallet, Executive Pastry Chef
  • May 2: Richard Ruskell, Montage Beverly Hills
  • May 16: Jorge Sotelo, Executive Pastry Chef, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
  • May 23: Elaine Ardizzone & Donna Cellere, Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.

Let us know if you went last year and what you liked best about Sweet Sundays.

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