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.
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.
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
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
Preheat oven to 350°F.
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.
Reduce heat to low and stir in polenta. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes while continuing to stir.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until polenta is creamy and has absorbed most of the liquid.
Remove from oven and stir in chives and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste.
Grill sausages, then slice in half. To serve, spoon polenta into warmed bowls and top with sausages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Here are this year’s top five “must have” Food & Wine Festival items:
5th Anniversary Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival pin
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.)
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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