Important Update on Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Vice President, Consumer Products

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.


  • Since Heather said “we will not be hosting Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival in 2011 and 2012” does that mean that someone else might? Is that a possibility?


  • Not even a scaled back version…this is actually beyond disappointing. What about some of the premium events like winemaker dinners? Or wine welcoming? There are places in the resort properties this can be done with. Sigh

  • Oh man, my Mom loved the California Food & Wine Festival. I guess we will have to look forward to 2013.

  • Nooooooo! This is worse than disappointing! I live very local and bought DVC points just to stay over during F&W for the Cooking School and some of the Winemaker Dinners! Can’t you still hold some of the Signature events that were at the DLH and Napa Rose…..well there’s about $3000 I’ll be saving that Disney won’t be getting from me 🙁

    Thank god I was planning to go to the one in Epcot in the Fall!

  • Really disappointed. I grew up in California with Disney as a special treat sometimes multiple times per year. Now that I’m living in Europe I don’t get to CA except once every few years, and not every trip can include Disneyland. So, the last trip when I saw that Disney was doing food and wine festivals – combining my favorite things : ) – I knew that the next trip would be timed with the 2011 California Food and Wine festival. So, this is super disappointing. Couldn’t there be some sort of in between solution? Or at minimum, please make some provisions and guarantee that it will come back in the future better than ever.

    None the less, thanks for the forewarning.

  • #37 – Thanks for letting us know what’s happening, Heather!

    Does this mean there won’t be a Napa Rose Cooking School next year as well? My hubby really enjoyed his time there last year and was ready to take another class from Chef Andy in 2011.

  • I will miss this event. My family and I really enjoyed it.

    Please bring it back in 2013 when the expansion is completed!

  • i love disneyland and love to see it grow

  • Epcot’s is held in the fall, primarily October.

  • Sorry to hear this news. Was there any consideration given to having the wine dinners at Steakhouse 55 or Napa Rose without the festival?

  • I am sooo sad and disappointed to hear this! My husband and I have attended the festival for the past 2 years and absolutely loved it. We did the Taste event in 2010 and had the best time. In fact we had already decided to make it an annual pilgrimage and made DVC reservations for May next year just to come for the festival. While *temporarily* suspending the festival during DCA construction is reasonable, I am very concerned that the tone of this announcement implies that the festival will not return at all even after the construction is complete. Please, Disney, bring back the Food & Wine Festival in 2013!

  • Oh no! That’s a real bummer. But, I guess if that’s the price I gotta pay for all these awesome changes to the park, so be it. = ) Buena Vista Street looks to be amazing, as do Cars Land & Little Mermaid. I’m enjoying watching them be created and can’t wait for them to open.

    Too bad you couldn’t move F&W to Disneyland like you did the Halloween Parties, but I think they’re not allowed to sell alcohol over there except for Club 33? Or maybe it’s a Disney rule that they don’t, since it’s such a family place.

    I wondered about the Convention Center too, but it’d have to be shrunk down to a weekend cuz I’m sure they get booked up…and speaking of booked up, it would be extra costly to rent out the space. And then you don’t get the perk of admission into DCA.

    So, like I said, I’m bummed, but I look forward to its return. Thanks for the advance notice!

  • This makes me very sad. Now I don’t have anything to look forward to next year.

  • Although I am very sad that it will not beheld this year, thanks for letting us know so far ahead. We now have time to cancel our trip for early June 2011.

  • HUGELY disappointing!!! My husband and I already booked rooms and invited friends to attend with us next year, and for the last 3 years it has been the only reason my mom and sister bought annual passes. We can only hope the powers at Disney understand how much the California Food & Wine Festival has come to mean to those of us who have been to it, and how heavily we’ve promoted it to those who have not yet enjoyed it, and will quickly reinstate this terrific event.

  • Can you at least bring Coke Free-style back? Plenty of room in Pacific Wharf :

  • We are very disappointed!! We attend the festival every year, although we have not paid for an event since the 1st year dinner buffet and wine tasting event ($45pp) that was the best wine event bargain I’ve attended ….. anywhere. Nothing like riding California Screaming after a few glasses of wine! I suspect this is a result of the current economic conditions more than the current construction. I think that it CERTAINLY could have been held elsewhere in the park or even moved to one of the hotels (although that would not have required paid park admission).

  • Sounds like Food and Wine will not be back to DCA. Like others I have had a great time since this started.

  • During the 2010 Food and Wine Festival there were rumblings that it was the last, but soon after the completion of the 2010 Food and Wine Festival, Disney announced the dates for 2011. There was a very high chance with all the construction going on that there would be nowhere to have it in 2011, so why did Disney choose to announce the dates so far in advance, only to disappoint so many by now announcing that there will not be a Food and Wine Festival in 2011 or 2012? Not to take anything away from what DCA is going to be in the coming years, but poor planning, Disney – this is a big let down for friends from FL who already mapped out their trip around the 2011 Food and Wine dates.

  • though I am excited to see the new changes in the park, there are things I will miss, like the Golden Gate Bridge and the mural. I hope they don’t make look too much like Disney’s Hollywood Studios in WDW. We already have that in the states.

  • I’m so sad! This would have been the first year I could have done the beer/wine walks. Well I hope to see it come back ASAP! Don’t you have some disney magic to make construction go faster?!

  • So bummed! Just renewed my passport 2 wks ago
    and wanted to attend for my 40th in April w/friends:-( It sounded so fun…

  • Mary from Santa Barbara, CA

    Even though for a lot of guest who love the Food and Wine Festival think about the parks remodel and when its all done its going to be amazing and those Imagineering crew will make this Awesome!!!! I can’t wait to see when this park is completed with the plans they have in the next 3 to 4yrs. Disney please keep us informed of all the changes I cant wait to see what is in store next!

  • I just hope it comes back bigger and better then ever!

  • Darn. We were planning our first trip to this festival next year, just me and the hubby. 🙁

  • This is very disappointing! This was the first year that my husband and I got annual passes and travel from Oregon every couple of Months to experience the different seasons at the Disneyland Resort. We usually book well in advance to get the best airfare. We have already booked our flight and hotels for the Festival, as we were not able to go this past year. I look forward to the change with each visit, however seems every visit there are major changes and closures that take away from the Disney experience that we wanted when becoming annual passholders. Hope once DCA is done the Magic returns.

  • aww… that’s sad that Disney CA Adevntures wont have the Fesival for 2011-2012 🙁 But, it’s understandable.. with all the construction going on… you wont be able to FULLY enjoy the park and the festivities. Looking forward to 2013 wine festival!?! and the new attractions that will be open by then! :D. I also think it’s AWESOME that Cali♥Adventures is going to resemble LA back in the 1920’s 😀 VERY excited!! can’t wait.

  • Go to Epcot. The one there totally knocks the DCA one out of the water. It’s incredible!! Foods from various countries, as well as drinks from there.

  • What!! That is one of the primary reasons I buy an annual pass, so I can attend the festival! I really hope Disney reconsiders and attempts to hold it elsewhere in the park or just later in the year!

  • Too bad they don’t hold it in the Esplanade (I think Downtown Disney or Disneyland would be too crowded).

    I think one of the main reasons they brought this event to DCA was to beef up the park’s attendance; it may not be necessary once the new & improved park is fully open in 2012, even though many enjoy it.

  • I was really looking forward to it, but the decision does make perfect sense. I’m in full support of bringing the park up to the standards of Walt’s dreams. I just visited the Blue Sky Cellar yesterday and I’m REALLY excited about the new plans. I think the sacrifice of the Food and Wine Festival for a couple of years is well worth what we will receive in return.

  • I read in the article some hesitation in that the Food and Wine festival is certain to return after 2012. “After the expansion is completed and we open Cars Land in 2012, we will continue to look at opportunities for special events and festivals.” The hotels area is becoming the biggest wedding center in Los Angelas that is why they can not move it over to the open areas around the hotels. Do you want to have the festival in the Toy Story Parking Lot?

  • I understand that due to the upgrades that DCA is not a good options, but they didn’t say that it wouldn’t be somewhere else in Disneyland Resort for 2011 and 2012, it only mentioned not being in DCA. My wife and I love this event and try to make it to at least 3 – 4 of the days.
    Maybe combining restaurants in Downtown Disney and the 3 resorts in the great restaurants and ballrooms would make it interesting and still be able to continue an annual tradition, or maybe not have it everyday, just on weekends.

    • To clarify, we will not be hosting Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival in 2011 and 2012.

  • Unfortunate news, but since there is some much construction coming up, it does make sense.

  • I am also finding it hard to believe that there isn’t a alternative solution to holding such a great event. I understand that Magic Kingdom can not hold an event associated with alcohol but what about the ballrooms at the resorts/downtown disney area etc, or even make it a hard ticket event. I am just really sad it won’t be around.

  • noooo such sad news!! I love the food and wine festival and look forward to it every year! I love meeting the Food Network stars and getting so many great new wines and the food is always so good. Every year it has been getting better and better and I keep bringing more people to it. I hope Disney finds a way to have it somewhere else on the property, maybe the hotels?

  • 🙁 that is a bummer but the pic above looks amazing more like Disney. 🙂 With all the hotels you guys have you can’t move it into the hotels?

  • I will be very sad not to see my favorite Disney California Adventure event not return for the next couple of years, but I sort of figured this would be the case. With the amount of construction going on in that park, it makes complete sense. I just hope that the Food & Wine Festival returns in 2013 better than ever! Thanks for the heads up, and keeping us in the know.

  • We look forward to this every year and seeing a lot of the same faces each year as well at the Taste. I’m very disappointed. 🙁

  • How sad! I had a lot of fun at the cheese seminar last year. I hope it returns in 2013.

  • This really makes me sad! My boyfriend and I love this event and look forward to it every year. My only worry is that the Disney higher ups will decide after two years of not having the event that it might be best to not have it at all! Please don’t let that happen!

  • Noooooo!!! This is one of my favorite events of the entire year! 🙁 I already had my room reservations for next year. I’m so disappointed.

  • Why not move it to a section of Disneyland, like you did with the Halloween fest. Then, after re-opening DCA, it will be better than ever!

  • Wow. I only participated in my first food and wine festival this past year. Every other year I just walked on by not “getting” it. I “got” it this year and was really looking forward to it’s return! Good things come to those who wait, I suppose.

  • It’s sad that the Festival has to be cancelled! However, from the looks of the drawing, the park is going to look amazing when the work is completed and maybe the Festival can be re-instated then. It’s possible that the next couple of years without it can give the park time to make it even better than before 🙂

  • Maybe they could do a scaled down version. It didn’t say in the post that it absolutely wont be happening. Lets cross our fingers that Disney is trying to find a good solution!

  • I am so bummed! I had the BEST time last year. I can’t believe that it cannot be held some where else.

  • Wow…Really isn’t there another place it can be held? We had such a great time at 2010’s and we were already planning 2011 with friends…it is very very disappointing and it just really breaks our hearts.

  • oh no! I wish it could be held at another location. This is very sad news

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