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Food & Wine Festival Returns to Disney California Adventure This Spring

February 15, 2016, 12:22 PM · The Food & Wine Festival is returning to Disney California Adventure in April. The west coast version of Epcot's wildly popular event will run on weekends from April 1 through May 1. Disney announced the return of the festival today, promising more information in the weeks to come about the details, including celebrity chef appearances and premium experiences.

California Adventure's Food & Wine Festival started in 2006 and ended in 2010, a victim of the park's billion-dollar-plus construction program. When Disney announced in 2010 that it would not hold the Festival in 2011 due to the park's then-ongoing refurbishment, it also ruled out an event for 2012, but made no commitment one way or the other beyond then.

It turns out that it has taken six years for the event to return. So why now? Let's not overlook that April is the month that Universal Studios Hollywood will open officially its new Wizarding World of Harry Potter land. And with the Disneyland Resort's 60th anniversary Diamond Celebration entering its 12th month by April, and the Star Wars-themed Season of the Force having run for five months by then, Disney could use a fresh event to encourage its hundreds of thousands of passholders to keep coming back, even as Potter lures them up the 5.

Update: In a possibly not-unrelated story, Disney also announced that the Mad T Party will end on March 30. The end of the nightly dance party in Hollywood Land might tell us something about the Food & Wine Festival's primary location within DCA... or it might just tell us that the F&W will be the park's preferred event for selling extra booze after March 30.

The Mad T Party has returned from the dead before, and it's hard to imagine that Disney wouldn't want to do something with all those sets and sell all that extra alcohol once the summer season starts. So look for some form the park's dance party to return in late May.

Replies (9)

February 15, 2016 at 12:46 PM · While I'm interested in seeing how DCA produces this event, I can't say I'm excited about it. Like so many Central Floridians, the Epcot Wine and Food Festival was always a high light of the year at Epcot. Eventually the festival just got too big for its britches. Lines for the food/beverage locations can rival attractions on weekends The $1, $2 and $3 price point per plate have also ballooned making what used to be an inexpensive way to spend a night at Epcot and try a few small plates into an expensive, frustrating day.
February 15, 2016 at 1:26 PM · I have the same fears, Rob. DCA's version of the Food & Wine event was pleasant, most of the cooking demonstrations were free, and it was easy to see and do everything during your theme park visit... BUT, that was all before DCA's $1B renovation. It may be busier, or more expensive, or both this time around. Hoping for the best though, as it's a very fun event!
February 15, 2016 at 2:04 PM · Why shouldn't this be a premium event with premium pricing for plates, drinks, and experiences?

It should.

I'm doubtful that Disney is bringing this event back to keep the crowds at their parks. Harry Potter isn't even going to be blip on the radar at the Disneyland Resort. There is excessive demand at the Anaheim parks that will keep them both filled to capacity, even with Harry Potter up the road.

And take note that passes aren't exactly flying off the shelves at Universal Studios Hollywood. I love Harry Potter, and will visit Hollywood soon, but this addition doesn't make me want to become a passholder and regular visitor to USH.

February 15, 2016 at 2:27 PM · Why only one month? If you're at Disney World from Feb to June, there's no way you'll miss it. They should extend their festivals especially since Disneyland is full of construction. California Adventure is a foodie adventure.
February 15, 2016 at 2:48 PM · Are the food booths gonna be by country like in Epcot? I obviously don't mean the location of the booths, but the food served at each one.
February 15, 2016 at 3:43 PM · I'm interested to see how they are going to do it (at DCA) since the layout at Epcot is completely different.

@ 70.114.193.63 I don't know anything about AP sales at Uni and doubt you do either, but I'm pretty sure the Potter kid is going to make more than just a little blip. I personally know of three families that are going to do the Studios instead than Disneyland this year and it's all due to Harry Potter.

February 15, 2016 at 4:45 PM · Why only weekends???
February 15, 2016 at 5:52 PM · As somebody who went to the last DCA Food and Wine Festival, I can tell you why they stopped it:

IT STUNK!

It was actually was pretty sad. There were more California wineries at EPCOT than there were at DCA. My family was extremely disappointed.

While I think it is great that they are trying again, I do not think it serves the same purpose as EPCOT's. Unlike WDW, locals love to visit DLR. The Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT bring out the locals in a "lull" season.

February 16, 2016 at 5:58 AM · Where do they hold this event? Will it be in the area where Mad T is now?

Anyone else think that the Hollywood area of the park will go under the knife soon? Once Frozen moves into Hyperion Theater, that leaves a nice chunk of land ready for reimagining.

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