Hungry? More food and wine are on theme parks' menu

February 6, 2019, 1:19 PM · Get ready for the next round of theme park food festivals. We've got dates and details for upcoming foodie events at Disney California Adventure and Busch Gardens Tampa.

The Disneyland Resort announced today that the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will kick off on Match 1 this year for a 54-day run, taking the event through April 23, 2019. Fourteen Festival Marketplaces will offer a variety of savory and sweet tastes, as well as beer, wine, and other drinks, throughout the park's Paradise Gardens land.

On the Backlot Stage in Hollywood Land, children ages 3 to 11 can participate in a hands-on cooking demonstration with Chef Goofy. The show will be presented several times daily and participation is first-come, first-in. (In other words, it's Jedi Training Academy, but with food.) On weekends, chefs who are, uh, slightly more qualified than Goofy take over, with culinary demonstrations at 3pm on Fridays and then at 3, 4:15, and 5:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival.

Those demonstrations are included with park admission, but Disney also will offer several "signature events" during the festival, with additional charges. Those include Sweet Sundays events with top pastry chefs, from 11am to 1pm in Paradise Gardens Park, Winemaker Receptions at the Carthay Circle Restaurant, a Dinner with Disney Chefs series in the Vineyard Room at Wine Country Trattoria, and An Evening with Guy Fieri in Paradise Gardens Park. Prices range from $99 to $225 per person for these events, plus tax and gratuity, and here is the link for reservations.

Grilled elote from Busch Gardens Tampa. Photo courtesy Busch Gardens

At Busch Gardens in Florida, that park's Food & Wine Festival returns on March 16 and runs on weekends through April 28. Busch Gardens promises a selection of 35 dishes with more tan 100 wines, craft brews, and cocktails for purchase during the event.

Guests can begin their culinary road trip with grilled lamb chops featuring a 15-year balsamic drizzle from northern California. Foodies can’t miss mouthwatering Tex-Mex classics like chorizo queso fundido with sweet onions and shishito peppers or grilled elote – the park’s spin on Mexican street corn featuring cotija cheese and lime crema. Island delights feature flavors of paradise with Hawaiian-inspired delicacies including a dreamy pineapple upside down cake or Kona-crusted filet mignon with Maui onion butter. Nostalgic guests can even take a trip down memory lane with a visit to the 60th Anniversary cabin, featuring recipes inspired by historical Busch Gardens’ treats and snacks from decades gone by.

In addition, the park has announced its concert line-up for the event:

Both Disney California Adventure and Busch Gardens Tampa will be offering sampler lanyards, which are often the most economical ways to enjoy the food and drinks at these events. At DCA, look for the Sip & Savor Pass, while it's the Food & Wine Festival Sampler at Busch Gardens.

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