With a shiny glass of Moscato in hand and the Sun beaming down at me in all of its warm glory, I stroll along while absorbing the sights of fellow park goers sating their appetites and purchasing cooking ingredients to take home. As I savor the satisfying taste of freshly poured wine, I eye rows of booths inspired by themes ranging from avocados to assorted berries. From their tantalizing delicacies such as Seared Salmon and Creamy Poblano Pepper Pasta to their flavorful drinks such as a Blue Angeleno Cocktail that gives a nod to many of the famished annual passholders like me who reside in Los Angeles and use their passes to flock to the park, the Food & Wine Festival at Disney’s California Adventure is a sensational yearly experience that offers enjoyment to foodies of all ages.
Held this year from February 29th through April 21st, this Southern California event offers opportunities for everyone to connect with their inner chef by tasting various foods and even learning to prepare some yummy meals themselves. Sessions geared to enlighten participants about key topics such as the best mixology practices allow attendees to take in knowledge that they can then use to impress family and friends at home. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Under the guidance of supportive cast members, children ages three to eleven are able to gain culinary experience by partaking in cooking sessions specifically tailored to their age groups. If you’re a fan of acclaimed chefs like Nyesha Arrington and Jet Tila, you can even gain invaluable insight from them by attending their culinary demonstrations.
One of my favorite experiences and perhaps the biggest draw of the DCA Food & Wine Festival is the booth area of the event. Here, you can taste a broad variety of foods. Although I can see how it can be argued that some of the offerings such as the Fried Chicken & Waffle Sandwich navigate dangerous stereotype territory and others such as the Pepperoni Pizza Egg Rolls show an inclination to solely promote the American version of cultures as egg rolls themselves didn’t originate from Asia, I personally believe that the intent behind having such offerings isn’t insidious whatsoever. If anything, it’s a benign attempt to act on a desire to promote inclusivity. This same heartfelt desire is echoed through the drink offerings with libations like the Backstreet La Calleja Mexican-style Lager. Be it the inclusion of various holiday celebrations such as Kwanza in their yearly holiday season activities or the Lunar New Year festival that occurs at the start of each year and pays tribute to Asian cultures, DCA has been known for quite some time now as a culture hub.
By attempting to remain conscious of dietary restrictions and include various cultures, the Food & Wine Festival remains an event that places inclusivity at the forefront. It truly offers something for everyone from young ones to those who are young at heart. As a wine lover and a Blerd who loves various types of food, I’ll forever be enamored of this annual culinary celebration. If you’re curious about it, I absolutely encourage you to attend. Remember that you’ll need valid admission in the form of an annual pass or a park ticket, and it’s advised that you do some research ahead of time to see which food offerings are to your liking. Additionally, some of the special experiences do require reservations, so you’ll want to book those in advance if they interest you. Though not a requirement to attend, it’s best that you go if you’re a Disney fan. After all, this event takes place at The Happiest Place on Earth.