Update for May 1-8, 2006
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Food and Wine Weekends
While it doesn't appear that the inaugural Disney's California Adventure (DCA) park's Food & Wine Weekend brought in huge crowds, the people involved seem to be happy with things so far. The initial free cooking demonstration had a very low turnout but things improved after that. The cooking classes and events requiring payment and registration all sold out despite what many considered extremely high prices. goooofygal, a poster on our MousePad message board, attended one of the cooking schools and one of the wine dinners and shared this recap:
My husband and I attended the Silver Oak Winery wine maker dinner and the Napa Rose cooking school. We did not attend any other events inside the park.
Dinner: We were served 5 courses, meat-based since Silver Oak does red wines. The food and service were excellent. The chef took great care in each course and it showed. My husband, who I dragged, was impressed with the value for money of this meal. Considering how many people they had to serve at once, we never lacked for anything and the food held up well. The wine servings were ample and generous. We were also given two wines not available to the general public.
Cooking school: There were 10 people in our class and we learned to cook a four-course meal. Andrew had four other chefs to assist us with the cooking. It was fun and great experience. We learned a lot from each of the chefs and I feel confident that I could prepare on my own what he taught us to make. I was happy we got to do so much of the cooking and work on every item. He didn't split us up to work on specific dishes, but let us work on each dish. After cooking, then we had time to eat. Again, this was worth every penny. My hubby wasn't sure it would be, but he was so impressed and had so much fun. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this class. (My hubby has little cooking experience, and some people had more, but the chefs were able to give tips to everyone individually and that was great. This is fine cuisine, but presented even so a beginner could do it.)
As for the special food items being sold inside DCA during each weekend of the event, the reviews were generally good but complained that several items had serving sizes way too small for the prices involved.
There are three more Food & Wine Weekends to go and while it may not be worth a trip specifically for this, it'll probably make for a nice addendum should you be in the area. Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix has put together this recap of things you can expect if you do decide to make a visit:
Here's a quick overview of what to expect if you go to DCA this weekend:
If you are familiar with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, you may enter DCA and wonder if the event was cancelled. There are no signs outside or right inside DCA announcing it, the three open turnstiles were out of event programs when we entered, and I don't think there's even mention of it in the park map. The DCA portion of the event is centered in the Golden State district, specifically Bountiful Valley Farmers Market, Lucky Fortune Cookery and the Golden Vine Winery. And you won't see an event sign until you reach the Winery.
Instead of little kiosks all over the park, there are just two food service locations ("Festival Marketplaces") involved in this: Bountiful Valley Farmers Market and the Lucky Fortune Cookery. The Golden Vine Winery patio is the location for the culinary demonstrations; wine, beer and spirit seminars; guest sommelier education series; wine shop and event store (logo merchandise).
Bountiful Valley Farmers Market is offering three dishes:
- Grilled artichoke with lemon aioli - $4
- White cheddar cheese soup with bacon crumble in a bread bowl - $4
- Strawberries in creme fraiche - $5
The food options at the Bountiful Valley Farmers Market window all received good reviews but are very small. The bread bowl shown is about the size of a largish dinner roll for $4. Photo by David Michael.
Lucky Fortune Cookery is offering nine dishes, three at each of the three windows (if you ask nicely, you can order any of the dishes at any of the windows, rather than waiting in line two or three times):
- Lobster quesadilla with pepper jack cheese - $5
- Chicken skewers with wild mushroom / chardonnay sauce - $5
- Mixed berries with chardonnay sabayon creme - $4
- Beef skewer with chipotle-orange sauce - $5
- Tomato salad with goat cheese - $4
- Bruchetta with five-olive tepanade - $4
- Beer-batter halibut with remoulade - $5
- Knockwurst with peppers and amber lager mustard sauce - $4
- Peach cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream - $4
Each of the four menu groupings has a selection of wine pairings at $3 each, or beer samples at $3.25 each. All locations are offering the highest Annual Passholder discount level, which means Premium Passholders save 15% on checks of $10 or more.
These are held on the "upper terrace" of the Golden Vine Winery (the main dining patio), and are complimentary. Seating is first-come, first-serve, and is extremely limited. If you've eaten there, you know that it's a small patiowith the demo kitchen setup, it can hold fewer than 40 people. Demonstrations are at 11:00 a.m., 12:30, 2:15 and 3:45 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Each cooking demonstration ends with samples for guests to try. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.
Wine, Beer and Spirit Seminars
These are held on the lower patio (the event guide has the wrong location) of the Golden Vine Winery, and are also complimentary, though you must be 21 or older with valid ID to attend. These seminars can hold about twice as many people as the culinary demonstrations. Seminars are at 11:00 a.m., 12:30, 2:00 and 3:30 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Wine Shop and Festival Merchandise
The lower patio of the Golden Vine Winery also has a small event shop, where you can purchase the wines featured in the marketplaces, as well as event-logo souvenirs. Just as was the practice when the Mondavi store was operating inside DCA, wines purchased will be sent to a package pick-up location (this time, the Annual Passholder processing center) for you to claim on your way out of the park.
The logo merchandise is pretty basic, and includes a baseball cap, T-shirt, polo shirt, apron, pin, wine glass, shot glass (toothpick holder) and pin, all with the event logo. There is a pretty nifty wooden pepper grinder shaped like a wine bottle and etched with the event logo for $60. The park is also offering more generic food-theme merchandise, including the Cooking with Mickey cookbook and Mickey Mouse bottle openers and stoppers usually available at the Markethouse in Disneyland.
Celebrity Chef Dinners
Lunch and Learn
Napa Rose Cooking School
Guest Sommelier Education Seminars
While sales for the hard-ticket meal and class offerings have been good, few of the dates are yet sold out. (Though the first Winemaker Dinner did sell out, and the first celebrity chef dinner was served to a full house.)
If you find that you have the time to attend one of these events but did not make advance reservations, same-day and next-day reservations can be made at the event store at the Golden Vine Winery.
Meet the Pixar Cars
This hadn't been mentioned before because we don't really talk about movies much in the Disneyland Park Update, but a publicist specifically asked that me to promote this and since I get all giggly when publicists send me e-mail (and it is a light week for the update), I figured why not.
As part of the promotion for Cars (opening June 9), a 2002 Porsche 911 has been made up to look like Sally Carrera (voiced by Bonnie Hunt), and a NASCAR race car like Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson). These two cars have been touring the country and making appearances at malls and tire stores for a couple weeks, and will continue to do so until early July. Here is the schedule for the rest of the tour. Here is an example of the promotional flyers you might see around your town, this one for San Francisco.
- May 2 Salt Lake City, UT
- May 4 DuPont, WA
- May 5 Seattle, WA
- May 6 Portland, OR
- May 7 San Franciso, CA
- May 8 Bakersfield, CA
- May 10-12 Los Angeles, CA
- May 15 Houston, TX
- May 17-18 Atlanta, GA
- May 20-21 Orlando, FL
- May 22-23 Jacksonville, FL
- May 24-28 Charlotte, NC
- May 30 Charlottesville, VA
- May 31 Parsippany, NJ
- June 1-6 New York, NY
- June 11-18 Los Angeles, CA
- June 19 Phoenix, AZ
- June 21 San Antonio, TX
- June 22 Dallas, TX
- June 23-24 Tulsa, OK
- June 26 St. Louis, MO
- June 27 Erlanger, KY
- June 28 Cincinnati, OH
- June 29 Lexington, KY
- June 30 Columbus, OH
- July 5 Battle Creek, MI
- July 6 Oakbrook, IL
- July 7 Bloomington, IL
- July 8-11 Chicago, IL
This and that...
...The changes in the attic scene of Haunted Mansion continue to tease park watchers. The decorations in the room have mostly been changed out and various new effects remain under blankets. For a few days over the weekend pieces were actually visible to guests, but Monday morning they were all under wraps again.
...You may have already seen them popping up, but sales carts for the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) have been making their presence increasingly felt around the parks. The newest one is in New Orleans Square and, frankly, sticks out like a sore thumb with absolutely no theming for the area. The initial few in the park weren't so horrible, but unlike the relatively huge Walt Disney World parks, it doesn't take very many of anything at Disneyland before it feels like you're seeing it every few feet. It is a sign, though, of the support behind selling DVC at Disneyland that the sales team is getting an entire building of their own. Currently, if you express an interest in DVC you can sign up for a presentation that is held at the Disney Sales building between the Paradise Pier Hotel and Disneyland Hotel (if you've wondered about that building, it is where you can make arrangements for a Disney wedding or other special events). Since they began selling DVC at Disneyland, the presentations have been held in one of the buildings conference rooms, but construction crews are busy putting up a new building next door to give DVC sales a home of their own.
This new sales cart for Disney Vacation Club recently appeared in New Orleans Square near Haunted Mansion. Reportedly it will later move to the back of New Orleans Square near French Market when construction on a planter is completed. Unless, of course, yet another new sales cart is going in. Photo by David Michael.
...The Disney gift cards have seen another transformation. When they were first introduced they were just for use on Disneyland merchandise and then later expanded to include foods and various card designs were introduced. The card is now back to just one design and is now good for pretty much any Disney purchase made in the United States. The card can be used for purchases at the Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Lines, DisneyShopping.com and even The Disney Store (which is no longer owned by Disney).
The new gift card design is lenticular and has a slight bump for Mickey's ear that will keep the card from fitting in a standard wallet slot. Photo by Andrew Rich.
...If you are interested in the Pirates of the Caribbean merchandise event on July 6, you should get your reservation in as soon as possible. The packages that include hotel rooms at the Grand Californian Hotel or the Disneyland Hotel have already sold out and the word we're hearing is that the basic package is very close to selling out as well.
...The recently shuttered store location next to Village Haus, once known as Names Unravelled, will be reopening soon. The Christmas Shop in New Orleans will be moving there, after its previous quarters were temporarily converted to a pirates shop while Pieces of Eight is expanded. The fate of Le Bat en Rouge is unknown at this time.
...From the very-much-rumor file, Imagineering has supposedly seriously pitched the idea of extending the Monorail track to travel around the inside DCA, with a new station being built at Paradise Pier. Guests would then be able to pick their destination of Disneyland, Downtown Disney, or DCA. There is already a plan to shutter Boardwalk Games later this year or next year to build a new Pixar-based attraction. Presumably a new monorail station would be in addition to this project and in place of it. From an administrative perspective it is easy to see how a Paradise Pier monorail station would be helpful to the park in getting guests to the back area of DCA. On the other hand, a monorail hardly fits with the area's theming.
...We have heard whispered the name of the new Disney-couture store coming to Downtown Disney. As we've previously reported when Hoipoloi closed a couple months ago, a Disney-operated store selling high-end (or at least high-priced) Disney clothing was the most likely candidate for the storefront. The name we're hearing is "Vault 28." Speaking of Downtown Disney, we've also heard some unconfirmed rumors that an expansion is being planned that would open up more space along the axis between Tortilla Jo's and House of Blues.
...The seating redesign for Club Buzz in Tomorrowland is complete. In anticipation of losing space to the new Finding Nemo Submarine ride, the new area shifts seating towards Store Command and the old Radio Disney station.
New seating guarantees plenty of seating for Club Buzz even during construction of the nearby new ride. Photo by David Michael.
...We mentioned a while ago that one of the two Happiest Turkeys on Earth had disappeared from the pen at Big Thunder Ranch. Unfortunately, it turns out that Yam, the back-up candidate for an official presidential pardon last Thanksgiving unexpectedly died. After a short absence, Marshmallow returned to the area and can still be seen at Big Thunder Ranch.
Marshmallow is still doing well, though spending the days with only goats for company. Photo by David Michael.
Don't keep it to yourself! Send us your news tips, rumors, and comments. Email us here.
- Pirates of the Caribbean closed March 6 June 26, 2006, for major refurbishment and show updates. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will premiere at Disneyland on June 24. Ride may be available to public on June 25.
- Blue Bayou Restaurant closed March 6 June 26, 2006, for the duration of the Pirates of the Caribbean closure.
- Cafe Orleans Restaurant closed March 13 June 9, 2006, for redesign into full service restaurant.
- Fantasmic! dark June 17 - June 28, 2006, for activities surrounding premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
- Disneyland Park opens and closes early June 24, 2006, for premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m. DCA will be open two hours later than usual until 11:00 p.m.
The Pieces of Eight store location has closed so that it can be redesigned into a Pirates of the Caribbean store. However, the store itself is still open. Photo by David Michael.
The Pieces of Eight store has simply moved down the street and taken over the La Boutique de Noel Christmas store. La Boutique de Noel will in turn eventually relocate to Fantasyland. Photo by David Michael.
- Parade of Dreams dark June 24, 2006, for red carpet arrivals to premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
- Golden Horseshoe closed May 15 - June 15 for refurbishment and kitchen changes.
- River Belle Terrace rumored to close in September or October 2006 for complete redesign into larger two-story restaurant.
- Bengal BBQ rumored to close permanently in September or October 2006 to provide room for expansion of River Belle Terrace.
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is currently under construction and will open sometime in 2007.
- Snow White, An Enchanted Musical closed. On hiatus during off season; expected to return for final season in summer 2006.
- Disneyland Monorail goes into shuttle mode (one way trips only) January 2006. Complete closure for station redesign will not happen until later in 2006.
Disney's California Adventure
- It's Tough to Be a Bug closed April 24 - May 25 for refurbishment.
Note: Refurbishment schedules are estimates only. All information is subject to change without notice. To get the most recent updates, call Disneyland at (714) 7817290.
If you know of any events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, let us know.
Food and Wine Weekends #2, #3, and #4. May 5-7, May 12-14, May 19-21 (details).
Music in the Parks. May 19. Annual middle school and high music festival at Disneyland.
- Cars at El Capitan Theater. June 9 - July 4. Side show unknown.
- Prirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. June 24. Presumptive date of world premiere of this new movie, to be held in New Orleans Square. Park will close early (5 p.m.) with celebrity red carpet arrivals earlier in the day. Has not yet been officially announced.
- Pirates of the Caribbean merchandise event. July 6 (link, registration open April 24)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest at El Capitan Theater. July 7 - September 4. Side show unknown.
- Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. September 15-17. For more information and registration see the official Web site (link, warning: horribly annoying embedded music)
- Gay Days. October 6 - 8. Unofficial event (link).
- Mickey's Halloween Treat. October 13, 20, 22, 26, 27, 29, 30, and 31 at DCA. (See Disneyland AP page for details)
- Lion King returns to Pantages Theater. Beginning November 16 for eight week run. Call 323-463-4367 for details and tickets.
DCA: Disney's California Adventure
Annual Pass blockout dates:
- SL Southern California Select Annual Pass
- SC Southern California Annual Pass
- DX Deluxe Annual Pass
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Visit our Annual Passholders Blockout Dates 2006 page to see more dates. You can see future calendar schedules at Disneyland. As always, specifics are subject to change without notice (or occasionally, without us noticing) so when information conflicts between what is presented here and that presented by Disney, it is best to assume Disney's information is correct.
Entertainment schedule: Go directly to the Disneyland Resort schedule for this week at Disneyland.com here.