We have a delicious update for you today as Disney California Adventure launches the Food and Wine Festival a bit early. Plus, park updates, Downtown Disney, and Star Wars land construction. This is a fun one.

We’ve had moody weather this week in Southern California. A bit chilly for us natives with temps in the 50’s and 60’s, but the tourists seemed unfazed.

California Adventure Food and Wine Festival 2018

Earlier this week we visited the parade corridor for signs of the upcoming Food and Wine festival, which is scheduled to open this Friday and run through April 12th. While nothing was open yet on Monday (the photos from Dusty below), as an unexpected surprise, most of the food and wine booths opened early yesterday (photos from Suzanne Lee below).  The celebrity chefs (live at the Hyperion), winemaker dinners, tasting seminars, culinary demonstrations and festival entertainment are all scheduled to begin this Friday.

These are the Festival Marketplaces booths for 2018:

If you start in the Hollywood Backlot area, you’ll run into LAstyle Food truck inspired food.

Mexican Chocolate Custard hit the spot

And nearby is Nuts About Cheese – This one sounds straight forward. It’s nuts and cheese . . . the perfect accompaniments to a good glass of wine. The booth is tucked away back by the old Hollywood and Dine soundstage.

The rest of the booths are located along the parade route from Carthay Circle all the way to the Paradise Gardens dining area.

Uncork California – Offers wine by the glass or you can get a flight.
I Heart Artichokes – They’ll be offering 3 different artichoke dishes.

Fried Artichoke Carbonara

California Craft Brews – This was last year’s busiest booth.
Cluck-a-Doodle-Moo – Sliders, wings, and beer.

Eat Your Greens – This is the healthy booth that I probably won’t be eating at.

Grilled Asparagus Caesar Salad

Citrus Grove – Zesty treats
Strawberry Patch – Sweet Strawberry

Avocado Time – It’s a California favorite
Off the Cob – This one is bound to be corny & Garlic Kissed – Or better yet, don’t kiss after eating the Garlic:


The Brewhouse – Craft beers and beer cocktails.

Peppers Cali-Ente – Punny title aside, this one will be spicy

A full list of food items has been released on the Disney Parks Blog.

The Garden Grill is already serving its Food and Wine menu:

Meatless Meatball Sandwich

Festival Entertainment looks like it will be plentiful this year:

We’ll have photos and reviews from the festival for you very soon. We had a great time last year and are really looking forward to it.

Want to join your fellow MiceChatters for the DCA Food and Wine Festival? We’ll be holding our weekly meet-up at DCA this sunday for that very reason. Meet us in DCA’s hub (at the end of Buena Vista Street and in front of Carthay in the circular fountain area).  For more info please join our Sunday Fun Days group:  Join our new MiceChat Sunday Fun Days Group today! 

New Menu

Speaking of food, Cocina Cucamonga in the Pacific Wharf area has a new menu.  We didn’t get a chance to try it. Have you?

Sonoma Terrace Expansion

The lower patio of the Winery has been expanded a bit with a ring of tables along the parade route. This should provide extra visibility to the formerly secluded patio.


Easter Eggs are already being produced in the candy kitchens.

And folks will be happy to know that the Egg-stravaganza will return from March 16 through April 1 this year.

Pixar Pier Construction

You’ll spot the Pier construction even from the far side of the Pacific Wharf.

Hurried construction is taking place in the former Paradise Pier.  The obvious signs of change are the return of the loop to the future Incredicoaster. It had been removed for the early stages of the retheme/refurbishment.

The scream tubes throughout the ride are now fully scaffolded. They will eventually be fully enclosed (they were previously only closed on the side which faces out to Katella on the Convention Center side)

A lot of the old “Paradise” signs are still there for now.

Approaching the construction from the far West side reveals some very interesting views of the construction:

The shade tarps have been removed from the Fun Wheel queue.

Bugs Land Mural

As we reported for the better part of last year, the mural on the outside of the Tough to be a Bug show building was in terrible shape. Disney finally got the message, but they didn’t repaint the mural. Rather, they’ve put up a very temporary scrim/wrap on top of the mural. The segments of the wrap are poorly applied, vary in color, and you can still see the ghost image of the old mural under it.  This is just a stop-gap measure until this area gives way to Marvel.

There’s already a big tear on the left and you can see the the images on either side of the seam don’t match in image or color.

A Wrinkle in Time

Oprah and friends are wrinkling time in the Sunset Showcase Theater.  They’ll be evicted soon enough and will be replaced in time for Pixar Fest this summer, when shorts will begin playing.

Star Wars Land Construction

Let’s make the jump to lightspeed. Disneyland’s largest ever expansion is looking more and more impressive by the day.

Here’s a piece of the model from Launch Bay in Tomorrowland.

But it’s from outside the park that you really notice the scale.  We aren’t sure why the two big show buildings have been rimmed with red.

But you won’t see the red stripes from inside the park. You can just make out the rocks which are being built up in front of the buildings.

If you look in the distance on the left you will see snow-covered mountains. Palm Springs is at the base of the other side of that mountain. It’s not often that the air is as clear as this.
It’s easy to forget that SoCal has mountains. It really is a beautiful place when the air is clear. This photo was taken from the top of the parking structure.
Porg is irritated because the opening of SWL: GE is still 14 months away!

Downtown Disney

An often overlooked project is all the work currently going into Downtown Disney.  The West end of the shopping district will soon be leveled to make way for a new hotel.

Meanwhile, the biggest store in the mall, World of Disney, is undergoing a radical transformation. Half the shop is closed to remove interior walls and design elements. The other half of the store will go under the knife later in the year.  It is said that the new store, when complete, will feel much more open and will not have the suspended character sculptures. The new window logos likely reflect the new vibe.

Oh, look…another wall. This construction wall hides half of the store so it can be transformed.

Across the way from World of Disney, Naples is being redesigned as well. The new spot will have a much larger patio. It remains open during construction.

Two new restaurants are on the way to the old Ridemakerz and Build a Bear spots.

Disney Home has opened after a pretty short refurbishment.


Photo Matt has been looking forward to the new Splitsville . . . so off he went to have lunch.

The mid-century vibe is cool, but the place is almost always empty.

We still aren’t sure why they chose to make this a display kitchen. It’s isn’t attractive enough for that.

One of the dining rooms has a nice view of the monorail.

New parking structure

A whole new parking structure is now under construction on the former surface lot just south of Mickey and Friends. That means that some current services must be moved. The most important of these is the tram route. Security/Bag Check has moved into the Mickey and Friends parking structure and so has tram loading.

Temporary walls create a new route for the trams.

The walkway to DTD now.

Most interesting is security. Guest will now come down the exterior escalators and then double back to enter the bottom floor of the structure for security screening before loading a tram.

Here’s the walkway from the structure to the Disneyland Hotel.

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All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. And my sincere thanks to PhotoMatt and Suzanne Lee for additional photos this week! Please share your thoughts below!

Do you live in SoCal or plan to make a trip soon? Want to meet up with your fellow MiceChatters in the parks and tourist hot spots all over Southern California? Join our new MiceChat Sunday Fun Days Group today!