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  1. #1

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    Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    We went out for the first day of the Festival today. And, for the most part it was pretty disappointing. With Fortune Cookie being worked on there was no place like there was last year to try several different foods. Therefore no lobster pops, mushroom risotto, cheese soup in a bread bowl, skewers, etc.. The food was spread around to different restaurants with each having one item. Unfortunately, some of the restaurants only put the menu inside by the register so, unless you're looking for it, you have no idea that something special is available. The "Festival Wine Walk" was a bit of a joke. First at 11 when it was supposed to open the "Wines of the World" one still had no glasses and was not at all prepared. There were 12 CMs there but it was hard to get the attention of even one as they were busy talking amongst themselves. When it finally opened about 45 minutes late the "walk" consisted of four tables about three feet apart where you get your choice of three or four wines. The price is $10 for four one ounce pours. Even worse here was the fact that they were using the new plastic wine glasses which are just badly designed for a good wine experience. It is almost impossible to get a good nose from the wine in these glasses, almost a total waste of good wine. The California Wine Walk was still not open at 12:15 though it said 11 for an opening time. The best experience so far this year was the Upstairs Lounge at the Golden Vine. Good choice of wine, good foods and good wine glasses. Here's pictures of the special menus at most of the restaurants and the Lounge.

    Bountiful Farms


    Cocina Cucamonga


    Pizza OoMowMow


    Award Weiners


    Upstairs Lounge


    The menu was on the registers at Taste Pilots and we couldn't get close enough for a pic, or really even to tell what it was. It looked like it said Tzatziki Salad?

    The Sunwheel and it's gondolas looked great today though








    Mike



  2. #2

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    great photo's!

    Thanks!


  3. #3

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    Neat pics! Sorry to hear that the Food & Wine Festival just didn't float your boat.
    "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." -Henry David Thoreau


  4. #4

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    Well that's just disappointing. I loved having all the food choices in one area, having to chase them down is a PITA! Did you try any of them?

    Looks like the upstairs patio is the place to be.

    Thanks for the update and the great pictures!



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  5. #5

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    To be fair, they did have different foods at the same restaurants last year. It's just that there's no central place with several different foods to try. So if I want something and Della wants something different we have to chase around. I really did expect more from the "Wine Walk" though. I expected.. a walk. Not four tables within a 10 foot area. For some reason I expected the peiple working the Walk to know what they were pouring. It wasn't enough to ask for the wine by name we had to point to which bottle it was, too. The wines were great, though. And really, they've been planning this for months, why couldn't they have been ready at opening.
    Yes we did try the cheese plate upstairs and it was wonderful.
    Mike



  6. #6

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    I was there today also and was disappointed that the food was spread out so far. No one seemed to know which eating place was serving what so one had to walk to all of them to see what they served (thank you for posting these photos so Mice Chatters will know). I was happy to see the White Cheddar Cheese Soup in a bread bowl was back but the line into the bakery was out the door and down the walkway. The only other offering this year that appealed to me was the chicken tamales so that is what I got. They were good and you got a far amount of food. 2 tamales and rice and beans with small dollops of sour cream and guacamole and chunky tomato salsa stuff. It was enough for me. And when I went by Taste Pilot Grill there was a sign out front and it was some weird sounding salad. My suggestion would be they put this all in writing on a flier and pass them out with the booklet.

    Also with the demonstration tent right at the front of DCA, unless you get there early the chance of your getting a seat is poor. I can't say that many of the demonstrations appeal to me though this year.

  7. #7

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    I still don't get it. Epcot produces a wonderful and well-accepted Food and Wine every year, and it still seems like DLR struggles with the basics.

    Toss a few booths up, give 'em a cute theme - and have a reloadable gift card to ring you up. Or at least open something up as a 'festival central' for a home-base for the different kinds of foods. I like the idea of mixing it up at the other DCA restaraunts, but with the traffic those get for the average 'I could care less about Food & Wine' guest, it's a hassle to run around for all the food options.

    The ticketed events seem really hit or miss at DCA. Either they are fully wonderful (and well executed), or they seem confused and unprepared. Especially with ticket prices going up year after year, that level of unknown is unacceptable.
    -Monorail Man

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by Monorail Man View Post
    I still don't get it. Epcot produces a wonderful and well-accepted Food and Wine every year, and it still seems like DLR struggles with the basics.

    Toss a few booths up, give 'em a cute theme - and have a reloadable gift card to ring you up. Or at least open something up as a 'festival central' for a home-base for the different kinds of foods. I like the idea of mixing it up at the other DCA restaraunts, but with the traffic those get for the average 'I could care less about Food & Wine' guest, it's a hassle to run around for all the food options.

    The ticketed events seem really hit or miss at DCA. Either they are fully wonderful (and well executed), or they seem confused and unprepared. Especially with ticket prices going up year after year, that level of unknown is unacceptable.
    Exactly. I've seen pics from trip-reports to Epcot during their celebration, and it looked amazing. I've never been to the food and wine celebration at DLR, but it sounds very disappointing in comparison to what Epcot had.

    Thanks for taking pics of the special menus at various restaurants!!

  9. #9

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by Wendygirl
    It was enough for me. And when I went by Taste Pilot Grill there was a sign out front and it was some weird sounding salad. My suggestion would be they put this all in writing on a flier and pass them out with the booklet.
    It's a tataki salad (seared ahi tuna). Ahi Tuna servered medium rare atop a blend of Napa Cabbage, Romaine, Thai Basil, Sugar Snap Peas and Red Peppers, garnished with Orange segments, Cucumbers, Carrots, Green Onions, Toasted Almonds and a Wasabi Aioli. Served with our Citrus Ponzu Vinagrette.

    Found it from a picture at disneygeek. It sounds really good, that'll probably get what I get.

    The one thing I dislike about the different areas foods, is that they all have two suggestions for wine pairings, that I assume are meant to compliment the food but for beer they ALL are listing the Hefeweizen and the Stella. You would think since they are doing the karl strauss and other beer themed education portions they would realize that they could also pair the foods with beers. Jeez
    Last edited by Juni; 04-25-2009 at 04:59 PM. Reason: fix quote tags

  10. #10

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    I also was at DCA for the opening day of the Festival and have to say I had an absolute blast! I like that it is a longer event this year (although I did not attend last year) but am saddened at the number of events with ticket prices of 70 dollars and upwards.

    I did eat the special dish at the Pizza Om whatever whatever. It was a chicken ravioli with basically a cream sauce on top. Really...nothing special. But I attended two culinary demonstrations that day. The first one was with Robert Irvine from Food Network's Dinner Impossible. I waited a little over 1 1/2 hour to get a seat, with all seating gone by an hour before the demo.

    Chef Irvine was AWESOME! He was really funny, really informative, and interacted VERY well with the guests. I also purchased his cookbook and got an autograph and picture with him. The samples were a bit cold, but it was still GREATTTTT getting to see him cook. Be warned though, with celebrity chefs you want to get to the line up area EARLY.

    I will have pics up soon!
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  11. #11

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    Great report Mcow. I'll have to check out a few of those foods, thanks for the update.

  12. #12

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    We are going to pop over to DCA after the Practice Rally on Sunday. Hopefully we'll be able to find some interesting new food and have a glass or two of wine. After all the planning, printing, and preparing we have been doing all weekend for the rally, I think we've earned a glass of relaxation.
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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by dsnylndmom View Post
    Well that's just disappointing. I loved having all the food choices in one area, having to chase them down is a PITA!
    !
    I'd have to agree. I enjoyed having them in one spot last year when I was there for it. Too bad I missed this year's by one week!

  14. #14

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by I Heart Disneyland View Post
    I'd have to agree. I enjoyed having them in one spot last year when I was there for it. Too bad I missed this year's by one week!
    Ditto! Having all the F&W food specials in one area was very convenient. However, after browsing the counter stands today, it's a totally different philosophy this year. It seems that the majority of the specialty foods are entree-portion sized, not appetizer-sized as in previous years. You can see the pricing in mcow1's photos above.

    The white cheddar cheese soup at Pacific Wharf is served in a full-sized bread bowl, just like their other soups and priced accordingly...in fact I think it might have been a bit higher than the other soups. I had the chicken panzarotti at Pizza Oom Mow Mow. It was $8.99 and sized about the same at the chicken fusilli entree. Almost all the other specialty food offerings followed the same pricing/portion approach as well--although I didn't stop at every location. The one exception was probably the dulce de leche empanada at Cocina Cucamonga, but they had a full-sized chicken tamales entree too.

    Still, despite the switch to entree-sized portions this year, it would have been more convenient to have them all in one location. And I can't wait to go back to try the white cheddar cheese soup.

  15. #15

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    Re: Opening day for the Food and Wine Festival

    I'm not a big wine drinker but I will guzzle down a few drinks at a Disney theme park.
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