Like the Lord of the Rings and the Hunger Games, this saga will come in a trilogy, but the movie version will be in 4 parts, so I can make more money and spend more time at Disneyland to “film” during food and wine. Am I a genius? No, but I play one in part four of my LA Story trilogy.
I am a Disney World girl. Being born and raised in Massachusetts, it’s basically expected you will vacation in 3 places, “down the cape”, “on the Vineyard” (Nantucket more so these days), or “down to Florida”. Growing up we definitely spent more time going down to Florida than the other two, and some of that time was spent at Disney World. The first time I flew on a plane, I think I was around 5, and that plane headed to Disney World. After that, we revisited the holy land a few more times. But kid Julie had nothing on adult Julie. Now I take annual (or more) pilgrimages to stay at the house of mouse. Out of all the reasons to travel down to the parks, Food and Wine at Epcot is my favorite. In fact, there are photos both on previous blog posts and on my Instagram (hot_sauce_and_aspirin) where I am testing out hangover remedies at Food and Wine. With all of this well documented Disney Food and Wine love, imagine my excitement when I realized that the dates we planned to be in LA were also during their food and wine festival. Imagine my further delight when the random hotel we got as part of the Ellen package, (remember, LA Stories: Part 1,) was only 15 miles from Disneyland. So, I did when any Disney loving human would do, and purchased plane tickets that left LA at 8 PM (which became 9:30 PM, thanks weather.) and bought an extra pass for California Adventure, giving myself 2 full days to experience everything Food and Wine had to offer.
Upon arriving to California Adventures, I noticed immediately that it was not Epcot, so the funnel of people got pretty dense. They don’t have a whole world showcase to seamlessly merge with, so they use the walkway by the vineyard, on the way to Pixar pier for the bulk of it. The crush of humans was the only downside. The food was much better than the Florida counterparts. Almost every kiosk had a vegetarian option, and they were great! A lot of the ones in Epcot are desserts, so unless you just want cake and wine, it’s not always the best. I had fried corn nuggets, beer cheese soup, sliders, ceviche, sushi, other things I can’t remember right now, and it was all vegetarian! Plus, the drinks at the kiosks are full sized. That one is a little good, a little bad. You pay about what it costs for just samples at Epcot, but you are stuck with entire drinks, so you really can’t try them all. I mean, maybe you can, but I got way too drunk trying! How cute is that bottle? The beer was not bad either, but see what I mean about full sizes.
The selection was great, portions were great, but what about the prices? Honestly, for Disney, they were great too. For $54 you get the “sip and savor pass” which gets you 8 food items or non alcoholic drinks. A lot of the food items cost $9-11, so you save quite a bit of money that way. My sister and I each bought one, and we only ended up using 12 of the vouchers, so I gifted the last 4 to a lucky bystander. My recommendation would be to buy them 1 at a time for your group, repurchasing as needed. I also recommend that you skip using the vouchers for non alcoholic drinks, as most of them are between $5-6, it’s better bang for your buck to use the voucher for food and pay for the drinks out of pocket. Or better yet, just buy alcoholic drinks and use water fountains to hydrate. #ThriftyDrunkie.
Of course while you are at the park for food and wine festival, there are still all the awesome rides, which kind of makes Disneyland better than Epcot too. No offense to the Frozen ride or Spaceship earth, but Guardians of the Galaxy Breakout is far superior! Last recommendation, get the Max Pass. You can make unlimited fast passes from your phone, so you can ride Guardians 6 times. Or the Cars ride twice and Guardians 4 times, I don’t want to tell you how to vacation, you do you! Either way, if you plan on hitting up Disneyland sometime in the next couple of years, try to plan it during food and wine. Then you too can eat all of this!
And if you end up drinking every offering and you feel like garbage the next day, try less drowsy Dramamine, so you can still ride all the rides and not want to vomit or sleep! #HappyDisneyDrunkies
So ends LA Stories, the trilogy. And unlike the Divergent series, the protagonist lives happily ever after.