Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival Expands to Six Weeks in 2018

Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will return March 2 through April 12, 2018, bringing delicious cuisine, specialty beverages and exciting entertainment to Disneyland Resort guests for its third season. The culinary festival will expand to six weeks, with more days for guests to enjoy the flavors of the Golden State.

More than a dozen Festival Marketplaces will feature California-inspired tastes and sips. Guests will experience presentations and demonstrations with celebrity chefs such as Robert Irvine and Alex Guarnaschelli; food and beverage tastings; winemaker dinners; beer, wine and spirit seminars – all in addition to live music, entertainment and special activities throughout the festival.

The festival’s signature events will include new experiences such as the Disney Family of Wines Dinner, as well as returning favorites like Sweet Sundays and the Winemaker or Brewmaster Dinners. Another guest-favorite returning to the festival is the Junior Chef experience, with hands-on fun led by Chef Goofy, for children ages 3 to 11.

 

Additional fees required for the signature events and certain seminars. Separate admission to Disney California Adventure Park is required and is not included with the cost of such events. Space is limited for all ticketed events; advance reservations are recommended. Guests must be 21 years of age or over to consume alcohol and to participate in some events; valid photo ID required. Events and demonstrations are subject to restrictions and change or cancellation without notice.

From The Disney Parks Blog

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Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Unveils Magical, Hotel-Wide Renovation

An exciting, hotel-wide refurbishment brings new magic to the deluxe Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at the Disneyland Resort, with completely redesigned guest rooms plus a refreshed lobby, pool area and concierge-level lounge. The most extensive refurbishment since the hotel’s 2001 opening elevates the premium guest experience and brings a contemporary approach to the Arts & Crafts design style.

Named a AAA Four Diamond hotel by the Automobile Club of Southern California for the sixteenth year in a row, the 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is the first Disney resort hotel in the world to be located inside a theme park.

“Our renovation brings an even more upscale experience to this iconic Southern California hotel, while staying committed to its signature Arts & Crafts design,” said Dan Coleman, General Manager of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. “We want our guests to enjoy the unique experience of staying in a Disney hotel that’s distinctly situated in beautiful California. The revitalized design helps convey this feeling and allows us to continue exceeding guest expectations.”

Guest Rooms

Every single element in the redesigned guest rooms is new—from flooring and walls, to furnishings and bathrooms. Upon entry, guests will notice beautiful hardwood-inspired flooring transitioning into soft, bright-toned carpeting. Linens and pillows are restyled in a bright, white palette and upgraded bathrooms include new fixtures. The room decor features all-new furniture made of quarter-sawn oak, specially designed for each room, as well as California-inspired artwork.

The headboards are made of quarter-sawn oak, a hallmark of Craftsman design, which frame a blossoming orange tree mural overhead—with mischievous Chip n’ Dale playing in the branches. When guests open the sleeper bed (available in select rooms), artwork of Bambi, along with other woodland creatures, bid them goodnight.

Countertops of the room’s desk, dresser and coffee station incorporate pieces of green glass from wine bottles, creating a beautiful, unique surface. Above the coffee bar, textured copper detailing adds depth to the aesthetic of the room while enforcing the Craftsman story.

Lastly, all rooms are powered with the latest technological features and premium amenities, including 55-inch smart TVs, Keurig coffee makers and built-in USB chargers. In addition, many rooms offer breathtaking views of Disney California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney District, the lively avenue with unique restaurants, interesting shops and dynamic entertainment venues.

 

Great Hall Lobby

The already stunning six-story Great Hall lobby has been upgraded with new, stylish furnishings and design elements. To complement the existing Arts and Crafts motif, new contemporary designs can be found throughout the furniture pieces, upholstery, woodwork and carpeting.

Custom tete-a-tete chairs provide interesting design and function, while boldly upholstered sofa and chair pairings offer a comfortable, welcoming setting. Coffee tables and lamp fixtures nicely complement the space, and leather-topped stools showcase hidden Mickey details. The redesigned space is perfect for lounging with family, relaxing with a glass of wine from the Hearthstone Lounge, or simply admiring the lobby’s focal point—the cavernous fireplace and its roaring fire.

The Veranda

The concierge-level lounge has a new name—The Veranda—and a new design that draws inspiration from the architectural and furniture designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a visionary of the Arts & Crafts movement in Glasgow, United Kingdom. New hardwood flooring, custom-designed rugs, finely-crafted artisanal furniture and specially-commissioned art adds to the sophisticated tone of the lounge. Club-level guests may enjoy complimentary refreshments, as well as views of park fireworks in this exclusive setting.

Pool Deck

Each of the three pools have been redesigned with a variety of natural stones and brick to not only create a warm and welcoming environment, but also define the distinct pool settings. In keeping with the Arts and Crafts style of the hotel, the stone work was hand-laid by master stone masons.

Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa is located inside Disney California Adventure Park, providing guests with a special entrance to the theme park. Food and beverage options at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel include the award-winning Napa Rose, as well as character dining at Storytellers Cafe and the cozy Hearthstone Lounge. Guests staying at Disneyland Resort hotels also enjoy Extra Magic Hour*, which provides early entry to select Disneyland or Disney California Adventure attractions (valid theme park ticket and active hotel room key required).

*Extra Magic Hour valid for registered Disneyland® Resort Hotel Guests for admission to select attractions at either Disneyland® Park or Disney California Adventure® Park before the applicable Park opens to the general public. Check Disneyland.com for schedule of when each Park offers Extra Magic Hour. Applicable Theme Park, days and times of operation and attraction and service availability may vary and are subject to change without notice. Subject to capacity, cancellation and other restrictions.

Disney Announces Memorable New Story Elements that Add to the Fun at the Pixar Play Parade During Pixar Fest Celebration

Pixar Play Parade returns April 13 to the Disneyland Resort – this time, at Disneyland! Part of the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration, this delightful parade will bring even more of your favorite Pixar stories to life with the addition of three new story elements.

The parade will begin as all Pixar films have, with an appearance by the iconic and adorable Pixar Lamp. Rolling ahead of the famous lamp will be the familiar yellow Pixar Ball, making a cameo in Pixar Play Parade, as it has in many Pixar films.

Also joining the parade are characters from the beloved film, “Up.” Wilderness Explorer Russell will appear astride the colorful flightless bird, Kevin, with Carl Fredricksen and Dug following behind amid green foliage and snipe chicks, with Carl’s tethered house floating above.

Another popular Pixar story coming to Pixar Play Parade is “Inside Out.” Perched atop colorful memory orbs, Joy and Sadness take flight aboard Bing Bong’s rocket wagon, with Bing Bong himself cheering them on!

Don’t miss these new story elements and the return of Pixar Play Parade, beginning April 13 at Disneyland park.

From the Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District to Get New Dining , Retail and Entertainment in Early 2018

Lots of exciting changes are arriving at Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in early 2018! With new dining and entertainment experiences, here’s a peek at what to expect at the beginning of next year.

The new, groundbreaking hyper-reality experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID, will transport guests deep into the Star Wars universe, walking freely and untethered throughout the multisensory experience with friends and family. In groups of four, teams will go undercover as stormtroopers to capture Imperial intelligence vital to the budding rebellion’s survival. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will open on January 5, 2018. Tickets available now at TheVOID.com.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes is a dynamic recreation destination offering a unique combination of dining, drinks, bowling and entertainment. The Downtown Disney District location will feature 20 bowling lanes interspersed throughout the location, four dining areas (indoors and out), more than 25 flat screen TVs, and the ability to host both live performers and DJs. Splitsville will open in early 2018.

Also, D-Street will close on January 2 and reopen in early 2018 as a reimagined retail space that offers Disney fans a variety of Disney-themed home goods. Guests will find a curated assortment of products that will change with each season. Not to worry, most of the unique items found at D-Street are available throughout the resort and shopDisney.com!

From the Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland to Stream ‘Believe…in Holiday Magic’ via #DisneyParks LIVE

#DisneyParksLIVE is celebrating the holiday season at Disneyland this Thursday, November 30th, with a live stream of “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular!

The holidays have begun at the Disneyland Resort, and Holidays at the Disneyland Resort is in full swing, with returning favorites such as “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks, “A Christmas Fantasy” parade and Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle at Disneyland park; and Festival of Holidays, including Disney ¡Viva Navidad! and “World of Color – Winter Dreams” at Disney California Adventure park. There is even new festive holiday decor at Downtown Disney District and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort.

Tune in for the live stream of “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular November 30th beginning at 8:40 p.m. PST, and find out how you can participate in the live stream yourself on the Disney Parks Blog and on Twitter at @DisneyParks!

From the Disney Parks Blog

Encounter Black Panther at Disney California Adventure in 2018

Early next year, Super Hero fans will explore the isolated and technologically advanced kingdom of Wakanda when “Black Panther” opens in theaters February 16, 2018. And for a limited time, Disney California Adventure guests will have the opportunity to encounter the king of Wakanda himself, Black Panther.

“Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and Black Panther — is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

From the Disney Parks Blog

Lunar New Year Festival Returns to Disney California Adventure

Kick off the Year of the Dog with the return of the popular Lunar New Year festival at Disney California Adventure park!

From January 26 through February 18, this spectacular festival will feature live entertainment, delicious food and more. Take a look at the favorite experiences returning for this year’s celebration:

  • Hurry Home — Lunar New Year Celebration, a nighttime water show on Paradise Bay
  • Disney characters such as Mulan and her friend Mushu, along with Mickey Mouse and his pals, all dressed up for the occasion — including Goofy dressed as the God of Good Fortune
  • Specialty Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese foods at Paradise Garden Grill
  • Commemorative merchandise featuring designs inspired by the different cultures of East Asia
  • Lucky Wishing Wall, where you can add your own wish
  • The festive Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, traditional crafts and more!


From the Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland Discontinues Southern California Annual Pass…For Now

The popular Southern California annual pass that allows visitors entrance to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on certain days year round will no longer be available for new customers, for the time being, a Disneyland spokesperson confirmed.

Starting Monday, Nov. 20, the $469 pass – one of Disneyland’s least expensive annual pass options – will go on hiatus. The Southern California annual pass option was removed from the Disneyland.com website this morning.

Current Southern California Passport annual pass holders will have the option to renew. Those who have passes that expired recently will receive a letter soon on how to renew the pass.

“Our annual passes are very popular with guests,” said Michele Himmelberg, a Disneyland spokeswoman. “We continuously seek the appropriate balance that helps manage demand for our product and allows us to deliver a world-class experience for all guests.”

The discontinuing of the popular Southern California Passport – even if it’s just for the time being – comes as no surprise.

With an estimated 1 million annual pass holders and Star Wars land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening in a couple of years and other attractions such as Pixar Pier coming in the near future, Disneyland officials appear to be taking another step to managing future crowds and spreading out the demand.

Last year, Disneyland introduced a tiered ticket pricing structure to spread out the crowds. Earlier this year, Disneyland increased the price for admission tickets and annual passes.

This is the second time the Southern California Passport was discontinued. In 2014, Disneyland officials removed the annual pass to better manage the crowds that come Sundays at the theme parks. Disney later reintroduced it in 2016.

Disneyland offered five types of annual passes, ranging in price from $339 to $1,049.

The Southern California Passport is one of two annual passes available for Southern Calfornia residents living in ZIP codes 90000 to 93599, from San Diego to north of San Luis Obispo.

The pass allows visitors to enjoy both Anaheim theme parks for about 215 days with block outs on Saturdays, holidays, and half of summer. Its affordability – about $31 monthly with no interest after a $97 deposit – has made it a popular choice for local residents.

The Southern California Select Passport, which allows visitors 170 days of access to both theme parks – mostly on weekdays – will still be available. It’s priced at $339.

From the Orange County Register

Star Tours Gives Guests First Peek at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Planet

Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, released a statement in the Disney Parks Blog regarding the new Star Tours sequence that is debuting today at both Walt Disney’s World and Disneyland….

“This morning, guests on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue boarded Starspeeders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park to discover a thrilling new journey to the farthest reaches of space and found themselves landing unexpectedly on a planet in the outer rim of the Star Wars galaxy – a planet known to C-3PO, and now to us, as Batuu.

This remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but its prominence was bypassed by the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe haven for those intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order. While Batuu may be new to us, it is clearly already familiar to many characters from the Star Wars saga as a stepping off point for epic adventures.

As the Creative Executive on these projects working alongside so many talented Imagineers and Lucasfilm partners, I look forward to sharing more updates from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as we further explore the stories and adventures you’ll be invited to discover when our new lands open in 2019.”

Mark Hamill Surprises Star Wars Fans at Disneyland

Mark Hamill gave Star Wars fans the thrill of a lifetime.

In celebration of the upcoming movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi (in theaters Dec. 15), Hamill visited Disneyland Tuesday to surprise some unsuspecting guests. The actor’s destination: Star Tours in Tomorrowland. “The Captain did mention something about a special passenger,” a Disneyland cast member began. “Oh, and the Force is strong with this one. So, let me go and…”

Enter Hamill, who simply walked in and said, “Hello, everyone!”

As fans cheered and pulled out their iPhones to capture the moment, Hamill mimed an applause meter. “Now, wait a minute!” he said. “There’s no Star Wars fans here, are there?”

Hamill didn’t come dressed in Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Robes, similar to when Johnny Depp dressed up as Jack Sparrow to surprise fans on the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in April. And unlike the cast of Descendants 2, he didn’t attempt to go incognito inside the park, either.

Instead, Hamill came as he was—and that was more than enough. “I am so happy to be here at Disneyland with you today,” he said. “The first time I came here, I was a little kid, and I used to daydream about someday working at Disney—so, thank you for making my dream come true.”

Here’s a link to the video.

Hamill took a selfie with the group before joining them for the ride.

From ENews