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February 2010 Archives

February 6, 2010

2010 Disney's California Food and Wine Festival

The 5th annual Disney's California Food and Wine Festival returns from April 16 through May 31 this year. It's a day longer than last year's Festival, taking advantage of the Memorial Day holiday on May 31. There will be daily events and some new venues this year, though there have been a few changes and even cutbacks in the Signature events. We have more information on the Festival on our web page HERE, which we will be updating as additional information becomes available, and I plan to blog live from the Festival's opening weekend. You can also visit the official site: http://www.disneyland.com/FoodandWine.

This year's theme is The Art of Flavor, and one of the new venues is the Festival Artisans area in the Pacific Wharf. There's not a lot of information on this yet, but the Food and Wine web site describes it as: "local artisans...an array of culinary and wine-inspired crafts, original art, and gourmet home and food products."

One of the biggest changes will be the addition of the Festival Showplace, which sounds like it will be the new location for just about everything that was at the Golden Vine Winery during previous Festivals. The Showplace is located in Stage 12 of the Hollywood Backlot area, the building that was originally the Hollywood and Dine food court, and has more recently been the Annual Pass Processing Center. Sweet Sundays and culinary demonstrations will be held there, and the Festival Gift Shop and "Wine Sellers" shop will also be located there. The thing I'm most excited about coming to the Festival Showplace, though, is the return of the Taste of California Marketplace, with its menu of tapas-sized Festival food items. There was no Marketplace last year because the restaurant location they had been using for it was in the process of becoming Cocina Cucamonga, so it's very nice to see that they found a new location for it this year.

There are a lot fewer Signature Events this year, some, like the World Celebration dinners, "Behind the Scenes With", and Festival Wine Receptions are not returning at all, while others have fewer dates available. The Winemaker Dinners are back at Steakhouse 55 on Friday nights, though there are only four and not six. On one of the off Fridays Steakhouse 55 will be hosting a new offering, the Brewmaster Dinner, featuring a multi-course meal paired with Karl Strauss beers. Napa Rose Cooking School also returns on five different Saturdays, as do the Taste Wine Like an Expert classes (4 classes) and the very popular Sweet Sundays (every Sunday). As of this date, the guest pastry chefs have not yet been announced for Sweet Sundays. Taste Food-Wine-Life also returns, but for only one evening (May 29) instead of two, and surprisingly it also returns with a lower price - $135 instead of $150. Winemaker dinners have held steady at $135 while tickets are up $5 each for the Wine class and Sweet Sundays, at $55 and $70, respectively, and up $25, to $475, for the Napa Rose Cooking School. The Brewmaster dinner is $110. All of these prices include gratuity but not tax.

Another price increase...the wine, beer, and spirits seminars are no longer complimentary, though the price for a wristband is a nominal $1.00, cash only. Wristbands must be purchased in the queue line. It appears that the cooking and culinary demos are still free.

Other returning Festival offerings are the Festival Wine and Beer Walks, where guests can sample different wines and beers. The Jr. Chef program for younger guests will also return. In addition to the Taste of California Marketplace, special Festival food items will be available at many restaurants at Disney's California Adventure, and selected Disneyland Resort restaurants will be offering a special prix-fixe menu.

Tickets for the Signature events go on sale on February 16, but, as reported on the Disney Parks Blog, tickets for some events went on sale to Annual Passholders on February 4. Through February 15, AP holders may purchase these tickets at discounted prices. Visit http://www.disneyland.com/ap for details.

Hope to see you at the Festival!



February 26, 2010

Captain EO Returns to Disneyland

Captain EO, the 3D film starring Michael Jackson which ran at Disneyland from 1986-1997, re-opened at Disneyland on Tuesday, February 23 as Captain EO Tribute.

In addition to Michael Jackson starring as the title character, the cast features Anjelica Huston as the Supreme Leader. It was produced by George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The 17-minute film features original songs and new Disney-created space characters with magical transformation powers, such as Hooter, Fuzzball, and Major and Minor Domo.

Captain EO is playing multiple times a day in Tomorrowland in the theater formerly occupied by Honey I Shrunk the Audience. Disney is saying it will be showing for a limited time, though there is no word on just how long that might be. According to Imagineer Tony Baxter, at this point there are no plans to bring it to Walt Disney World.

Jeanine Yamanaka attended the media event on Opening Day and shares some of her thoughts, photos, and interviews.

Guests began lining up outside the park the night before - there was a separate line for the EO crowd:

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Once inside, there were signs directing guests back to Tomorrowland:

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New signs on the entrance - those in the queue attended a showing for the Early Magic Morning crowd before the "official" first showing at 1000.

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Captain EO cast members set up the queue for a busy day:

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More new signs:

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Disneyland president George Kalogridis was in attendance.

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Two of the original performers from EO were there. Debbie Lee Carrington (middle) played Idy, half of the two-headed "Geex". Renee Colette (right) was a dancer in the film.

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Some thoughts:

-- No photos or video were allowed during the movie.
-- The film uses a new 70mm print and the audio is great.
-- Some effects were new, like seat motion, but quite a few were missing, like the smoke, lasers, and starfield.
-- It will apparently be open until they notice a crowd drop-off, at which time they'll close it.
-- They have no plans for a replacement, since they don't know how long they'll have it open.


After the first show Jeanine had the opportunity for several interviews.

Imagineer Tony Baxter talks about bringing the movie back as well as its future:

Debbie Lee Carrington shares some of her experiences in making the movie:

Rick Rothschild, In-Theater Effects Director, on bringing Captain EO back:

New merchandise is available both with the classic Captain EO logo, and with the new Captain EO Tribute logo. In this clip, Merchandise Manager Cheryl Stockwell talks about some of the new merchandise:

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An embroidered Captain EO nylon jacket will be available in mid-March.

Note: Captain EO merchandise is available only at Disneyland park, and is not available for purchase via Disneyland Merchandise Guest Services.


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About February 2010

This page contains all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in February 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.