Our Passporter friends called this the Food & Wine Festival West and we thought it so appropriate, we titled our Disneyland trip report that. lol!
We left our home in Vegas about 9:30 a.m., stopped in Barstow around noon for lunch at Del Taco and arrived at the Grand Californian (GC) around 1:30 p.m. – pretty good timing with traffic, lunch stop, and rest stop. Much to our delight our standard room was upgraded to a pool view – woo hoo! And the room was ready when we arrived – this is a first for the GC. Not only that, but the room was located just off the lobby mezzanine area on the third floor, which meant we were serenaded by piano music throughout the day, and most importantly, at night before falling asleep. Wow – does it get any better than that? Oh, did we mention that we always valet park at the GC – gotta love that.
The service at the GC is just superb – the best of any Disney resort we’ve stayed anywhere. And maybe because it’s also now a DVC property (Disney Vacation Club), they say “Welcome home” at the guard gate and you wish you could just move right in. So, we settled into our room and then headed to the ticket window to activate our Premier Passes. Because we just happened to have a Disneyland Annual Pass and a Disney World Annual Pass, Disney mailed us two Premier Passes, good for both parks as premium passes. Of course, we kept taking the CMs (Cast Members) offguard with this pass and the registers weren’t all ready to accept it and give us our discounts automatically – often a supervisor had to come over and override it. We’re hoping this is fixed by our next trip.
Once we had our brand-spanking new Premier passes, we entered DCA for the food and wine tastings, being held for the first time in the Stage 12 of the Hollywood Pictures Backlot (now called the Festival Showplace) on Hollywood Blvd. We saw the tracks for the new trolley were already laid, but won’t be up and running until next year sometime. We chose 3 food samples and 2 wine tastings to share and grabbed a table outside. Friendly, friendly service all around. These are probably our favorites of all the samples, although we managed to try everything over the weekend.
Note: The food samples are very limited at DCA and why last year we booked so many special events. But our favorite event from last year wasn’t offered this year so we opted to choose one special event and spend the reset of our time doing the tastings. We are so looking forward to returning to Epcot’s F&W – Food & Wine Festival East – this fall because it really is outstanding.
After this, we enjoyed a nice relaxing swim in the pool and spa, and then wandered over to Disneyland for some fun atmosphere with a brief stop in Downtown Disney to listen to guitarist David Wayne, accompanied by Carlos Lopez and to pick up 2 more CDs.