From Mickey-Shaped Macarons to the Carbonara Garlic Mac & Cheese, there are so many great bites and brews to discover at the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival!
Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival Tips
Hi friends! The Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival is one of my favorite events at Disney! I’ve been every year for the past few years and I plan to go every year for the near future. I love that you can pack all the fun of a normal Disney trip in PLUS get to partake of all the amazing food and wine that Disney has to offer at the Festival Marketplaces. It’s truly a unique offering and such a fun time, whether you’re doing a date weekend, a girls weekend, an adults-only weekend (like we did on this trip) or even a family affair – you just can’t go wrong. So today we’re sharing a few tips AND some of our favorites from each Festival Kiosk!
Food & Wine Festival Sip and Savor Pass
One of the main tips I have for you for the is to snag the Sip and Savor Pass! At just $56 (including tax), the pass includes a commemorative credential plus 8 coupons redeemable for eligible food and beverage offerings. In addition to a reduced price (just $51), Annual Passholders will receive a special souvenir lanyard AND an AP Magic Magnet (and we all know how hard those can come by) What I love about this pass is if you’re planning to eat your way through the festival it’s just a great deal…much better than purchasing individual items. I think it also helps you to keep to a budget if you’re trying to do that. NOTE: the pass does not include alcoholic items or souvenirs, so plan accordingly and you’ll simply pay separately for those items. Sip and Savor Passes are available at Elias & Co., Festival Gifts and Marketplaces, Kingswell Camera Shop, Rushin’ River Outfitters, Seaside Souvenirs, the Sip and Savor Cart, and the Studio Store in Hollywood Land.
Food & Wine Festival Tasting Passport
Another tip is at the same time you grab your Sip and Savor Pass, also grab a Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival Tasting Passport! It’s a handy dandy pamphlet that lists what is at each Festival Marketplace, includes a Festival Map AND has a spot for you to get stamped at each kiosk. If you’re like me and see this as a challenge to get all the stamps, you’re going to love it.
Order all your items from one kiosk
Last tip I have for you is to try to plan ahead and figure out just what you want to try from each kiosk, then find the SHORTEST line you can and ORDER THEM ALL. That’s right, you can order all of your items at once and then simply visit the window at each kiosk and show them your receipt to redeem! Some of the lines (especially the first few kiosks) can get REALLY long and you don’t want to be wasting time waiting in line, right? So a little planning ahead of time can SAVE you a lot of time.
Best Things to Eat and Drink at the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival
Ok, let’s get into the meat (literally) of our post! Here are some of our favorites from the 2020 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival:
Mickey-Shaped Caramel-Peanut-Milk Chocolate Macaron from Off the Cobb
To me, this was the star of the show! A tasty chocolate Mickey macaron is filled with more chocolate, caramel, candy bar bites (aka Snickers) and topped with chopped peanuts. It was amazing and let’s just say I had more than one.
Carbonara Garlic Mac & Cheese with Nueske’s Bacon from Garlic Kissed
There are two amazing Mac & Cheeses during this year’s festival, and while both are worthwhile, this one takes the cake for me! Bursting with flavor, this Mac & Cheese made with white cheddar cheese sauce is topped with bacon, red pepper parmesan and panko crumbs. Delicious!
Fiscalini White Cheddar Lager Soup from Nuts About Cheese
OH EM GEE. I’ve had the festival cheddar soup before and because of that we almost skipped it — but I’m SO GLAD we didn’t! Served in a Mini Boudin® Sourdough Bowl, this white cheddar lager soup was perfectly warm, sharp and the perfect compliment to the fresh little sourdough bowl!
Pepperoni Pizza Egg Rolls from California Craft Brews
Alert the media, this one was definitely one of my favorites! Made with mozzarella cheese and garnished with parmesan, parsley and red pepper flakes these petite rolls are served with marinara and pesto dipping sauce.
French Onion Grilled Beef Tenderloin Slider from Cluck-A-Doodle-Moo
Oooooh, so yummy! Topped with gruyère cheese sauce and caramelized onions and served on an onion roll, you’re not going to want to skip this delicious hunk-o-meat! Disney just does beef so well. Always.
Asian-Style Beef Barbacoa Street Tacos from LA Style
Speaking of doing beef well, I always get anything from Disney that mentions barbacoa…and this was no exception. Served on flour tortillas with a mix of pickled onions, ginger, cucumber and serrano peppers, these tacos were in HIGH DEMAND and sold out Friday (thankfully we snagged some Saturday), so be sure to order these ASAP if they’re on your list!
Lolea Red Sangria from I Heart Artichokes
Ok, so Lolea is a bottled sangria that yes, you can probably find at your local wine store. BUT I do have to say that even though it was pricey ($11 a glass), I really enjoyed this sip during the festival. And this I Heart Artichokes wall? OMG so cute (do you spy the hidden Mickey?).
Mini Chicken Chimis from Off the Cobb
GET IN MY BELLY! I loved these little chimichangas with chimichurri corn pico de gallo and chipotle crema. Honestly, I could have probably eaten a whole plate of them. They reminded me of the Southwest Egg Rolls from Chili’s…you know, those egg rolls that EVERYBODY loves? Yah, those. Add these to your list!
Fried Artichokes from I Heart Artichokes
Still a fan favorite! These lightly dusted and Fried Artichoke Hearts are served with lemon aïoli and garnished with micro herbs for a mini bite you’re going to love.
Tortilla-Crusted Fried Guacamole with Carne Asada from Avocado Time
This new kid on the block is one you’re going to want to try. Slices of avocado are breaded in tortilla and fried and served with tender carne asada then topped with pico de gallo and avocado crema drizzle. Such a delicious combo — a flavor explosion!
Blue Angeleno Cocktail from LA Style
I deem this the BEST cocktail at the festival this year! The Blue Angeleno is made with white rum, blue Curaçao, orgeat, sweetened coconut cream, pineapple juice and Simply Orange. Simply delicious…and it’s pretty too.
Monkey Bread from LA Style
Who doesn’t love a good Monkey Bread?! Made with fresh bread soaked in butter, cinnamon and sugar, these bites are baked with caramel sauce and finished with whiskey glaze and candied pecans.
Ranch Fried Chicken Wings from Cluck-A-Doodle-Moo
If chicken wings are on the menu, you order. Or at least we do! These delicious ranch-flavored wings were served with a buffalo hot sauce drizzle that was the perfect complement. Great one to share!
Impossible™ Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese from Nuts About Cheese
Here’s that other Mac & Cheese I mentioned above! This one is great for the veggies: made with Impossible™ Meat made from plants, this cheeseburger mac & cheese is also topped with “special burger sauce” (aka tastes like In-N-Out sauce), which gives it a great overall taste!
Aperol Cocktail from Garlic Kissed
The perfect cocktail for the bitter lover: this orange dream is made with Aperol, vodka, ginger liqueur, Simply Grapefruit®, and ginger beer. Definitely refreshing and a great palate cleanser.
Brunch Fried Chicken & Waffle Sandwich from Golden Dreams
Now THIS ONE is popular! A simple waffle and savory breaded chicken tender is topped with mimosa-inspired slaw and OJ bubbles. While I actually wanted to like this one MORE than I did, I do think it’s worth the try.
Non Marketplace Finds
So many of the bites and brews can be found at one of the 13 Festival Marketplaces at the 2020 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival. But there are also amazing festival finds throughout the park and even into Downtown Disney! Here are a few of our fave non-marketplace finds:
Brisket Fries from Paradise Garden Grill
YOU GUYS! I loved these fries! Topped with shredded smoked BBQ brisket, cheddar cheese sauce, pico de gallo, chipotle crema and green onions, these Brisket Fries were LOADED with flavor! They’re great for sharing. NOTE: Paradise Garden Grill has full entree-sized offerings of Festival Foods as well as Sip-And-Savor Tasting Portions. If you want the tasting portion you MUST use a Sip and Savor Tab to purchase.
Black Forest Parfait from Paradise Garden Grill
You KNOW I love a good dessert and since there are not a ton of sweets on the festival menus, I definitely sought out the good ones. This Black Forest Parfait has layers of chocolate cake, vanilla chantilly, chocolate mousse, and amarena cherries. Rich and decadent! NOTE: this parfait IS Sip and Savor Eligible and you can also purchase without a Sip and Savor coupon.
Mocha Almond Fudge Shake from Schmoozies!
A stop at Schmoozies! is ALWAYS a good idea! This shake is made with mocha almond fudge ice cream and almond pieces and topped with whipped topping and an adorable piece of Disneyland’s amazing English Toffee! NOTE: Schmoozies! offerings are NOT Sip and Savor Eligible.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Churro from Hollywood Churro Cart
Churro topped with Peanut Butter Cream, Chocolate Icing and Chopped Peanuts NOTE: this churro IS Sip and Savor Eligible.
Sweet Empanada with Caramel Sauce from Festival Carts
Raise your hand if you’re an empanada fan! Takes me back to my time in Buenos Aires…I just had to try the sweep empanada. With sweet, warm apple filling this pastry pocket is served with a caramel dipping sauce and would be lovely with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, don’t you think? NOTE: the empanadas ARE Sip and Savor Eligible.
I think it’s worth mentioning that I tried a TON of bites from this year’s festival. And lest you think I left some of the noteworthy items off my list, here are my honorable mentions…
Compressed Watermelon and Tomato from One in a Melon
Ok, so honestly I REALLY enjoyed this one! The only reason it’s down here is my group did not enjoy it so I would say it’s a mixed review. This dense watermelon is topped with whipped ricotta, grape heirloom tomatos and lemon olive oil. I thought it was an amazing combo of savory and sweet and SO refreshing!
Smoked Bacon Barbecue Beef Loco Moco on Rice from LA Style
Oh how I love a good Loco Moco, we can blame Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Aulani for that! However, I have to say that because of these expectations I love a good savory gravy on a Loco Moco and the sweet BBQ sauce on this dish threw me off. I could be alone, but this one was not a favorite for me.
Craft Micheladas, Beers, and Flights from Cluck-A-Doodle-Moo
Here are the flavors featured in this flight: Pizza Port Honey Blonde Golden Ale, Golden Road Pineapple Cart Wheat Ale, Lost Coast Watermelon Wheat and King Harbor Cerveza Hermosa Mexican Amber Lager. I was not a fan of the craft beers but did like Michelada #3 and LOVED Michelada #4. So it’s a mixed review for me.
For More Food & Wine posts, check out:
- 2019 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival
- 2018 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival
- 10 Reasons to go to the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival
For More Disney Dining posts, check out:
- 25+ of the Best Things to Eat and Drink at Disneyland
- 25+ of the Best Things to Eat and Drink at Disney California Adventure Park
- 50+ of the Best Things to Eat and Drink at Walt Disney World