The tastiest time of year has arrived at the Disneyland Resort. For 56 glorious days, the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival celebrates all the bounty of California’s thriving food scene. There are 13 different Festival Marketplaces serving creative dishes and regional beverages. Culinary demonstrations, Junior Chef experiences, and signature events round out this wonderful event.
Updated for 2020!
Sip and Savor Pass for the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival
The best way to make the most out of the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival is to purchase the Sip and Savor Pass. It is $51 for Annual Passholders and $56 for non-passholders. Each Sip and Savor Pass has 8 tabs on it. These tabs can be redeemed for food and non-alcoholic beverage items at the festival.
Between the Festival Marketplaces, food carts, and Paradise Garden Grill, there are 17 locations where you can use your Sip and Savor Pass. It is a great value and a fun way to enjoy multiple items.
Trekaroo Tip: Avoid the long lines at the Sip and Savor Cart! The Sip and Savor Pass can be purchased at the Studio Store, Elias and Co, Festival Gifts, Festival Marketplaces, Kingswell Camera Shop, Rushin’ River Outfitters, and Seaside Souvenirs.
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Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival Marketplaces
This year there are so many great food options, how does one choose? I hope you have as much fun as I did eating and drinking my way through the festival. If you see a *, the dish has been Trekaroo tasted and approved.
1. One in a Melon
New to the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival for 2020, One in a Melon celebrates the mighty watermelon.
Foodies are sure to fall in love with Poke-style Watermelon with Cucumber*. This dish tastes like a summer day! Watermelon cubes are marinated in a citrus-soy dressing and served atop white rice, along with cucumbers, red onions, and furikake. It is fresh, crunchy, and full of flavor. It is gluten free.
Also found at this marketplace is the Compressed Watermelon and Tomato with Whipped Ricotta and Lemon Olive Oil*. Compressed watermelon is so juicy and bursting with flavor. This dish reminds me quiet a bit of a savory watermelon salad and is quite delicious. It is especially good on a hot day and gluten free.
For dessert, try the Pabana Cream Puff*. I was in love with mousse inside the puff which is made of mango, passion fruit, and banana. It is good option for those who love fruity, not-to-sweet desserts.
Looking for a beverage? Try the Berry Mule or Watermelon Agua Fresca.
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2. Berry Patch
As you might have guessed, this marketplace is an ode to berries.
Oikos continues to be a Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival sponsor ,and this stand is offering up an Oikos Greek Yogurt California Berries Summer Pudding. This brioche bread pudding is soaked in raspberry puree, stuffed with Grand Marnier-infused mixed berries, and topped with a Greek yogurt whipped cream.
Another dessert offered at the stand is the Raspberry-Lychee-Rose Custard*. The tapioca pudding in this dessert has a subtle rose aftertaste. The compote atop the pudding has a wonderful raspberyy-lychee flavor.
Thirsty? Try the Blue Marble Berry Bliss Hard Seltzer or non-alcoholic Ruby Citrus Sparkler.
3. Peppers Cali-ente
The spice is kicked up a notch at this marketplace.
If you like pasta with a kick, definitely give the Creamy Poblano Pepper Pasta a go. This pasta has roasted poblano sauce, red pepper drizzle, and a sprinkling of cotija cheese.
I fell in love with the Grilled Shrimp Tacos*. Why? Because the tortillas were made of jicama, making this a low-carb treat with a crunch. The shrimp were big and juicy, and the pineapple-chile salsa had a nice punch of heat. I am already scheming to make a copy cat version at home. Bonus- this dish is listed as gluten free.
I am also obsessed with the Cantarito-style Paloma. This tequila-based drink is made with habanero-infused pineapple juice, lime juice, cantaloupe, and Fresca. It was spicy and pineapple-y and perfect on an 80 degree day in the park. If tequila isn’t your thing, you can also purchase a glass of Annabella chardonnay here as well.
4. Avocado Time
You can’t possibly attend a food festival celebrating California without sampling something avocado-themed. This popular marketplace features the most popular Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival dish of 2019, the Petite Impossible Burger with Guacamole and Pepper Jack Cheese*.
This vegetarian burger is not to be missed! I never would have known this burger didn’t contain meat. The “meat” is juicy and flavorful and has the same look and texture as beef. The guacamole was smooth and fresh, a great compliment to the burger. Make tasting it a priority.
New this year, the Tortilla-Crusted Fried Guacamole with Carne Asada is sure to be a hit. Slices of avocado have been breaded in tortilla and then fried. They are served with carne asada, pico de gallo, and an avocado crema drizzle.
If you are looking for a boozy compliment to your burger and avocado fries, try the Mezcal Cocktail or the Slow Riser with Coconut Red Ale made by Chapman Crafted Beer.
5. I Love Artichokes
Both food options at this artichoke-forward marketplace are repeats from 2019.
If you do love artichokes, the best option at this marketplace is the Fried Artichokes with Lemon Aioli.
If olives are more your thing, try the Artichoke Toast with California Olive Tapenade.
The drink of choice at this stand is the Lolea Red Sangria from Spain. It is one of the few alcoholic options at the festival that is not from California.
6. Cluck-a-Doodle Moo
This marketplace was home to the most popular dish at the 2018 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival- the Harris Ranch Grilled Beef Tenderloin Slider with Chimichurri Sauce.
This year, the dish has been transformed into the French Onion Grilled Beef Tenderloin Slider*. The beef is tender and juicy and gruyere cheese sauce is the perfect compliment. This is comfort food, elevated.
Another fun option is the Ranch Fried Chicken Wings. They are served with a drizzle of Buffalo hot sauce. Got a sweet tooth? Try the Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch. It is a milk chocolate mousse filled with hazelnut ganache and hazelnut pieces.
This stand has quite a few beer options, and they can also be purchased as Michelada or beer flights. Options include Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc (France), Pizza Port Brewing Co. Honey Blonde (Solana Beach), Golden Road Brewing Pineapple Cart (Los Angeles), Lost Coast Brewery Watermelon Wheat (Eureka), and King Harbor Brewing Co. Cerveza Hermosa (Redondo Beach).
7. Garlic Kissed
The second most popular dish at the 2018 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival was the Creamy Mac & Cheese with Garlic Bread Crumble. The garlic booth is still serving up mac and cheese but this year it is the Carbonara Garlic Mac & Cheese with Bacon. It is made with a white cheddar cheese sauce and topped with bacon, Parmesan, and red pepper panko crumbles.
The Black Garlic Soy-braised Pork Belly Banh Mi* is back another for another year. It is served on a mini French roll and topped with picked carrots and daikon, sliced jalapeno, and cilantro.
The marketplace’s signature cocktail is the Aperol Cocktail made with vodka, ginger liqueur, grapefruit juice, orange juice, and ginger beer. They are also serving the Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc.
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8. Off The Cob
Did you know that California is 2nd in sweet corn production in the entire country? Celebrate corn by trying the Shrimp and Braised Corn dish. It is served with chorizo and topped with green onions and crispy corn kernels. It is a good gluten-free option.
Chimichangas are kind of “a thing” at Disneyland so it is no surprise that a version would show up at the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival. The Mini Chicken Chimis are served with chimichurri corn, pico de gallo, and chipotle crema.
Macarons are also “a thing” at Disneyland and I look forward to trying a new Mickey-shaped masterpiece every year. This year they have a Mickey-shaped Caramel-Peanut Milk Chocolate Macaron* that you won’t want to miss!
Drinks at Off the Cob include Fields and Orchards– a beverage made of elderflower liqueur, artichoke liqueur, orange juice, lime juice, and orgeat- as well as the non-alcoholic Farmstand Punch made with orange juice, pineapple juice, peach, and grenadine.
9. Golden Dreams
Familiar foods in unfamiliar preparations seem to be the theme of this marketplace. Quickly becoming the star of the 2020 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival is the Brunch Fried Chicken & Waffle Sandwich. It is so popular, in fact,that it was sold out by noon opening day of the festival, so I wasn’t able to try it! It is basically a fried chicken taco with a waffle shell. It has a “Mimosa-inspired” slaw and these really cool orange juice bubbles on top.
The Sesred Verlasso Salmon is also served at this marketplace. It is served with a lemon pea puree, black rice, and a Meyer lemon relish. Those with food allergies will be happy to learn it is gluten-friendly.
The Strawberry-Rose Lemonade* is a great non-alcoholic refreshment for a hot day. The rose flavor is quite subtle so kids should still enjoy it. If you love the flavors of Vietnamese coffee, try the Fig & Lavender Cold Brew. It is made with coconut milk so lactose intolerant folks can still enjoy it.
10. Nuts About Cheese
The Fisclani White Cheddar Lager Soup* served in a mini Boudin Sourdough Bowl has been on the festival menu since the very first Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival 11 years ago. It continues to draw the crowds.
New this year is the Impossible Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese*. It basically tastes like an In and Out burger mashed together with mac and cheese to make one wonderful creation. And, since it is made with Impossible meat instead of real beef, it is vegetarian. I honestly would have never known I wasn’t eating real meat. I really liked the crunchy dill pickle Panko topping.
Oikos makes another dessert appearance with the Oikos Greek Yogurt Banoffee Tart. It has a Graham cracker tart shell the is filled with layers of fresh banana and dulce de leche. It is topped with Greek yogurt whipped cream and a pecan brittle and chocolate crunch.
If you prefer a little booze in your lemonade, try the Honey Bourbon Lemonade.
11. Uncork California
Beverage flights are the true star of this marketplace. There are white wine flights, red wine flights, and even mimosa flights! Each flight has three varieties to enjoy.
I love the theme of the Road Trip Mimosa Trio. It celebrates that in California you can visit the desert, mountains, and sea all in the same day!
If you are hungry, sample the California Artisan Cheese Selection. It includes the Central Coast Creamery Holey Cow Swiss and Vintage Cheese Co. Cabernet Cheddar.
12. California Craft Brews
The wines couldn’t be the only beverage to have their own marketplace! Two different beer flights are available, in either a “bright” or “hoppy” theme. Each flight contains 4 California beers. 10 beers are also available by the glass.
What goes better with beer than pizza? How about Pepperoni Pizza Egg Rolls* with marinara and pesto sauce? I had to try these this year after seeing them make a repeat appearance on the menu. I loved that they were portable and really did taste like pizza!
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13. LA Style
LA Style used to be in Hollywood Land, but is now featured on the main drag of the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival.
Don’t miss the Asian-style Beef Barbacoa Taco with Pickled Ginger* which is back by popular demand. The barbacoa is juicy and full of flavor. The pickled onion gives a nice punch of acid to balance out the dish. It is garnished with furikake, a dry spice made with powdered seaweed and sesame seeds.
The new star of the marketplace is the Smoked Bacon Barbacoa Beef Loco Moco. It is topped with smoked bacon barbecue sauce.
For dessert, try the Monkey Bread. It is soaked in butter, baked in caramel sauce, and finished with a whiskey glaze and candied pecans.
Beverages include the Amaretto Stout-Cream Cold Brew made with stout-infused cream, amaretto liqueur, and Tiramisu syrup as well as a Blue Angeleno Cocktail made with rum, blue Curacao, Orgeat, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and orange juice.
Tip: There is a churro cart in Hollywood Land serving up Chocolate Peanut Butter Churros. They are topped with peanut butter cream, chocolate icing, and chopped peanuts and available on your Sip and Savor Pass!
Paradise Beer Garden
The Festival Beer Garden has a variety of beers available by the glass or in a flight. Most are brewed in California. There is also a mead to try as well as a Bourbon Barrel-aged Scotch Ale.
Paradise Garden Grill
I love how Paradise Garden Grill changes up its menu to reflect whatever seasonal celebration is taking place in the park. The following menu items are available during Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival.
The Impossible Meatball Submarine* is impressive. It truly tastes like a meatball sub. The only real difference is that since the dish is vegan, eggs are not used to bind the meatballs so they are a bit softer than normal. It is served with homemade kettle chips which are really, really good.
Disney has been serving up it wildly popular turkey legs for years you have probably been asking yourself, why not make it Buffalo style? Well, they listened to your pleas. The Buffalo-style Roasted Turkey Leg with Celery Slaw and Crumbled Blue Cheese and now the turkey leg is soaked for 24 hours in a chile brine before being topped with all that Buffalo goodness.
If you love brisket, you will have two options to enjoy. The Brisket Sliders are made with shredded BBQ brisket and topped with apple slaw and pickles. They are accompanied by French fries. The Brisket Fries are a masterpiece BBQ brisket, cheddar cheese sauce, pico de gallo, chipotle crema, and green onion.
For dessert, try the Black Forest Parfait*. Why have a regular Black Forest Cake when you can have it in parfait form? Chocolaty, creamy, and the perfect amount of cherry.
Beverages include Watermelon Vodka Lemonade, Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc-Fume Blanc, Deschutes Brewery Pacific Wonderland Lager, and Sudwerk Brewing Co. Marzen Amber Lager.
Note: The Sip and Savor Pass only allows for tasting portions of the entrees, not the full dish.
Junior Chef takes place on the Backlot Stage in Hollywood Land. Special cooking experiences, geared towards 3-11 year-olds, are led by Chef Goofy. Kids will learn a recipe and have a chance to prepare something fun. The experience takes place several times a day.
Classes and Special Events
Part of the fun of the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival is all the special events and classes that take place. The new Disney Culinary Adventure Tour is offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays. These tours will go behind the scenes in one of the kitchens in Disney California Adventure. It is an opportunity to learn from a Disney Chef as they prepare a menu.
Two special Winemaker Receptions are taking place March 27 and April 10 at Carthay Circle. Wine-industry experts from Fess Parker Winery and Silverdo Vineyards will be there to serve up a wonderful selection of wines and well as hors d’oeuvres. Advance reservations are required.
On weekends there will also be Wine, Beer, & Spirits Seminars at Sonoma Terrace which will be led by winemakers, brewmasters, and distillers.
Lead image by: Disney Parks