Disneyland Food and Wine Festival: Our Top Tips
On behalf of Collider, and thanks to a very kind invitation from the Disneyland Resort, I attended the opening of the Food & Wine Festival, which is being held at Disney California Adventure through April 26, and yes, I tried peanut butter and jelly mac. . . but more on that in a bit. After being cut short in March 2020 and replaced by A Touch of Disney in March 2021, food, art and entertainment have once again come together to showcase the diverse foods and flavors of the Golden State, always adding a bit of that Disney magic. Not only did I try a bunch of offers that were available, but I also have some tips to share to get the most out of your experience.
Tip #1: Go hungry.
With almost entirely new foods and drinks this year, there’s such a variety to choose from, depending on what might appeal to you. Whether it’s plant-based, allergen-free, gluten-free, kid-friendly, or completely unrestricted, you’ll find selections that will appeal to you. And you’ll probably want to try more than you bargained for, which brings us to the Sip and Savor Pass. If you’re heading to Food & Wine with the aim of trying several items, then the Pass, which costs $57 for day guests and $52 for Magic Key holders, is the best value because it includes eight redeemable tabs that can be used to select food and soft drinks from festival markets and tasting portions from participating restaurants.
Among returning fan favorites, I highly recommend the Snickers Chocolate Mickey Macaroon filled with Caramel Ganache and Snickers Chunks, as it’s both super tasty and really cute, and the Mac and Cheese with Carbonara and Cheesecake. garlic with peppery bacon. As a macaroni and cheese fan, I usually always have this deal available on my list, even if it’s a repeat from a previous year. It also means I was willing to get a little adventurous and give the peanut butter and jelly macaroni, which also came with brown sugar streusel and strawberry crackers, aka pop rocks, on top . Unsurprisingly, it tastes exactly how you think it would, and although it’s a tasting portion, there’s still plenty to take at once, so if you want to try it, I recommend you to share it. Another adventurous item, which I haven’t tried, is the frozen guacamole, which was like avocado ice cream, but with lime cream, pico de gallo and chili seasoning and with lime. While the PB&J mac was really more of a dessert, the frozen guacamole is a cross between sweet and salty.
Tip #2: Familiarize yourself with the offers and make a list of what you want to try, so you can place an order at a stand with a shorter queue, for selections that you can then pick up from the stand on stand. You don’t have to order at each of the kiosks where you want to try food and drink.
To locate options, there are a dozen Festival Marketplaces across DCA that offer small plates and drinks inspired by California-grown ingredients like avocados, citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers, and artisan cheeses. There are also various food outlets, including Smokejumpers Grill, Sonoma Terrace, and Pym Tasting Lab, as well as outdoor carts, including Terran Treats.
I found the easiest plan was to pick two or three things at a time and order them from a stand (the one with the shortest line at the time) and then do the round the pickup window for each item. It allowed me to take breaks between trying certain items, so I never felt too stuffed. The Pass doesn’t expire until April 26, so if you’re a local doing return visits and can’t use all of your tabs at once, you can use it until the last day of the festival.
Tip #3: Go at your own pace and save room for dessert.
There are plenty of options available and even though the selections are in tasting sizes rather than full portions, it still ends up being a lot of food. Each of the stalls is themed, so you can plan the order you want to eat the food in, to avoid mixing all the bad flavors at once. In addition to the Snickers Mickey macaroon, I also tried the chocolate-hazelnut mousse, the strawberry cheesecake with lemon whipped cream and the blueberry buttermilk pie (yes, I admit it, I’m totally a dessert girl), which I found it to be delicious and would absolutely have again.
Tip #4: Know that alcohol is not included.
If you want to get the most out of the value of your Sip and Savor pass, keep an eye on the price of items. You can use the tabs for the more expensive items, to make sure you can try them all, and save the remaining tabs for the cheaper desserts or soft drinks. For those 21 and older, there is a wide variety of specialty alcoholic beverages, cocktails, wines, spirits and craft beers available for purchase. You can order something spicier or more sweet and fruity, depending on your tastes and what complements your food selections.
Tip #5: Take the time to check out entertainment deals.
If you’re looking to make the Food & Wine Festival a family affair, there are also live musical performances, art exhibits and craft workshops for kids. The Hollywood Backlot at Hollywood Land presents the adorable and lovable “Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party”, inspired by Disney Junior’s animated series Alice’s Wonderland Bakery, where Rolly Pin, Alice and Princess Rosa are joined by Minnie Mouse as guests aged 3 to 11 are encouraged to express their creativity through cupcake decorating. (Space is limited and you can register 45 minutes before each show time.) You can also catch a fun performance by Jammin’ Chefs, where the chefs become the rhythm section using pots and pans while Chip ‘n’ Dale and their friends are dancing. along, or you can wave and take a picture of Chief Goofy.
Tip #6: Be sure to check out Soarin’ Over California.
At some point in your day, you’ll want to experience Soarin’ Over California, which is currently at DCA for a limited time. Whether you’ve never been on the aerial adventure or it’s been a while since Soarin’ Over the World took over, soaring over the Golden State past an immersive 80-foot projection dome simulating the motion of flight is a thrill. soothing that culminates in a very familiar place. This is my favorite ride at DCA and the iconic orange scent made me very nostalgic.
Overall, this year’s Food & Wine Festival offers such a wide variety of food and drink that there should be enough selections to satisfy everyone from the discerning to the adventurous. And if you still have an extra tab left at the end of your day, consider taking home a spare Snickers Mickey macaron. You will not regret it.
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