Planning a trip to the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure? Use this guide to figure out when to go, what to eat, and even what to do with your kids if you bring them! Everything from ways to save money to tips to save time standing in lines! I’ve been there and want to make sure it easier for you to enjoy your visit!
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase via one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Disney also provided me with a few food vouchers but the majority of the food + drinks in this post were purchased on my own dime!
2018 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival
My friends and I just returned from a two-day mission to eat, drink, and try out all of the things at this year’s Disneyland Food and Wine Festival! All because we wanted to bring you the tips, tricks, and reviews so you don’t waste your money, time, or Disney magic on something that isn’t worth it!
To make it easier to navigate this crazy long post, I’ve put together a menu here to help you click around. Just click on the topic you’re looking for to be taken directly to that topic. And when you’re done with the topic, click the “Return to Menu” button at the bottom of the section to hop back up here. Hope it makes it a bit easier than having to scroll up and down!
Disneyland Food and Wine Festival Dates and Hours
The Disneyland Food & Wine Festival is being held at Disney California Adventure Park from March 2 through April 12 in 2018.
The hours of the festival are subject to change per week so make sure to check the Disneyland website and the Food & Wine Festival guide you can pick up when you get into the park!
One thing to note is that the festival typically doesn’t open until a couple of hours after the park. When we were there recently, the park opened at 8AM (even earlier with magic hours) and the food booths didn’t open until 10:30AM. Once the booths are open, they typically stay open until the park closes but again, make sure to check the Disneyland website and/or the weekly guide you can pick up when you walk into the park!
In order to enjoy the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival, you must have a valid ticket to enter Disney California Adventure. You can’t just go into the park to enjoy the festival, you must purchase a ticket. I recommend purchasing tickets through Get Away Today for the best deals!
Food and Wine Festival Annual Passholder Perks
At most of their events, Disneyland offers some sort of exclusive perks that are available only to annual passholders. As a premier passport holder (aka an annual pass for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland), I was able to check out all of the exclusive passholder perks to get the inside scoop!
Sip and Savor Pass
This is probably the biggest perk of all of them! As an annual passholder, you are eligible to purchase a sip and savor pass to use for the festival! The pass costs $45 and comes on a lanyard with eight detachable coupons that can be used for any food items or any of the non-alcoholic drinks at the Food and Wine Festival booths.
Items at the booths range anywhere from $4-$8 so if you’re planning on trying quite a few items in the higher end of that range, this is a no-brainer deal. I’ve noted in my “what to eat and drink” section below which items are the best value for your coupons!
Another fun perk – when you use an annual passholder sip and savor coupon at a booth, they’ll give you a cute little AP button! Each booth has a different button that is designed to represent the booth. This one for instance is from the Citrus Grove booth and has a lemon on it.
The Sip & Savor Pass can be purchased at many of the merchandise vendors throughout Disney California Adventure, but I recommend purchasing it at the AP corner in the Hollywood Backlot because that’s the only place (or so I was told) that also will be able to give you the AP Food & Wine Festival collectible art button!
Each annual passholder can purchase up to 10 Sip & Savor passes, but they do need to show their annual pass to use them when paying so you can’t buy one for a friend who doesn’t have an annual pass. You could buy two however and just order for your friend and have them pay you for the pass to save a bit of money.
Many of the merchandise vendors and the AP store on Buena Vista Street also offer passholder exclusive merchandise you can only buy with a valid annual pass. Hats, shirts, pins, mugs, and all sorts of other goodies with the Food and Wine Festival logo + passholder are available! My favorite? This Tervis cup – they keep your drinks SO cold!
Additional AP Corner Exclusives
The AP Corner also has other fun exclusive opportunities for annual passholders including a special photo opp, character greetings, character photo opps, and a device charging station. The AP corner is located in the Hollywood Backlot, outside Stage 17!
You can get more info on the AP Food and Wine Festival perks as well as blackout days for each passholder type on the Food and Wine Festival passholder page.
Disneyland Food and Wine Festival Entertainment
In addition to the food and all the fun things I talked about for kids above, the Food and Wine Festival is jam packed with festival specifics shows and performances! We didn’t actually get the chance to watch any of these in their entirety during our visit but from what we saw, they all looked fun! Check your festival guide for specific times when you get to the park.
These are just a few of the free, no-reservations entertainment options to look out for:
- Culinary demonstrations where popular chefs prepare mouth-watering dishes (Palisades Stage)
- Seminars celebrating life’s simple joys (and family!) including presentations on Farm to Table, Family Time, and Festival Favorites (Hollywood Backlot)
- Jammin’ Chefs performing musical hits on just pots and pans, they may even have a few surprise guests join their band (Paradise Pier Obelisk)
- Live festival music (Paradise Garden Bandstand + Palisades Stage)
There are also a handful of additional fee, need reservation options you can take advantage of as well. You can find more information on these on the Food and Wine Festival website as well. These sell out quick so if you’re interested in doing them, I recommend booking in advance.
Things for Kids at the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival
The Food and Wine Festival isn’t just for adults! Disney has made sure to include a couple of kid specific activities to keep the fun family-friendly! My favorite is the Jr. Chef activity where kids from ages 3-11 can actually participate in a hands on cooking experience and who knows, maybe even get to cook with Chef Goofy himself!
Kids will also love:
- Wearing the Food and Wine Festival hats you can pick up on Buena Vista Street as you walk in
- Listening to the Jammin’ Chefs perform music on pots and pans! And surprise, Chip & Dale join them for their show!
- Getting their tasting passport stamped as they try different things at the food booths. If you try all of the booths and get your passport stamped, you can take it back for a stamp of completion. Not quite as fun as the stickers provided in the Walt Disney World event passports but still fun!
- Enjoying all of the kid-friendly food – especially the fun float options! What kid doesn’t love an orange cream float? There’s an entire section of “kid-friendly” food options listed in the Food and Wine Festival tasting passport for your reference.
- Watching the family-friendly seminars
Tips and Tricks for Your Food and Wine Festival Visit
These are just a couple of tricks we picked up during our two-day adventure to make your festival visit even better!
Try to avoid eating at the booths during peak eating hours (11:30-1PM) and (6PM-8PM). The lines seemed much longer during these times. The lines were shortest first thing in the morning when the booths opened around 10:30.
If you see a short line at a booth you want to try, take advantage of it. You never know when that line will be long again!
If you’re visiting with multiple people and want to try food at multiple booths, split lines. Have one person stand in on line and the other person stand in the other line and order for each other. That way you don’t both have to stand in line twice, I mean unless you want to of course!
Share items so you can try more without having to buy everything yourself. You can buy another one later if it’s that good you want your own!
If there’s an annual passholder in your group, take advantage of their ability to buy 10 Sip & Savor passes to save everyone money.
Save money on tickets by purchasing through Get Away Today and use that money to enjoy more of the food and drink offerings!
If you buy merchandise you don’t want to carry around, you can leave it at the package check at Elias & Co on Buena Vista for free. They can’t take food but were able to hold our other purchased merchandise. Or if you want to be able to take it in and out, the lockers are $7 for all day and hold a lot of stuff!
Don’t miss out on the pineapple cotton candy. I’m not sure if it’s festival specific or what, but it’s yummy!
Dietary Restrictions or Allergies at the Festival
If someone in your group has allergies, check the back of the Food and Wine Festival tasting passport for a list of foods that work for common dietary lifestyles like gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, etc. I also highly recommend asking at the cashier about any allergens before you purchase any food.
While some of the food items can be customized for allergies like not putting whipped cream on top of a juice, it seems like most things are at least somewhat pre-assembled, which would make it harder to customize.
A Food Guide to the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival
Okay, now here’s what you’ve all probably been waiting for – what to eat and drink at the Food and Wine Festival! I actually explored the Food and Wine Festival with five of my favorite travel blogger buddies, so we tried a lot of the food and drinks. Really there were only a couple of things we didn’t try, and I’ve noted those before.
I’ve included an opinion (either mine or the consensus of the group) on all of the food offered, a best of list, and a best value list below! I hope this helps you make the most of your money at the Food and Wine Festival!
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t drink wine or any alcohol for that matter. If you want recommendations on alcoholic drinks, you’ll want to check out my friend’s posts. But if you want to know about the best non-alcoholic speciality drinks, I am your girl!
I’ve broken the initial guide out by booth to make it easier for you! And I’ve ordered my booths to match what’s in the tasting passport, all about making things simple for you all!
If the item has a ** by it, this is a best value ($7+) to use an annual passholder Sip & Savor Pass. If it has just one *, it is an okay value ($6+). If there is no star, pay out of pocket and save your coupons for something else to get your money’s worth!
Nuts About Cheese (Hollywood Backlot)
Brie Toast with Fig, Mint, and Almond Crumble – this was one of my favorite things I ate all day. The creaminess of the brie, sweetness of the fig, and the crunch of the toast was absolutely delicious. And bonus points for being near a pretty blue wall to photograph this one!
Goat Cheese Fromage Blanc Tartine with Rosemary and Hazelnuts – If you like goat cheese, this is an absolute must-try. I’m a huge goat cheese fan and loved this one. You probably don’t need to get both the brie and goat cheese toasts but if you like cheese, go for it!
Selection of 3 California Cheeses** – We didn’t get a chance to try this one, but if you like cheese it’s worth trying I guess. It just didn’t seem that exciting to me or not as as exciting as the other two cheese dishes here. And I’ll be honest, I’m not sure you can use your AP Sip & Savor pass for this one because it is so expensive. Ask on this one!
LA Style (Hollywood Backlot)
Korean BBQ Beef Short Rib Tacos** – Everyone who tried these said they were fantastic! I didn’t try them because well onions, but I totally trust my friends and my looked good!
Chicken Teriyaki Slider with Spicy DOLE Pineapple Jam* – My friend who tried this said it was one of her favorite eats all day! And it looked delicious! It’s a bit messy so make sure to grab plenty of napkins!
Mexican Chocolate Custard – This was one of the big dessert winners of the festival for me. Like Mexican chocolate normally is, it had a bit of a cinnamon flavor to it and was creamy and just delicious. This is one I don’t recommend sharing, get your own if you’re a chocolate fan.
Mango Agua Fresca – If you like agua frescas, this was a good take on a mango one. They’re a bit of an acquired taste because it’s like adding a fruit puree to water. If you’re expecting something more like a mango smoothie, try Schmoozie’s instead. And while you’re there, get the raspberry whoopie pie I mentioned in my best things to eat Disneyland post!
California Craft Brews (just past Buena Vista Street toward Cars Land)
White Cheddar Lager Soup in a Mini Boudin Sourdough Bowl* – I’m not sure how you can go wrong with a cheese soup in a bread bowl so it’s a good thing Disneyland didn’t. This was one of the items that my friends went back for twice during our Disneyland Food and Wine Festival adventures! It looked amazing but again, onions.
Peppers Cal-iente (just past the Craft Brews Booth)
Jalapeno Popper Mac & Cheese with Bacon* – Mac and cheese with bacon is always good but add in jalapeno poppers and this was another one my friends went back for seconds on! I’m not a jalapeno popper fan, but they said it was delicious! But beware, they aren’t kidding around with the jalapenos, the dish has a bit of a kick. If you’re looking for a mac and cheese for the less spice tolerant, try the one at Garlic Kissed!
Verlasso-Sustainable Salmon Peruvian Poke with Cucumber Lime* – We didn’t try this but if you’re a poke fan, definitely give it a shot. Pretty sure this would be the number one of my husband’s to try list if we go back next month!
Watermelon Lemonade – This was my favorite non-alcohol drink of the festival, just ahead of the strawberry and and pineapple float. The watermelon flavored was pronounced enough to make a difference but not enough that it tasted too strong. It was refreshing and delicious not too sweet!
Strawberry Patch (right across from the Cars Land Sign)
Strawberry & Coconut Rice Frushi with Sweet Greek Yogurt Wasabi Sauce – I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually remember that this has wasabi sauce until I re-read the name right now while writing the post. There’s no real heat to this dish if you’re scared away by the wasabi. I wanted to love this one because I love candy sushi, but it was just okay. Mine was a bit mushy and nothing special.
Watsonville Strawberry Pie – Out of the two strawberry desserts, I enjoyed this one more. It was good but not amazing. It’s basically a mini strawberry + custard pie in a sweet flaky crust. The thing that threw me off most were the seedy things on the outside of the pie crust. They looked like seeds and felt like seeds but didn’t taste like seeds. Overall good but not great.
Strawberry Pineapple Float with Strawberry Popping Pearls* – This was the big winner of the Strawberry Patch for me! It’s basically strawberry and pineapple juice combined with vanilla ice cream then topped with whipped cream and these little jelly strawberry balls. It’s fun, delicious, and my second favorite drink from the festival. And it’s not just because my drink came topped with a hidden Mickey!
Avocado Time (just past the Pacific Wharf Entrance)
Avocado & Pepper Jack Petite Guacamole Burger** – In the words of my good friend Patty, this burger was sooooooooo good! She says that about pretty much everything, but I believe her in this case because she kept asking to go back for a second!
Spiced Oumph! on Pita Avocado Hummus & Garlic Sauce* – We were told that this was THE food to try at the festival. I don’t like avocado, but my friend who tried it said it was delicious. And it’s unique, definitely worth a stop!
Avocado Ice Cream Bar – I already mentioned I don’t like avocado, but this didn’t taste anything like avocado. It was light, creamy, and absolutely delicious. I honestly bought it thinking I was going to try a bite and pass it on to my friends and ended up eating the entire thing myself. Makes me want to make avocado ice cream at home now!
Eat Your Greens (main walkway between Cars Land and the Pier)
Grilled Asparagus Caesar Salad – Warning! This dish is a cold dish. I know I should’ve realized that since it said salad, but I got confused by the grilled part. I don’t like cold asparagus, so this wasn’t my favorite. But my friend who doesn’t mind cold asparagus said it was good. And I can tell you that the croutons and dressing on top were good! That’s as much as I tasted.
Compressed Asian Cucumbers with Green Sauce, Toasted Almonds, and Sea Beans* – Another one that my friend said was absolutely amazing. It doesn’t look pretty but apparently tasted much better than it looked!
Health-Ade Beet Kombucha with Wild Berry FONZ* – If you like beet kombucha, this might be your favorite drink ever. For me and the other three girls who tried it, this was not our favorite drink. It was actually my least favorite drink out of all of the ones I tried at the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival! I tried a couple of sips then lapped the wild berry foam off the top before tossing it. Apparently the alcoholic sangria version was incredible though!
Citrus Grove (main walkway between Cars Land and the Pier)
Citrus-Brined Pork Roast with Tangy Barbecue Sauce and Lemon Pepper Slaw** – My friend Karen from Desert Chica tried this and said it was good! The flavor combo sounds good so if you’re a pork fan, definitely give it a try.
Crispy Orange Chicken & Rice with a Garlic Cracker** – This was one of my personal favorite dishes of the festival but that might just be because I didn’t try too many of the savory dishes since they had onions. I wish it had been a bit warmer and had more sauce, but the flavors were good, and I like the addition of the mandarin oranges to add a little more juice.
Meyer Lemon Macaron – While this may not have been the cutest macaron I tried at the festival, I’d have to say it was the one I enjoyed the most. The citrusy lemon flavor was good and surprise, there’s some sort of berry filling in the center!
Kayla’s Cake Macarons
This place isn’t in your tasting passport and to be honest, I’m not 100% sure it’s part of the festival. But I don’t remember seeing it when I was trying to find the best things to eat at Disneyland in January, so I’m going with it being part of the festival.
There were too many flavors of macarons to list here, but all of the ones I tried other than Cookie Monster were good. And where else can you get a unicorn macaron? And a galactic one with edible stars. It’s definitely worth getting a couple to try while you stand in line at Citrus Grove.
I Love Artichokes (in the circle by Little Mermaid Ride)
Grilled & Chilled Artichoke Hearts with Romesco* – This was another one of those odd man out items we didn’t get around to trying. After my experience with the grilled but actually chilled asparagus Caesar salad, I decided to skip the chilled artichoke hearts. If you like chilled artichokes, this may be your favorite dish out of all. If you try it, leave me a comment and let me know!
Fried Artichoke Carbonara* – This was my personal favorite dish out of all of the dishes. Bread artichokes fried then mixed up with a carbonara sauce and topped with parmesan cheese, bacon, and some parsley. Oh and there was a bit of heat in there somewhere as well. It was as my friend Patty says sooooo good! Seriously.
Bourbon Chocolate Whoopie Pie – This might have been one of the best whoopie pies I’ve ever had for one reason – the chilled creamy chocolate mousse in the center. I don’t have any idea how they chilled the center without chilling the entire pie, but it made for one delicious combination. And I don’t know what bourbon tastes like, but this just tasted like pure chocolate deliciousness to me.
Cluck-A-Doodle-Moo (past Little Mermaid toward the pier)
Grilled Harris Ranch Beef Tenderloin Slider with Chimmichurri Sauce** – What the description doesn’t say is that this beef tenderloin slider is topped with pickled onions. Both my friends said the tenderloin was tender and flavorful but disagreed on the onions. One friend loved them and one friend thought there were too many. If you’re not a huge fan of picked onions, ask for them to go light on the onions to balance out the flavor!
Salt & Beer Vinegar Parmesan Chicken Wings** – As my friend Karen put it, these was flavorful and delicious without being super saucy. The flavor was baked into the wings instead of poured on top with a sauce. We all mostly agreed that these were yummy and one of the must-try options at the festival.
Oikos Green Nonfat Yogurt Panna Cotta with Red Raspberry Compote – I’m not normally a huge panna cotta fan, but I actually really enjoyed this. It was creamy on the top and had a fruity center that combined nicely with the yogurt. It’s not really the typical panna cotta you’d imagine but still a nice light and refreshing dessert.
Orange-Vanilla Cream Float with Whipped Cream* – This was good, but there’s nothing particularly special about it other than the pieces of pound cake on top. It’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with Orange Fanta soda and then topped again with whipped cream. It’s a refreshing drink and kids will enjoy it, but there are better and more unique ways to spend your money. If you want a float, try the strawberry pineapple one at Strawberry Patch instead.
Off the Cob (Near the Golden Zephyr)
Sweet Corn Nuggets with Beef Chili* – My friend Kim who tried these said that the corn nuggets were more creamy than she expected. I was kind of expecting something like mini cornbread nuggets you’d find on mini corn dogs, but apparently they were creamier than that. This was okay good but not great but if you want to try anything at this booth, try this. The rest of the booth was a total disappointment for us. I wish that they sold the corn nuggets separately from the beef chili for anyone who isn’t a chili fan.
Shrimp Boil Tacos with Andouille Sausage and Fresh Corn** – These were a letdown after being one of the things we were looking forward to most at the festival. I’d planned to try them myself but let my friend Leslie be the guinea pig instead, and she said they were okay but not amazing. And they had too much cilantro for her so I’d definitely say if you’re one of the people who thinks cilantro tastes like soap, I’d skip these.
Caramel Popcorn Crispy Treat – Kids might think is fun, but I thought it was gross. It was almost like the cereal Corn Pops turned into a rice krispy treat then dipped in chocolate and caramel, but done wrong. I’m a big sweets person and only took one bite of these before getting rid of it. And I skipped the picture because it just wasn’t appetizing looking, sorry!
Popcorn Lemonade with Whipped Cream and Candy Corn Garnish – I was so excited to try this drink. It was definitely the most creative non-alcoholic at the festival. There are some things that should not be combined. Apparently popcorn and lemonade is one of them. I’ll leave it at that.
Garlic Kissed (Near the Golden Zephyr)
Creamy Mac & Cheese with Garlic Bread Crumble** – This was another one in my personal top 3. Like many of the dishes, I wish it’d been a little warmer but you’re getting food that’s getting pre-assembled in booths, so whatever. The flavors were good, the garlic bread crumble was delicious, and this was a great alternative mac and cheese option for anyone who doesn’t love jalapeno poppers.
I still prefer the mac and cheese in a cone that I mentioned in my Disneyland food post over this though!
Black Garlic Soy-Braised Pork Belly Banh Mi** – This was one of the few foods that we didn’t try. Let me know how it is if you try it!
If the item has a ** by it, this is a best value ($7+) to use an annual passholder Sip & Savor Pass. If it has just one *, it is an okay value ($6+). If there is no star, pay out of pocket and save your coupons for something else to get your money’s worth!
Don’t forget to pin this post for when you go to the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival!
The Disneyland Food & Wine Festival Top 16
If you’re only going to try a few things at the Disney California Food and Wine Festival, try these! Based on a group consensus and my own personal opinions, these were the top things at the Food and Wine Festival this year. And as a disclaimer, these are just our opinions. Everyone feels differently about food and drinks, so if you disagree – sorry! These are not in order of best to worst, just things we recommend trying!
- Brie Toast (Nuts About Cheese)
- Korean BBQ Short Rib Tacos** (LA Style)
- White Cheddar Lager Soup* (Craft Brews)
- Jalapeno Popper Mac & Cheese* (Peppers Cali-Ente) OR Mac & Cheese with Garlic Crumbles** (Garlic Kissed)
- Avocado Guacamole Burger** (Avocado Time)
- Spiced Oumph on Pita with Avocado Hummus and Garlic Sauce* (Avocado Time)
- Compressed Asian Cucumbers* (Eat Your Greens)
- Crispy Orange Chicken** (Citrus Grove)
- Fried Artichoke Carbonara* (I Love Artichokes)
- Salt & Vinegar Wings** (Cluck-A-Doodle-Moo)
Sweets & Drinks
- Mexican Chocolate Custard (LA Style)
- Watermelon Lemonade (Peppers Cali-ente)
- Strawberry & Pineapple Float* (Strawberry Patch)
- Avocado Ice Cream Bar (Avocado Time)
- Bourbon Chocolate Whoopie Pie (I Love Artichokes)
- Kayla’s Cake Macarons (for cuteness factor alone – by Citrus Grill)
Printable Foodie Guide to the Disneyland Food & Wine Festival
I’ve created a little printable food and drink guide that’s perfectly sized to fit into your tasting passport with a quick guide on what you have to try, what you can skip, and what’s a good value using the same ** scale! There’s also a few blanks where you can write in some of your own favorites if there are other things that sound good you want to try!
Enter your name and email address in the form below to get a printable copy. If you don’t see the form below, click here to get to it. Once you submit the form, you’ll be taken directly to the printable PDF and you’ll receive an email version as well for later reference.