December 5, 2023

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Disneyland Food and Wine Festival: Everything you must know

Is it the “Happiest Place on Earth” or the most delicious? All year long, Disneyland Resort is a culinary hotbed complete with forays into fine dining, unique snacks and immersive experiences. Visiting the Anaheim parks and going on a culinary journey can be as thrilling as a spin on Space Mountain. But the foodie fascination doesn’t stop there. Each spring, the resort puts its culinary bona fides on full display at the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival. The event’s cornerstone is 12 outdoor marketplaces that dish out dozens of sips and bites inspired by the abundant offerings of the Golden State.

Returning favorites — like an adorable Mickey Mouse-shaped macaron — dazzle on the menus, along with some soon-to-be crowd-pleasers, like an artichoke pizzetta with sun-dried tomatoes and lemon olive oil. The masterminds of Disneyland’s culinary team aren’t afraid to pull out all the stops with jaw-dropping creations for a true smorgasbord of expertly curated bites.

If you’re planning to attend this year’s Disneyland Food and Wine Festival, running now through April 25, here are 11 things you should know. 

Disneyland Food and Wine Festival access is included with park admission

The Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival is included with regular theme park admission. Those planning to visit will need to secure park reservations at Disney California Adventure Park, located directly across from Disneyland Park, to guarantee entrance. Festival food and beverages can be purchased a la carte with most food items priced between $5 and $9.

There are over 100 special items to try 

There’s always something new to try at the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival, enticing guests to return year after year. The menus are made up of small plates inspired by California-grown ingredients, like peppers and avocados, and feature a mix of returning favorites alongside new dishes. Detailed festival marketplaces each carry their own distinct theme, like Nuts About Cheese, with many taking inspiration from the state, like LA Style and Uncork California, and typically offer several small plates and beverages.

Both sweet and savory dishes can be paired with a selection of wine, beer, cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks. Cocktails and mocktails also grace the menus, like the Flower & Bees, made with honey, hibiscus and lavender syrups. The spirited journey includes beers from area family-run and small craft breweries in addition to big-name brewers found throughout the state. On top of exclusive marketplaces, existing food and beverage locations in the theme park, like fan-favorite Lamplight Lounge, offer festival specialities alongside their normal menus.

Wine lovers will be in heaven

While the festival offers plenty beyond wine, Disney’s attention to detail is expressed via its expertly curated wine selections. Disney has long-standing relationships with many of the top winemakers in California. The Disney Family of Wines is a celebration of California-based wine estates owned by figures who play key roles in Disney’s movie history, like Skywalker Vineyards, owned by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas.

Coffee drinkers will find bold new pours

Disney’s multi-decade partnership with Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co. means the parks can offer coffee lovers drinks that go well beyond the basic latte. Each year, the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival sees creative versions of your caffeine boost — like a horchata cold brew with house-made rice and cinnamon, as well as a new blueberry pancake cold brew.

The polarizing Elote Paleta, found at Golden Dreams festival marketplace at Disney California Adventure Park, is a sweet corn paleta with parmesan crema, chile-lime seasoning, corn crunch and cilantro. The frozen treat is available as part of the 2023 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival.

David Nguyen for Disneyland Resort

Some of the menu items are downright bizarre

Each festival’s most polarizing food items — like the recent peanut butter and jelly macaroni — are sure to draw mixed reactions on social media. This year, a new elote paleta is sure to draw attention. The sweet corn flavored paleta is a mind boggling, savory twist on an ice pop and is topped with parm crema, chile-lime seasoning, crunchy corn pieces and cilantro.

Meatless diets aren’t left out

Disney’s partnership with Impossible brand plant-based meats makes it easy for those who don’t eat meat to enjoy the festival. These inspired options include Impossible pork al pastor tacos with grilled pineapple and avocado-tomatillo sauce. The culinary options are perfect for those with dietary restrictions or for carnivores who are curious to try something new without placing a big order. During the festival, Paradise Garden Grill features an entirely plant-based menu with Impossible gyro fries, bulgogi fried rice and peach-blueberry cobbler.



Purchase a Sip and Savor Pass for extra savings

For some major savings and convenience, the festival’s Sip and Savor Pass allows guests to sample eight different foods and nonalcoholic drinks with a single purchase. These passes can be bought throughout Disney California Adventure Park and can be used solo or shared among your group.

Valid throughout the entirety of the festival, the pass doubles as a souvenir because the redemption tabs are attached to a commemorative credential lanyard. Prices for the Sip and Savor Pass typically costs around $60 with discounts available for Magic Key holders and Disney Visa card holders. Savings can typically be found when using the tabs to redeem for items priced over $7.

Minnie Mouse surprises guests at Alice's Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party. The show returns during the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival at Disneyland Resort.

Minnie Mouse surprises guests at Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party. The show returns during the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival at Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland Resort/Christian Thompson

Fun classes and seminars are held across the resort

If you’re looking to round out your festival experience, there are several ticketed experiences you should try not to miss. The Disneyland Hotel plays host to the wildly popular Trader Sam’s Tiki Mixology Seminar where guests become budding bartenders as they handcraft one of the tiki bar’s signature cocktails, the Hippopoto Mai-Tai. The Food and Wine Experience at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is a pairing event curated by chefs, sommeliers and art historians offering intimate time with the people and stories behind the dishes.

Select seminars held in the park feature local and celebrity chefs, while the younger festivalgoers can enjoy a special Junior Chef experience, Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party.

Soarin’ changes during the festival

Soarin’ Around the World receives a special treatment during the festival as it reverts to its beloved predecessor, Soarin’ Over California. Before an 80-foot projection dome, riders soar through the air while enjoying the vast landscapes of the Golden State. Visiting during the festival is the only time to experience this opening-day attraction as it used to exist.

General scenery at the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

General scenery at the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

Disneyland Resort/Christian Thompson

The festival extends beyond the park’s gates

No theme park ticket? No problem. Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival extends into Downtown Disney. At the free-to-enter dining and entertainment district, several restaurants, like Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, get in on the action by whipping up their own creations offered only during festival dates.

You’ll find special entertainment and merchandise

Aside from the foodie fun that awaits, the festival also features live entertainment and exclusive merchandise. Meet the captivating Chef Goofy or enjoy live music performances, like the Jammin’ Chefs, that set the tone for the event. Exclusive branded merchandise, from commemorative Mickey ears to Spirit Jerseys, is also available and unique to each year’s festival.