March 1, 2024, 7:09 PM ·

The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival is back at the Disneyland Resort. The food festival runs daily through April 22 at DCA, with 10 festival marketplaces serving up a variety of tastes and drinks, with more special dishes available at restaurants throughout the park.

Laurie and I headed out to the park for Disney’s festival press event this afternoon. Armed with a provided Sip & Savor Pass apiece, our goal was to try as many dishes as we could, to help you get a better sense when trying to navigate the festival’s menu.Disney is using digital Sip & Savor Passes now. You still get the plastic card on a lanyard, but there are no more tear-off tab coupons. Instead, cast members will scan a bar code on the back of your pass, and you will type in a PIN – revealed underneath a sticker on the pass – to confirm your purchase. The eight-tasting pass costs $61 this year, with a new four-tasting pass available for $31.Note that although this is a “Food & Wine” festival, the Sip & Savor pass cannot be used for the purchase of any alcoholic beverages.All that said, here’s what we got.
A $141 lunchPrices below are for a la carte purchases. Starting at the bottom left:Cheese Pizza-flavored Wings with Ranch dip from Cluck-a-Doodle-Moo [$8.50]Cheeseburger Bao with Thousand Island Dressing with Grilled Onions, Pickle and Tomato Relish from California Craft Brews [$8.50]Impossible Chicken Parm Bites with Tomato and Cheese Sauces and Grated Parmesan from Earth Eats [$8.50]Impossible Beef Stroganoff, also from Earth Eats [$9]In the middle row, starting from the left:Plant-based Baja-style Fish Taco with Cabbage Slaw, Cilantro-Lime Crema and Pico from LA Style [$7.25]Grilled Top Sirloin with Roasted Garlic-Gruyère Smashed Potatoes and Black Garlic Chimichurri from Garlic Kissed [$9]Carbonara Garlic Mac & Cheese with Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Peppered Bacon from D-Lish [$9]Shrimp Papas Locas with Cheddar-Bacon Potatoes, Jalepeño Cheese Sauce and Chipotle Shrimp from Peppers Cali-ente [$8.75]BBQ Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese from Nuts About Cheese [$9]

And up top:SmartWater and Dasani water [$5.25 and $4.75]Carnitas-style Pork Belly with Esquites Corn Mac Salad featuring Tajín Habanero from LA Style [$9]Olive Oil Cake glazed with Lemon Curd and topped with Vanilla Bean Chantilly, finished with Fresh Candied Lemons, Strawberry Crunch and Lemon-Lime Gelée from D-Lish [$7]Pistachio Cheesecake from Paradise Garden Grill [$6.75]Raspberry Almond Cake from Uncork California [$7.50]Red Wine Flight with Cline Old Vine Zinfindel, Fess Parker Frontier Red Wine Blend, Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon from Uncork California [$19 – no Sip & Savor Pass]Blueberry Pancake Cold Brew with Joffrey’s Mexico Origin Coffee, Maple Syrup, Brown Butter & Demerara Syrups and Oat Milk, with Blueberry Sweet Cream, garnished with Cinnamon-flavored Cereal Crumble, from Golden Dreams [$7.25]Our runaway favorite was the Sirloin, which was served in bite-sized pieces cooked to a medium well by the time we got everything set up to eat. But it’s the accompaniments that make this dish. Like The Dude’s rug, the chimichurri brought it all together, adding an extra layer of flavor to the smashed potatoes. With garlic and cheese already in there, that combo might seem like it was tempting a culinary overkill, but it all came together and just worked for both of us.In second place, Laurie liked the Carbonara Garlic Mac & Cheese, while I chose the Cheeseburger Bao. I think these were both nostalgia picks for each of us, with Laurie liking the fresh taste of the carbonara and me being an eternal sucker for the tastes of Thousand Island and pickles. Sure, it’s just a Chinese In-N-Out, but I have zero problem with that.In third place, we both chose the Carnitas-style Pork Belly. Let us warn you, however, that the Tajín Habanero delivers quite a kick a moment after you eat the accompanying macaroni. For some, that spice will nicely cut the richness of the pork belly. But if you have tummy issues, it might be too much. That said, we both ignored the mac and enjoyed every bite of the flavorful pork belly.As for desserts, we both preferred the Olive Oil Cake for its satisfying flavor that was not overly sweet. The Raspberry Almond Cake was okay, but sweeter and not as flavorful as the Olive Oil Cake. The Pistachio Cheesecake was a miss for us, as neither of us got any flavor of pistachio.The only other miss among the lot for us was the Fish Taco. As far as fake meat goes, the ground beef in the Stroganoff was fine, though lost in the mushroom flavor, and the chicken in the Parm Bites seemed okay, too – though, again, the Impossible protein just lacks the flavor to stand up to the tomato and cheese. But the fake fish was an “aw, hell nah” from me. To be fair, though, the strong cilantro flavor here left me feeling like I was eating laundry detergent. (Yes, I have that gene.)As for the rest, the wings were okay. The meat was cooked just right, but the pizza dust did not do anything for either of us. But we did prefer them to the shrimp, which we both thought got lost under an avalanche of salt from the potatoes and cheese sauce, which tasted mostly of canned jalapeños.Laurie rated the Cline Old Vine her favorite in the wine flight, but decided that it was too late in the day for the double caffeine and sugar punch of the latte. Ditch the provided straw if you want any of the blueberry flavor from the creme. Our recommendation? If you don’t want to invest in the Sip & Savor Pass, which may be used on multiple trips before the end of the 2024 festival, we recommend getting the Grilled Top Sirloin and Olive Oil Cake for a lovely and satisfying $16 meal. Add a full glass of the Cline Old Vine at $17 if you want the complete “Food & Wine” experience.Elsewhere at the festival, DCA will be staging a variety of upcharge beverage tastings at Sonoma Terrace, as well as winemaker receptions at the Carthay Circle. And finally, Soarin’ Over California is back for the festival, too.Get ticketsFor a variety of discounts on Disneyland Resort theme park tickets, including a three-day deal for Southern California residents that starts as low as $70 per day, visit our partner’s Disneyland theme parks tickets page.To keep up to date with more theme park news, please sign up for Theme Park Insider’s weekly newsletter.

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