The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival returned to the Disneyland Resort today, after a long layoff due to the pandemic.
The festival runs through April 26 at Disney California Adventure and features several new food and beverage items across the event's 12 festival marketplaces, as well as at 13 other participating food locations in the park.
Come walk with me, as I talk a bit about Disney's history with food festivals, as well as try a few of the new items this year.
I would recommend the Honey-Orange Glazed Salmon Salad with greens and citrus vinaigrette [$8] from the Golden Dreams stand, as well as the Mango-Carrot Gazpacho with grilled shrimp [$8.25] from the same location. (Does the gazpacho name imply - or require - tomato? 'Cause this don't have that. Discuss.) I also liked the Glazed BBQ Pork Belly [$8.50] from LA Style. The pork belly was fatty, but that just left the lean parts all the more flavorful.
Not for me would be the Gryo-inspired Flatbread with Impossible ground "beef" [$6.75] from the same location. The chipotle hummus on that just obliterated all other flavors in the dish. Subbing ground Impossible for the kebab that traditionally provided the base for a gyro already left this at a disadvantage for taste and consistency. Adding a strongly flavored hummus to that mix just did it in. You can catch a breath of the Tzatziki at first, but after that, this might as well be a spicy hummus dip with the flatbread.
The Peanut Butter & Jelly Mac [$8.25] from Nuts About Cheese is this year's stunt food candidate. A mash-up of a six-year-old's favorite lunches, the peanut butter flavor reminded me of Space Food Sticks from my childhood. And the Pop Rocks-like strawberry topping just added to the nostalgia. But it's not a trip down memory land that I want to take for more than one bite.
Finally, the Strawberry Cheesecake from Berry Patch [$6.50] was far too sweet for me. Give me a bite of New York cheesecake topped with an actual strawberry over this gelatin concoction any day.
The eight-item Sip and Savor pass is back, at a cost of $57 - or $52 for Magic Key holders. Do the math, and that means you're losing money using a Sip and Savor ticket on anything costing $7 or less for regular guests. But multiple people can share one Sip and Savor pass, so keep the numbers in mind when deciding whether to buy one.
As for entertainment, Disney has the Jammin' Chefs performing in front of the Hyperion Theater on the Hollywood Backlot. Around the corner on the Hollywood Backlot stage, you can find the Alice's Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party, where kids can decorate cupcakes during a show with Minnie Mouse and Disney Junior characters. But for most visitors, the big attraction likely will be the return of Soarin' Over California.
The original version of Soarin' will play in its original home through the end of the festival on April 26.
To buy discounted multi-day tickets to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, including the current SoCal resident three-day deal, please visit our authorized partner's Disneyland tickets page.
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