By Emily Sims, Magical Kinda Mama
Emily Sims of Magical Kinda Mama is a Disneyland Resort expert. From tips on traveling to the Parks with little ones to the best spots to eat and everything in between, Emily offers insider knowledge to make your next trip effortless.
The 2020 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival is underway! This year’s festival offers more days than ever to enjoy all of the delectable flavors of beautiful California.
The festival is happening now through April 21, 2020. The Food and Wine Festival is the place to be for those who love to eat, drink and be magical! There is nothing quite like being surrounded by all things Disney while indulging in tons of unique and limited-time eats. Not to mention all of the special entertainment! There is no right or wrong way to make your way through the festival, but there are certainly some things to know in order to have the ultimate experience.
Festival Marketplace Kiosks
The best way to start the day at Disney California Adventure’s Food and Wine Festival (kiosks open at 10:30 AM) is to pick up a free Festival Map and Tasting Passport, which can be found throughout the marketplace. The map is the best tool to help locate each kiosk along with entertainment and food demonstration locations, and the tasting passport is where the full Food and Wine Festival menu is printed, as well as other details like gluten-free and kid-friendly options.
This year’s Food and Wine Festival is home to 13 themed marketplace kiosks that offer a variety of food and beverage options inspired by the flavors of California. 80% of this year’s food items are brand new and 100% of this year’s beverage offerings are new!
In addition to the new food and beverages, each kiosk has an updated marquee, some with features that move. But the newness doesn’t stop there! Four of the 13 kiosks have Instagram photo-worthy walls. You can find these walls at Cluck-a-Doodle-Moo, California Craft Brews, I Heart Artichokes and Peppers Cali-Ente. Don't miss these photo opportunities.
13 marketplace kiosks include:
● Avocado Time
● Berry Patch
● California Craft Brews
● Garlic Kissed
● Golden Dreams
● I Heart Artichokes
● LA Style
● Nuts About Cheese
● Off the Cob
● Once in a Melon
● Peppers Cali-ente
● Uncork California
Additionally, there are specialty Food and Wine Festival offerings at Sonoma Terrace, Paradise Garden Grill, the Festival Beer Garden, Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, Pacific Wharf Coffee Cart, Hollywood Lounge and Schmoozies.
The lines at the marketplace kiosks can get long, but not to worry. Find the shortest line and order all of your food from one kiosk, then pick up each food and beverage item from the kiosks you ordered from. Tip: the shortest line is often the I Heart Artichokes kiosk because it’s somewhat tucked away near Grizzly River Run, located off the main walkway through the marketplace.
Sip and Savor Pass
The Sip and Savor Pass is a great way to enjoy select food and beverage offerings throughout the Food and Wine Festival all while saving a little money. Use the eight coupons that are attached to the pass on select food and beverage offerings during the course of your visit! Sip & Savor Passes are $56 ($51 for Disneyland Annual Passholders) and are available for purchase at various shops in Disney California Adventure, all of the marketplace kiosks, and the Festival Welcome Center. The coupons expire on April 21, 2020 (the last day of the festival).
One of the best things about Disney California Adventure’s Food and Wine Festival is the limited-time entertainment.
Some of my favorite entertainment includes:
- Jammin’ Chefs featuring Chef Mac-Aroni, Chip ‘n’ Dale and a few talented Sous Chefs.
- Showtimes are daily 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:15 PM, 2:15 PM, 3:45 PM and 4:45 PM.
- The entertainment takes place in front of the obelisk near The Little Mermaid - Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction.
- Live music at Paradise Gardens Park - the live music starts in the later afternoon.
- Live music at Paradise Gardens (far west end of the park near Paradise Garden Grill).
- Chef with Chef Goofy at the Hollywood Backlot Stage.
- Showtimes are on Friday at 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM and 2:15 PM and on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM.
- Kids ages 3-11 can be a part of the show and help bake magical oatmeal raisin cookies.
- A line to participate forms near the stage about 20-30 minutes before showtime. Participation is on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you have young kiddos, stop by the craft and coloring tables located right by the stage to get creative while watching the show.
Speaking of Chef Goofy, this is the first year that there is a meet and greet with everyone’s favorite Goof in between Jr. Chef shows. He is located near the Hollywood Backlot Stage.
Food and Wine Festival Merchandise
Brand new Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival themed merchandise is available at select shops. Some of the new souvenirs include Minnie ears, a spirit jersey, shirts, hats, pins, coasters, olive oil and vinegar bottles, kitchen necessities, artwork and more.
Souvenirs are available at two outdoor festival merchandise stands (one near Cars Land and another near The Little Mermaid - Ariel’s Undersea Adventure) and at a couple of shops like Los Feliz Five & Dime on Buena Vista Street and The Studio Store on the Hollywood Backlot.
Food and Beverage Demonstrations
For anyone who enjoys cooking shows, the live food and beverage demonstrations and seminars are a must. There are a number of free demonstrations, seminars and tastings that occur throughout the course of the festival, but some of these events require an additional ticket or reservation. Check out the Food and Wine Festival home page on Disneyland.com for more details on reserving/purchasing tickets for certain events.
One of my favorite free cooking demonstrations is Family Time with Chef Daniella Malfitano on the Hollywood Backlot Stage. Chef Daniella cooks up a delicious and easy family-friendly recipe with the participation of two volunteer audience members. It’s a lot of fun and encourages families to get together to cook in the kitchen.
A new addition to this year’s Food and Wine Festival that I absolutely love is the culinary demonstrations with Disney Chefs. This takes place on the Hollywood Backlot Stage on Sundays at 5:30 PM. A few of the Disney Chefs include the Chef of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Disneyland Resort Candy Maker, Executive Pastry Chef of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Area Chef of Lamplight Lounge, Executive Chef of Disneyland Park and more. I imagine plenty of magic and inspiration during these demonstrations.
Soarin’ Over California is Back!
Soarin’ Over California has returned for a limited time during the Food and Wine Festival. So exciting! Can you smell the sweet scent of a California orange grove while reading this?! Be sure to get a FASTPASS for this popular attraction.
Annual Passholders can enjoy an extra hour after the park closes to ride Soarin’ Over California on March 11, 18 & 25, 2020!
Downtown Disney District
This year, the Downtown Disney District has joined in on the Food and Wine Festival fun by offering some limited time foods and beverages at various restaurants.
- Ballast Point Brewing Co.
- Catal Restaurant
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
- Splitsville Luxury Lanes
- Salt & Straw
As you can see, right now is a great time of year to visit the Disneyland Resort not only because of the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival but also the brand new Magic Happens Parade recently debuted at Disneyland park. Lots of fun, food and quality family and friend time awaits.