Disneyland Food and Wine Festival Tips & Tricks Guide
While the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival at California Adventure Park was cut short in 2020 and canceled altogether for 2021, the delectable celebration is back in a big way – think limited-time menus, chef-led demos, sommelier seminars, character encounters and more – for 2022. Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival is already in full swing, running from March 4 to April 26.
So, if you’re ready to savor the flavors of California, read on while we break down all the delicious details of this foodie festival.
The Disneyland Food and Wine Festival, California Adventure’s Culinary Celebration
Along with rides and characters, if there’s one thing that excites guests of the Disney Parks, it’s food. Just look online at the breathless bite-by-bite descriptions of Disney’s newest seasonal snacks and endless artfully taken social media photos of dishes and drinks before digging in if you don’t believe us.
Now, while Walt Disney World certainly delivers when it comes to tons of good food, it’s Disneyland that consistently brings home the bacon with its ever-evolving smorgasbord of delicious dining options. And really, considering that California is home to some of the best food in the country (Sorry, Florida – key lime pie, conch fritters and stone crabs are tasty, too!), it’s no surprise that Disney’s west-coast outpost continues to impress food-loving guests.
Of course, aside from eating your way through the best sit-down and quick-service restaurants at Disneyland, there’s no better way to sample it all than with a visit to the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival. Styled after the massively popular Epcot Food and Wine Festival, California Adventure Park’s version is an ode to the Golden State’s thriving gastronomic scene.
From dishes and drinks starring fresh, California-grown ingredients to locally brewed beers and Napa Valley wines, you’ll find it all at the Festival Marketplaces. But, that’s not all – you can even sharpen your cooking skills and hone your palate during demonstrations, seminars and receptions led by some of the Golden State’s brightest culinary minds. Not to mention all the kid-friendly activities that are also available, like Disney character experiences and cupcake decorating.
Best of all, unless you want a seat at one of the separately ticketed events, most festival offerings are included in with your theme park admission (along with whatever food or drinks you’d like to buy), such as:
Access to special dining at the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival Marketplaces
Culinary demonstrations (weekends only)
Limited-time return of Soarin’ Over California
Exclusive merchandise (not included)
And other foodie and family-friendly activities inspired by the Golden State’s bounty
Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival Marketplaces & Other Special Dining
It wouldn’t be a California Adventure festival without a buffet of exclusive eats to choose from. For the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival, each of the themed kiosks called Festival Marketplaces honors different California-grown ingredients, from avocados to wine. Just keep in mind that portion sizes are on the small side, perfect for sampling and sharing. And for all the vegans, vegetarians and folks traveling with children, never fear – plenty of plant-based and kid-friendly options are available.
Just like other seasonal soirees held at the park, most of this food-filled California Adventure festival is centered around Paradise Gardens Park. However, you will also find some Festival Marketplaces sprinkled near Buena Vista Street and the entrance to Avengers Campus, as well as in Hollywood Land and Grizzly Peak. 2022 Disney California Food and Wine Festival Marketplaces include:
California Craft Brews
I Heart Artichokes
Nuts About Cheese
So, what about other California Adventure dining options? Do any restaurants have special menus for the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival? While the Festival Marketplaces are definitely the stars of the gastronomic show, you can also tuck into seasonal small plates and sips at many Disney California Adventure restaurants, including Sonoma Terrace, Paradise Garden Grill and more.
Festival Foodie Tip: All event-exclusive dishes and drinks can be ordered from any of the Festival Marketplaces. For example, you don’t need to go to Avocado Time to order the Frozen Guacamole. This can be a great way to beat the crowds if the booths you want to try are especially busy or you’re planning a complete festival feast with several items from different marketplaces. Simply order everything you want from the booth with the shortest line, then take your receipt to each to pick up your haul.
Sample It All and Save Some Cash with a Sip and Savor Pass
Disneyland guests planning to eat and drink all day long, into sharing or with big appetites may want to think about buying a Sip and Savor Pass. Priced at $57 (or $52 for Magic Key holders) for eight food and drink entitlements (non-alcoholic beverages only – for the best bars at Disneyland, check out our drinking guide), this epicurean passport is a convenient way to try everything on your list.
As we mentioned, your Sip and Savor Pass lanyard comes with eight tabs which can be exchanged for small plates and non-alcoholic drinks at Festival Marketplaces and participating restaurants at California Adventure. Since tasting portions tend to cost around $7 to $8 each (or $6 for smaller sweets and treats), if you play your cards right and stick to more expensive items, you can even save some money.
Along with the Festival Marketplaces listed above, you can also use your Disneyland Sip and Savor Pass for tasting-size, festival-exclusive items at the following California Adventure restaurants and snack carts:
Churros near Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Festival Food and Beverage Cart
Lucky Fortune Cookery
Pacific Wharf Café
Paradise Garden Grill
Pym Tasting Lab
Festival Foodie Tip: Unless the line is super-short or non-existent, don’t purchase your Disneyland Sip and Savor Pass at the first place that has it. Many merchandise locations around California Adventure Park and all of the food booths sell this handy-dandy dining passport. So, there’s no need to waste a bunch of time in line to buy yours right when you enter the park. Just have a little patience and you’ll be rewarded little to no wait.
Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival 2022 Demos, Seminars & More
Tantalize your tastebuds and feed your mind at a line-up of chef-led culinary demonstrations, libations-centered seminars and fascinating winemaker receptions featuring various California vintners and thoughtfully selected food pairings.
Level Up Your Cooking Game at Free Culinary Demonstrations (Weekends Only)
Held exclusively on Saturdays and Sundays (typically at Hollywood Land Backlot Stage at 4:30 PM and 5:30 PM, the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival’s culinary demonstrations are a treat for skilled cooks and beginners alike – and, best of all, they’re completely free.
While no samples are provided, these hands-off cooking lessons headlined by visiting, local and Disney chefs are a great way to perfect your skills and expand your recipe repertoire. Here’s the schedule:
Culinary Demonstrations with Disney Chefs
Saturday, March 5 – Stephanie Yee, Pastry Sous Chef
Sunday, March 6 – Toby Hollis, Disney California Adventure Park Chef
Saturday, March 12 – Brenden Neumayr, Elena Aranda, Alexander Fuentz Cardenas, Angie Arenas; Festivals Beverage Team
Saturday, March 26 – Chris Maggetti, Executive Chef
Sunday, March 27 – Moises Carranza, Festivals Chef
Saturday, April 2 – Alex Flores, Chef de Cuisine
Sunday, April 3 – Gracie Gomez, Pastry Sous Chef
Saturday, April 9 – Markus Meza, Candy Maker
Sunday, April 10 – Markus Meza, Candy Maker
Saturday, April 23 – John State, Culinary Director
Sunday, April 24 – Christina Orejel, Pastry Sous Chef
Culinary Demonstrations with Visiting & Local Chefs
Saturday, March 5 – Chef Steve Kling
Sunday, March 6 – Chef Soon Teoh & Khim Teoh
Saturday, March 12 – Chef Wing Lam
Sunday, March 13 – Chef Jamie Gwen
Sunday, March 13 – Rafael Molina
Saturday, March 19 – Chef Bret Thompson
Sunday, March 20 – Chef Shaun O’Neale
Saturday, March 26 – Chef Alejandra Tapia
Sunday, March 27 – Chef Omar Fierro
Saturday, April 2 – Chef Michael Rossi
Sunday, April 3 – Chef Rich Sweeney
Saturday, April 9 – Chef Shachi Mehra
Sunday, April 10 – Chef Justin Warner
Saturday, April 16 – Chef Ernie Alvarado
Saturday, April 16 – Chef Paolo Dungca
Sunday, April 17 – Chef Jet Tila
Sunday, April 17 – Chef Paolo Dungca
Saturday, April 23 – Chef Kevin Bludso
Sunday, April 24 – Chef Nyesha Arrington
Culinary Demonstrations with Festival Sponsors
March 12-13 – California Milk Advisory Board
April 2-3 – California Milk Advisory Board
April 16-17 – Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.
April 23-24 – National Geographic
Drink in Some Knowledge at Wine, Beer and Mixology Education & Tasting Seminars (Ticket Needed)
Feed your hunger for knowledge and quench your thirst at the same time at one of the festival’s wine, beer or mixology seminars. An intoxicating (literally) blend of learning and alcohol tastings, Disneyland Food & Wine Festival seminars are a fun, informative and tasty way to discover more about your drink of choice in around 45 minutes.
Seating is limited, so reservations are required. These events are incredibly popular, so book ahead of time using the online reservation system to reserve your spot. Most seminars are priced at a reasonable $25 per person. However, there are also a few seminars held at the Disneyland hotels, namely the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disneyland Hotel, that are $75 and $95 each.
Here is what’s on tap:
Sommelier Series (Thursdays)
Thursday, March 10 – Beekeeper Cellars
Thursday, March 17 – Brewer-Clifton Winery
Thursday, April 7 – Disney Sommelier Arielle Harris
Thursday, April 21 – Disney Sommelier Eri Horii
Wine Seminars (Saturdays & Sundays)
March 5-6 – Brown Estate
March 12-13 – Silver Oak & Twomey
March 19 – Avensole Winery
March 20 – Akash Winery
March 26-27 – Hill Family Estate
April 2-3 – MacMurray Ranch
April 9-10 – Skywalker Vineyards
April 16-17 – Silverado Vineyards
April 23-24 – McBride Sisters
Beer Seminars (Fridays)
March 4 – Crowns & Hops
March 18 – Calidad Beer
April 1 & 15 – Karl Strauss
Mixology Seminars (Saturdays & Sundays)
March 5-6 – Disney Mixology featuring Lamplight Lounge
March 12-13 – Maker’s Mark
March 19-20 – Disney Mixology featuring Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
March 26-27 – Strong Water Anaheim
April 2-3 – Disney Mixology featuring Hollywood Lounge
April 9-10 – Shadow Ridge Distillery
April 16-17 – Disney Mixology featuring Magic Key Terrace
April 23-24 – Portuguese Bend Distillery
Disney Food and Wine Festival Seminars at the Disneyland Hotels (Tuesdays)
March 22 at GCH Craftsman Bar – Golden Road Brewing, beer seminar; $95 per person
March 29 at GCH Craftsman Bar – Peltzer Family Cellars, wine seminar; $95 per person
April 12 at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar – Trader Sam’s bartenders, mixology seminar; $75 per person
April 19 at GCH Craftsman Bar – Nova Brewing Co., sake seminar; $95 per person
Toast the Golden State at Winemaker Receptions (Ticket Needed)
This next one is for all of the wine connoisseurs out there. California is recognized around the globe for its deliciously nuanced wines. So, what better way to sample some of them than with the celebrated winemakers who made them as your guides?
Held at both California Adventure’s Carthay Circle restaurant and the Rose Court Garden at the Disneyland Hotel, these vino-soaked soirees shine a spotlight on Golden State vintners, expertly pairing acclaimed wines with a menu of thoughtful flavors and ingredients. As you enjoy the bounty, listen to presenters of each winery explain each bottle’s story and tasting notes.
As you can imagine, uncorking this experience doesn’t come cheap. The reception at the Disneyland Hotel tops out at $275 per person, while those at Carthay Circle are a slightly more reasonable $140. Like the seminars, seating is limited, so make your reservation in advance.
Here’s what is being uncorked:
Carthay Circle Winemaker Receptions (Fridays)
March 4 – Brown Estate with Coral Brown
March 18 – Le Artishasic with Sommelier Chris Hoel and Artie Johnson
April 8 – Skywalker Vineyards with Tom Johnson
Disneyland Hotel Winemaker Reception (Wednesday)
April 6 – Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars with Nate Weis, Director of Winemaking
Family-Friendly Fun at the Disney California Food and Wine Festival 2022
You don’t need to be over 21 (or spend an arm and a leg) to enjoy the Disney Food & Wine Festival. Along with cooking-themed arts & crafts near Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (who wants to color their own chef’s hat or placemat?), there are also some other great special activities available that even pint-sized foodies and picky eaters will love.
Party with Disney Characters in Hollywood Land
While visiting Disneyland is fun enough as it is, getting to see our favorite Disney characters up close is like an extra helping of pixie dust – truly magical. Luckily, there’s no shortage of Disney character experiences at the Food & Wine Festival.
Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party cooks up one heckuva fun time at the Hollywood Backlot Stage, courtesy of hands-on cupcake decorating and a few guest appearances. Disney Junior’s Alice and her friend Fergie play host (using the magic of technology), while Minnie Mouse also stops by (in person) to say hello. Signup begins 45 minutes before showtime – typically 12 PM, 1 PM and 2:15 PM on weekdays and 1 PM, 2 PM and 3:15 PM on weekends – and participation is free.
Looking for a nice photo opportunity? Stop by and say hello to Chef Goofy at the Hollywood Backlot. Taking a break from toiling away in Goofy’s Kitchen, Disneyland’s only all-day character dining restaurant, he’s looking spiffy in his chef’s outfit and ready to strike a pose.
Need a musical interlude during your day of epicurean adventures? The toe-tapping antics of the Jammin’ Chefs are a must. Guest-starring Chip ‘n’ Dale, as well as Clarabelle Cow and Daisy Duck, this playful show channeling your two-year-old self (or your toddler) uses pots and pans to create music, kiddo-style. Located just left of the Hyperion marquee, Jammin’ Chefs shows are usually held each hour between 10:30 AM and 4 PM.
Go Soarin’ Over California
It’s back! Taking a break from its whirlwind, worldwide adventures, Soarin’ Over California is returning home for a limited-time run. Fly from the shores of the San Diego harbor to the vineyards of Napa Valley and everywhere in between on this beloved simulation ride.
Eat to the Beat During Live Music Performances
One of our favorite things to do is snack on something tasty while we take in the festival entertainment. Fortunately, there’s plenty to enjoy this year on the Palisades Stage and Paradise Garden Bandstand. Soak up the California vibes and rest your feet for 25 minutes as you listen to a line-up of Golden State bands, including:
Phat Cat Swinger
The Tina Aldana Band
Paradise Garden Bandstand
Island Reggae Band
Urban Music Society
Shop for Limited-Edition Food and Wine California Adventure Merchandise
Don’t forget a souvenir! Whether you’re on the hunt for a swanky new set of Minnie ears, kitchen gadgets or a wine-inspired spirit jersey that says “Life is Grape!”, you’re sure to find something to commemorate your visit. Festival merchandise is located in front of The Little Mermaid, with a smaller assortment across from the entrance to Cars Land.
Have Room for More? Try the Friends of the Festival Offerings at Downtown Disney
If you’ve tried everything on your to-eat list and still have room for more, make your way to Downtown Disney to continue your feasting, with a buffet of Friends of the Festival menu offerings at nine different restaurants, including:
Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes
La Brea Bakery Café
Naples Ristorante e Bar
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
Splitsville Luxury Lanes
Uva Bar & Café
However, don’t save your Sip and Savor credits to use at these Downtown Disney restaurants. The pass can only be used at California Adventure festival locations, not Friends of the Festival partners.
While you’re there, be sure to check out the other festival-related happenings around the Downtown Disney District. Live music takes place nightly on the Downtown Disney LIVE! Stage and weekends feature artist signings at the WonderGround Gallery. Looking for a great photo opportunity? Snap a pic near some chalk art or in front of the festival mural on the west end of the promenade.
Well, Disneyland foodies, that’s a wrap on our guide to the California Adventure Food & Wine Festival. What is your favorite part of this gastronomic celebration? Let us know in the comments!