I think we can all agree that 2020 is not being as kind to festivals and social gatherings as we had hoped. I had hoped to write this post with a completely different outcome than I am, but here we are!
The Annual Food & Wine Festival in Disney’s California Adventure 2020 isn’t currently active due to the Disneyland closure in response to the COVID-19 #flattenthecurve efforts. I also didn’t go on the most beautiful of days. In fact, that day really freaking sucked for me and the rainy weather should have been a foreshadow to how the rest of my days would follow. However, that’s no the festival’s fault. If you’re considering attending the festival when Disneyland reopens, assuming the festival resumes, please check out my review of the food we sampled at the event!
The menu is full of delicious eats and yummy drinks. We were so lucky that our Disneyland birthday trip for Miles had us in the Parks during the Food & Wine Festival this year. I’ve been wanting to try it for years, but have always just missed it! Hopefully, we’ll be able to attend on a drier day next year.
What We Got & What We Thought
Since Mike and I were annual passholders this year, we took advantage of the $5 discount for the Sip & Savor Pass, which normally costs $56 and gives you 8 tickets for food and non-alcoholic drinks. In a frenzy to get everything back to our table in 2 trips without getting anything ruined, I rushed to get the following:
- Asian-style Beef Barbacoa Street Tacos from LA Style*
- Pepperoni Pizza Egg Rolls from California Craft Beers*
- Petite Impossible Burfer w Gauc and Pepper Jack Cheese from Avocado Time
- Mini Chicken Chimis with Chimichurri from Off The Cob*
- Mickey-shaped Caramel-Peanut Milk Chocolate Macaron from Off The Cob*
- Fried Artichokes with Lemon Aioli from I ♡ Artichokes*
- Ranch Fried Chicken Wings from Cluck•A•Doodle•Moo
- Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch from Cluck•A•Doodle•Moo
Even completely stressed out, there was no denying how distracted and calm my favorite bites made me the second my teeth sunk into them! If there was a time to emotionally eat, it was then. The tacos from LA Style were SO incredibly flavorful! I was caught off guard because the tortillas really didn’t look completely cooked through, which made us slightly nervous. Not the case! The pizza egg rolls from California Craft Beers worked far better than we expected, as well. I wish they came in 3s or 4s rather than 2s. I definitely would have gone back for seconds! It took me biting into the mini Chimis from Off The Cob to realize they were mini chimichangas, haha! They were unsurprisingly good, even though we had to enjoy them back at the hotel. They’re listed as Kid Friendly, but these do have a small spicy kick to them so watch out for that when buying for the little ones like we did.
Luckily, we loved both desserts that we got. There wasn’t a ton of explanation as to what the Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch from Cluck•A•Doodle•Moo was, but it turned out to be a chilled and stiffened mousse filling, coated in a chocolate and nut shell. We had to eat it back at the hotel along with the macaron and a few other items. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize what exactly it was, so it was room temp by the time we bit into it and slightly melted/softened. If you get this, eat it immediately!
The item I was the most bummed about was the Petite Impossible burger at Avocado Time. I really wanted to like it. There was almost not flavoring, and we didnt feel like the burger was cooked the best way either. I’m sure there’s a lot of limitations to how they can prepare the food for distribution (I only had to wait maybe a minute for my food), but it would have been nicer if there was more seasoning on the burger, and perhaps a char. The consistency and taste reminded us a lot of when you take defrosting ground beef and fail to cook it all the way through before eating it. Having had that accidentally happen to us way too many times, it just wasn’t something we felt we could finish.
If you’re planning on attending but can’t spend the money on a full S&S Passport, then I recommend doing the items I started in my purchase list. They were surprisingly fantastic and are great for people who are down for a medium-sized adventure. They’re not out-of-the-norm, super adventurous eats, but for the cost you’ll be paying (around $8 for each item everywhere), you’re definitely going to enjoy every bite you pay for. And if you catch yourself in a rainy situation like we did, I believe all of the restaurants in Pixar Pier have to-go boxes that you can stuff about 2-3 items in (depending on the type of foods they are).
There were a few different things I wish I was able to get instead, but in the stress and confusion from the downpour I had to pass them up:
- Impossible Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese from nuts About Cheese (a lactose intolerance death I was willing to take)
- Brunch Fried Chicken & Waffle Sandwich from Golden Dreams
- Beer-battered Fish Taco from Paradise Garden Grill
- Savory Beef Empanada with Chipotle Crema (I’m a sucker for savory empanadas)
If you find yourself there on a weekend, be sure to check out their cooking demonstrations held every weekend during the event at the Backstage Lot in Hollywood Land. It also includes family cooking time demos on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with a pro chef, where kids (3-11) get to cook hands-on!
While the chances of the festival still happening when Disneyland eventually reopens it’s doors are slimmer and slimmer each day, definitely keep this in mind as a must-do in the future! Even under the circumstances, I’m still so happy that we got to experience it before then end of our trip. If you’ve gone before, let me know in the comments below what you loved eating/drinking the most, and what you hope comes back in the future!