REVIEW: Nearly Every Food Item (and Some Drinks) from the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2017; Better Than Any Epcot Event

REVIEW: Nearly Every Food Item (and Some Drinks) from the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival 2017; Better Than Any Epcot Event
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Earlier this month, the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival 2017 kicked off at the Disneyland Resort, running daily until April 16th. Being Orlando based, all of my experience with such events has been at Epcot, so I was excited to see a festival in another Disney theme park for a change.

The number of booths at this event isn’t as staggering as Epcot, but on a weekend, it can be just as busy, if not worse than a Saturday and Sunday in October during the Florida Food and Wine event. If you can, I suggest you visit on a weekday for the DCA event, as we had a wonderful time doing this on Wednesday and Thursday, but it was kind of a disaster from Friday-Sunday.

Booths selling food and drink at this event are spread from Hollywood Land to Paradise Pier, with most of them along the Performance Corridor in the center of the park, with the exception of LA Style, the Festival Showplace, and the Brewhouse near Monsters Inc. – Mike and Sully to the Rescue.

Jason Diffendal joined me on the trip out to the Disneyland Resort last week for a number of reasons, and the Food & Wine Festival was one of those reasons, so some off the thoughts you read below will also be his or include his point of view.

OK, let’s review this thing…

Nuts About Cheese

We begin at the booth I was probably the least excited to try…

Here’s the full menu:

  • Brie toast with fig and mint and roasted California almond crumble — $5.00
  • Baked ham and Swiss cheese croque monsieur roll with smoked pistachios — $7.00
  • Chèvre fromage blanc tartine infused with rosemary and honey, topped with toasted hazelnuts — $4.50
  • Almond milk tea with pudding — $4.50

Baked ham and Swiss cheese croque monsieur roll with smoked pistachios — $7.00

This was one of our favorite dishes. The smoky flavor from the pistachios was amazing, and paired well with the ham and cheese.  This is a must-purchase item.

Chèvre fromage blanc tartine infused with rosemary and honey, topped with toasted hazelnuts — $4.50

This was nothing special, but I wouldn’t call it bad.  It seemed somewhat of a small portion size though, price considered. I know what you’re thinking about other festivals and how portions are never huge there, but there are some options at this event that can be quite filling.

Almond milk tea with pudding — $4.50

This was hands down the worst item at the festival. I imagine this is what expired chocolate milk tastes like, because that is the only flavor I could possibly attribute to it. The pudding was in “chunks” and settled to the bottom, so when you drank it through the straw it had the texture of drinking curdled milk.

Uncork California

There was no food at this booth, as you might have guessed from the name.  We didn’t try any of the wines; the single glasses are rather pricey considering that you can get most of these at your local wine shop (at least in California). Here’s the full menu:

  • White wine flight — $16.00 – Duckhorn Vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley; Mer Soleil Vineyard, Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands; Lasseter Family Winery, Enjoué Rosé, Sonoma Valley Estate Grown
  • Red wine flight — $20.00 – Flora Springs Napa Valley Family Estate, Merlot, Napa Valley; Flowers Vineyards and Winery, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast; Groth Vineyards and Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • Mimosa flight — $16.00 – Pear Mimosa, Apricot Mimosa, Mango Mimosa
  • Chandon, Brut Classic, Sparkling Wine, California — $12.00
  • Twomey Cellars, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa-Sonoma County — $16.00
  • Patz and Hall, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast — 18.00
  • Duckhorn Vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley — $13.00
  • Mer Soleil Vineyard, Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands — $13.00
  • Lasseter Family Winery, Enjoué Rosé, Sonoma Valley Estate Grown — $17.00
  • Flora Springs Napa Valley Family Estate, Merlot, Napa Valley — $14.50
  • Groth Vineyards and Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley — $19.00
  • Pear Mimosa — $14.00
  • Apricot Mimosa — $14.00
  • Mango Mimosa — $14.00

I ♥ Artichokes

I usually don’t “heart” artichokes, so the reactions I had to dishes here were pretty unexpected…

The full booth menu:

  • Artichoke carbonara with garlic aioli and smoked bacon — $6.00
  • Grilled and chilled artichoke hearts with Romesco sauce — $5.25
  • Creamy artichoke and dark chocolate cake pop — $4.25
  • Orange iced tea with orange pearls — $4.00
  • Ace Premium Craft Cider: SPACE Bloody Orange Hard Cider, Sebastopol — $9.25

Artichoke carbonara with garlic aioli and smoked bacon — $6.00

The garlic and smoked bacon make these artichokes the best I’ve ever had. Enjoyable for sure, it is also a nice portion size.

Grilled and chilled artichoke hearts with Romesco sauce — $5.25

I’ve never really cared for artichoke hearts, but this was a great dish as well. If you enjoy such things, be sure to order this one.

Creamy artichoke and dark chocolate cake pop — $4.25

You read that right, it’s an artichoke and dark chocolate cake pop…

I would never think that these flavors would go together, so I was deeply intrigued to try it. Perhaps a bit scared as well…

Believe it or not, it was one of the highlights of the 2017 lineup. The filling was sweet and creamy and the dark chocolate coating was perfection. I know it might sound peculiar, but this is a must-buy if you are going to the event.

Ace Premium Craft Cider: SPACE Bloody Orange Hard Cider — $9.25

I am not a cider fan, but Jason was excited to try this, so these are his words: Ace is a fairly well-known cider both on the west coast and the east coast. Being an unfiltered cider, this was somewhat different in appearance but lack of filtration doesn’t really impact the taste.  What did impact the taste, though, was the blood orange juice, which made this a very pleasant drink. As with the wines, the cost was higher than I would have expected for the portion size seemed to be the same as a wine pour even though this is cider.

Garlic Kissed

Here’s the full menu:

  • Grilled beef tenderloin slider with chimichurri sauce — $7.75
  • Black garlic soy-braised pork belly bao with pickled vegetables — $7.00
  • Garlic-rosemary and avocado oil ice cream pop — $4.50
  • Murphy-Goode Winery, “Liar’s Dice”, Zinfandel, Sonoma County — $6.50
  • Dr. Loosen, Dr. L, Mosel, Riesling, Germany — $6.50

Grilled beef tenderloin slider with chimichurri sauce — $7.75

As you can see, this was a fairly sizable piece of beef for the price, and it was definitely tasty.

Black garlic soy-braised pork belly bao with pickled vegetables — $7.00

If you are a pork belly fan, you’ll love this.  The meat was very good, and the bao was fantastic, which we didn’t expect coming from a booth in the middle of California Adventure.

Garlic-rosemary and avocado oil ice cream pop — $4.50

Alright, here comes another weird one…

This is a prime example of how the menus at this festival are a lot more adventurous than any festival at Epcot.  This ice cream pop was great, and was one of the better desserts at the festival. You might think how could this be good, but the milky flavor accented by rosemary and avocado flavors makes a lot more sense once you try it.

California Craft Brews

As with the wine booth, no food here, but a nice variety of California brews.  We opted for the beers at the Beer Garden instead. Here’s the full menu anyway:

  • Southern California flight — $13.25 – Mother Earth Brew Co., Honcho, Hefeweizen; Black Market Brewing Co., Deception Coconut Lime, Blonde Ale; Left Coast Brewing Company, Una Mas, Amber Lager; Stone Brewing, Tangerine Express, IPA
  • Northern California flight — $13.25 – 21st Amendment Brewery, El Sully, Mexican-style Lager; Bear Republic Brewing Co., Red Rocket, Amber Ale; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Torpedo, Extra IPA; Drake’s Brewing Co., Black Robusto, Porter
  • 21st Amendment Brewery, El Sully, Mexican-style Lager, San Francisco — $9.00
  • Saint Archer Brewing Co., White Ale, San Diego — $9.00
  • Mother Earth Brew Co., Honcho, Hefeweizen, Vista — $9.00
  • Black Market Brewing Co., Deception Coconut Lime, Blonde Ale, Temecula — $9.00
  • Left Coast Brewing Company, Una Mas, Amber Lager, San Clemente — $9.00
  • Left Coast Brewing Company, Surf Break, Pale Ale, San Clemente — $9.00
  • Bear Republic Brewing Co., Red Rocket, Amber Ale, Healdsburg — $9.00
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Torpedo, Extra IPA, Chico — $9.50
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company, Sculpin, IPA, San Diego — $9.00
  • Stone Brewing, Tangerine Express, IPA, San Diego — $9.00
  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Big Barrel, Double IPA, San Diego — $9.50
  • Drake’s Brewing Co., Black Robusto, Porter, San Leandro — $9.00

Olive Us

Here’s the full menu:

  • Chilled Cioppino soup with shrimp, crab claw and grilled olive bread — $7.75
  • Warm olive focaccia with olive oil and sea salt — $4.50
  • Vanilla bean crème fraîche panna cotta with Amarena cherry jus and EVOO madeleine — $4.25
  • Vodka Martini with gourmet Blue Cheese-stuffed Olives — $11.25

Chilled Cioppino soup with shrimp, crab claw and grilled olive bread — $7.75

This was a great dish, and a good value as well.  The shrimp was decently sized, and the crab claw was surprisingly large for a relatively small glass. Everything tasted fresh and overall it was quite refreshing.

Warm olive focaccia with olive oil and sea salt — $4.50

This was just OK.  It was tasty, but in reality it’s just an expensive dinner roll.

Vanilla bean crème fraîche panna cotta with Amarena cherry jus and EVOO madeleine — $4.25

This was excellent.  If you like panna cotta, get this – you won’t be disappointed. The cherry jus added a nice flavor. I’m still not sure why this is at the olive booth though. It seems like they needed a dessert for that booth so they added a few drops of EVOO and declared it eligible. We’re kind of glad they did.

Bacon Twist

This booth, as you might imagine, was one from which we expected great things. Unfortunately, the bacon craze sweeping the country often leads to disappointment.

Here’s the full menu:

  • Baby iceberg and heirloom tomato wedge with peppered bacon and blue cheese dressing — $5.50
  • Smoked bacon mac and cheese with barbecue-seasoned crispy onions — $7.50
  • Maple-bacon Whoopie Pie — $4.25
  • Bloody Mary Cocktail with Candied Caramel Bacon strip and Blue Cheese-stuffed Olives — $11.25

Baby iceberg and heirloom tomato wedge with peppered bacon and blue cheese dressing — $5.50

Jason liked this; I didn’t care for it.  I think wedge salads went out of style a few years ago. Jason gave the blue cheese dressing high marks.

Smoked bacon mac and cheese with barbecue-seasoned crispy onions — $7.50

Probably one of the dishes we were most looking forward to, but it ended up being one of the most disappointing.  The mac and cheese wasn’t creamy at all, and the bacon didn’t make up for it. The french fried onions were the highlight. If you get fresh, creamy mac and cheese it will probably be better.

Maple-bacon Whoopie Pie — $4.25

Another dish we were excited about that didn’t live up to our expectations.  Neither the maple nor the bacon were very prominent flavors. It tasted like a Little Debbie snack that has sat in the wrapper for too long.

Lemon Grove

The cardboard trays are a nice touch… can we get these at Epcot please?

Here’s the full menu:

  • Roasted cauliflower and Meyer lemon-infused Dannon Oikos® Greek nonfat yogurt cauliflower puree with sundried tomatoes and fried capers — $6.00
  • Duck confit on potato smash with Meyer lemon preserves — $7.00
  • Meyer lemon macaron with blueberry marmalade, Meyer lemon cream and blueberry dust — $4.75
  • Cherry lemonade with cherry pearls — $4.25
  • Meyer Lemon Ginger Mule — $11.75

Roasted cauliflower and Meyer lemon-infused Dannon Oikos® Greek nonfat yogurt cauliflower puree with sundried tomatoes and fried capers — $6.00

This was surprisingly tasty. The roasted cauliflower was good, but the star of this dish was the puree with sundried tomatoes and fried capers. A healthy dish, and a healthy portion size for $6.00.

Duck confit on potato smash with Meyer lemon preserves — $7.00

We thought this was very good, but a rather small portion size. Apparently “potato smash” is SoCal lingo for tater tots.

Meyer lemon macaron with blueberry marmalade, Meyer lemon cream and blueberry dust — $4.75

This was one of the best dessert selections at the festival (although we seem to say that a lot in this review, which shows just how strong the dessert game is at this event). A rather large macaron, and super tasty. The cashier was going on and on about how good this was, and we were skeptical, but she was right!

Meyer Lemon Ginger Mule — $11.75

This was a great version of a mule.  The sweet lemon contrasted nicely with the ginger beer. This was basically an $11.75 version of the Gold Rush from Paddlefish, albeit much cheaper.

Seafood…Sustained

Here’s the full menu:

  • Verlasso® sustainable salmon tataki with avocado-wasabi puree and Furikake dust — $7.50
  • Cage-free cream cheese deviled eggs with farm-raised smoked trout and chives — $4.00
  • Passion fruit posset and coconut chia with mango compote and jelly — $4.25
  • Mango agua fresca — $4.25
  • Zilliken Estate, Riesling, Mosel, Germany — $6.50
  • Meiomi, Coastal California Wines, Pinot Noir, California — $9.50

Verlasso® sustainable salmon tataki with avocado-wasabi puree and Furikake dust — $7.50

I’m not even sure what Furikake dust is, but no matter.  The salmon was fantastic, and the portion was generous for the price.

Cage-free cream cheese deviled eggs with farm-raised smoked trout and chives — $4.00

If you like smoked trout, you can’t go wrong here.  Well, I guess if you hate deviled eggs you can go wrong, but otherwise this was a mouthwatering combination of the two.

Passion fruit posset and coconut chia with mango compote and jelly — $4.25

Jason liked this, but I didn’t care for it. He thought the coconut chia was great, while I didn’t really think it was the right texture for a dessert. I hope all of the AVATAR food isn’t like this…

The Onion Lair

Here’s the full menu:

  • French onion mac and cheese topped with parmesan crumble and chives — $7.25
  • Braised Wagyu beef on creamy polenta with haricot vert and red onion salad and roasted Cipollini onion — $7.75
  • Chocolate-hazelnut and raspberry Feuillete tart — $4.75
  • Passion Fruit Lemonade (non-alcoholic) — $4.25
  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Liquid AC, English Summer Ale, San Diego – $9.50
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company Pils, Czech-style Pilsener, Petaluma – $9.00
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Company, DBA, British Pale Ale, Paso Robles — $9.50
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Midas Touch, Ancient Ale-Wine/Beer Hybrid, Delaware — $9.50
  • Ace Premium Craft Cider, Perry, Hard Cider, Sebastopol — $8.50

French onion mac and cheese topped with parmesan crumble and chives — $7.25

The mac and cheese here was much better than at the bacon booth, and the french onion topping was spectacular.  This would be in our Top 7 from the event (which we will have for you soon), and pretty high at that.

Braised Wagyu beef on creamy polenta with haricot vert and red onion salad and roasted Cipollini onion — $7.75

This was fine, but I think too many people go crazy when they hear ‘Wagyu beef’.  Realistically, if you are going to braise a piece of beef, it’s pretty much a waste to use anything expensive.  The whole point of braising is to tenderize the meat.  However, what made this dish great was the polenta.

Chocolate-hazelnut and raspberry Feuillete tart — $4.75

I guess this filled the requirement for Pop Tarts at the festival, although it was more like a chocolate croissant. Not terribly unique, but still quite tasty.

Passion Fruit Lemonade (non-alcoholic) — $4.25

A great summer drink without being too sweet.

Off the Cob

Here’s the full menu:

  • Sweet corn nuggets with beef chili, spring onions and sour cream — $6.75
  • Jackfruit carnitas banh mi nachos with cilantro crèma and “pickled” de gallo — $6.50
  • Roasted sweet corn custard tart with honey tuille and smoked chili-infused chocolate sauce — $4.50
  • Bohemia Clásica, Pale Lager, Mexico — $8.50
  • Jalapeño-Lime Margarita with Jalapeño garnish — $12.00

Sweet corn nuggets with beef chili, spring onions and sour cream — $6.75

I can’t even begin to tell you how great these are. The corn flavor paired well with the chili, and the whole thing was just prepared perfectly. A highlight of the Festival for sure!

Jackfruit carnitas banh mi nachos with cilantro crèma and “pickled” de gallo — $6.50

After having the tacos at Paradise Garden Grill (see below), we didn’t expect much from these. Also, looking at them, you might just think that they will taste like theme park nachos. You would be wrong. This was surely one of the top items at the event as the carnitas packed a great flavor and the nacho chips themselves were spectacular.

Roasted sweet corn custard tart with honey tuille and smoked chili-infused chocolate sauce — $4.50

Another dessert, and another home run. This only had a hint of corn taste which made it a scrumptious offering.

Sweet & Sourdough

The Pacific Wharf Cafe has always been my favorite counter service in the park, so the booth offering Boudin sourdough products has been the driving force for me to even visit the DCA Food and Wine Festival. It did not disappoint.

Here’s the full menu:

  • Bay shrimp Louie salad served in a mini Boudin sourdough boule — $6.75
  • White cheddar lager soup topped with bacon, served in a mini Boudin sourdough boule — $6.00
  • Milk chocolate sourdough bread pudding with vanilla bean sauce — $4.50
  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Columbia Street, Amber Lager, San Diego — $9.00
  • Conundrum, White Blend, California — $8.00

Bay shrimp Louie salad served in a mini Boudin sourdough boule — $6.75

You can’t go wrong with almost anything served in a baby bread bowl boule, and this salad didn’t disappoint. We got a whopping 7 (yeah, 7) shrimp, which made this possibly the best value at the festival. I’m not sure if there are guidelines for how many shrimp go into this dish (there likely are), but I’d think it had to be less than 7.  Your mileage may vary.

White cheddar lager soup topped with bacon, served in a mini Boudin sourdough boule — $6.00

Again, how can you go wrong with cheese soup in a bread boule? This dish was probably worth the trip to Anaheim alone. If you enjoy the broccoli and cheddar version at Pacific Wharf Cafe, you will LOVE this.

Milk chocolate sourdough bread pudding with vanilla bean sauce — $4.50

A surprisingly good dessert, a perfect pairing of the chocolaty bread pudding and vanilla sauce.

LA Style

Here’s the full menu:

  • Chicken Teriyaki slider with spicy Dole® pineapple jam — $6.50
  • Korean barbecue beef short rib tacos with Kimchi slaw — $7.00
  • Fresh strawberry compote, lemon verbena and vanilla bean shortcake parfait — $4.50
  • Dole® Pineapple-strawberry Float with vanilla ice cream and strawberry pearls — $7.00

Chicken Teriyaki slider with spicy Dole® pineapple jam — $6.50

This was solid, with the jam was the highlight. Probably not the best value for $6.50.

Korean barbecue beef short rib tacos with Kimchi slaw — $7.00

Another solid offering, but not something I would recommend or order again. It’s fairly standard.

Fresh strawberry compote, lemon verbena and vanilla bean shortcake parfait — $4.50

This was good, but not one of the best dessert options. I would skip this and hold out for the panna cotta from Olive Us.

Dole® Pineapple-strawberry Float with vanilla ice cream and strawberry pearls — $7.00

I’m not sure whether this is a beverage or a dessert; it’s basically a cross between them.  Two scoops of ice cream in a full-size cup, with pineapple-strawberry juice and the requisite boba balls.  This was excellent, and a great deal at $7.00 as it could be shared at this size (or not, if you don’t want to…).

The Brewhouse

Here’s the full menu:

  • Barley Forge Brewing Co., Nom Nom, Mango Hefeweizen, Costa Mesa — $9.00
  • Stone Brewing, Delicious, IPA, San Diego (Gluten-reduced) — $9.50
  • Deschutes Brewery, Black Butte, Porter, Oregon — $9.00
  • Coney Island Brewing Company, Hard Root Beer, New York — $8.50
  • Tecate Michelada — $8.50
  • Coney Island Hard Root Beer with Vanilla Ice Cream — $9.50
  • Deschutes Black Butte Porter with Chocolate Ice Cream — $9.50
  • Barq’s Root Beer Float with choice of Chocolate or Vanilla Ice Cream (non-alcoholic) — $7.00

Barley Forge Brewing Co., Nom Nom, Mango Hefeweizen, Costa Mesa — $9.00

I couldn’t find my picture of it, but Jason had the Nom Nom Mango Hefeweizen. While it was a good beer, it lacked enough mango flavor to make it much more than a standard hefe.

Deschutes Black Butte Porter with Chocolate Ice Cream – $9.50

The Deschutes float was phenomenal, even if it may not be the prettiest thing to look at. If you like porters, get this. They give you the choice of vanilla or chocolate ice cream, and we’d highly recommend the chocolate.

Paradise Garden Grill & Beer Garden

The only festival offering that takes over an existing counter service location is the Paradise Garden Grill & Beer Garden. It’s worth noting that the beer garden itself is a separate stand from the counter service location which has the food. The stand is located just to the right of the restaurant, in front of Goofy’s Sky School.

The full menu (minus the beer garden):

  • Beer-battered cod served with steak fries, sweet slaw and spiced remoulade — $12.99
  • Potato and cheese pierogis with vegetarian sausage served with grilled Anaheim chilies, caramelized onions and sour cream — $11.99
  • Beer-braised pork tacos served with pickled apple slaw, black beans and queso — $10.99
  • Sausage platter trio served with braised red cabbage and warm potato salad — $13.99
  • Large soft pretzel served with beer-mustard dipping sauce — $5.29
  • Salted caramel budino with vanilla bean Chantilly cream — $3.99
  • Bienenstich cake with honey-glazed almonds, filled with vanilla bean custard — $3.99

Anaheim Beer Flight $13.25

The beer flight was interesting, and I say that because Jason and I have very different taste in beer. I did not care for the lighter beers but loved the two darker ales, but Jason went the other way. The flight is probably worth trying if you have never had any of these before and you enjoy at least trying something new.

Back Street Brewery Spring Berry Sour $9.25

We loved this beer! It wasn’t too sour and had a pleasant mixed berry flavor. The beer is nice and light, a perfect summertime drink in our opinion.

Beer-battered cod served with steak fries, sweet slaw and spiced remoulade — $12.99

The meals here are full size, so you should plan to share them if you eat here and want to do a few booths in one day. While simply cod, this is probably one of the best counter-service fish entrees – it is very, very good for what it is. These are large, quality pieces of whitefish, and I really love the thick steak fries that accompany them. The slaw was vinegar-based, not creamy, and we didn’t care for it.

Potato and cheese pierogis with vegetarian sausage served with grilled Anaheim chilies, caramelized onions and sour cream — $11.99

The pierogis were a disappointment. The vegetarian sausage was pretty terrible (and yes, I’ve had vegetarian sausage before) and the pierogis were fairly bland, run of the mill ones like you can buy frozen in any supermarket.

Beer-braised pork tacos served with pickled apple slaw, black beans and queso — $10.99

Not my favorite dish, but the pork tacos were enjoyable. I feel the California crowd will be a little harsher on tacos than I and will likely hate these though. They kind of tasted like something you would get from the Mexico booth at any Epcot Festival.

Sausage platter trio served with braised red cabbage and warm potato salad — $13.99

The sausage trip was probably my second favorite meal here, next to the cod. I wish I could tell you what kind of sausage each of these was, but the menu did not indicate it and the cast member at the register did not know what they were. Regardless, all three were tasty and the warm potato salad was enjoyable as well. The mustard was a good German-style offering that paired well with the dish.

Large soft pretzel served with beer-mustard dipping sauce — $5.29

It’s a pretzel. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good pretzel, not your typical theme-park offering, but nothing too unique either. The beer cheese dipping sauce is not the best I have had either, but enjoyable enough if this is something you are looking for.

Salted caramel budino with vanilla bean Chantilly cream — $3.99

This was one of my favorite items in the entire festival. I like just about anything with a salted caramel flavor, and the blend with the chocolate crumbles and Chantilly cream is pretty much perfect.

Bienenstich cake with honey-glazed almonds, filled with vanilla bean custard — $3.99

This didn’t sound like something I would enjoy, but it ended up being another favorite. The cake was nice and soft, filled with a sweet custard, accented nicely by the honey drizzle and almonds. If you aren’t a chocolate fan, this may be your favorite dessert from the entire festival.

OVERALL

The 2017 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival is absolutely wonderful. This was my first visit ever to the event (it returned last year after a several-year absence) and I was completely blown away. As someone who has reviewed the last 10 years of Epcot festivals, this by far had the best food and drinks lineup of any event I have ever been to. While I always find a few items that I absolutely love at the Epcot events, the success rate here was much higher, also offering up far more unique dishes and beverages. Considering that there are only ten food booths here, compared to Epcot, quality trumps quantity. It’s hard to find a booth at an Epcot festival where all three dishes are winners, but most of the booths here had just that.

We didn’t have time to do any seminars or book any special add-on events, but sticking with just the booths alone was worth the trip out to California. Hopefully next year we’ll get to explore it a little more…

I can not recommend this event enough. The 2017 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival is a must-do at the Disneyland Resort! I will for sure be returning in 2018.

TIP!

I’ll leave you with one more tip: be sure to pick up the Sip and Savor Pass if you are an Annual Passholder at the Disneyland Resort. For just $45.00, you can get 8 take redeemable for any non-alcoholic items. This is a great value as the price per tab comes out to about $5.60 each and most items are $6.00 or more.

I don’t know about you, but there are times when planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming! There are so many options, where to stay, when to go, is this the best price. So, I want to introduce you all to Cindy Minor and the team at Small World Big Fun. They will help you plan your Disney vacation for FREE. Contact them today!

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.

9 Comments

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  • Good post and photos! Jealous here in Florida! Disney World in Florida has become a profit only zone, where it’s all about efficiency, cut backs, and cheapness being preached from managers on down to the bottom cast member. Epcot food and wine is mostly a crowd looking to get drunk. Disney shouldn’t expect more, their cut backs have left not much else to do, park hasn’t had much growth except a new movie in Soarin’ and Frozen overlay on Maelstrom in the last decade, and we’re closing attractions early to cut a few cast members (and money spent). Meanwhile, the lines grow longer…. Nobody here seems to care. They’ll stand in ling begging pay anything…quite amusing.

  • Almost everything looked delicious. I’m from SoCal (living in CO now) and have never been to DCA’s food festival. We do call tater tots “tater tots,” by the way. I need to go some day. And yes, I WISH they provided hard trays like that at Epcot – I always bring my own trays there from our local theater (the kind with two cup holders and room on one side to balance popcorn/nachos at the movies)…the cup holders don’t hold much that Epcot’s festivals offer, but the food section comes in handy when you’re getting a lot of dishes from a booth or three. They sell little plastic trays with a slot for a wine glass stem at a merch booth or two in Epcot, but they don’t hold very much.

  • Yea, Epcot looks NOTHING like that…almost like different company…but WDW Orlando parks are PACKED, maybe Disney thinks, with this many idiots, why even TRY??

  • Can people seriously stop saying Disney World Florida or Disney World Orlando. There’s only one Disney World, it’s in Florida, so stop acting like there’s more than one. You must be the same people that swear you parked in the Mickey Lot at the TTC (before the change to heroes and villains.)

  • So, in other words, you burned a month of Patreon money for this smorgasbord. Don’t hate the player, hate the game, I guess.