REVIEW: Gingerbread Cake, Spiked Agua Fresca, and More at ¡Viva Navidad! Cart for the 2022 Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Around Disney California Adventure, the outdoor vending carts are serving up seasonal treats, including Gingerbread Cake, Bean & Cheese Pupusa, and Calidad Spiked Sparkling Agua Fresca.

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Menu for Outdoor Vending Carts at Disney California Adventure Festival of Holidays 2022

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Food:

  • 🆕 Gingerbread Cake – $8.00
  • 🆕 Bean & Cheese Pupusa – $8.00

Beverages:

  • 🆕 Calidad Spiked Sparkling Agua Fresca – $10.50

Photos of Menu Items from Outdoor Vending Carts at Disney California Adventure Festival of Holidays 2022

DCA 2022 Festival of Holidays Viva Naivdad Cart Bean Cheese Pupusa 2

*NEW* Gingerbread Cake – $8.00

with a molasses glaze, a gingerbread man, and sprinkles

DCA 2022 Festival of Holidays Viva Navidad Cart Gingerbread Cake 2

This was the surprise hit of the Festival of Holidays. The Mickey gingerbread cookie has had a lot of attention online, garnering a cult following from last year to this year. But whereas that gingerbread cookie is nothing to write home about, this gingerbread cake is really stellar.

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This one deserves all the attention, and it hasn’t quite been discovered yet. The cake is light and fluffy on the inside, with enough body to stand up on its own in the spoon. It’s not very sweet, which is good for a gingerbread cake like that. The sweetness comes from the molasses glaze on top, which imparts a delicious dark flavor that pairs well with the spiced gingerbread cake.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this and if you’re only going to try one sweet treat from the entire festival, make it this cake. What it lacks in Mickey Mouse cuteness, it makes up for in every other category.

*NEW* Bean & Cheese Pupusa – $8.00

with a side of curtido and tomato sauce

DCA 2022 Festival of Holidays Viva Naivdad Cart Bean Cheese Pupusa 4

There was a lot going on flavorwise in this dish, but not because of the pupusa. The pupusa itself is thin and hard, harder than we would expect and far more than we would like. It may have been fresh and light at one point earlier in the day, but after being reheated and transported out to a cart for sale from beneath a heat lamp, it isn’t great.

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The curtido brings a vinegar bite from the vegetables, and the tomato sauce was simple yet very satisfying, with heavy notes of cumin and fresh tomatoes.

DCA 2022 Festival of Holidays Viva Naivdad Cart Bean Cheese Pupusa 1

So it’s not necessarily that the overall dish was flavorless, but the pupusa itself became merely a very tough delivery device for the enjoyable toppings. We would recommend skipping this in favor of any number of other more delicious items.

*NEW* Calidad Spiked Sparkling Agua Fresca – $10.50

Sweet prickly pear and tangy pomegranate flavors

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This spiked seltzer is a little less intense in flavor than we would like. It is a seltzer, so it’s more akin to water than a beer, but the spiked agua fresca moniker made us hope for some more robust fruit-forward flavors.

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The pomegranate registers, but the prickly pear flavor is lost in the shuffle, as it is such a delicate flavor to begin with. It’s not unpleasant, but we were hoping with this combination of fruits and the mention of agua fresca that it would be closer to an actual agua fresca than a seltzer.

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That being said, it’s not unpleasant, though we’re not sure we would revisit it.

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The drink comes in a can, but they pour it into a cup first.

Watch our video review of all the Festival of Holidays marketplaces:

The Festival of Holidays runs from November 11 through January 8 at Disney California Adventure.

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