The 7 Best AND Worst Food & Drinks at the 2024 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival

Brit Tuttle

We were able to review all of the new menu items at the 2024 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, and now we’ve got the lineup of the top 7 best and top 7 worst dishes from the event.

The Worst 7 of the 2024 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival

Kicking things off with the best of the worst:

#7: Frozen Mangonada Beer Slush (California Craft Brews)

Brewery X Baja Boi, Mango Purée, Rock Melon Syrup, Grapefruit Juice, and Mango-Chamoy Glaze

A clear, yellow cup of orange slush with red glaze sits on the sign for Grizzly Peak during the 2024 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival.

We hated this and found the flavor combination to be disgusting, but locals might enjoy it. We’d recommend skipping it, though.

#6: BBQ Chicken Pizza (Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta)

BBQ-Spiced Chicken, House-Made BBQ Sauce, Red Onion, and chopped Cilantro

A reporter's hand holds a cardboard triangular box containing a slice of BBQ Chicken Pizza.

This pizza was pretty pedestrian, with a too-crunchy base crust. The tomato sauce and cheese aren’t great, and the slice overall feels kind of phoned-in. We love pizza, even bad pizza — but this was just forgettable.

#5: Cheese Pizza-flavored Wings (Cluck-A-Doodle-Moo)

with Ranch Dip

A reporter's hand holds a cardboard dish of Cheese Pizza-flavored Wings.

These wings are gross, and taste as though they have crumbled cheese pizza Combos on top. The wings alone are fine but are ruined by their coating.

#4: Butter Cake à la Mode (Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream)

Butter cake topped with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and whipped cream

A reporter's hand holds up a plastic black dish containing Butter Cake a la Mode.

This is a perfectly fine piece of cake but it’s not served warm, so we don’t understand why it’s served with ice cream. This dish is okay but it doesn’t feel remarkable enough to be on the menu at a food festival.

#3: Big Bad BBQ Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese (Nuts About Cheese)

with crispy Dill Pickle Onions

A reporter's hand holds a cardboard dish of Big Bad BBQ Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese.

This dish was super disappointing for us and offered nothing special. The pork is cooked well but doesn’t sport much flavor. There isn’t enough BBQ sauce, which leaves the pork tasting dry. We’d recommend getting the returning Carbonara Garlic Mac and Cheese from D-Lish instead.

#2: Cannoli Churro (Churros at Hollywood Land)

Churro rolled in cinnamon-sugar topped with cannoli cream, chocolate chips, and puff pastry

A reporter's hand holds a patterned Disneyland disposable plate containing two Cannoli Churros.

This might be the worst churro we’ve ever had at Disneyland Resort, period. The “cannoli” flavors were quite bland and did not taste like the treat the churro is trying to emulate.

#1: The Worst — Strawberry-Lychee Shortcake Donuts (Lamplight Lounge)

Lychee-glazed donuts with strawberry shortcake crumbles served with vanilla bean ice cream and lychee dip

A black and white plate holds five Strawberry-Lychee Shortcake Donuts, along with two metal containers of dipping sauce and vanilla bean ice cream.

The regular — and even some seasonal — donuts from Lamplight Lounge have been spectacular. They’re usually served hot and fresh, but these are stale and sad. The dipping sauce and ice cream were great accompaniments, but couldn’t save this dish from its main base.

The Best 7 of the 2024 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival

Now, let’s break down the best menu items of the festival.

#7: Chicken Lollipop (Studio Catering Co.)

Beer-brined chicken with poblano mashed potatoes, caramelized fennel, and fried carrots

A white cardboard dish sits on a white table, containing a Chicken Lollipop.

We didn’t think this would make it to our best list, based on its appearance, but we really loved this dish. The chicken is juicy, and the drumstick is a good size for the price. The beer brine that the chicken comes resting in is phenomenal.

#6: Shrimp Papas Locas (Peppers Cali-Ente)

Cheddar-Bacon Potatoes with Jalepeño Cheese Sauce and Chipotle Shrimp

A reporter's hand holds a brown cardboard dish filled with Shrimp Papas Locas.

This is a super spicy, fantastic dish. The shrimp is well-cooked and not fishy in taste. We only had three of them in our serving but it didn’t matter to us, as the full package was so good.

#5: Butterscotch Banana Churro (Willie’s Churros)

Churro rolled in banana sugar topped with butterscotch icing, butterscotch drops, and banana chip crumble

A reporter's hand holds a white cardboard dish containing two Butterscotch Banana Churros.

This could be our favorite churro we’ve ever had at the resort. The flavors and texture are perfect, with the butterscotch coming through a bit stronger than the banana flavor. We went back and got this treat a second time after our initial review because we loved it so much.

#4: Fig Matcha Latte (Golden Dreams)

(Non-alcoholic) Matcha, Soy Milk, Coconut & Simple Syrups topped with a Fig Oat Sweet Cream, garnished with Matcha Powder

A reporter's hand holds a clear cup filled with earthy green matcha and topped with white cream.

This latte tastes like Japan in a cup. The oat milk blends perfectly with the matcha. We couldn’t help but drink the whole thing.

#3: Chicken Musakhan (Paradise Garden Grill)

Roasted spiced half chicken and sumac stewed onions on flatbread with a Mediterranean salad and a garlic yogurt dipping sauce

A reporter's hand holds a red plate containing chicken, flatbread, and a Mediterranean salad.

The skin of this chicken alone is one of the best things we ate at the festival. The chicken itself is juicy and perfectly cooked. The bread served underneath is great, and the yogurt sauce is a nice addition. We craved this dish overnight after reviewing it, and would highly recommend getting it to share with a friend.

#2: Sisig Burrito (Paradise Garden Grill)

Seasoned pork, onions, serrano peppers, garlic fried rice, scrambled egg, and marinated tomatoes with a side of chicharrones and vinegar dipping sauce

A reporter's hand holds a teal plate containing a burrito and chicarrones, topped with scallion.

This burrito is packed full of pork and rice and makes Chipotle look cheap. It’s got a nice spice plus a slight kick from the garlic. The pork is tender and juicy, and the portion is big enough to share. The chicharrones aren’t bad, but we weren’t served the vinegar dipping sauce that is supposed to join them.

#1: The Best — Frozen Old Fashioned (Golden Dreams)

(Non-alcoholic) Bourbon-flavored Ice Cream, Bitters Crema, Orange Zest Glaze, Cherry Spheres

A reporter's hand holds a cardboard dish containing the Frozen Old Fashioned ice cream, topped with an orange glaze and cherry spheres.

You would think, based on the name, is a frozen version of the classic cocktail. Instead, you get a non-alcoholic ice cream pop. It tastes exactly like an Old Fashioned despite not containing any alcohol. That being said, we’d recommend grabbing some flatware to eat this unique treat.

Check out our video breaking down all of the best and worst dishes, as well as a few honorable mentions:

The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival runs from March 1 through April 22, 2024. Take a look inside the Tasting Passport and see this year’s festival merchandise, or check out our reviews of every single food item available.

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