Disney California Adventure’s Food & Wine Festival is back in 2022, running from March 4th until April 26th. The Festival features unique food and drink offerings, culinary demonstrations, live music, seminars and the return of a beloved ride. In this guide, we’ll give a summary of each while breaking down our favorite parts of the festival.
Similar to Epcot at Walt Disney World, California Adventure has become festival central at Disneyland Resort. Festival of the Holidays and the Lunar New Year Festival have recently joined the Food & Wine Festival, which has run at DCA off and on since 2006. While the food itself can be a little bit hit and miss at certain festivals, I generally like the entertainment and how California Adventure hosts these festivals. There is plenty of live music, marketplaces, demonstrations and other offerings stretched throughout the park, centering around Paradise Gardens Park and stretching outward. As for what is offered specifically at the 2022 Food & Wine Festival, let’s get to it!
Food & Drinks
I love a good literal title and Food & Wine Festival is just that. The festival is all about what guests can eat and drink. Many of the specialty items are offered at Festival Marketplaces. Here are the 12 different Marketplaces with a brief description of them:
- Avocado Time – Indulge in flavorful medleys that make your mouth sing.
- Berry Patch – Hail the big berry for top billing!
- California Craft Brews – Cheers to a round from California’s best local breweries.
- Cluck-a-Doodle-Moo – Rally for these sliders, wings ‘n’ beer—a sports fan’s dream!
- D•Lish – Enjoy delicious sweet and savory dishes sure to delight!
- Garlic Kissed – Stop by to savor mouthwatering dishes and specialty beverages.
- Golden Dreams – Tempt taste buds with well-seasoned eats and nectarous drinks.
- I Heart Artichokes – Partake in the thistle—prepared in 2 different ways!
- LA Style – Feast on favorite southland food-truck flavors.
- Nuts About Cheese – Let us introduce you to wine’s best friends.
- Peppers Cali-Ente – Snack on hot ‘n’ spicy fare with a Cali twist!
- Uncork California – Sip vino by the glass or try a flight.
Most of them stretch through DCA’s main thoroughfare and are easy to find. A few are off that well worn path but still are easily accessible. Not all of the specialty items are just at Marketplaces though as many of DCA’s restaurants have special additions to the menu, notably at Paradise Garden Grill. For a look at all of the food and drink offered, here’s a post with the menus for each spot.
We’ve tried a number of the food items and will have a post up shortly about all of what we’ve tried. Most of the dishes have been solid and some great! That does not include the Peanut Butter & Jelly Mac. Do not get that under any circumstance. I repeat, do not eat that!
If you’re at the park to eat then we recommend getting the Sip and Savor Pass. This costs $57 ($52 for Magic Key Holders and Cast Members) and will give you 8 tabs that will then be good for any food item or non-alcoholic drink at the Marketplaces or participating restaurants. It will definitely save you money if you’re a Magic Key Holder, especially if you use the tabs on food items, as almost all of them are over $7. You’ll still likely save a little if you don’t get the discount but it’s not more than a few dollars. If you’re planning to spend the day eating then getting this is a good move.
One tip before we move on from the food. If it’s a busy day at the parks and you’re trying items from multiple Marketplaces then you can order all of them at one location and then you just keep the receipt and show it to each Marketplace. This will save you from waiting in a number of different lines.
Also on brand for the Food & Wine Festival are the culinary demonstrations which are offered every weekend of the Festival in Hollywood Land. Most weekends, the demonstrations appear to be at 4:30 and 5:30 PM and last around an hour.
Some demonstrations feature Disney chefs while others feature visiting chefs, showcasing their culinary chops in different demos. These demonstrations are free to anyone who’s already inside of California Adventure. Here’s the list of chefs featured at the festival:
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 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 Jamie Gwen
- 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
Food & Wine Festival is largely for adults, as much of the food offered is a little more unique and maybe outside of some kids comfort zones. Same goes for the culinary demonstrations but there are a few other offerings that might be of interest to entire families.
At the Hollywood Backlot in Hollywood Land Chef Goofy meets guests in his jacket and hat. In that same area is Alice’s Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party where guests will be able to decorate and color different food inspired crafts. Not to be left off, there’s also the Jammin’ Chefs who are like a drumline but instead of drums they use pots and pans. Chip n’ Dale show up to help and dance.
None of these things are honestly all that interesting, although seeing Goofy in a chef’s costume is fun. I’m not sure I’d recommend taking the time to seek any of these out though.
Live Music and an Attraction Return
Throughout the festival, there are two stages featuring live music. The bigger stage is in Paradise Gardens Park while the other resides next to Paradise Garden Grill. Showtimes start in the early afternoon and run through the evening with each band usually doing around 5 sets per day. The bands do rotate throughout the week, usually being at the park for 2 days before having the next band come in.
We’ve seen a number of these live performers and recommend checking any and all of them out. Having live music in the park is a boost of energy and some of them are very enjoyable. Phat Cat Swinger, a California Adventure mainstay, is a favorite as they play in Paradise Gardens on Sunday and Monday. We also have really enjoyed Midnight Hour.
Finally, maybe the biggest festival addition is the return of Soarin’ Over California. Loyal readers know our preference and affection for this attraction. To say it’s superior to Soarin’ Around the World is an understatement and we’d like to see the original Soarin’ back in the theater on a permanent basis. Enjoy it while it’s here!
Along with all of what’s offered to guests with regular admission, there are also bookable experiences for guests who want a little something more.
- Carthay Circle Winemaker Receptions – Enjoy hand-selected California wines, masterfully paired with an array of small plates.
- Wine, Beer and Mixology Education & Tasting Seminars – Discover something special when sommeliers, brew masters and mixologists divulge their industry expertise during these fascinating 45-minute sessions.
- Hotels Education and Tasting Seminars, Winemaker Reception & Mixology Class Experiences – Enjoy special tasting seminars, a Winemaker Reception and Mixology Seminar at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.
Should you Visit for DCA’s Food & Wine Festival?
Making a special trip for Food & Wine Festival is an interesting question as I’m not sure the festival offers enough unique content to be totally worth it. As far as the food goes, it is certainly better than any other festival at California Adventure but I actually enjoy the live entertainment at Festival of the Holidays more.
If you’re a local then making a special trip for Food & Wine seems well worth it! Same goes if you’re an adult an looking for something fun to do with friends, as tasting and drinking things around the park makes for a fun evening. As far as families go though, I don’t think this festival really should move the needle on when to visit Disneyland Resort. We like DCA’s Food & Wine but it wouldn’t factor in to our decision to visit much if we lived out of town.
What do you think of California Adventure’s Food & Wine Festival? Let us know, along with any other questions you might have, in the comments below. Planning a trip to Disneyland? Check out our Planning Guide here. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Restaurant Reviews