Vacation Tips

California Adventure 2023 Food & Wine Festival Guide

Disney California Adventure’s Food & Wine Festival is back in 2023, running from March 3rd until April 25th. 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.

DCA Food & Wine sign

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 2023 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.

DCA Food & Wine Cubano Slider

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! T

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.

DCA Food & Wine Phat Cat drums lights

Culinary Demonstrations

Also on brand for the Food & Wine Festival are the culinary demonstrations which are offered every weekend of the Festival in Hollywood Land. 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:

Friday, March 3

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Christina Orejel

Sunday, March 5

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Jeremiah Balogh

Friday, March 10

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Lauren Low

Sunday, March 12

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Ashley Parris
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Albert Esparza

Friday, March 17

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Joanna Aguayo

Friday, March 31

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Lorenzo Belloso

Sunday, April 2

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Jeremiah Balogh
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Natalie Willingham

Friday, April 7

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Pablito Bertulfo

Friday, April 14

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Daniel Duke Brown

Friday, April 21

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Andrew Zibble

Saturday, April 22

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Juan Mendoza
Culinary Demonstrations with Visiting Chefs

Saturday, March 4

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Wing Lam, Wahoo’s Fish Taco
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Jamie Gwen

Sunday, March 5

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Ray Hayashi & Cynthia Hetlinger, RYLA

Friday, March 10

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Ernie Alvarado, URBANA

Saturday, March 11

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: David Kuo, Little Fatty
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Winne Yee-Lakhani, Smoke Queen Barbecue

Friday, March 17

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Josh Frias, Naples Ristorante e Bar

Saturday, March 18

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: David Kuo, Little Fatty
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Claudia Sandoval, MasterChef

Sunday, March 19

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Michael Reed, Poppy & Seed
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Shachi Mehra, ADYA

Friday, March 24

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Darrin Finkel, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

Saturday, March 25

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Paul Cao, Burnt Crumbs
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Isaias Hernandez, Craft by Smoke and Fire

Sunday, March 26

  • 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM: Duff Goldman

Saturday, April 1

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Daniel Castillo & Nicholas Echaore, Heritage Barbecue
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Jamie Gwen

Friday, April 7

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Bret Thompson, PEZ CANTINA

Saturday, April 8

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Stuart O’Keeffe
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Shaun O’Neale, MasterChef

Sunday, April 9

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Jet Tila
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Shaun O’Neale, MasterChef

Saturday, April 15

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Henry Pineda, Lola’s by MFK
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Ross Pangilinan, TERRACE by Mix Mix

Sunday, April 16

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Nika Shoemaker-Machado, Georgia’s Restaurant
  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Brian Huskey

Friday, April 21

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Carlos Gaytan, Paseo

Sunday, April 23

  • 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: Brian Malarkey
Culinary Demonstrations with Festival Sponsors

Friday, March 3

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.®

Friday, March 24

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Marin French Cheese Co. presented by California Milk Advisory Board

Friday, March 31

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Ethel M® Chocolates

Friday, April 14

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Impossible™

Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23

  • 3:30 PM to 4:15 PM: Focus on Earth Month presented by National Geographic
DCA Rain Hyperion Hollywood Land

Family Entertainment

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.

DCA Food & Wine empanada

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.

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!

Soarin over California Golden Gate DCA

Bookable Experiences

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.
  • Hotel Winemaker & Mixology Class Experiences – Enjoy a special Winemaker Reception and Trader Sam’s Tiki Mixology Class.

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.

DCA Food & Wine Reggae

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!

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