Everything We Tried at the 2024 California Adventure Food and Wine Festival

Disney’s California Adventure Food and Wine Festival is back with a ton of new items to try. There are ten festival marketplaces this year and even more participating locations with limited time offerings.

Obviously, we were there to see it all. Not necessarily try it all – there’s way too many options, but we gave it our best shot.

Impossible Chicken Parm Bites

A hand holding a cardboard boat containing two Impossible Chicken Parm Bites topped with melted cheese and marinara sauce, with a seating area with red benches in the background

Served with Tomato and Cheese Sauces and Grated Parmesan, is available at the Earth Eats booth in the Hollywood Backlot area. The dish features Impossible brand imitation chicken nuggets slathered in marinara sauce and loaded with cheese.

The texture of the chicken closely resembles the real thing; it’s moist and tender. However, the breading absorbs quite a bit of the sauce and could have been crispier.

A close-up of a vibrant festival table top sign featuring the 2024 California Adventure Food & Wine Festival logo with a blurred background

The marinara sauce is simple and straight to the point. A little sweet, but not overly seasoned but not lacking in flavor. The cheese sauce adds richness and the fun of a good cheese pull.

This is a vegetarian option, not plant-based, which was a bit of a disappointment. Sort of like stopping halfway through a homework assignment because, ‘it’s good enough.’

Overall, we’re giving the Impossible Chicken Parm Bites 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a solid choice for anyone looking for a vegetarian option or who’s looking to try something new.

Impossible Beef Stroganoff

Another option from Earth Eats, the Impossible Beef Stroganoff consists of Egg Noodles Tossed in Mushroom Cream Sauce with Impossible Beef and Sour Cream. This was, not good.

A vibrant close-up of Impossible Beef Stroganoff in a cardboard container, showing savory pieces of plant-based beef and pasta, drizzled with creamy sauce and sprinkled with green onions

The pasta itself is fine, albeit a bit overcooked. But something about the sauce completely misses the mark. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but I would guess that they’re using canned mushrooms or added too much sour cream.

Between the soft bite of the pasta and sour tasting sauce, this stroganoff earns just 2 stars. And one of those is simply because it’s another meatless option. Surprisingly the Impossible Beef was one of the best things about this.

Watermelon Cucumber Mojito

A hand displaying a Watermelon Mojito in a tall plastic cup, the rim crusted with red seasoning, against a vivid blue background with red outdoor furniture

In a shocking turn of events, the all around favorite this year is the Watermelon Cucumber Mojito earning 5 out of 5 stars.

This cocktail is the perfect drink for a warm park day. It’s dry but refreshing, providing just the right amount of sweetness to make it an extremely dangerous option. The front of the drink has a soft floral flavor, while the back half is heavy on the mint.

A woman with Mickey Mouse ears appears pleasantly surprised as she sips from a translucent yellow cup of Watermelon Mojito. She’s sitting at an outdoor dining area with red accents and lush greenery, adding to the festive atmosphere of the California Food and Wine Festival.

Not-so-secretly hoping we see this one again next year!

Carnitas-Style Pork Belly

Surprising absolutely no-one, thick bacon is good. Yes, the Carnitas-Style Pork Belly with Esquites Mac Salad featuring Tajin Habanero tastes quite familiar and that flavor is pure comfort.

A close-up of a carnitas-style pork belly dish topped with macaroni salad in a cardboard container, served at the festival.

It’s comfort food, crispy on the outside but supple, juicy, and succulent in the middle. Biting into it the texture falls apart, melting in your mouth. True to the carnitas style, the pork belly has clearly been slow cooked to perfection. 5 out of 5 stars.

The mac salad on the other hand could use some help. There’s a mayonnaise based dressing that doesn’t really add much to the dish. It’s pretty bland and overdressed, even paired up with the rest of the dish.

Plant Based Baja-Style Fish Taco

An up-close view of a Plant-Based Baja Style Fish Taco in a soft tortilla, filled with crispy fish alternative, fresh slaw, and diced tomatoes, held in a hand with bright outdoor seating in the background

Full disclosure, I ate this one and I have never liked fish. So in this completely unbiased review I will explain exactly why this is the worst thing I’ve ever eaten at Disney.

A woman in Mickey Mouse ears expressing surprise with her hand to her cheek, sitting at an outdoor table with red umbrellas.

First of all – fish, or fake fish. As a seafood suffragette I can confirm that the texture of this plant based fish is on point. It tastes like chicken to start but the salty sea-brine flavor is not far behind. 0 stars, but if you like seafood or fish tacos, you’ll probably like this.

Coleslaw, pico de gallo, and a cilantro lime crema top the tacos. In all honesty I did not notice these at all, but would have greatly preferred to have just these items in a bowl and avoid the not-fish all together.

Spice Strawberry Cocktail

We love a good festival cocktail, don’t we?! The Spiced Strawberry Cocktail with pineapple, chile spices, tajin, and Chamoy hits the spot.

A refreshing Spiced Strawberry Cocktail in a clear plastic cup, garnished with tamarind straw held in a hand against an outdoor seating area backdrop

It’s a sweet and tangy beverage with a bit of a kick. You can taste the alcohol enough to know that it’s there, while still being an easy sipper. The Spiced Strawberry Cocktail reminds of the Pica Fresca candy from an ice cream truck. Or the Chile-Mango Dole Whip across the street at Disneyland’s Tropical Hideaway.

A woman sipping a Spiced Strawberry Cocktail with a garnished rim, her expression suggesting delight, with outdoor seating in the background.

We’re giving this 4 stars. It’s delicious, but it’s pretty sweet by the end. Also, if you don’t like spicy food, drinks, or candy – you probably won’t like this one.

Blueberry Pancake Cold Brew

A blueberry pancake cold brew in a clear cup held by a person, with a blurry background of a festival food booth and attendees.

Made with Maple Syrup, Brown Butter, and a Blueberry Sweet Cream – the Blueberry Pancake Cold Brew is an interesting choice.

I’m all for efficiency, but I prefer my coffee and pancakes to be served in separate containers. It’s a delicious iced coffee with an unusual and unexpected twist. But, it’s on the sweeter side and that’s not just not our preference. 3 out of 5 stars.

Fig Matcha Latte

For the tea lovers we have the Fig Matcha Latte with Fig Oat Sweet Cream and Matcha Powder, which earns a respectable 4 out of 5 stars!

A person's hand holding an oat fig matcha latte in a clear cup, with a blurred Ferris wheel in the background, signifying the festival ambiance.

It’s got the earthy forward flavor you love about matcha, with a sweeter and flavorful finish. The Fig Oat Sweet Cream stands out both in taste and appearance, making for an utterly Instagram-able option.

We loved the off-beat nature of green tea over coffee for a mid-day caffeine fix. And the inclusion of another non-dairy option.

Mickey-Shaped Macaron with SNICKERS

Everything tastes better when Mickey shaped, it’s science. And the science did not let us down.

Mickey-shaped chocolate macaron on a colorful festival-themed paper plate, with a blurred background showcasing a Ferris wheel and roller coaster at California Adventure

There’s so much to love about the complex macaron from Nuts About Cheese. From the crunch and crack of the crisp outer cookie to the luxuriously soft velvet ganache. This sweet confection is decadently rich.

A woman tasting a Mickey-shaped macaron, her expression one of happy surprise, in a sunny outdoor setting.

Drizzled in chocolate sauce and doused in Snickers crumbles. The Mickey Shaped Macaron is a solid 5 stars.

Frozen Mangonada Beer Slush

The Frozen Mangonada Beer Slush might be the single thing we’re most excited about from DCA’s Food and Wine festival this year. Love the whimsy of a grown-up slushie with a, slightly, elevated taste profile.

A person holding a mangonada beer slush in a clear cup, with the festival stage and Ferris wheel in the background, under a bright blue sky

It’s made with brewery X Baja Boi, mango purée, rock melon syrup, grapefruit juice, and mango-chamoy glaze. And it’s out of this world! To me, it tastes like a melted mango popsicle.

A woman smiling behind a frozen Mangonada beer slush in a clear cup with the iconic Ferris wheel and roller coaster at California Adventure in the background

The beer doesn’t stand out much, which is a bit disappointing. But it makes this an easy drink and so refreshing on a hot California day. The Mangonada Slush earns 4 out of 5 stars for it’s icy indulgence.

S’mores Caramel Tart

Towards the bottom of our ranking list is the S’mores Caramel Tart with just 2 stars. While the components of the dessert are each delicious on their own, the sum of the parts isn’t any better than by themselves.

A close-up of a hand holding a s'mores caramel tart on a festival-themed paper plate, in front of the festival stage with musical equipment and Ferris wheel in the background

The gram cracker tart shell provides a sturdy and flavorful vessel for the sinfully scrumptious caramel and chocolate ganache. Which is thick enough to warrant a knife, in a good way.

A woman reacting to a S’mores Caramel Tart with a look of anticipated enjoyment, in an outdoor dining area.

A softer marshmallow would help this dish immensely. What you currently get on top is too tough and impossible to incorporate into a complete bite. We can settle for eating a yummy marshmallow on it’s own though, if we must.

Loaded Baked Potato

There are just ten marketplace kiosks at this years festival, but more participating locations around the resort than ever. Paradise Garden Grill, tucked back in the far corner of the park, is included in those.

An indulgent loaded baked potato topped with cheese sauce and garnish, on a bright turquoise plate, with a creamy coleslaw side.

First off – Paradise Garden Grill is a vibe. There’s live music throughout the day that routinely has guests on their feet dancing and singing along. Seating and tables are plentiful, and it really feels like stepping into a party.

And any good party needs an amazing menu. We tried the Loaded Baked Potato with Seasoned Impossible Steak Tips and BBQ Baked Beans. However, failed to read the item description and spent far too many minutes trying to figure out why it tasted like barbeque.

woman tasting a Loaded Baked Potato, her expression suggesting a savory and satisfying experience at the festival.

Once we actually realized what we had ordered, it all made sense – and was delicious. The Impossible beef tips are cooked tender with just enough bite to be convincing. A creamy cheesey sauce covers it all like a warm blanket, or hug.

And sweet and tangy baked beans are piled high. A crunchy cabbage slaw sits on top for additional texture and freshness. We absolutely love this one and give it 5 out of 5 stars. But it’s huge and sort of defeats the purpose of trying new things at a festival like this.

Pistachio Cheesecake

Last, but far from least, is the Paradise Garden Grill Pistachio Cheesecake with 3 out of 5 stars.

A close-up of a pistachio cheesecake topped with chopped nuts on a vibrant festival-themed plate, highlighting the dessert's creamy texture.

The silky center and tangy taste are everything good about cheesecake. But the flavor fell short with just a handful of pistachios sprinkled on top. We really wanted to love this one, too.

A woman holding a Pistachio Cheesecake on a colorful plate, her wide eyes and smile indicating a joyful tasting experience.

If you’re in the mood for something slightly sweet, without being overwhelming, this would be a great option. It is in the very back of the park though and I wouldn’t go out of my way to grab it.

Have you visited the DCA Food and Wine Festival this year? If so, what were your best of the fest?

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