Hey guys! I wanted to make sure I had a place to keep all my reviews, photos, and experiences throughout Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure! Pop back in throughout the holidays for more and more!
It’s finally here! The festival that gets overshadowed by the spring’s Food and Wine, but really shouldn’t! Festival of Holiday’s is a magical land full of holiday themed bites and drinks, but this isn’t just turkey and mashed potatoes. The booths cover a huge variety of holidays (think Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Navidad, and more!) and the menu covers everything from an Oatmeal Cookie beer to Cauliflower Curry Soup!
Tips for Festival of Holidays
There is just too much to try at the fest to do it alone! Split everything you try with your friends and family, so you can try as many bites as possible! Keep in mind these aren’t really full meal sized portions, and they are meant for all day long snacking.
Take a peek at the Festival’s “Sip and Savor” pass
Like I mentioned, these aren’t meant to be full meals, and there is a lot to try! For this reason it can get a little pricey. The Sip and Savor pass is $54 ($49 for APs) and can be purchased at most of the festival specific merchandise locations. This pass gives you 8 coupons, which you can redeem for any food or non-alcoholic beverage option at any booth. (It works out to you paying $6.75 per item or $6.12ish if you’re an AP.) Consider there are quite a few options far above that price, even up to $8, you’ll save a bit on each bite and get to try the absolute best of the fest.
Grab a Festival Passport
These passports have every menu item of every booth and they’re free. They’re so easy to keep track of what you’ve tried and what you loved – and they are definitely the best way to keep a menu in your pocket at all times, you know, for perusing while in line for Toy Story Mania. 😉
Try Something Unusual!
While yes I will always order whatever variety of mac and cheese they bring out for the festival (this year it’s stuffing mac and cheese and I review it down below) one of the best parts of the fest is trying unique and unusual flavors, associated with other traditions and holidays. So far my favorite thing outside the norm of American holidays was Cauliflower Curry Soup with braised lamb, and I can guarantee you that wouldn’t have been on my Thanksgiving table otherwise.
ALRIGHT! Let’s get to it. Here are all the things I’ve tried so far, and I’ll keep updating as we go! 🙂
Turkey & Stuffing Tamale with Cranberry Relish – $7.75 – 7/10
Ok I was super weirded out by the description of this because…. I have literally never eaten a tamale and been like, you know what would really make this thing amazing?! White people food like turkey and cranberry! And to be fair I’d still order a regular tamale if given the choice, but it was surprisingly good! The texture of the tamale really worked well with the turkey, and the cranberry relish wasn’t just a regular sauce, it was truly a relish.
Chorizo Queso Fundido with House-made Tortilla Chips – $6.25 – 11/10
This is a return from previous years and it is SO GOOD. Seriously just trust me on this and order it. It’s also at the same booth as all the good beer… so you have no excuses. Don’t leave the fest without it – you’ve been warned.
Curry Cauliflower Soup with Braised Lamb and Mintchurri – $7.50 – 10/10
My favorite thing I’ve tried so far! Definitely had a strong curry flavor, perfect fall/winter soup texture, and the lamb was a little salty that cut through the soup perfectly. This was also one of the largest servings of anything I’ve ever gotten at a festival of this style – one serving of this could pretty much be your lunch! DEFINITELY worth the money, and super good! I probably will order this one again. 😉
Chocolate Chipotle Pot de Crème – $4.50 – 6/10
This isn’t really my type of dessert so I’m not sure what inspired me to try it, but I’m glad I did! It’s like a nice, thick but airy chocolate pudding, and the spicy bite really comes through at the end! I won’t order this again, but it was one of those “try something different” moments that really paid off! If you’re a fan of chocolate/spicy blend definitely give it a shot!
Holiday Stuffing Mac & Cheese – $7.75 – 10/10
THIS IS SO GOOD. It is a super good creamy mac and cheese with this… stuffing type crumble on top that is like a slightly crunchy delicious bite. The stuffing crumble tastes JUST like stuffing and seriously, is so good. We loved this one. (pro-tip: at $7.75 this is one of the best uses of the Sip and Savor pass!)
You know we didn’t go to three days of this festival without trying out some beers only there for the fest! Here’s what we tried:
Deschutes Brewery, Mirror Pond, Pale Ale – $10.75
- Definitely my favorite beer of the fest! The perfect Pale Ale, a *little* on the malty side (for a pale ale) in my opinion, but that makes it a little more wintery in my opinion. Good enough where I almost didn’t try anything else. 😉
Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Isomerizer, IPA – $10.75
- We always try the local San Diego beers that get a spot in Disneyland, and this was no exception. Justin prefered this to the Pale Ale, and I could see why! A bold hoppy beer that is something different than what we usually try! A solid IPA for anyone who prefers them. 🙂
Ballast Point Brewing Company, Spruce Tip Sculpin, IPA – $10.75
- While this beer was pretty good, we weren’t paying attention when ordering and didn’t realize this was in a bottle -_- that means not only are you getting bottled beer not draft, the price is the same for 12 ounces of this beer from the bottle as 16 ounces of the other two beers on our list. Don’t make our mistake and just order this one elsewhere, not in the parks.
Have you been? What do you want to try?! What should I try next that you love?! I can’t wait to be back and try more!