First Look and Review! Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure SOFT OPENING!!

Disney’s Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure officially kicks off this Friday, November 10th, for the second year running!

Festival of Holidays!

Festival of Holidays!

But DFB was on the scene for a soft opening of the event TODAY (with a HUGE “Thank You” to our on-the-scene pals, Sabrina — also known as @everythingdisney.55 on Instagram, and Heather @diningindisney!).

Check out the full menus — with prices — for all of the Festival Marketplace Booths here! We’ll be updating these pages with ALL the food photos as we go!

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure

Disney California Adventure is packed with festive music, entertainment, and FOOD to celebrate the season from now through January 7, 2018!

Festival of Holidays Entertainment Banner

Festival of Holidays Entertainment Banner

Today we’re giving you a First Look at the Festive Foods Marketplace featuring thirteen Festival Marketplace Food Booths serving eats for the event. (Remember, a “soft opening” means that booths and entertainment may or may not be in operation at any given time until the Festival officially begins this Friday.)

Chips, Breads & Holiday Spreads

Chips, Breads & Holiday Spreads

American holiday traditional and globally-inspired holiday menus make up the Season’s Eatings at Disney California Adventure!

Check out the full menus — with prices — for all of the Festival Marketplace Booths here!

Don’t forget! You can also make plans to meet Santa Claus (!!!), enjoy the Disney Viva Navidad Street Party, and take in a special holiday version of World of Color — Season of Light. Check out all the Festival fun here!

But for NOW, let’s grab our Festival of Holidays Souvenir Traveler Mug…

Souvenir Mug

Souvenir Mug

AND our Tasting Passport!

Tasting Passport

Tasting Passport

And let’s DIG IN to a few of the bites we tried today!

Chips, Breads & Holiday Spreads

We’re diving in with what’s already become one of our Festival Favorites: Chorizo Queso Fundido with House-made Tortilla Chips at Chips, Breads & Holiday Spreads!

Chorizo Queso Fundido with House-made Tortilla Chips

Chorizo Queso Fundido with House-made Tortilla Chips

This perfectly gooey, cheesy, slightly spicy bowl is served with a surprisingly good portion of those House-made Tortilla Chips!

You’ll find the Cranberry Pear Tart with Rosemary-infused Cream here, too!

Cranberry Pear Tart with Rosemary-infused Cream

Cranberry Pear Tart with Rosemary-infused Cream

Holiday Duets

Did somebody say Macaroni and Cheese with Cornbread Crumbles? YES! Holiday Duets sure did!

Macaroni and Cheese with Cornbread Crumbles

Macaroni and Cheese with Cornbread Crumbles

This booth features perfect pairings with a bit of a twist, like the Cookie Butter and Jelly Cheesecake. WHAAAAAAAT?!?

Cookie Butter and Jelly Cheesecake

Cookie Butter and Jelly Cheesecake

Speaking of pairings… you can pair any of the items at Holiday Duets with the refreshing Pomegranate Mule with Pomegranate Seeds and Rosemary Sprig.

Pomegranate Mules

Pomegranate Mules

OR you could go with the Warm Chocolate Float with Whipped Cream and Brownie Crumbles, which just so happens to make our list so far of Festival Favorites!

Warm Chocolate Float with Whipped Cream and Brownie Crumbles

Warm Chocolate Float with Whipped Cream and Brownie Crumbles

But, hey, it’s your call ;) .

A Twist on Tradition

I am PUMPED that the Reuben Potato Smash with Russian Dressing and Rye Toast Crumble — one of my favorites from 2016 — can be found at A Twist on Tradition this year!

Reuben Potato Smash with Russian dressing and Rye toast

Reuben Potato Smash with Russian dressing and Rye toast

Don’t miss it!

Festive Holiday Extras

Do you know what a Pineapple Kesari is? Yeah, I didn’t either until today, but apparently they’re all Mickey shaped at Disneyland ;) ! Okay, in all seriousness, the Pineapple Kesari with Golden Raisins at Festive Holiday Extras, as a sweet Indian dish, is one of the Festival’s offerings honoring Diwali.

Pineapple Kesari with Golden Raisins

Pineapple Kesari with Golden Raisins

And it was a really pleasant surprise! The creamy, mildly sweet Kesari was brightened with the citrus of the pineapple. Heather loved it so much that it’s a Festival Favorite!

We also really enjoyed the Baked Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, just like the side dish you may enjoy at home on special ocassions like the holidays… except now you can enjoy it in DISNEYLAND!

Baked Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Baked Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I love this other holiday classic, too… the Sherbet Holiday Punch!

Sherbet Holiday Punch

Sherbet Holiday Punch

Simple? For sure. But still a fun sip for all ages, no matter what.

Spicy Celebrations

Okay, you know this about us here at the DFB… whenever Disney claims that something is “spicy,” like the items at Spicy Celebrations, we wonder if it will be really, truly spicy or just… “Disney spicy” (which is to say, not very spicy at all).

Nashville Hot Fried Turkey with Dill Pickles

Nashville Hot Fried Turkey with Dill Pickles

Well, in the case of the Nashville Hot Fried Turkey with Dill Pickles… it sets your mouth on FIRE!! And it’s so delicious that it’s completely worth the hurts-so-good burn! It’s TOTALLY a Festival Favorite!

Classic Crocks & Casseroles

It’s such a fun and unexpected combination of items at Classic Crocks & Casseroles! We enjoyed both casseroles, starting with the Chana Masala with Grilled Garlic Naan.

Chana Masala with Grilled Naan Bread

Chana Masala with Grilled Naan Bread

But it was only slightly overshadowed by the even better Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole with Crispy Onions, which lands on our Festival Favorites list!

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

And get a load of the lovely and festive Milk Chocolate-Candy Cane Pot de Crème.

Milk Chocolate Candy Cane Pot de Creme

Milk Chocolate Candy Cane Pot de Creme

Winter Sliderland

Now, a lot of the Festival is, of course, centered around Christmas and Navidad, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Diwali. But the end-of-year holidays include Thanksgiving, too, and you can get your taste of it with the returning Roasted Turkey Slider with Cranberry Sauce at Winter Sliderland! It’s another Festival Favorite so far!

Roasted Turkey Slider

Roasted Turkey Slider

Just like last year, this one gets a BIG THUMBS UP! Sweet, savory, and gravy-topped… what more could you ask for?

You can follow it up with the gorgeous Eggnog Macaron!

Eggnog Macaron

Eggnog Macaron

Whew! And that’s just the beginning, because we’ve got even MORE Festive Foods Marketplaces to visit tomorrow! Are you ready to celebrate with us even more?! Then STAY TUNED… because we’ll be back with MORE fun and food at the Disney California Festival of Holidays TOMORROW with photos of EVEN MORE FOOD at the Festive Foods Marketplace!

Check out the full menus — with prices — for all of the Festival Marketplace Booths here! We’ll be updating our menu pages with photos as well! Stay tuned!

Are you heading to Disney California Adventure for the Festival of Holidays? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. jordaan says

    Hey there! I saw that there are festival of holiday tumblers that also come with the chocolate float? I just wanted to make sure that was correct. Headed to the parks tomorrow!

  2. DFB Sarah says

    Jordaan: A Holidays Souvenir Tumbler is available (according to the menu board) with the Warm Chocolate Float.

  3. Candice says

    Hi! Thanks so much for all the info. I’ve never been to DCA during the holidays and will be going in a few weeks. Can you give any info on how the tasting passport works? Is there an additional charge for it?

    Thanks so much!

  4. DFB Sarah says

    Hi, Candice! Our pal Sabrina (@everythingdisney.55) shared that the Tasting Passport is essentially a booklet with information on all the booths and food/drink options. You can also collect stamps in the Passport at each booth you visit and a “completion” stamp if you visit all the booths. The Passport is free.

  5. Suzanne says

    Are there any Passholder discounts like the Wine a d Dine last spring? You’ve made me hungry. Thanks.

  6. DFB Sarah says

    Suzanne, there are a couple of Passholder-exclusive aspects of the Festival of Holidays. There’s an “AP Corner” with “exclusive holiday activities”. And there’s a 2017 Sip and Savor Pass that costs $45 and comes with eight vouchers and a lanyard. (You can also get AP buttons each time you redeem a Sip and Savor voucher, while supplies last.) We recommend looking at the Festival menus to determine if the items you want to try will balance out with the cost of the Sip and Savor. Otherwise, to our knowledge, there aren’t AP discounts on items at the Festival.

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