FIRST TASTE: 2019 Disney Festival of Holidays debut with new and returning favorites

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The Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure have returned once again bringing a reliable lineup of goodies to enjoy. Perhaps the most high-profile part of the celebration each year are the Festival Marketplace kiosks with noshable nibbles, sips, and tastes from around the world.

Here’s a first taste look at some of the treats to warm your heart and fill your belly for the 2019 Disney Holidays! ENJOY!

What We Tried This Year

Re-imagined Beef Wellington

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RATING: ❄❄❄❄❄

Re-imagined Beef Wellington ($8.50) was the first thing we tried this year and it may just be the belle of the ball. Great flavors, huge portion. Creamy, beefy, mushroomy.

Reuben Potato Tots

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RATING: ❄❄❄⚫⚫

Reuben Potato Tots ($7) with Russian Dressing and Rye Toast takes the familiar sandwich and translates it into a tots dish. Whil there’s nothing inherently bad about the dish (although the meat on ours was a little dry and hard) it somehow seemed to lack the vibrant punch of its sandwich counterpart. Not the flavor explosion we were hoping for.

Fried Turkey Slider

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RATING: ❄❄❄❄⚫

Fried Turkey Slider ($7.50) on an herb roll with cranberry sauce and fresh coleslaw. A fun bright pop of flavors. Thick piece of turkey, nice and crispy. It’s a fun alternative to traditional holiday flavor profiles. The cranberry sauce oddly enough falls to the background in a dish that’s big on flavor. The rosemary in the bread is also quite strong.

Shepherd’s Upside Down Pie

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RATING: ❄❄⚫⚫⚫

Shepherd’s Upside Down Pie ($7.75) is a novel treat this year although, not necessarily a must-try. Mickey-shaped crust is flaky and good. The rest is not bad.

Curried Cauliflower and Chicken

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RATING: ❄❄❄⚫⚫

Curried Cauliflower and Chicken ($7) with lemon tahini and black garlic drizzle. Super tasty if you’re into this type of flavor profile. Cauliflower is perfectly cooked, soft but with a light crunch.

Glazed Ham Shanks

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RATING: ❄❄❄⚫⚫

Glazed Ham Shanks ($8) with honey crumble are a great dish although the ones we had featured a novel distinction of being both tender and dry at the same time as if perfectly cooked but then left out too long. There’s a strong flavor of honey in the glaze and it is overall pretty good… assuming you get a fresh piece.

Pork al Pastor Naan Taco

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RATING: ❄❄❄❄⚫

Pork al Pastor Naan Taco ($8) is a magical delight with Pineapple Pico de Gallo and Cilantro-Lime Crema! If you’re a fan of the regular version of the taco then this is a really nice one that subs the tortilla for a nice warmed piece of naan.

Caramelized Apple Cake

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RATING: ❄❄❄❄⚫

Caramelized Apple Cake ($5) with creme anglaise and salted caramel sauce is a winning combination that will not disappoint.

Churros Yule Log

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RATING: ❄❄❄❄⚫

Churros Yule Log ($6) is a delightful treat both in presentation and flavor. The sugary confection is quite sweet but not overly packed cinnamon. The frosting is creamy and delicious and the crisp pearls and chocolate flakes add a nice texture to what otherwise can be a mush-fest in terms of texture. But the flavors are there and those little toadstool mushrooms are as tasty as they are cute.

Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Macaron (GF)

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RATING: ❄❄❄❄❄

Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Macaron ($5.50) get major points for being gluten-friendly but it’s also packed with chocolately goodness. Imagine taking hot cocoa and making it a delicious edible snack and those are the delights you’ll encounter here. The marshmallows on top are a nice touch and the crushed peppermint on topping a welcome pop of holiday flavor.

Returning Treats

Popular items from previous years have returned again…

Braised Pork Belly Adobo with Garlic Fried Rice

RATING: ❄❄❄❄❄

Braised Pork Belly Adobo with Garlic Fried Rice ($7.75) is a returning favorite from previous years. It remains a strong strong contender for its wonderful balance of delicious garlic fried rice, tender braised pork belly, and lightly crispy pork rind. This thing is magical.

Shrimp and Grits with Andouille Sausage

RATING: ❄❄❄❄❄

Shrimp and Grits with Andouille Sausage ($8) was a powerful kick of flavor. We were turned off at first by the seemingly excess of broth but came to realize that the magic spicy liquid was a vital component of the dish. The three shrimp were cooked perfectly and served over a cheesy dollop of grits. Bits of sausage added some heat and overall balanced this dish into a festival must-try for us.

Beef Pot Roast on a Potato Roll

RATING: ❄❄❄❄⚫

Beef Pot Roast on a Potato Roll with Horseradish Cream ($8.50) was a fantastic little sandwich with tender juicy pot roast that gets some texture from the veggies and a pop of flavor from the horseradish. A solid contender. We only wished there was a touch more horse-radish to better balance out the portion of beef.

Turkey & Stuffing Tamale with Cranberry Relish

RATING: ❄❄⚫⚫⚫

Turkey & Stuffing Tamale with Cranberry Relish ($7.75) is an odd one. If it sounds to you like the flavors wouldn’t really come together into a tasty dish, you’d mostly be right. While the dish didn’t taste bad, it’s certainly not a dish we’d want to try again. The tamale masa was flavorful but the filling and cranberry topping just did not come together for us into an inspiring mashup.

Ready to Taste?

2019 Festival of Holidays Sip & Savor Tasting Passport is available to ALL guests with you the opportunity to taste through your choice of eight different dishes or non-alcoholic beverages from participating Festive Food Marketplaces.

This pass can be purchased at various locations throughout the park, including Festival Merchandise Carts, Seaside Souvenirs, Kingswell Camera Shop, and Rushin’ River Outfitters.

Prices:

  • Regular ($56)
  • Annual Passholders ($51)

VALUE ALERT: To get the most bang for your buck out of the passport, you’ll just want to make sure you don’t get any of the items that cost less than $7.00 (regular) or $6.38 (passholder). Considering the prices, that shouldn’t be terribly difficult as long as you avoid desserts and drinks!

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Save Time!

The Festival of Holiday marketplace kiosks are equipped to sell you items from ANY of the kiosks. So if you find a kiosk with a shorter line you can jump in that one to order your food from another kiosk. Just take your receipt to the appropriate kiosks to get your items!

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Everywhere Treats

Around the Resort you’ll find a number of treats, both hand-made and prepackaged.

Handmade

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Pre-Packaged

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Decorate your own gingerbread Mickey cookie kits!

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Feeling Overwhelmed?

Disney provides a Foodie Guide to keep with you in the park to help you keep track of what you want to taste!

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Novelty Souvenirs

As you taste your way through the holidays, you might find several novelty items that will grab your attention. From popcorn containers, sippers, drink toppers, and more, there’s a lot in store.

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This adorable light-up Mickey Christmas Tree premium popcorn bucket ($25) has been turning heads all weekend.

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The Jingle Bell Ornament Light-Up Sipper ($21) and Holiday Straw with Mickey Gingerbread Man Clip ($6.50) are two tempting options.

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The Premium Pluto Popcorn Bucket ($18) is adorable but you can also get the super cute regular popcorn bucket and save a few bucks.

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Green Alien popcorn buckets are also back this year in holiday plaid.

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Travel Mugs and Buckets of all sorts this year!

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Mickey Peppermint Candy Bottle Topper.

Complete Festival of Holidays Menu Offering

FESTIVAL OF HOLIDAYS MARKETPLACES

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Holiday Duets Marketplace

  • Braised Pork Belly Adobo – With garlic fried rice
  • Shrimp & Grits – With Andouille sausage
  • Mickey & Minnie Cookies
  • Cranberry Sangria
  • Churro Toffee Cold Brew (Non-Alcoholic)

 Brews & Bites Marketplace

  • Chorizo Fundido – Served with House-made Tortilla Chips
  • Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, American Light Lager
  • Cerveza Rrëy, Kölsch
  • SLO Brew, Cali-Squeeze, Blood Orange Hefeweizen
  • Two Pitcher’s Brewing, Nordic Jam, Berry Lager
  • The Bruery Or Xata, Horchata Blonde
  • Einstök Beer Company, Arctic Pale Ale
  • Lost Winds Brewing Company, Reddy or Not, Amber Ale
  • Alaskan Brewing, Winter, English Olde Ale
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Celebration, IPA
  • Saint Archer Brewing Company, Mosaic, Double IPA
  • Karl Strauss® Brewing Company, 10 Beers for Breakfast, Maple Stout
  • Festive Progressive Beer Flight – Rrëy Kölsch, Einstök Arctic Pale Ale, Alaskan Winter English Olde Ale, and Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA
  • Flavors of the Season Beer Flight – SLO Brew Cali-Squeeze Hefeweizen, Two Pitcher’s Nordic Jam Lager, The Bruery Or Xata Blonde, and Karl Strauss 10 Beers for Breakfast Stout

Winter Sliderland Marketplace

  • Fried Turkey Slider – With cranberry sauce
  • Beef Pot Roast – Served on a potato roll with horseradish cream
  • Bourbon Cranberry Cocktail
  • Warm Peppermint Chocolate Float (Non-Alcoholic)

Grandma’s Recipes Marketplace

  • Shepherd’s Upside-down Pie (Plant-Based)
  • Curried Cauliflower & Chicken – With lemon tahini sauce and black garlic drizzle
  • Crimson Pear Cocktail
  • Modelo Negro, Dark Lager
  • Navidad Punch (Non-Alcoholic)

A Twist on Tradition Marketplace

  • Reimagined Beef Wellington
  • Reuben Potato Tots with Russian Dressing and Rye Toast
  • Vanilla Pear Mule
  • Skyside, Cabernet Sauvignon

Making Spirits Bright Marketplace

  • Caramelized Apple Cake – With Crème Anglaise and Salted Caramel Sauce
  • Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Macaron (Gluten-Friendly)
  • Grgich Hill Estate, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
  • William Hill Estate, Chardonnay, Napa Valley
  • Gérard Bertrand Côte Des Roses, Rosé, France
  • Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi
  • Louis Latour, Pinot Noir, Bourgogne
  • Austin Hope, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles
  • Apple Mimosa
  • Pomegranate Mimosa
  • Cran-Blackberry Mimosa
  • Chandon, Sparkling Wine
  • White Wine Flight
  • Red Wine Flight
  • Mimosa Flight

Favorite Things Marketplace

  • Glazed Ham Shanks – With Honey Crumble
  • Holiday Stuffing Mac & Cheese
  • Gingerbread Mickey Cookie
  • Warm Bourbon Cider
  • S’mores Frozen Chocolate Milk (Non-Alcoholic)
  • Bell’s Brewery, Lager of the Lakes, Czech-style Pilsner
  • Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, Witbier
  • Modern Times Beer, Space Ways, Hazy IPA
  • Legends Brewery, Cookies Galore Beer, Chocolate Cookie Milk Stout
  • Stone Brewing, 2014 Imperial Russian Stout
  • Beer Flight – Bell’s Brewery Lager of the Lakes, Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, Modern Times Beer Space Ways, and Legends Brewery Cookies Galore

Merry Mashups Marketplace

  • Turkey & Stuffing Tamale – With Cranberry Relish
  • Pork al Pastor Naan Taco – With Pineapple Pico de Gallo and Cilantro-Lime Crema
  • House-made Horchata
  • Habanero Hibiscus Margarita
  • Non-Alcoholic House-made Horchata

DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE FOOD OFFERINGS

Outdoor Vending Carts

  • Hot chocolate cotton candy
  • Snowflake cotton candy
  • Peppermint tree-shaped cotton candy

Mortimer’s Market

  • Christmas tree pull-apart sourdough bread loaf (plant-based)
  • Snowman-shaped sourdough bread loaf (plant-based)

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café

  • Mickey gingerbread man

Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream (Mobile Order Available)

  • Candy cane premium cone or waffle cup
  • Red and green sprinkles premium cone
  • Chocolate-peppermint ice cream cone – scoops of chocolate and peppermint ice cream in a candy cane premium cone with chocolate-dipped cookies
  • Chocolate-peppermint ice cream sundae – scoops of chocolate and peppermint ice cream in a candy cane premium waffle cup topped with whipped cream, chocolate-dipped cookies, and crushed peppermint
  • Chocolate-peppermint bar – choice of ice cream bar dipped in chocolate, drizzled in peppermint icing, and topped with crushed peppermint
  • Mickey gingerbread man

Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge

  • Sleigh ride cocktail – premium gin, elderflower liqueur, fortified white wine, lemon juice, cherry bitters, and berry liqueur garnished with a lavender sprig

Award Wieners*

  • Cheesy “corn” dog – jalapeño-cheddar sausage, tangy corn-cheese sauce, chile-lime-dusted corn fritters, pickled fresno chiles, and cilantro on a toasted potato bun
  • Cheesy “corn” fries – filmstrip fries topped with tangy corn-cheese sauce, chili-lime-dusted corn fritters, pickled fresno chiles, and cilantro
  • Gingerbread funnel cake fries – churro funnel cake fries topped with crumbled gingerbread, caramel, icing, and whipped topping
  • Stone Xocoveza stout beer

Studio Catering Truck

  • Plant-etarium street tacos – brussels sprouts, salsa verde, pickled red onions, and apple and pomegranate slaw
  • Sleigh-ride slush – cranberry-apple lemonade frozen slush

Schmoozies! (Mobile Order Available)

  • Holiday affogato – espresso poured over choice of peppermint or brown sugar-cinnamon ice cream
  • Peppermint Mickey shake – peppermint-chocolate crème cookie shake, whipped topping, holiday accents, and chocolate cream-filled cookie ears
  • Churro shake – brown sugar-cinnamon ice cream, cinnamon churro cereal, whipped topping, and churro toffee
  • Minnie wreath donut – flaky donut filled with chocolate-peppermint ganache
  • Cranberry-orange lemonade
  • Gingerbread cookie ice cream sandwich – scoop of brown sugar-cinnamon ice cream rolled with crushed gingersnap cookie

Hollywood Lounge (Mobile Order Available)

  • Modelo Especial
  • Stone Delicious IPA
  • Stella Artois Midnight
  • Wonderland hot chocolate – hot chocolate, peppermint schnapps, crushed peppermint, and whipped cream
  • Holiday hard cider – Honest Abe apple pie hard cider with spiced rum
  • Honest Abe Apple Pie Hard Cider
  • Stone Xocoveza Stout Beer
  • Hibernation Great Divide
  • Elf nog – non-alcoholic egg nog
  • Holiday egg nog – with spiced rum
  • Winter Hot Chocolate – hot chocolate with whipped cream and crushed peppermint
  • Mistletoe mule – cranberry-orange lemonade with ginger ale and vodka
  • Sleigh-ride slush – cranberry-apple lemonade frozen slush

Flo’s V8 Café (Mobile Order Available)

  • Blue plate special: Salisbury steak – angus beef patty, green chile mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, and seasonal vegetables
  • Chocolate-peppermint shake – topped with whipped cream and crushed peppermint “Road Gravel”

Cozy Cone Motel

  • Peppermint ice cream cone or cup – decorated with holiday sprinkles and topped with a sugar star
  • Crushed peppermint “road gravel” ice cream topping – peppermint cream-filled chocolate cookie crumbles
  • Crushed candy cane ice cream topping
  • Luigi’s pesto cone – creamy pesto alfredo pasta, marinated chicken, balsamic reduction, bruschetta tomatoes, and Romano cheese served in a bread cone
  • Santa hat macaron

Pacific Wharf Café (Mobile Order Available)

  • Candy cane-shaped sourdough bread loaf (plant-based)
  • Christmas tree pull-apart sourdough bread loaf (plant-based)
  • Snowman-shaped sourdough bread loaf (plant-based)
  • Mickey gingerbread man
  • Sugar cookie – topped with red and green sprinkles
  • Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA

Pacific Wharf Coffee Cart

  • Peppermint mocha
  • Snowman shortbread cookie
  • Mickey gingerbread man

Boudin Bakery Bread Cart

  • Candy cane-shaped sourdough bread loaf (plant-based)
  • Christmas tree pull-apart sourdough bread loaf (plant-based)
  • Snowman-shaped sourdough bread loaf (plant-based)

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta

  • Holiday dinner pizza – roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, bacon, vegetables, and cranberry sauce
  • Mickey gingerbread man
  • Pumpkin pie cheesecake

Bayside Brews (Mobile Order Available)

  • Karl Strauss Golden Stout

Lamplight Lounge

  • Specialty holiday cocktail – aged tequila, mezcal, agave, hibiscus, and lemon juice

See it for Yourself

Disney Holidays at the Disneyland Resort take place from November 8, 2019 through January 6, 2020.

See all of our postings for the Disney Holidays:

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Author: Joey Inigo

I have been a part of MouseInfo.com since 2003. I enjoy visiting the Happiest Place on Earth and am happy to talk about Disney Parks all day long.

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