Happy New Year!!! We can't believe 2019 is here already, but we're very excited for this year. We had a great travel year in 2018 visiting 7 states and over 20 different theme parks across the country! We finished the year up with one of our favorite places- Disneyland! We got to experience Disneyland during the holidays, which is always a magical time, and enjoy the Festival of Holidays at DCA! We had such a great time at this festival (and this trip in general) and we're so excited to share our highlights with you!
Disney's California Adventure Park is showcasing 12 booths for the Festival of Holidays this year. This was our first time attending a festival in Disney California (hope we can make it to their Food and Wine event this year) so we weren't sure what to expect. We're so used to Disneyworld, we thought there was no way the offerings at Disneyland could compare. We were, of course, wrong!
Brews and Bites
We started off in the best possible way! The Brews and Bites booth featured one of our favorite dishes at the festival- Chorizo Queso Fundido! To be fair, we LOVE queso so it's not hard to please us when we see it on the menu- but this one was AWESOME!
This booth also features 11 different types of beers and 2 flights to choose from!
Another home run booth- the Holiday Ham Shanks with Brown Sugar Pineapple Glaze was one of Parker's all-time favorite items!
The booth also features Reuben Potato Tots with Russian Dressing and Rye Toast, Cranberry Sangria, and an Eggnog Cocktail with Whipped Cream and Nutmeg.
This booth offered a novelty item so you know we were all over it! We had to get the holiday Mickey and Minnie cookies for the photos alone!! I mean...come on
The cookies tasted good, but I think their looks probably outweighed their taste. And their priced outweighed both of those things. $7 for these two little guys. But, I'd do it again, because I'm a sucker for anything Mickey-shaped.
This booth also features Curry Cauliflower Soup with Braised Lamb and Mintchurri, Shrimp and Grits with Andouille Sausage, Ballast Point Brewing Company IPA, and a Warm Peppermint Chocolate Float with Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream and Peppermint Crumbles.
Visions of Sugarplums
I wish we had something to report about this booth because looking back over the menu, I could sure go for one of these sweets right about now. But, while in the midst of Disney vacationing and indulging in desserts NON-STOP (seriously non-stop) nothing on this menu sounded appealing in the moment. Although, to be fair, we were most likely eating a Mickey bar while walking by it, so that could explain it.
This booth features Sweet Dreams and Milk which is a Horizon Milk and Choice of Dessert. The dessert options include Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce, a White Chocolate Cranberry Blondie, an Eggnog Wreath Éclair with White Chocolate Icing, and Horchata Fudge. They also have a Warm Bourbon Cider with a Bourbon-infused Marshmallow, and S’mores Frozen Chocolate Milk with Toasted Marshmallow Whipped Cream, Graham Cracker Crumbles and Chocolate Drizzle.
This booth offers some fan favorites as well. The Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Macaron is a definite if you're looking to get some good photos for social media. And the Turkey and Stuffing Tamale is an interesting twist on a classic Mexican dish.
The booth also offers Lox and Everything Bagel Nachos and a Sparkling Wine Punch with Chandon Brut, Sparkling Wine and Lime Sherbet.
This is the Holiday Punch with Lime Sherbet and Sprite.
It reminded me summer and childhood and I absolutely loved it!
*Side note, the drink on its own is $6.50. With the souvenir tumbler it's $9.00.
So, $2.50 for a cute souvenir cup seemed totally worth it to me.*
Although this wasn't our favorite booth for food options, we DID visit it twice to get the pomegranate lemonade. This non-alcoholic drink was AWESOME and definitely a festival fav!
This booth also features Pumpkin Soup with Maple Cashew Cream,
Chana Masala with Grilled Garlic Naan, and Vanilla and Cranberry Trifle.
A Twist on Tradition
One of our favorite sweets from the festival! The Black Forest Yule Log Cake.
Not only is it photogenic- it also tasted great!
This booth also features Pozole Rojo Beef with Polenta, Chicken-less Mole with Spanish Rice, Modela Negra, and a Michelada with Modela Negra and Brown Sugar.
This booth is connected to the Twist on Traditions booth. Unfortunately, we were a bit let
down with this one. We typically love spicy food, so we were pretty excited, but it was lacking
a bit for some reason.
This is the Nashville Hot Fried Turkey with Dill Pickles. I had high hopes for this one because I typically love Nashville Hot Fried Chicken. But, the turkey was kind of dry and the sauce didn't have a bold enough flavor. Not a favorite.
This booth also features Jalapeño Latkes with Chipotle Crema, Chocolate Chipotle Pot de Crème, and a Pomegranate Margarita with a Chipotle Salt rim.
Making Spirits Bright
What you need to know about this booth:
Wine. Mimosas. Wine.
That is all. Enjoy!!
White Wine Flights, Red Wine Flights, and Mimosa Flights.
This deserves an extended "yaaaaas!"
This is the Beef Pot Roast on Potato Roll with Horseradish Cream. We didn't have a strong opinion on it. It was good, not great. But, we also ate this pretty late in the festival so we were getting very full.
This booth also features Candied Yams with Marshmallow Cream and Toasted Pecans,
and a Gingerbread Mickey.
And also- CIDER! Parker's Favorite, a few other sweet beers, and a non-alcoholic punch.
At this point we were too full to move. So, we skipped it. But just to keep in the know, the booth features Braised Pork Belly Adobo with Garlic Fried Rice, Cornbread Cakes with Braised Collard Greens and Smoked Bacon Gravy, and a Blood Orange Ginger Mule.
And this takes us to our favorite booth- Winter Sliderland! They feature the best item (in our opinion) of the festival! The Holiday Stuffing Mac and Cheese!
I know it's not the most photogenic item, but TRUST ME, this stuff haunts our dreams! It was so good, cheesy, creamy, just all-around amazing.
This booth also features a Roasted Turkey Slider with Cranberry Sauce, a Milk Chocolate Candy Cane Pot de Creme, a Frosty Frosé with Fleurs de Prairie Rosé, Blue Curacao, and White Cranberry Juice, and an Oskar Blues Brewery, Old Chub Scotch Ale.
And that's it for The Festival of Holidays! I'm so glad we got to check out this festival this year! It was the perfect size and had SO many delicious items! It was a very pleasant surprise.
The only downside here was that we got so full at the festival, we could barely eat any other treats at California Adventure! Well, we ate a few other things, but not many as we
normally would have.
The rest of DCA
It felt wrong to write a blog post about California Adventure and not include a quick trip review of everything else we experienced. The festival was great, but we were also mind-blown by the new PIXAR PIER!!
This was our first time getting to see the newly renovated Pixar Pier area of California Adventure, and we fell in love! The theming, the subtle nods to movies and shorts, the lights, the foods, it was all amazing! We loved it so much, we had a blast exploring every shop and stand!
Greatest. Store. Ever!
Adorable midway games.
And of course, the newly themed, INCREDICOASTER!
We also made our way over to the DCA walls for some obligatory IG pics. We had to.
They're just so cute!!
Overall, it was an awesome trip to Disney's California Adventure! We love Disneyland, but we jut don't get there as often as we do Disneyworld, so when we DO go, it always feels a bit more special <3
Thanks for dreaming up the happiest place on Earth, Walt!
And to all of our readers- See ya real soon!
Parker and Brittany Ruhmel- Lovers of all things food and theme park related!