During the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival, you’ll have the chance to taste delicious California food and drinks, plus you can watch live cooking demonstrations, listen to live music, and even buy some unique merchandise.
Check out my complete guide to the Food and Wine Festival at Disneyland and read below for the tips you need to know before you go!
The festival takes place from February 28 through April 21, 2020.
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Eat At Odd Times
I’ve been to the Disney Food & Wine Festival in California three times now and each time I’ve noticed that the marketplace lines are worst during standard mealtimes for lunch and dinner. If you can plan to eat outside of the standard lunch (12-1 pm) and dinner (530-730 pm) you can save yourself from too long of lines.
Order Food at ANY Marketplace (maybe)
I believe this is new for 2020 and can save you some serious time. If you notice your booth has a really long order line, go order your item at another booth. You’ll then be able to join the “food pickup” line at the marketplace where your food is served.
For families, this could be a huge timesaver since you could find out what each family member wants to eat and only have to order and pay at one window. You’ll then keep your receipt and use it at each marketplace you ordered food from in order to pick up your dishes.
I will add a caveat to this as some marketplace booths will refuse to sell you a dish at another popular marketplace if they think it might be out of stock. This happened to a friend of mine who wanted to order Garlic Kissed marketplace food at the Berry Kissed marketplace and she was told they wouldn’t let her since she wanted a popular dish. Another friend reported a similar issue.
Marketplaces Can Run Out of Food
Every year I’ve attended the Food and Wine Festival at Disneyland I’ve experienced this dilemma. You’ll find that you wait in a line to order and then when you get to the register you find out that the marketplace has run out of whatever dish you want. They’ll often restock, but it will be a while.
On this trip, my friend ordered some Monkey Bread and when she was next in line to get her order, they had just run out, so she was told to come back in 10 minutes. She returned after 10 minutes and they still didn’t have the monkey bread, she ended up waiting 25 minutes for her order.
While the dishes are often restocked, some of the booths where the food ran out wouldn’t let me order and pick up later. They said that it was in case the kitchen was completely out.
If this happens to you and they let you go ahead and order the food it could be worth ordering and just waiting to pick it up later. But again, there’s a chance they won’t let you order. I never did get to try the ranch buffalo wings at Cluck-A-Doodle Moo because they were out and wouldn’t let me order it in advance. I hear those are delicious!
Should You Buy the Sip and Savor Pass?
At the festival, you’ll notice that many guests will be wearing big badges on lanyards. These are Sip and Savor Passes and can be purchased for $56 ($51 for Annual Passholders).
A Sip and Savor Pass gives you EIGHT coupons that can be redeemed for any food or drink (excluding alcoholic drinks) at any of the marketplace kiosks.
If you do the math, this pass is only useful if you plan to eat eight food dishes priced over $7 each (over $6.38 if you buy the AP discounted pass). Most of the food dishes range in price from $6 to $8.50. Therefore, make sure you use your coupons smartly. Some of the dishes and non-alcoholic drinks are only $6, and so aren’t worth using the Sip and Savor Pass tabs.
One aspect about the Sip and Savor Pass that is useful is that it’s a quick way to pay for your food without needing to pull out your credit card each time.
If you’re not planning on eating eight food items, you could consider getting a special Food and Wine wristband gift card to use for purchases, but there is no savings to using them, it’s just a fun collector’s item and quick way to pay.
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Bring Your ID If You Drink
This should be an obvious tip, but just in case you’re planning to drink alcoholic beverages at the festival don’t forget your ID. Each marketplace booth will check your ID.
I will add that they might only check your ID if they aren’t sure of your age. I had one marketplace ask and another didn’t (too many late nights perhaps ;)).
Expect Lines and Crowds
You will find that you “wait” in two lines. First, you’ll line up to order your food. Then you’ll hold onto your receipt and line up to pick up your food at the window. Sometimes the food pickup happens fast, other times you’ll find there is a long wait.
As my tip above mentions, you should be able to order food at any window, so you might save time by ordering food at a nearby marketplace with no line and then you just have to wait in the food pick up line. But as I mentioned above, some marketplaces might refuse to sell you food from a popular booth.
I’ll also mention that you should expect crowds and a few bottleneck points along the main walkway, especially at night and on the weekends. Disneyland attracts a lot of local visitors and the Food and Wine Festival is a favorite of the locals.
Be Ready to Stand
Most marketplaces have standing tables nearby where you can eat your food but seated areas are limited. If you’re looking for seating, head to the Paradise Garden Park (near Little Mermaid) or the Paradise Garden Grill / Festival Beer Garden where there are tables, and great for families. The Sonoma Grill / Wine Terrace also has tables.
Disneyland Food and Wine Festival Tasting Passport
There are 91 food and drink options available at the festival so I highly recommend picking up a tasting passport at one of the marketplaces or festival sign stations.
The passports show what each marketplace has to offer and has some allergy-friendly guides in the back. Kids will also love collecting stamps at each marketplace booth and earning a completion stamp if they collect the stamps from each marketplace.
Don’t Forget About the Entertainment
While of course, the Food and Wine Festival is about the food and wine (and beer and cocktails, too), it’s also about the entertainment. On the weekends there are some awesome cooking demonstrations that will take place in the Backlot Stage area of Hollywood Land.
And in the Paradise Gardens area of the park, there are live musicians playing some sweet sounds at various times throughout the day.
I was happy to see that for the 2020 Disney Food and Wine Festival at Disneyland they’ve added special murals on the side of four marketplace booths. You’ll find fun photo ops at the Cluck-A-Doodle Moo, Peppers Caliente, I (heart)Artichokes, and Uncorked California.
These murals are great for capturing images of your food or you while at the festival. I love how each mural also features a “hidden” Mickey! You can use the hashtag #DisneyCaliforniaFoodandWine with your posts.
Now you’re ready to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival at Disneyland. It’s a great time to visit the parks and enjoy some delicious California food, beer, and wine!
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