It’s the most wonderful time of year at Disney California Adventure Park because the Disney Festival of Holidays has returned! The 2023 Festival dates are November 10th, 2023, through January 7th, 2024.
The Festival features unique merchandise, special entertainment, and (of course) all kinds of food. We’ve shared the full festival menus and reviews of the booths, but what if you’re looking for a quick list of the TOP items you cannot miss? Well, now we’ve got you covered with that too!
Here are our picks for the very BEST items at the Festival of Holidays!
Best NEW Eats and Drinks at the Festival
Savory Kugel Mac & Cheese at A Twist on Tradition
The Savory Kugel Mac & Cheese, made with herb breadcrumbs, sour cream, and chives, was one of our favorite eats at the festival.
It was SO creamy, and we loved the addition of the chives, which added a great depth of flavor. This new snack costs $8.50.
Glacier Margarita at A Twist on Tradition
This new drink was a big hit! The Glacier Margarita is made with blanco tequila, blue curaçao, coconut and rosemary syrups, and white cranberry and lime juices, garnished with champagne bubbles candy.
It was sweet, fruity, and delicious. The flavors at the forefront of this margarita are the coconut and lime. And the fun “champagne” bubbles candy are actually little gumdrops. We love how photogenic it is, too! You can grab it for $16.
Pumpkin Layered Cheesecake at Making Spirits Bright
The Pumpkin Layered Cheesecake at the Making Spirits Bright booth was REALLY good. It was so creamy, and the pumpkin flavor balanced well with the cheesecake. The cake is layers of New York-style cheesecake, pumpkin gooey cake, and graham cracker, topped with spiced Chantilly and a chocolate decoration.
You can grab one for $6.50.
Barbacoa Tamal de Res at Grandma’s Recipes
Grandma did not disappoint! The Barbacoa Tamal de Res with Oaxaca cheese, tomatillo salsa, and crema was fantastic.
This snack had SUCH a good flavor — we loved the tomatillo salsa verde. It was fresh and spicy but had a mild spice level overall. The masa shell isn’t dry at all — it was moist and was a nice complement to the beef inside. Grab one for $9.
Berry Pomegranate Paloma at Grandma’s Recipes
The Berry Pomegranate Paloma for $16 is made with Blanco Tequila, blueberry purée, lime, cranberry and pomegranate juices, and agave syrup, topped with fresca mixed vodka spritz and garnished with an orange wheel and chile lime seasoned rim.
This was also a hit — it reminded us of a berry sangria! We loved the addition of the Tajin-seasoned rim. It was really fruity, but we didn’t get much blueberry flavor. It was heavier on the lime and cranberry. We’d definitely get this one again.
Best RETURNING Eats and Drinks at the Festival
Guava Melon Lassi at A Twist on Tradition
If you’re looking for a sweet and delicious drink at the Festival, we’ve got just the thing for you! The Guava Melon Lassi is a non-alcoholic drink priced at $7.50 that has a delicious yogurt and cinnamon whipped cream on top. That cuts through some of the sweetness from the melon/guava flavors in the drink itself.
Oh, and it’s topped with honeycomb cereal for an extra fun touch. We were worried the drink would be too sweet, but it ended up really impressing us!
Esquites Carnitas Mac & Cheese at Holiday Duets
A controversial pick from our 2021 and 2022 Best of the Fest lists has returned! Note that it’s moved locations in 2023 — it used to be at the Merry Mashups booth, but now it can be found at Holiday Duets.
The Esquites Carnitas Mac & Cheese is Esquites-inspired mac & cheese with carnitas, salsa macha, spiced puffed rice, freeze-dried corn, and chopped cilantro, and it’s priced at $9.
Last year, our team member who tried the dish this year said it was one of the BEST things they had at the entire festival! They think the flavors are incredible and well-balanced, and the portion size is pretty good.
But be warned, if you don’t love dishes with a lot of textures, it might be one for you to skip.
Pork Belly Adobo at Favorite Things
At Favorite Things, you’ll find another one of our FAVORITE snacks (so the name of this booth really fits) — the Braised Pork Belly Adobo, which is served with garlic fried rice. This is one we loved in 2022 (and years past) and once again it’s a winner! (Note that this one has also moved locations — it used to be located at Holiday Duets.)
This dish is flavorful, the pork is moist and easily just pulls apart. Though the rice is fairly standard, the meat makes this snack stand out!
Impossible Chorizo Queso Fundido at Brews & Bites
Next, we have a returning favorite — the Impossible Chorizo Queso Fundido served with house-made tortilla chips for $7.50. This made our best of the fest list in 2021 AND 2022, and it has once again earned its spot in 2023! Seriously, y’all — this thing is NOT to be missed.
The Impossible chorizo is incredibly flavorful with a bit of a kick (we can’t tell it wasn’t real meat!), the cheese is perfectly warm and melty, and the tortilla chips are fresh with just the right amount of salt. Talk about a win, win, win!
Cherry-Mango Punch at Favorite Things
This non-alcoholic drink is a winner in our book! It’s made with cherry syrup, mango, and peach nectars with lemon juice and garnished with a frozen peach. (Last year, this drink was located at Winter Sliderland.)
This is heavy on the peach flavor — almost like a peach Shirley Temple — but that isn’t a problem for us! We think the drink is super refreshing without being too sweet — a great balance of flavors.
Best Booth at the Festival
Best Booth — A Twist on Tradition
Everything at this booth was a hit!
The deliciously creamy mac & cheese and that sweet, fruity Glacier Margarita are both eats that we’d buy again in a heartbeat.
Runner-Up — Grandma’s Recipes
This booth was another spot where we loved just about everything we tried.
The Barbacoa Tamal de Res packed awesome flavor, and we loved that fresh and spicy tomatillo salsa. And the Berry Pomegranate Paloma was bright and delicious!
Best of the Festival for Kids
Mickey Mouse-shaped Gingerbread Cookie at Outdoor Vending Locations
A Mickey-shaped gingerbread cookie with a thin icing glaze and sprinkles — what’s NOT to love?! Unsurprisingly, this has been a popular pick from us for kiddos in the past and it’s one we’re definitely keeping on the list this year. Note that it was at the Making Spirits Bright booth previously but can now be found at outdoor vending locations (and it looks a little different this year as well).
The cookie totally delivers on taste and texture, with just enough sweetness from the glaze to balance out the fall spices. It’s a great choice for kids (and kids at heart).
Santa’s Milk & Cookies Hot Cocoa at Merry Mashups
This delicious Hot Cocoa has moved locations, but it’s still just as good! Now you can find it at Merry Mashups. Seriously, friends, this could have made our standard best picks list above — it is NOT just great for kids.
The drink is made with whole milk with flavors of cookies & cream and white chocolate, topped with flavored whipped cream, and priced at $7.
This was one of the BEST hot cocoa drinks we’ve ever had in Disneyland, and the combination of the chocolate with the cookie flavor creates a hot cocoa masterpiece! If you love hot cocoa, do yourself a favor and try this ASAP.
And those are our picks for the very BEST of the Fest at the Festival of Holidays in Disney California Adventure Park. What items do you think you’d most want to try? Tell us in the comments!
For our reviews of all the snacks we tried at this year’s festival, click here. Stay tuned for more news.
Which of these items do you want to try? Tell us in the comments!
The post Everything You NEED To Eat and Drink at Disneyland’s Festival of Holidays first appeared on the disney food blog.