Festival of the Holidays is my favorite seasonal event at California Adventure. Once Halloween is over I eagerly anticipate the announcement of what food offerings I’ll be able to try, and this past event was no exception with several items I was ready to try. So lets take a look back at what worked for us and what didn’t.
During FoH the park has 8 food and beverage kiosks ( or “marketplaces”) spread along the main thoroughfare of the park, all with different themes and menu items. Admittedly the food prices can add up quick, so my partner and I decided to go for one Sip and Savor pass and prioritize the items that we would both try. The pass (available for purchase at several spots in the park for about $56) comes with 8 tabs you can redeem for any food and non-alcoholic beverages at the kiosks. Generally if you use this on items above $5 you will get your money’s worth.
Below are all the items we got with our pass:
Glazed ham shanks located at Favorite Things
It’s ham, it’s pineapple, it’s got a good glaze, it’s solid. I expected it to be more of a sweet/savory balance but it was definitely on the sweeter end, which was fine. The meat was also so tender it came off the bone. This should come back in 2020.
Pork Al Pastor Naan Taco located at Merry Mashups
I inhaled this. Like the ham shanks the pineapple titled this more to the sweet side.
Cinnamon Yule Log, also at Merry Mashups
I love a good yule log, and the one in 2018 was a winner. This year I wasn’t a fan. While yule logs needs to be moist to achieve the rolled shape the one we got was straight up wet and soggy. It was kind of a bummer eating a sad cake. The little mushroom was cute though.
Stuffing mac and cheese at Favorite Things
Mostly mac and cheese with a sprinkling of hard stuffing. Tasty but I wouldn’t prioritize a tab.
The Fried Turkey Slider at Winter Sliderland
I didn’t even bother to take a picture of this. The turkey slider has been my go to the last couple of years and this year they decided to change it up by putting fried Turkey in it. Fried turkey+hard bun=hard to eat sandwich. I was super bummed and this was the only time I felt like I wasted a tab.
Reuben Tater Tots at Twist on Tradition
This was my favorite of the savory items. Reubens are the only time I will have sauerkraut and we inhaled it in minutes.
Apple cake and Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Macaron at Making Spirits Bright
My partner and I are partial to sweets but the main difference in our tastes is he loves ice cream, chocolate, etc whereas I’m the person who leans into fruity tarts, cakes, etc. So the apple cake very much falls into the Beedy category of treats and I loved it. Its similar to an apple crisp but with a lot more cinnamon and glaze. With the macaron, this one falls into the previously mentioned partner category and while he loved it I found it too sweet for me after 2 bites. Its edible hot cocoa.
Beef Wellington at A Twist on Tradition
A family member ordered this one and it was fine, but no different than a Marie Calendars’ TV dinner. Bonus points for making the puff pastry mickey shaped.
In addition to FoH there were other seasonal goodies spread throughout California Adventure and Disneyland.
Thanksmas Sandwich and Butternut Squash Soup at Jolly Holiday Bakery
Earl of Sandwich could never. Thick slices of roast turkey combined with cranberries and stuffing is heaven, and what the turkey slider at FoH should have been. A bummer is unlike the regular Jolly Holiday combo (grilled cheese and tomato bisque) you had to order the butternut squash soup separately as the sandwich came with chips instead. The soup is one of the best I’ve had at the parks (second behind last years pumpkin soup from FoH) and was great for dipping my sandwich into. The soup also come with a bread stick which was fine.
Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Funnel Cake and Snickerdoodle Cold Brew at Hungry Bear Resturant)
The highlights of each were the scoop of ice cream and cookie, respectively. That is all I have to say.
Overall the portions and variety of the offerings at FoH is improving but I wasn’t into all the savory items this year as I have in seasons past. Here’s to hoping this is an off year and that 2020 will have options I enjoy more. This was also the first time we were disappointed in a funnel cake from hungry bear so I will also chuck that up to being a one off disappoint. That being said the Thanksmas sandwich and sweet options at FoH were killer so I hope we get more of that next time.