Festival of Holidays: Eating your way through tradition

Festival of Holidays: Eating your way through tradition

Every year Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Park get a festive makeover to get ready for the holiday season, and this year is no different. While usually this change is extremely Christmas oriented, California Adventures is widening its view to celebrate a multitude of winter holidays with the Festival of Holidays.

festival of holidaysIts a wonderful time to come and experience a bit of different cultures, through live entertainment, crafts, and my personal favorite, with food! The Festival Foods Marketplace offers twelve different food and drink kiosks packed full of amazing foods from different traditions, so you can taste and savor a little bit of everything. holiday food kioskHere are a few of the foods and drinks we tried during our visit to the Festival of Holidays:

  • Macaroni and Cheese w/ Cornbread Crumbles

Macaroni and Cheese w/ Cornbread Crumbles

This was the first thing we ate when we came into the park, and oh my gosh it did not disappoint! The cheese is super creamy and the cornbread bits really elevate the whole dish. Starting the day with this was a great idea, except we had to keep reminding ourselves to try other things instead of constantly coming back for this one.

  • Roasted Turkey Slider w/ Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Turkey Slider w/ Cranberry Sauce

I’d give this one a solid B. The slider is full of stuffing and cranberry sauce, it almost tastes like you’re eating Thanksgiving leftovers. The flavoring in this wasn’t very strong, and it got soggy very quickly, so it was a bit of a mess to eat. While it was good, there are so many other amazing dishes offered, you could skip this one and not miss out.

  • Holiday Ham Slider w/ Pineapple Relish

Holiday Ham Slider w/ Pineapple Relish

Wow! This was easily my favorite of all the things we ate. The pineapple relish gave the perfect amount of sweetness to balance the savoriness of the ham. Not to oversell it, but this is definitely not one to miss.

  • Reuben Potato Smash w/ Russian Dressing and Rye Toast Crumbles

Reuben Potato Smash w/ Russian Dressing and Rye Toast Crumbles

These were absolutely delicious. They tasted like a creamier, fluffier version of a potato latke, with a lot of rich flavoring. My only complaint is that you don’t get more of it.

  • Spicy Peanut Brittle

Spicy Peanut Brittle

What I wasn’t expecting with this one is that it comes prepackaged, but it actually came pretty handy. I was able to buy this, stick it in my bag, and then have a little something to snack on when standing in long ride lines. The peanut brittle is a wonderfully crunchy sweet treat with a bit of a kick. There was a kind of spicy aftertaste, but its just a little tingle that makes you want to grab another bite. I should also mention that my mom really enjoyed this one, and she usually hates peanut brittle.

  • Sticky Toffee Pudding w/ Brandied Vanilla Sauce

Sticky Toffee Pudding w/ Brandied Vanilla Sauce

Ooo this one was so sweet. I could only manage a couple of bites before it just became to much for me. The vanilla and toffee flavors were incredibly rich and the cake itself was perfectly moist, so that it crumbled just so. This is a great dessert to share.

  • Beef Short Ribs w/ Smashed Potatoes and Gravy 

Beef Short Ribs w/ Smashed Potatoes and Gravy 

While the dish as a whole had great flavoring and was quite delicious, I didn’t find it very memorable. With so many other stand out options to choose from, you could skip this one and go for something a bit more memorable.

  • Nashville Hot Fried Turkey w/ Dill Pickles

Nashville Hot Fried Turkey w/ Dill Pickles

I had never tried fried turkey before, even though it has been a popular Thanksgiving dish in the US for the past few years, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. With this dish, you get a piece that is beautifully crisp on the outside yet nice and juicy on the inside. The turkey was very spicy, and I found it to be quite overwhelming if I took to big of a bite, however, my friend said it wasn’t spicy at all, so maybe I’m just kind of weak when it comes to things like that. This dish is amazing, and I would absolutely recommend it, and order it again.

  • Braised Pork Belly Adobo w/ Garlic Fried Rice

Braised Pork Belly Adobo w/ Garlic Fried Rice

This dish was absolutely mouthwatering! You’re getting a fatty, tender piece of meat that just pulls apart wonderfully. Its garnished with prok rinds, which offers a great contrasting texture, and the garlic rice elevates the flavor of the while dish. I would absolutely recommend this dish.

  • Hot Buttered Rum w/ Cinnamon Stick

Hot Buttered Rum w/ Cinnamon Stick

This drink quite literally tastes like a cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven. Its very yummy, but also very sweet. If you are a fan of warm alcoholic beverages, then this one should definitely be on your list.

  • Apple Lemonade w/ Whipped Cream and Caramel

Apple Lemonade w/ Whipped Cream and Caramel 

Ok, I’ll be honest, I really wanted to like this drink, and I was so disappointed. The lemonade is pretty good, tastes just like a granny smith apple and has the perfect amount of sweetness. Unfortunately that’s where the praise ends. The whipped cream and caramel absolutely ruin the drink. After the fist sip it felt like I was just drinking cream. I would say skip this one, or get it without the toppings.

  • Brews and Bites

Brews and Bites

California Adventures already offers a good range of beers, so the addition of another beer cart has just put them over the top. We tried the Victoria Brewing Co. Prima Pils and the Unsung Brewing Co. Naturia. The Victory is very light and easy to drink, while the Unsung is more of an amber with a nice balance of bitter and fruity notes. Of the two I preferred the Unsung, I actually enjoyed it so much I would keep ordering that one instead of trying other things.

 

These were just a few of the things offered in the Festive Marketplace, you can find the full menu on Disney’s website.

Would you want to try any of these foods? Let me know in the comments.

 

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31 Comments

  1. November 19, 2017 / 5:50 pm

    Yummm! I’m dying to go try these! Thanks for the heads up!

    • girlattheairport
      November 19, 2017 / 11:01 pm

      You definitely should. There are many more amazing options as well.

  2. Iris
    November 19, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    Your pictures are gorgeous. I am hungry now 🤭

  3. November 20, 2017 / 9:30 am

    All that food looks so delicious! Great Photo’s, I would have to go on a months diet after that!

    • girlattheairport
      November 20, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      Oh me too! I’m still working off all those foods!

  4. November 20, 2017 / 10:53 am

    I’m like – DID YOU EAT ALL OF IT ON ONE DAY? LOL it’s insane. I would pick savory over sweet – the burgers look yummy and it made me hungry even though it’s just 11am in London now so not yet lunch time! Good girl 🙂 It’s still shocking that you can for me (and I’m jealous) that you can wear short during Christmas, we are now freezing in Europe!

    re #4 I wonder what’s in that dressing and what makes it “Russian” – interesting!

    • girlattheairport
      November 20, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      Hehe, nope not all in one day. This was enough food for three people over two days, and I still left so full both times. It would take forever to try everything they have to offer.

  5. November 20, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    Wow there are some really interesting takes on traditional holiday food in this post. Thanks for sharing, I think my favourite were the sliders

    • girlattheairport
      November 20, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      The sliders where my favorite too.

  6. November 20, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    I would definitely roll out of here. The macaroni cheese, braised pork belly and stick toffee pudding will be round one! Glad it’s only once a year, my arteries couldn’t handle it. Lovely pics 🙂

    • girlattheairport
      November 20, 2017 / 10:12 pm

      Yeah I definitely rolled out of the park after the second day!

  7. Aditi
    November 21, 2017 / 8:22 am

    Oh my!! All that food is making me drool. Did you manage to eat all that over a few days or all at once? 😉 Love that apple lemonade with whipped cream and caramel. Cheers!!

    • girlattheairport
      November 22, 2017 / 12:14 am

      This was over a couple days actually. I don’t think I could eat so much at one time lol

  8. November 21, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    Wow! Everything looks so tempting.. I would love to try all of these yummy flavours. Oh the Toffee pudding looks so mouthwatering and that burger is so enticing….. I’m hungryyyyy…. !! 🙂

  9. November 22, 2017 / 12:52 am

    Wow, that’s quite a bit of stuff to try in a single day. I loved the cheese and the dip. Maybe a video of the same, would also transport people to the eating scene at the park

    • girlattheairport
      November 23, 2017 / 1:04 am

      This was actually over two days. I’ve never tried making videos, but it is something I’m looking into.

  10. November 22, 2017 / 7:45 am

    I love Disney but somehow never liked their food. But this Holiday season menu looks amazing! I am sold on the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Brandied Vanilla Sauce, and the braised pork belly.

    • girlattheairport
      November 23, 2017 / 1:05 am

      Yeah the food can be very hit or miss. That said, I do think these are a real winner!

  11. needa
    November 22, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    For me, holidays are incomplete without food! All of your selection looks great! Its a must go place especially if you in California! Thanks for lovely share this post made me strave

    • girlattheairport
      November 23, 2017 / 1:05 am

      Absolutely agree! The holidays haven’t happened if I haven’t stuffed my face.

  12. Liz
    November 23, 2017 / 12:40 am

    All the food looks so good!!! I can’t decide what I would want to try first!! 😀

  13. November 23, 2017 / 12:50 am

    Your pictures are really inviting! Enough to make you want to try them all. Nice concept! Bon appétit!

  14. November 23, 2017 / 1:08 am

    This is such a great idea! I’ve never been to Disneyland in Cali, but clearly, I need to make it happen during holiday season. Also, that pork belly looks amazing!

    • girlattheairport
      November 23, 2017 / 1:12 am

      Its one of the best times to visit in my opinion! But it does get a bit busy.

  15. November 23, 2017 / 2:23 am

    I had no idea they changed their menus for the holidays! So clever. All the food looks absolutely amazing! Great way to not have to cook for the holidays! 😉

  16. November 23, 2017 / 5:19 am

    I’d love to try all of them! They all look tasty. I like food markets like this, it’s nice to see everyone gathering to try food inspired by different cultures. It looks so fun!

  17. Jean
    November 23, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    Oh I should not have read this post on an empty stomach! Love food markets when I’m travelling and even at home. This looks like a delicious place to explore

  18. Chloe
    November 24, 2017 / 10:44 am

    I had no idea that buttered rum was even a thing! So cool! Haha. I don’t eat meat or dairy so don’t think I’d enjoy too many of these meals, but the spicy peanut brittle sounds really interesting!

    • girlattheairport
      November 24, 2017 / 5:40 pm

      Unfortunately I didn’t see a lot of vegan friendly options, but to be fair, I wasn’t really looking for them. I know they highlight the veggie options, but I know vegan is a lot more strict.

  19. November 24, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    That Reuben Potato Smash looks absolutely bomb and oh my goodness your photos are making me drool all over my laptop!!! As if that weren’t enough, your descriptions are making me go crazy too and I really wish I could just fly over to California right this moment.

    • girlattheairport
      November 24, 2017 / 11:40 pm

      The potato smash was a favorite of mine! Glad you enjoyed the post, sorry about the water damage 😉

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