If your vacations are about food as much as fun, here’s some good news: Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival has returned. While Disneyland Resort’s version of this annual foodie fest isn’t yet as epic as its older sibling at Epcot in Florida, California Adventure’s event has developed a West Coast attitude all its own.
Here are our top tips for eating your way through the 2018 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, which runs daily now through April 12:
Book Seminars in Advance
Many of the Food & Wine Festival events are included in regular park admission, including family-friendly cooking seminars in Hollywood Land every Thursday through Sunday. But to see celebrity chef Robert Irvine live on March 30, or participate in any of the popular pairing dinners and tasting seminars, you’ll want to purchase seats online as early as possible.
Budget Your Bites and Beverages
At $4–$14 each, the samples served at the Festival’s 13 marketplace kiosks are priced like appetizers but portioned like amuse bouches, so your wallet may empty long before your stomach fills. Study the menus online to determine how much you want to spend, and then put those funds into a Disney gift card to resist the urge to eat past your limit.
Sip & Savor for Savings
Annual Passholders get a number of perks at the Festival, first among them the option to prepay $45 for a Sip & Savor lanyard, valid for eight non-alcoholic items from the marketplaces. As long as your selections are valued more than $5.62, and you use it up before the event ends, you’ll come out ahead.
Go Vegetarian (For the Day)
The Festival features some mouth-watering meat-based menu items such as the succulent Pork Belly Banh Mi, but to get the best bang for your buck, follow Mom’s advice and eat your veggies. Spiced Oumph on Pita, Grilled Asparagus Caesar Salad, and Compressed Asian Cucumbers are all vegan-friendly and under $7.