This week marks the debut of an all-new holiday experience at Disney California Adventure Park for the 2016 year. The Festival of Holidays, which celebrates the season’s food and culture from around the world.
Festival of Holidays
This entertainment experience is located in pretty much the same area the Food & Wine Festival was held earlier this year, and continues to the Paradise Pier world of color seating/stage area. The festival showcases the diverse celebrations and food that bring joy during this festive time of year, including Diwali (The Eastern Festival of Lights), Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas/Navidad and Three Kings Day/Dia de los Reyes. Below you will find some of the activities that will happen daily, courtesy of Disneyland Resort:
- Blue13 Dance Company – The spirited performers of Blue13 Dance Company turn up the fun with traditional Indian dances that build to a Bollywood party for all.
- Mostly Kosher – Klezmer band Mostly Kosher showcases an entertaining and eclectic musical tapestry that weaves together jazz, Latin, rock and hip-hop.
- RAISE – This uplifting a cappella vocal group brings a powerful, harmonious R&B spin to new and popular holiday songs.
- Holiday Toy Drummers – The mischievous Holiday Toy Drummers march to their own merry beat as they perform precision drills with holiday cheer.
- Mariachi Divas – Sing along with the GRAMMY Award-winning Mariachi Divas and their signature repertoire of catchy tunes.
- Disney ¡Viva Navidad! – Enjoy holiday foods, crafts, Disney Character greetings and Latin American bands. The Three Caballeros host a fun street party featuring folklórico and samba dancers, live musicians and Mickey and Minnie in their fiesta best, along with folklorico and samba dancers. Additional Disney ¡Viva Navidad! highlights include holiday foods, crafts, Disney character experiences and Latin American bands.
- Princess Elena’s Musical Grand Arrival – Elena of Avalor makes her Disneyland Resort debut during Festival of Holidays! Welcome the adventurous and kind-hearted Crown Princess, her royal dancers and magical friend Skylar as they celebrate the holidays with an uplifting musical cavalcade.
- Santa will arrive for Santa’s Holiday Visit to greet guests of all ages. The joyful elves have transformed Redwood Creek Challenge Trail into a jolly playground of holiday fun and games.
During the Festival of Holidays, They have setup a stage over the water fountain play area so that the various shows will be able to continuously play throughout the day. Looks like Blue13 Dance Company…
Festive Foods Marketplace
So many booths (We’re never going to stop calling them that, dear Disney, they’ve been trying at Epcot for two decades. We’re just a pack of Philistines!), so many sweets, eats and treats, a veritable parade of wonderful tastes to try, so it’s fitting that they are scattered along what is usually the parade route, n’est ce pas? In fact, they are almost exactly where they were, with different decor, for the Food & Wine Festival – so if you attended that, you practically have your bearings without leaving your house.
Pricing and Selection varies, we noticed pricing is on par with what was sold during the Food & Festival; about the same as festivals outside of theme parks. Below you can find a complete list of booths that are available till the end of the holiday season.
- Heritage Cottage – braised beef short ribs, sausages and sauerkraut, vanilla rice pudding
- Making Spirits Bright – wines by the glass and tasting flights, warm holiday spiced wines, sparkling juice
- Nosh & Nibbles – brisket potato croquette, sweet spiced noodle kugel, Reuben potato smash
- Good Fortune’s Feast – adobo pork bao, smoked duck and vegetable spring roll, chilled papaya shrimp salad, winter mint milk tea
- Spice Salutations – chicken and potato curry, carrot and chickpea fritters, cardamom and saffron sweet cheese tart, mango lassi
- Brews & Bites – local seasonal and international beers and tasting flights, holiday cheese ball with crackers and pretzels
- Mistletoe Morsels – holiday Swedish meatballs, classic crab cake, shrimp cocktail martini, holiday eggnog cocktail, merry berry sherbet punch.
- Southern Hope Holidays – grilled spicy chicken sausage, mac and cheese, sweet potato pie, hard lemonade, cranberry sweet tea
- Winter Sliderland – roasted turkey slider, Kalua pork slider, praline & bourbon whoopee pie, hard cider, sparkling juice
- Fiesta en Familia – green chile pozole, red chile pozole, fresh fish ceviche, guava aqua fresca
- Yuletide Yummies – mini turkey pot pie, pesto puff pastry twist, gingerbread Bundt cake, eggnog cheesecake, mocha yule log, raspberry Linzer tart, sticky toffee pudding, inspired wines and flavorful beers by glass and flight, frozen chocolate milk, pumpkin spice hot chocolate
- Mosaic Delights – roasted lamb, mini falafel donuts, baklava, iced Moroccan mint tea
- Abuelita’s Kitchen – chicken cilantro tamale, beef and cheese tamale, chorizo bean sopes, spiced peanut brittle, pomegranate margarita
- Treats for Santa – cookie decorating, harvest puff pastry, cookies, panettenes, peppermint bark, fudge, warm bourbon cider, white hot chocolate, holiday fruit punch
In addition, Paradise Garden Grill will offer some seasonal specials for Disney ¡Viva Navidad! including torta al pastor, street style tacos and chicken mole.
Elena of Avalor
Princess Elena of Avalor has come to the Disneyland Resort as a part of the Festival of Holidays in Disney California Adventure. In the Paradise Garden area Elena will be doing daily meet n’ greets and also arriving in a very princess style. Disney is presenting an Elena Musical Grand Arrival cavalcade during the holiday season.
The cavalcade not only introduces the princess but also has her singing several songs from the Disney Channel Show as the people from Avalor dance during the celebration.
Viva Navidad returns again for the holiday season on the Paradise Pier area, this show is a high-energy street party led by the Three Caballeros: Donald Duck and his amigos Panchito Pistoles from Mexico (Trivia Time: in Disney canon, which classic character is his girlfriend?) and Jose Carioca from Brazil. They appear on its sole float that rolls into place in front of the center entrance to Paradise Garden.
As always, after Minnie and Mickey do their show for Viva Navidad! You can meet them in their Folklorico outfits throughout the day! Definitely an early California Holiday celebration.
Edited and Compiled by CakvalaSC and Shelly Valladolid.
What are your thoughts of the new Festival of the Holidays? Have you tried it out? If so leave your review below.
Congratulations Lito Morona!
Feliz Natal and Congratulations to our Silly Symphony Smartypants Lito Morona! Here he is with Panchito’s paramour, the one and only Clara Cluck!
Congratulations and enjoy your digital copy of Disney’s The Jungle Book, courtesy of Disney Movies Anywhere!