2019 is a big year for Disney.
Here’s the breaking news… Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens on May 31 at Disneyland Resort in California and on August 29 at Walt Disney World in Florida.
Those dates are earlier than expected (a rare move for Disney) and people are shook.
The surprising update has fans counting down the days until late May when they can explore everything the Anaheim version of the 14-acre Land has to offer. It’s important to note that this will be a phase one opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. While guests will be able to enjoy themed food and beverages, all of the merchant shops, and a majority of the highly immersive land, only one of the two major attractions—Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run—will be open. You’ll be able to take command of pretty much the most well-known ship in space, but you’ll have to wait until phase two for the complete experience. You don’t mind coming back for more, do you?
Phase two, coming later in 2019, will introduce Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. According to Disney, this will be an extended attraction (no “is it over already?” here) but also the most advanced and immersive attraction ever imagined, with guests placed smack dab in the middle of a reality-bending, epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.
Sign. Us. Up.
We’ll have more on all things Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as we draw closer, but there’s so much more going on at Disneyland Resort that you need to know about.
Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival
This yearly event focuses on culinary seminars for the entire family, celebrity chef events, and dinners led by Disney chefs. The best part, though, are the 14 Festival Marketplaces that allow guests to sample bites and beverages from regions across the Golden State.
We recommend picking up a Tasting Passport upon entry. It’s your guide to all of the food and fun and will help you to navigate the festival. Also, the Sip and Savor Pass offers the perfect way for you to nibble and sip your way around the festival.
Viewfinder Tip: The Sip and Savor Pass can save you a little money. That means more bucks for beer and bubbles!
The Sip and Savor Pass entitles you to eight food or non-alcoholic beverage items from the participating Marketplaces, Paradise Garden Grill, and other Festival Food & Beverage Carts. You can use all eight coupons during one visit or use them across multiple days. And, take it from us, you might want to pace yourself—this is a lot of food.
To that last point, we did not pace ourselves. In fact, we sampled nearly every food offering in a single afternoon. We left the park very full and with a some clearly favorite dishes that we consider “must try.”
- Black Garlic Soy-braised Pork Belly Banh Mi from Garlic Kissed: If you’ve never had a Bahn Mi, this is your chance to try the classic Vietnamese sandwich. And if you are already a fan of Banh Mi, this is not going to disappoint. We were way into the sweet/savory, crispy/fatty pork belly and really appreciated the baguette, which had a chewy exterior and soft interior just perfect for soaking up the fat and garlic-soy yumminess from the pork belly. Suffice it to say, we could have eaten many of these.
- Harris Ranch Grilled Beef Tenderloin Slider with Chimichurri Sauce from Cluck-A-Doodle Moo: It’s hard to make a slider right. The little beef patties tend to dry out really easy. So, we were impressed by how juicy this baby was. We were even more impressed with the chimichurri sauce—a mix of parsley, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and chili – that gave this diminutive hamburger a really big punch of flavor. We could have eaten many of these of well.
- Asian-style Beef Barbacoa Taco with Pickled Ginger from LA Style: We never get tired of tacos, even if we aregetting tired of seeing “street tacos” on high end restaurant menus. Anyway, we were really psyched to try these actual street tacos (Buena Vista Street to be clear). We were excited about the balance of flavors, with the pickled red onions providing a nice acidic balance to the tender, savory beef. We did eat many of these (see header photo).
Those are our three favorites, but there is so much to try, so wipe the drool off of your screen and make your plans fast. The Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival ends on April 23.
The Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival may be temporary, but Disneyland Resort’s year-round dining, shopping, and entertainment game just keeps getting better and better. No matter when you visit, you have to check out these tasty new additions to the Downtown Disney scene.
Naples Ristorante e Bar: This two-story Italian restaurant has been renovated, offering a sleek, bustle-y vibe and brand-new menus. We love Neapolitan pizza—with its chewy, charred crust and gooey middle—and this delivered (not literally, we were eating in!).
We ordered all our Italian favorites—pizza, lasagna, calamari—and actually felt like we were in Italy… except for the crunchy fried calamari. That was actually better than any of the calamari we’ve had in Italy. To top it all off, we treated ourselves to a sparkling Italian rose, which we recommend, because: sparkling rose.
Ballast Point Brewing Company: At 7000 square feet, this nautical-themed brewery is a beer lovers paradise. In addition to high-quality standard beers and ciders, we enjoyed some of the most unusual and tasty beers we’ve ever tried. A dark, rich stout imbued with Thai-flavors. They have that. A chocolaty porter with peanut butter. The have that, too. Our advice? Let your server make the selections for you.
On the food side—and you will need some food to go with all that beer—we loved the fish and chips. The actual fish changes based on what is recently caught—ours was mahi mahi—and the tartar sauce (the whole reason to eat fish and chips, in our humble opinion) was a caper-y, pickle-y delight.
Splitsville: 25 big-screen televisions, 20 lanes of bowling, indoor and outdoor dining, delicious drinks. What more can you ask for? How about a memorably fun addition to your already great Disneyland adventure?
We spent an evening bowling (one of us actually can knock-down some pins) and enjoying a couple Old Fashioned Elders. The update to the classic cocktail includes Mitcher’s Bourbon, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Simple Syrup and a dash of Bitters. We felt like it was the perfect complement to a night of friendly competition and laughs.
Salt & Straw: Being from Seattle, we already knew about this ice cream mecca. But we never pass up an opportunity to try one of their truly unique flavors, which are handmade in small batches using local, organic, and fresh ingredients. Do you really need to hear more? We didn’t think so.
We’ve given you a lot to put on your Disneyland bucket list. Add in all of the other amazing things to do on your Disneyland Resort adventure and… well, you better make that adventures in 2019.
What’s your favorite food festival?