Eating Our Way through Disney's Lunar New Year Celebration
This year, Disney’s California Adventure Park held a Lunar New Year festival from January 25th through February 17th, 2019 to ring in the Year of the Pig! This celebration of Asian cultures featured relevant decorations, food, and characters, like Mulan and Mushu.
One thing that has always been on our Annual Passholder bucket list is buying a Sip and Savor Pass to taste our way through one of DCA’s famous food festivals. This year, we got exactly that chance during the Lunar New Year festival! This blog post will share with you pictures and reviews of the food we tried during this brand new Disney experience for us.
It was a day full of multiple experience passes! These happen when a ride goes down during your assigned Fastpass return time slot. You can use the Multiple Experiences pass for any ride that accepts Fastpasses at any time of the day. The one catch is that the Fastpass is only valid for a single park (look under where it says “Multiple Experiences” and you will see the valid park).
1. Sip and Savor Pass - Basics
The following information is specific to the Sip and Savor Pass during the Lunar New Year Festival. As we would later learn, the Food and Wine Festival Sip and Savor Passes are different prices and have a different number of redeemable coupons.
First, the Lunar New Year Sip and Savor Pass costs $36 for Annual Passholders and $39 for non-passholders. It comes with six redeemable tabs for food or non-alcoholic drinks. You must detach these coupons in front of a marketplace cashier when you order your food item or else they will not accept them.
My husband and I bought one pass and shared it. We ended up ordering 3 entrees, 1 drink, and 2 desserts. All items shown below are only present during the Lunar New Year Festival and not available on a day-to-day basis.
2. Banh Mi Pork Sandwich
You can find this sandwich at Paradise Garden Grill. This was Ty’s first selection with the Sip and Savor Pass, and it was one of his favorites. He did say that the jalapenos were not very spicy, and wished for some more cilantro, but other than that he really enjoyed it!
3. Vegan Orange Tempeh
My first selection was also at Paradise Garden Grill. The orange sauce was super delicious, as were the rice and veggies. I love me some mini corn! However, I did not enjoy the tempeh at all. To be fair, this was my first time trying tempeh, so I am not sure whether the Disney one was just bad or whether tempeh normally tastes like this. It was dry and coated my tongue with a strange flavor, and I could have definitely done with a veggie-only dish.
4. Stir-fried Vegetables and Pineapple with Soy Protein
The tempeh makes a return….and it was still bad! This was our least favorite dish of the night. It was cold, a bit mushy, and had very little flavor. I would not recommend trying this, but if you are feeling brave, it can be found at the Lucky 8 Lantern marketplace.
5. Vietnamese Iced Coffee
This was, BY FAR, the hit of the night! It was sooo good! It was definitely a strong brew, and it was refreshing and smooth. In fact, Ty and I loved this so much that after we had used up our Sip and Savor coupons, we went back and spent money on another of these coffees. I cannot recommend this highly enough! Can be found at the Lucky 8 Lantern marketplace.
6. Mandarin Orange-Green Tea Tart
This was Ty’s choice of dessert (he likes green tea and I don’t). He let me try it, though, and it was surprisingly good! Normally, green tea tastes cardboard-y to me, but this did not have that effect on my taste buds. It is a great option for people looking for fresher, not sickeningly-sweet desserts. Can be found at Lucky 8 Lantern Marketplace.
7. Purple Yam Macaron with Crème Fraîche
I was a little nervous about this dessert at first because I had never had purple yams before, but it was SO GOOD. You would have no idea there was any yam in here at all. It was a good size macaron, but I will warn that it was crazy sweet. By the time I finished it, I was all sugared out. Still worth it 😉 Can be found at Red Dragon Spice Traders Marketplace.
For a full list of the available marketplaces and all food/drink options for the Disney Lunar New Year, click here.
Overall, I thought that the Lunar New Year Sip and Savor Pass was a fun and unique experience. Just a heads up: the Sip and Savor pass coupons get you smaller portions of the food than if you purchased them at full price (except drinks and desserts). While I was not overly impressed with the quality of the food, there were a few gems – Vietnamese iced coffee and the purple yam macaron – that we likely would not have tried had we not purchased the Sip and Savor pass. I wouldn’t say that it is a good value for the amount of food you get because the portion sizes are very small, but I do think it was entertaining to sample different things, and I am glad we partook in the Lunar New Year fun!
Bonus Food Item
The Tropical Hideaway (full menu here) restaurant recently opened in Disneyland, and it has given us our new favorite Disneyland treat! This is the loaded whip featuring pineapple and orange swirl, fresh pineapple and mandarin oranges, and crystallized hibiscus and coconut (price: $7.99). It is not too sweet, and is the best refreshing snack on a sunny Disney day!