Sip and Savor Pass for the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival – Is it Worth it?

The Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure Park is something I look forward to every year. Timed as it is at the beginning of springtime, it always seems to mirror the brightness and freshness of the season in flavors as well as in spirit. Beside its headlining food; beer, wine, and cocktail tastings; and culinary demonstrations, the festival also showcases enchanting entertainment. This includes several musical acts (I might be a little biased toward Daps Magic staff-favorite, Phat Cat Swinger), not to mention cute family-friendly shows (with a visiting Disney character or two for good measure). Twelve booths make up the roster of Festival Marketplaces, as listed below. The DCA Food & Wine Festival began March 3 and will continue until April 25, 2023.

View the full Festival Guide of Food & Wine Festival offerings here
• I Heart Artichokes
• Berry Patch
• D*Lish
• Nuts About Cheese
• Uncork California
• Golden Dreams
• Garlic Kissed
• Avocado Time
• Peppers Cali-Ente
• California Craft Brews
• Cluck-a-Doodle-Moo

Sip & Savor Pass
Like the name suggests, the food and drink are really the stars of the show at the DCA Food & Wine Festival. Each year, the Disneyland Resort culinary team cooks up a wide range of both new and returning items to delight guests’ palates. Sampling can be done by purchasing tasting portions individually or by buying a Sip and Savor Pass. As with the Lunar New Year Festival and the Festival of the Holidays, Sip and Savor allows guests to pay one flat rate for a lanyard and themed credential containing detachable tabs. These tabs can be redeemed for food items and nonalcoholic beverages from the marketplaces listed above. For 2023, the Food & Wine Festival Sip and Savor Pass costs $59 before tax and contains eight tabs good for one item each. Magic Key holders save $5 per pass, for a total of $54 before tax. The Key holder deal also includes a special lanyard with a Magic Key-exclusive design.

The question around the Sip and Savor pass at festival events is often, “is it worth it?” The passes are always beautiful and a souvenir in themselves. Wearing one around your neck feels extra festive, like you’re truly a part of the event and there to dig in with both hands. But does using one really save money? I’ve learned that the answer to this question can vary based on the event and personal taste, so I set out to see for myself.

Doing the math showed that each of the eight Sip and Savor tabs is worth $7.38 (or $6.75 after the Magic Key discount). To save money or just break even, the tabs should be used on items worth at least this minimum amount. The higher the menu price above the minimum, the more money there is to be saved with Sip and Savor. So then the question is, what can you get for $7.38/$6.75, and are those items worthwhile?

The selections below qualify for the $7.38 (marked with “S&S”) or $6.75 (marked with “MKS&S”) minimum price tag. Alcoholic beverages are not included with the Sip and Savor Pass.

I Heart Artichokes

Both food items break even with Magic Key discount only; alcohol excluded:
• Artichoke Pizzetta – $7.25 (MKS&S only)
• Artichoke Toast with Olive Tapenade – $6.75 (MKS&S only)

• [Passion Fruit Rum Cocktail – $16]


All items save money:
• Glazed BBQ Pork Belly – $9* (S&S, MKS&S)
• Impossible Gyro-Inspired Naan – $8 (S&S, MKS&S)
• Echo Park Cooler – $7 (MKS&S only)

Berry Patch

Only beverage breaks even for Magic Key only, desserts do not:
• Blueberry Pancake Cold Brew – $6.75 (MKS&S only)
• [Kenny’s Family Cheesecake – $6.50]
• [Blueberry Buttermilk Pie – $6.50]


Both food items save money; alcohol excluded:
• Beef & Barley Poutine – $9* (S&S, MKS&S)
• Cubano Slider – $8.75* (S&S, MKS&S)

• [Apricot Tequila Colada – $15]
• [Sake-Melon ’75 – $15]

Nuts About Cheese

All food items at least break even; alcohol excluded:
• Petite Burrata – $8.75* (S&S, MKS&S)
• Crackers & Cheese – $8 (S&S, MKS&S)
• Mickey Mouse Shaped Macaron made with SNICKERS – $6.75 (MKS&S only)

• [Flowers & Bees – $16]

Uncork California

One food item saves money, dessert does not; alcohol excluded:
• California Artisan Cheese Plate – $8.50* (S&S, MKS&S)
• [Celebration Chocolate Fudge Brownie – $6.50]
• [Various mimosas and wines, by the glass – $11.75-17]
• [Various mimosa and wine flights – $18-19]

Golden Dreams

Two items at least break even with Magic Key discount only:
• Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Flatbread – $7.25 (MKS&S only)
• Central California Cooler – $6.75 (MKS&S only)

• [Elote Paleta – $6]

Garlic Kissed

Both food items save money; alcohol excluded:
• Carbonara Garlic Mac & Cheese Featuring Nueske’s Peppered Bacon – $8.50* (S&S, MKS&S)
• Grilled Top Sirloin – $9* (S&S, MKS&S)

• [Raspberry Linoncello-Ade – $16]
• [Guava-Lychee Mule – $17]

Avocado Time

Both food items save money with Magic Key discount only, beverage does not:
• Impossible Nacho Mac & Cheese – $7 (MKS&S only)
• Impossible Al Pastor Taco – $7.25 (MKS&S only)

• [Blackberry-Lavender Lemonade – $6.50]

Peppers Cali-Ente

Both food items save money; alcohol excluded:
• Chile Relleno Empanada – $8.50* (S&S, MKS&S)
• Camarones a la Diabla – $8.50* (S&S, MKS&S)

• [Cantarito-Style Paloma – $15]

California Craft Brews

Food item saves money with Magic Key discount only, alcohol excluded:
• IPA Sausage Dog – $7.25 (MKS&S only)
• [Various beers, by the glass – $13-14.25]
• [Various beer flights – $17-17.50]


Both food items save money; alcohol excluded:
• Smoked Honey-Habanero Chicken Wings – $8.50* (S&S, MKS&S)
• BBQ Beef Brisket Slider – $9* (S&S, MKS&S)

• [Chipotle-Pineapple Bourbon Sour – $17]
• [Smoked Cherry Mezcal-iki Cocktail – $16]

* Best value items

The Results Are In…
This year, it appears that there is a significant difference in cost savings for those buying the discounted Magic Key Sip and Savor Pass over the standard Sip and Savor Pass. Out of the 28 eligible items at the Festival Marketplaces, only 13 break even or save money under the standard pass. In contrast, Magic Key holders can see savings on 23 out of the 28 offerings, almost double the choices than with the standard pass.

I observed that all but one of the savory food items (a total of 19 out of 20) are priced at or above the break-even point when using the Magic Key discount. Desserts and nonalcoholic beverages are more selective, with only one out of four desserts and three out of four beverages costing $6.75 or more. In comparison, guests purchasing the standard pass can save or break even on 13 of the 28 items, which are all savory. Neither the eight desserts and beverages nor the remaining seven savory items are cost-effective using the standard Sip and Savor Pass.

For those looking to save the maximum amount possible, the food offerings costing $8.50 or higher are the best value. There are four items priced at $9^^^, two items priced at $8.75^^, and five items priced at $8.50^. Maximum value may be achieved by using the eight tabs for each of the four $9 items, each of the two $8.75 items, and your choice of two of the five $8.50 items. This array would cost $70.50 before tax at menu prices, which would lead to savings of $16.50 for Magic Key holders and $11.50 for the standard Sip and Savor Pass.

^^^ The $9 items are the Glazed BBQ Pork Belly, Beef & Barley Poutine, Grilled Top Sirloin, and BBQ Beef Brisket Slider.
^^ The $8.75 items are the Cubano Slider and Petite Burrata.
^ The $8.50 items are the California Artisan Cheese Plate, Carbonara Garlic Mac & Cheese Featuring Nueske’s Peppered Bacon, Chile Relleno Empanada, Camarones a la Diabla, and Smoked Honey-Habanero Chicken Wings.

What About the Food?
The DCA Food & Wine Festival is known for serving up a range of tastes to please just about everyone, whether their palate be adventurous or more reserved. Those craving a spicy bite, a sweet surprise, or a plant-based indulgence will all find something to love. Food quality is consistently good, and portions are generally decent to moderate, depending on the selection.

The favorite bites of the Daps Magic team this year have been the Grilled Top Sirloin, BBQ Beef Brisket Slider, and Carbonara Garlic Mac & Cheese Featuring Nueske’s Peppered Bacon. Other top choices are the Chile Relleno Empanada and the Smoked Honey-Habanero Chicken Wings. Items that had split reviews among the team were the Impossible Nacho Mac & Cheese and the Impossible Al Pastor Taco. There are several other options we have not yet tried, and still hope to enjoy before the festival concludes this year. Check out more detail on some must-try highlights here!

Final Thoughts
What’s not in question is whether the DCA Food & Wine Festival is worth your time. There’s everything to like about tasty bites, indulgent beverages, and enticing entertainment, all with a sprinkling of Disney magic. Assuming you’re sold on the concept (which I humbly submit you should be), the lingering question is how to go about it. It seems clear that the Sip and Savor Pass is great purchase if you have a Magic Key and can benefit from the discount. Nearly the whole roster of eligible food and beverage options are cost-effective in this case.

Otherwise, Sip and Savor isn’t necessarily a loss, but does come with some strategic decisions. If you are attracted to at least most of the best value items (costing $8.50 or more), Sip and Savor definitely provides savings. If you are interested in more of the lower cost items like sweet treats and plant-based options, you may want to buy these items individually and bypass Sip and Savor.

A fun alternative that still promotes sticking to a budget is a themed gift card. This can be a nice balance between the convenience of the pre-paid tabs and the flexibility to choose the items you want but not overspend. Adult beverages may be purchased using the gift card, unlike with Sip and Savor. Excess money on the gift card can be used anywhere else in the Disney Parks that day or in the future.

I hope that this look into the particulars of the Sip and Savor Pass helped you decide what may be right for you. There’s no wrong way to approach the Food & Wine Festival, except not giving it a chance at all. You’d be surprised how opening up to a morsel of the festivities leads to a whole feast for all the senses. At least for me, Food & Wine has become an annual tradition that sparks even more joy and anticipation with each passing year!

Will you have a chance to participate in the Food & Wine Festival at Disney California Adventure this year, or have you already experienced it? What are your favorite can’t-miss bites and sips, or what sounds the most appealing to you? We hope you’ll share with us in the comments below!

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