Vegan Options at Festival of Holidays in California Adventure + Holiday Items in Disneyland (2021)

It’s that time of year! Let’s eat some vegan Holiday-themed food!

There are two categories of Holiday food we are dealing with here:

  1. Festival of Holidays in DCA: This is a food-festival-type event that consists of marketplace booths that pop up around Disney California Adventure, as well as special menus at several DCA restaurants. This event is not separately ticketed; it is free and just a part of your normal experience at DCA during this time of year.
  2. Holiday-themed menu items throughout Disneyland, DCA, Downtown Disney, and the Hotels that aren’t specifically part of the Festival of Holidays.

Below is all of the information that I have gathered after being in DCA for the soft opening on November 11 and the official opening on November 12, as well as my reviews of the items that I tried.

Please note that I am just a guest, like you, and I have no control over any menu decisions that are made in the park. I understand that you may be disappointed and want more options, but it does not help to complain to me about it. Instead, please take a moment to write Disneyland a polite, positive feedback email to ask for more vegan options on future seasonal menus. I am often exhausted by the amount of negative messages that I get about the lack of options, the options not being to people’s specific preferences, etc., and it only makes it harder for me to continue to try to provide helpful information here.

As always, please double check with chefs and cast members, since ingredients and suppliers can change on a daily basis, and it is impossible for me to predict and keep track of every possible change.

Festival of Holidays in DCA

If you’d like to see the video of the opening day of Festival of Holidays where I do taste tests of the items below and show you a bunch of the live entertainment, that is here:

I am often asked about Sip and Savor Passes, which is a pass with 8 tabs/coupons on it that you can redeem for food and non alcoholic drinks instead of paying for them individually. This year, they are $56, and $51 for Magic Key holders. My opinion is that these are generally not worth it – you have to be thinking about getting the most expensive items to end up saving money, and there is the question of whether you will use all of them. There are not that many vegan options, so it doesn’t make sense for me. If, however, you are sharing it between 2 or more people and you know you will use them all up, it might be worth it for you. You’ll have to run the numbers for yourself and decide.

Below is a rundown of the vegan options at the various marketplace booths and Paradise Garden Grill!

Holiday Duets Marketplace

  • Pabana Cachaça Colada – Cachaça, passionfruit, banana, mango, coconut cream, and lime
  • Calamansi Melon Lemonade – Calamansi, cantaloupe, and house-made lemonade

These two drinks appear to be vegan.

Winter Sliderland Marketplace

  • Bourbon Cranberry Cocktail – Bourbon, cranberry, orange, and cinnamon
  • Prickly Pear Tea Lemonade – Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co. Ceylon Black Tea (cold brew), prickly pear beverage syrup, and house-made lemonade

I tried the latter of these two drinks and it was great! Not too sweet, since it’s a combo of both iced tea and lemonade/juice. It was really nicely balanced, would recommend.

Grandma’s Recipes Marketplace

  • Impossible Arepa Encantada

This is labeled as “plant-based” with the plant-based menu icon, so it is vegan without modifications, i.e. it “contains no animal meat, dairy, eggs, or honey.”

It has the corn-based arepa topped with seasoned Impossible meat and pickled red onions. It’s very savory and delicious! Zero spiciness that I could detect.

Favorite Things Marketplace

  • Chana Masala with Grilled Garlic Naan
  • Hibiscus Ginger Mezcal Mule – Mezcal, house-made hibiscus syrup, ginger, lime juice, and Topo Chico Mineral Water
  • Selection of Pale Ales and Stouts

In previous years, the Chana Masala has been vegan, while the Naan has been hit and miss – sometimes vegan, and sometimes not, depending on the supplier. This year I asked again, and they said that the naan bread does contain dairy, and that they are not allowed to customize any of the Festival of Holidays dishes, so they won’t serve it without the bread. Even if they did serve it without the bread, I would suspect that they would just throw it away without noting that it was omitted in the order, since they can’t customize it. That would mean that there would be no way for them to distinguish between a customer who consumes the bread and one who doesn’t, which is an ethical issue for me.

The Mule appears to be vegan. Many beers and wines are vegan, and when you see the list of specific breweries/wineries on the menu board, you may look them up on Barnivore if you are so inclined.

Viva Navidad at Paradise Garden Grill

  • Chile Relleno Plate – Roasted poblano stuffed with veggie stew topped with roasted tomato sauce and tofu crema served with Spanish rice and black beans (plant-based)

This one is labeled as “plant-based” specifically, so it does not not need modifications. It is the same as in 2019. Here is my new photo from 2021:

Just as tasty as in 2019 I think! I really like the chile itself, it’s a good spice level, and the vegetable stew inside is great. It’s definitely got that hot comfort food vibe going.

Smokejumpers Grill

  • Loaded Latke – Traditional latke loaded with smoked brisket topped with soy yogurt-horseradish sauce and scallions

The fact that it says “soy yogurt sauce” makes me hopeful that it can be veganized without the brisket, but since they are not modifying Festival of Holidays items, I would suggest to avoid this one.

Sonoma Terrace

  • Peppermint Cold Brew Cocktail – Cold brew with coffee liqueur, a splash of crème de menthe, and crème de cacao garnished with a miniature candy cane
  • Cranberry Mule – A twist on a classic mule with cranberry juice and agave garnished with a sprig of rosemary and a cape cranberry

Creme de Cacao and Creme de Menthe are vegan typically. I am assuming when it says “coffee liqueur,” that it means Kahlua. Kahlua doesn’t contain any animal products, though the source of their sugar is unclear. In my FAQ, I discuss the issue of sugar and bone char. Obviously, please only consume what you are comfortable with.

For the Peppermint Cold Brew Cocktail, ask them to omit the half and half that they normally add to it.

Holiday-themed menu items throughout the Disneyland Resort

Ice Cream and Vending Carts

  • Cinnamon Cotton Candy
  • Blue and White Swirl Cotton Candy in Snowflake Bag

Cotton candy is typically vegan; it is merely sugar and dyes. Please see my FAQ if you have concerns. As I said above, please decide for yourself what you are comfortable with.

Tropical Hideaway

  • Holiday DOLE Whip Sundae – A swirl of DOLE Whip Cherry and Lime topped with festive decorations

All flavors of Dole Whip are vegan; you can read the ingredients lists on their website. Dole only makes fruit flavors, so if you ever see vanilla or any other non-fruit flavor, that is not Dole Whip, that is simply a vanilla soft serve made by another company and probably contains dairy.

I do not know whether the “festive decorations” are vegan; there is no way to tell until I am able to go and ask.

Boudin Bread Cart

  • Candy Cane-shaped Sourdough
  • Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Sourdough
  • Snowman-shaped Sourdough

These sourdough loaves are vegan.

Hollywood Lounge

  • Holiday Lemonade – Butterfly pea tea, orange juice, and lemonade
  • Peach-Citrus Cocktail – Peach schnapps, rum, lemon-lime soda, blue curaçao, and orange juice
  • Holiday Mule – Peppermint schnapps, cranberry juice, and ginger ale
  • Holiday Limeade – Lemon-lime soda with grenadine garnished with a cherry
  • Blue Lemonade Fizz – Butterfly pea flower tea with hard lemonade seltzer
  • Tropical Holiday Margarita – Tequila, rum, coconut milk, lime juice, and coconut cream

As far as I can tell from researching, without having an ingredients list in front of me of what they are actually using, peppermint schnapps should be vegan. The coconut cream that they typically use for drinks in the Disneyland Resort is typically vegan. So all of the above drinks should be vegan.

Mortimer’s Market

  • Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Sourdough
  • Snowman-shaped Sourdough

Pacific Wharf Café

  • Candy Cane-shaped Sourdough
  • Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Sourdough
  • Snowman-shaped Sourdough

GCH Craftsman Bar

  • California Snowball – Rum, coconut rum, and cream of coconut garnished with coconut flakes

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

  • Ginger-Spice Cocktail – Gin, ginger liqueur, lemon juice, ginger syrup, and cinnamon syrup, dusted with cinnamon-dusted with candied ginger
  • Peppermint Rum Cocktail – Rum, peppermint schnapps, ginger syrup, lemon juice, cream of coconut, mint leaves, and pomegranate juice garnished with a candy cane
  • Sparkling Wine Cocktail – Trader Sam’s Gorilla Grog, lime juice, orgeat, orange curaçao, rum, sparkling wine, and cinnamon syrup garnished with a cherry
  • Holiday Cocktail – Spiced liqueur, coffee liqueur, lime juice, pineapple juice, and coconut cream available in a Nutcracker Tiki Mug

All of the above drinks look vegan to me, but as always, please double check when ordering.

That’s going to be it for now! This little guide is merely for the seasonal Holiday items for 2021. There are of course many, many more vegan options available on the regular menus. Please see below for the full guides to what is currently vegan at the Disneyland Resort:

Complete Guide to Vegan Options in Disneyland

Complete Guide to Vegan Options in Disney California Adventure

Complete Guide to Vegan Options at Downtown Disney

Complete Guide to Vegan Options in Disneyland Resort Hotels

I hope you have the most wonderful holiday park visits this year! See ya real soon!

4 comments

    1. Ah yes that makes sense why they would choose the soy yogurt sauce! So yeah, when I am there, I will ask and see if it can be done without the brisket, and if that would make it vegan with everything else going on in dish.

      Like

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