June 17, 2024

Food & Wine Fest at Tokyo Disney Looks Crazy

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Pulling a page from the playbooks of Food & Wine Festivals at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, OLC is debuting the Tokyo DisneySea Food & Wine Festival from April 1 to June 30, 2024. If

Pulling a page from the playbooks of Food & Wine Festivals at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, OLC is debuting the Tokyo DisneySea Food & Wine Festival from April 1 to June 30, 2024. If your first thought is that Tokyo does everything better, so surely the cuisine here will surpass its counterpart events at EPCOT or DCA, you might be in for a surprise.

The 2024 Tokyo DisneySea Food & Wine Festival will offer a large gathering of cuisine and drinks from around the world, inspired by the eight themed ports of the park, and centered around the American Waterfront New York area. It’ll even offer menus drawn from the (fictional) worlds of Fantasy Springs, which officially opens on June 6, 2024.

The Tokyo DisneySea Food and Wine Festival will feature a diverse selection of menus and beverages created by Tokyo DisneySea culinary team. Upon entering, guests can pick up a leaflet to guide them on their food world tour of the festival and park. For what it’s worth, most of this AI-sounding language is directly from Tokyo Disney Resort’s official page, which repeatedly emphasizes that this is going to be a culinary journey around the globe.

In terms of background, the Food & Wine Festival isn’t the only thing happening at Tokyo DisneySea from April through June. During roughly the same timeframe (starting a week later) is the “Dreaming of Fantasy Springs” celebration. This draws from the worlds of Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan, which inspire the three areas of Fantasy Springs. That’s the meatier special event, with a harbor greeting character smile & wave, decorations, countdown clock, merchandise, and (also) special menus.

All of this is an indirect replacement for Easter, which used to occur around the same timeframe but has been on hiatus since 2019 and is probably never coming back. More to the point, it’s counterprogramming to Donald’s Quacky Duck City over at Tokyo Disneyland. That’s the second event in the Disney Pal-Palooza series, and it offers much more substance than both “Dreaming of Fantasy Springs” and the TDS Food & Wine Festival combined.

It’s an interesting approach. Annual Passes still aren’t back and local commuters are the primary demographic (over half of all guests), meaning that day trips are far and away the most common type of visit to Tokyo Disney Resort. If you’re a local having to pick between a brand-new special event with a respectable entertainment slate at Tokyo Disneyland or all of this at Tokyo DisneySea and the new land not yet being open, which are you going to choose? The decision to hold off and wait to visit Tokyo DisneySea until Fantasy Springs opens is the obvious one, and that would probably be the case regardless of special events.

Maybe that’s part of the point! No special event is going to ‘compete’ with Fantasy Springs who are locals considering one of the two times, so why try? And once it does open and start drawing crowds, the Tokyo DisneySea Food & Wine Festival will help provide needed culinary counterprogramming on the other side of the park to balance out crowds a bit.

I think all of that’s fascinating, but perhaps you’re just here for the weird foods. So let’s dig in!

The first offering is Nacho-style Pointy Corn Chips with Avocado at Hudson River Harvest.

Starting off with a bang, we have the classic cuisine from the United States consisting of Bugles topped with avocado crema, shredded cheese, and seasoning that’s probably still pretty mild. No need for utensils–wear these chips on your fingers and pick up the toppings!

Scallops with Mashed Potatoes and Shrimp Chips at New York Deli.

Ah, another American favorite. Who among us doesn’t gather for a Thanksgiving feast and ask grandma to “pass the shrimp chips” to dip up chunky mashed potatoes, with the chunks being scallops.

Polpetti & Bone-In Sausage at Barnacle Bills in American Waterfront.

Okay, they clocked us with this one. As an American, I love meatballs and do prefer my sausage to be of the bone-in variety for easy snacking, sans silverware. Just unfortunate they aren’t bone-in meatballs–now that would be true culinary innovation. (Bone-in sausage is one of the two “how do they do that?” foods at TDR. We’d suggest not asking questions you’re not prepared to hear the answers to.)

Candy Sweet Potato Sundae at Liberty Landing Diner.

Sweet potato sundaes aren’t a traditional dessert anywhere in the US to the best of my knowledge, but it’s been a while since I’ve visited North Dakota. Seriously though, this will be delicious. Odd as they might sound, these sundaes always deliver.

Curry-flavored Hot Dog at Delancey Catering.

This is a hot dog stand, so of course it’s going to serve hot dogs (they’re fantastic, by the way). Still, this and everything on the menus so far reminds me of the extinct show, A Table is Waiting. The USA act of that show featured Pluto loudly blowing a whistle over and over, as others chanted “U.S.A!” and a cheeseburger clumsily tried to assemble itself, failing multiple times before getting it right. None of this is a joke–that’s an actual description of America’s musical number. It felt like Japan trolling us (it wasn’t–just a bunch of fun culinary caricatures of various countries), but also, what makes America great.

Baked Dolce (Apple Caramel) at Food Truck Blue.

This looks good, and is something I could see being served at the Flavors of America booth at EPCOT’s Food & Wine Festival.

Chicken Roll (Sweet Noodle Sauce and Mango) at Restaurant Sakura.

It sounds like an interesting flavor combo, but even between that and the ambiguity of what this chicken roll actually is, I suspect it’ll be good.

Fried Chicken Leg (Buffalo Sauce) at Dockside Diner.

My guess is that this will be the most popular dish at the event, because the chicken legs are really popular at both parks.

Assorted Snacks (Roasted Falafel and Soy Nuggets) at Dockside Diner.

We bemoaned the increase in lab-made plant-based cuisine at this year’s EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival, but at least none of the dishes are this. Those have a tad more ambition than fake chicken nuggets from the freezer aisle.

Amaretto Latte Cocktail at Gondolier Snacks.

One of the greatest travesties at Tokyo DisneySea is Gondolier Snacks getting rid of its gelato. This looks good, but not gelato-good.

Sparkling Cocktail (Rum & Pineapple) at New York Deli.

There are a bunch of these sparkling drinks, alcoholic and non, around Tokyo DisneySea. It appears this one is topped with Lucky Charms. I’m not going to list the rest of these drinks–but there are plenty of options.

Special Soft Drink at Teddy Roosevelt Lounge.

I’ve been hoping for a new souvenir cup at Teddy Roosevelt Lounge for a while, but no such luck. Regardless, this spot is an absolute must-visit and arguably the best Disney bar anywhere in the world.

So we’ve poked fun at the quick-service and food kiosk offerings at the Tokyo DisneySea Food & Wine Festival, but that’s only part of the story. In addition to this, the park’s table service restaurants will serve up a variety of courses and set meals based on the theme of each area in Fantasy Springs, created by Tokyo DisneySea chefs using their imaginations.

The SS Columbia Dining Room will sell a set menu inspired by the Frozen Kingdom, Ristorante di Canaletto will serve up a Rapunzel’s Forest special set course menu, and Magellan’s will feature a Peter Pan’s Neverland menu.

The two photos above are representative of the types of multi-course meals inspired by Fantasy Springs that are being added to this trio of table service menus at Tokyo DisneySea. If they’re anything like the special sets we’ve had in the past for seasonal events at these restaurants, expect them to look identical to the meticulous plating in the photos–and to taste fantastic.

Whereas all of the snacks are $3 to $5 or so, these special sets cost from $25 to $110 per person. That’s quite the range! If our past experience is any indication, the $25 pasta set at Ristorante di Canaletto (pictured below) will offer incredible value for money, but even the most expensive meal at Magellan’s will be well worth it. We can’t wait to try a couple of these!

Ultimately, the Tokyo DisneySea Food & Wine Festival looks like an exercise in extremes. That’s not completely surprising, as the contrast between the fun snacks and the serious food in the park usually resembles this, it’s just a bit more pronounced this time around. It was just surprising to me to hear Food & Wine Festival and expect one thing, and see something very different on the counter service menus.

At the end of the day, some of these ‘crazy’ sounding dishes will, against all odds, end up being delicious. Probably not the Bugles topped with avocado or the mashed potato scallops dip, but who knows–maybe. Then there are the table service special sets, which are pretty much a sure thing. We’ll be sure to try a bit of everything and report back.

Planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Trip Planning Guide! For more specifics, our TDR Hotel Rankings & Reviews page covers accommodations. Our Restaurant Reviews detail where to dine & snack. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money post. Our What to Pack for Disney post takes a unique look at clever items to take. Venturing elsewhere in Japan? Consult our Ultimate Guide to Kyoto, Japan and City Guide to Tokyo, Japan.

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of the menus for Tokyo DisneySea’s Food & Wine Festival? Do the quick-service dishes sound weird or more fun that festival counterparts at EPCOT and DCA? What about the table service special sets? Which option is more your speed? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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