As a popular festival purchase year after year, the Sip and Savor Pass offers a convenient way to try all the tasty food and drinks at California Adventure Park. We’re breaking down the price to determine if it’s actually cost effective.
If there’s one must-buy item at every Disney California Adventure (DCA) festival, it’s the Sip and Savor Pass! This pass, which features an array of little tabs that can be cashed in at festival booths for delicious bites and drinks, is so popular that it’s offered almost year-round, from the Lunar New Year Celebration to the annual DCA Food and Wine Festival to the Festival of Holidays. And it seems like a convenient, budget-friendly way to try all of the fun festival eats. But is the Sip and Savor Pass actually worth its price? Does it offer true value?
If you’re wondering whether you should purchase the pass or pay for food and drinks individually, here’s what you need to know to make a decision.
What is the Sip and Savor Pass?
The Sip and Savor Pass, which is offered at California Adventure Park during festivals, is a literal pass to taste your way around the theme park. It features a commemorative festival credential, a lanyard, and eight entitlement tabs (sometimes there are just six for the Lunar New Year Celebration) around its edges.
You can purchase a Sip and Savor Pass for a flat fee. Then, as you visit each booth, you don’t need to pull out your wallet; you just use the pass and its tabs. As you enjoy the booths and events at DCA’s Food and Wine Festival or any other festival throughout the year, you use the tabs to “purchase” food and nonalcoholic beverages.
Sip and Savor Pass tabs can be redeemed at any festival booth, and they can also often be used at other restaurants or dining destinations within California Adventure (just check your festival guide to see participating locations!). You can use the pass for yourself or divvy it up and share the tabs with friends and family; how you use it is entirely up to you.
How Much Does the Sip and Savor Pass Cost?
The Sip and Savor Pass varies in price from festival to festival and year to year. Typically, it’s offered at one price for Guests and a slightly discounted price for members of the Magic Key program.
During the 2023 DCA Food and Wine Festival, the pass cost $59 for Guests and $54 for Disneyland Magic Key passholders.
Paying Individually Versus Buying the Sip and Savor Pass: Breaking Down the Value
Is the DCA Sip and Savor Pass a good value for its price? Let’s take a look at the value of this pass using the price from the 2023 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival. At full price – $59 – with eight tabs, you’re paying approximately $7.37 per item.
The cost of festival food items you can purchase with a pass ranges from $6 to $9. The cost of nonalcoholic drinks (remember, Sip and Savor tabs are only valid on certain nonalcoholic beverages!) ranges from $6.50 to $7.
So, if you use your pass to primarily purchase nonalcoholic drinks or menu items under $7.37, you won’t actually get the full value. You can wind up choosing items that total less than the price of the pass!
The smartest way to use your Sip and Savor Pass is to fork over your tabs for higher-priced items. If you’re using all eight tabs for items that cost $9, you’re getting $72 worth of festival food at a great discount of $59! And if you use the pass for items that cost $8, it’s still a better value than paying out of pocket, delivering $64 of food for $59.
So, you’ll want to make sure you’re using your pass for the highest-priced items on the menu – and you can always use cash if you want to try lower-priced options! Of course, if you’re a Magic Key holder, the math is slightly different. However, at $54, you’ll still see the most value out of your Sip and Savor Pass if you opt for items that range between $7.50 and $9.
The Pros and Cons of the Sip and Savor Pass
Sharing is Easy with a Sip and Savor Pass
If you’re headed to California Adventure Park with a group of friends, getting a couple of Sip and Savor Passes makes it so simple to try lots of food items! You can divvy up the tabs any way you’d like, whether everyone wants to order something different (and from different booths) or your group likes to share a little of everything. Plus, it’s particularly cost-effective if you’re splitting a pass or two with others.
It’s Handy for Budgeting
Trying to stick to a set budget at any Disney theme park is a tough task, and it becomes especially tricky when you’re staring at some mouth-watering festival food and drinks. To keep yourself and your family on a set food budget, the Sip and Savor Pass is super helpful! You can pay a flat fee and enjoy up to eight items without spending any additional money.
To maximize my money and stretch it a bit further (along with the room in my stomach!), I personally like to buy two passes when visiting with my family of four. Two of us share each festival dish, which allows each person to try everything they want, fill up slowly throughout the day, and keep hunger and our budget in check.
The Pass is Convenient
Personally, I’m a fan of the convenience of the Sip and Savor Pass above all else. Donning your pass allows you to keep your hands free (and out of your bag, backpack, or wallet!) as you travel from booth to booth and try all of the food and drinks. You can hand over a tab instead of fussing with credit cards or cash – and it keeps your hands free to grab your items when they’re ready.
It’s a Commemorative Token
If you’re someone who loves Disney merch that commemorates different park events, the Sip and Savor Pass delivers. The entire pass is designed to be kept and saved, from the credential itself – which changes from festival to festival and year to year, so it’s always different – to the fun themed lanyard.
The Sip and Savor Pass Doesn’t Automatically Deliver a Good Value
Unfortunately, one of the biggest ways in which the festival Sip and Savor Pass can fall short is in its bang for your buck. Like you saw above, the pass is only a good financial value if you use its tabs on higher-priced items. If you’re primarily looking to try items priced at $6 or $7, the pass can actually wind up costing you more than you’d spend paying with cash.
Additionally, if you buy too many passes – or can’t find eight items you want to eat – you can wind up with leftover tabs, which is essentially leaving money on the table. Those with smaller appetites or who aren’t fans of the festival offerings may not want to invest in a pass if you might wind up with unused tabs!
Tabs Aren’t Valid on All Festival Menu Items
While there’s a whole lot you can enjoy using the tabs of a DCA Sip and Savor Pass, there’s also a whole lot that the tabs aren’t valid for. And if you’re particularly interested in trying the specialty cocktails, wine pours, and beer varieties available at any given festival, you’re going to have to pay out of pocket! You cannot use the Sip and Savor Pass on any alcoholic beverages. So, when you’re budgeting, you may find that it’s smarter to pay individually rather than get a pass if you’re not going to enjoy eight food items or nonalcoholic drinks.
If You Lose Your Pass, You’re Out of Luck
While Disney does make it easy to keep track of your festival Sip and Savor Pass by attaching it to a lanyard, it’s important to note that you cannot get your pass – or its tabs – replaced if they’re lost. Wearing your pass around your neck or attached to your theme park bag makes it convenient to use. However, if your clasp malfunctions, lanyard comes loose, or the pass credential falls off, it’s game over (and unfortunately, money wasted). While this isn’t necessarily a common issue, it’s one worth noting so you know to be careful and keep a close eye on that pass!
So, is the DCA Sip and Savor Pass worth getting at a festival? Well, it really depends on a few personal factors! Your budget, your interest in the available menu items, and your personal value will all determine if it’s a worthwhile investment for your next visit to a California Adventure festival.
Ultimately, though, if you plan to try the higher-priced food items and want to sample a variety of different foods, the Sip and Savor Pass offers the convenience and flexibility to do so, without having to pull out your wallet at every booth.