With only six weeks until the Disneyland Resort relaunches with rides, the park threw open its gates on March 18 for A Touch of Disney, a hybrid of the park’s Food and Wine Festival and a walking tour of California Adventure, which runs through April 19 (it’s sold out, sadly). With food offerings mainly consisting of smaller versions of fan faves, the wait to join the virtual queue for items was about 15 to 45 minutes on Thursday but stretched to over an hour on Sunday, March 21.
With only two sit-down restaurants, whose reservations filled up as soon as the system opened on March 11, most of the guests at the resort wandered from food venue to food venue grabbing sample-sized portions of classics like the Monte Cristo from New Orleans Square or a pineapple Dole Whip from Adventureland, served for a limited time at locations around California Adventure.
Crucial recommendation: If you don’t have a reservation at a sit-down spot, don’t spend your time trying to get in. Tables aren’t being held for walk-ups, so they only open if a party doesn’t show up for its reservation. For $75 you should be enjoying the park, not sitting and starting at your phone waiting for a notification if a table opens.
Despite some minor aggravations, guests seem to relish the experience of getting back to the park. Characters interacted with guests from a distance (we spotted Minnie at the Swings, and Chip and Dale near Grizzly River Run) and cast members were polite and eager to help everyone navigate the experience. Interactive photo areas sprinkled throughout the park were a hit, and, generally, a festive mood permeated the park.
All in all, A Touch of Disney feels like a successful soft opening for the parks in advance of their big return on April 30.
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