As mentioned in our last post we purchased tickets to Disneyland’s A Touch of Disney food event at California Adventure. Now that our visit is over we want to share what made our visit magical, what we would have done differently, our food picks, and pictures from the event.
I had hoped to do some live feed while there, but trying to film while driving a motorized wheelchair is something I still have to master. Ha Ha! So, hopefully out photos will do.
As a reminder to those who have not purchased tickets to this event, it is sold out. For those of you with tickets, we hope your visit is as magical as ours was.
With that said, let’s take a trip through A Touch of Disney!
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Know Before You Go!
There may not be any rides operating during the event, but there are many reasons to plan how you wish to spend your day in the park. Visit Disneyland’s official site for menus, details on how to order food, and more. Even if you read through their details when you purchased your tickets, read it again because there may have been some changes.
Event and Shopping Hours
The event hours are from noon to 8:00 pm. It was apparent that many were under the assumption that the park stores would remain open an hour after closing as they did before the shutdown. That is NOT the case. In fact, we witnessed cast members turning people away from the entrance to the stores at 8:00 pm. If you need to shop after closing it will have to be in Downtown Disney where they have extended their hours to 9:00 pm. Also note that the only stores open inside DCA are the Buena Vista Street stores, Off the Page, Stage Door 17, and Bing Bongs on the pier.
Note that only manual wheelchairs are for rent and the only place to rent them from the park is at the Mickey and Friend’s parking garage. With that said, getting around California Adventure with my power wheelchair was a breeze! Sidewalks were not blocked by people, every ramp was accessible without having to ask people to move, and nobody was ever in my way. Restrooms throughout the entire park were open and never did I have to wait for an accessible stall.
Parking Reviews for A Touch of Disney
Parking at Mickey and Friends garage is included in the price of your Touch of Disney ticket. With that said, the line to the garage does NOT open until 11:15 am and the garage gates do not open until 11:30 am. We visited on the 20th of March and it was the online comments made from those who visited on the 18th and 19th that made us reconsider parking at Mickey and Friends.
The biggest complaint was how long it took to park, get through security, walk the tram route, and then have to wait in another line upon arriving in the esplanade. Many who entered the garage line to park at 11:15 am noted that they did not enter the California Adventure until 1:00pm. A few made it through the park gate by 12:30 pm, but no one entered before or at the time of the event start time.
Next I read comments from people who opted to not park at Mickey and Friends. Some were dropped off by a ride share, others walked from a hotel, some parked in the Simba lot at 10:00 am, and others chose to park at either the Garden Walk garage or at the Anaheim Hotel.
Parking anywhere except for Mickey and Friends is not included! The fee for the Simba lot is $10. Garden Walk charges by the hour and parking at the Anaheim Hotel is $25 or $10 with a coupon from Mice Chat.
People who chose one of these alternative options were able to enter the event on time. In fact, many including ourselves were able to enter 40 minutes earlier!
The Harbor entrance never has the massive lines that the Simba lot does. Entering from Harbor puts you right at the entrance for DCA. Oh and did we mention that the lines are never as long as the Simba lot??!!
We entered from Harbor at 9:30 am. We paid $10 to park at the Anaheim Hotel using our Mice Chat parking coupon. There was no line at security. After breezing through security we walked across the esplanade to enter a zig-zagged queue for A Touch of Disney.
At 10:55 am we were escorted from the zig zag line to the park gate entrances. The gates were opened at 11:20 am and we were scanned and through the gate at 11:23 am!!!!!!
As an annual passholder and having the luxury of coming and going whenever I pleased, I really didn’t care about how many hours I was in the park. But until the new program is unveiled, I have returned to vacation mode, meaning that I want every minute of Disney magic that I pay for. So while paying for parking when it was already included in the price of my ticket may have seemed like a waste of money, entering the park 37 minutes earlier made it worth every penny! While those who parked at Mickey and Friends were beginning their hike through the tram route, my family had already taken a hundred photos and sat down to sink our teeth into our first of many tasty treats.
As for lines throughout the day, they were not bad at all. I saw a lot of complaints during the first two days about long lines for food. I honestly did not see any, wait in any, or experience any outrageous wait times for our food. Same for shopping, no lines, just an easy breezy shopping spree. Lack of shopping lines may have attributed to people not realizing they would not remain open after closing or because there wasn’t any Touch of Disney event merchandise. We shopped between 3 and 4 pm. Our longest line was for Trolley Treats and there were only 3 people ahead of us.
We knew that we would not be able to eat everything we wanted in one day. We have taken Monte Cristo sandwiches home in the past to reheat for lunch the following day in the past. Because they are a family favorite, we ordered those an hour before closing and chose the latest possible pick-up time. To keep them fresh I put them inside my soft-sided Mickey Mouse cooler that hung from the back of my power wheelchair. This allowed us to fill up and try new things while still enjoying one of our most favorite Disneyland meals.
With a plan to take our favorite comfort food home, we were left with figuring out what we wanted to eat in addition to our dining reservations. We had reservations for Carthay Circle at 1:50 pm. Not wanting to fill up before our “big” meal, we snacked on pepperoni pizza egg rolls from California Craft Brews at noon.
FYI: The app will give you the option to check in to your reservation on your phone. You can do it, but you must also physically check in with the host at the entrance of Carthay Circle and Lamplight Lounge.
For our big Carthay Circle meal, we chose a variety of food for us all to share. There were three in our party and we were all stuffed by the end of our meal. See the full menu here.
Here is what we ordered:
- Off menu asparagus spears with special sauce
- Duck Confit Empanadas
- Vietnamese Twice-cooked Beef Tacos
- Moroccan Roasted Chicken Meatballs
- Carthay Shrimp Spring Roll
- Double Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae: Chocolate Fudge, Candied Almonds
- Carthay Club Mojito for my husband: Bacardi Superior Rum, Organic Mint, fresh Lime Juice and Organic Agave Nectar topped with locally sourced Purified Sparkling Water served over Crushed Ice
- B-52 Coffee for me: Grand Marnier, Kahlúa, Baileys Irish Cream, and hot Coffee topped with Whipped Cream
What we liked
Two out three LOVED the Duck Confit Empanadas! All three of us enjoyed the shrimp spring roll. But it was the Vietnamese Twice-cooked Beef Tacos that all three of us could not stop raving about!
Dessert was amazing and filling. Too rich for one or two people, but just right for three to four.
My husband and I loved our drinks. My warm coffee while seated in the shade on a cool day was the perfect ending to my meal.
Every place we ordered food from was fantastic when dealing with my food allergies. They put sauces that contained ingredients that I could not consume on the side.
What we did not like
We could have done without the asparagus spears. The sauce is what made them a standout appetizer, but with my being allergic to the sauce, they weren’t a big deal. The only other dish I would not order again would be the Moroccan roasted chicken meatballs. They had an overbearing taste of pepper. Less pepper and we might have really liked them.
Other food we tried throughout the day
After some shopping and Carsland photo ops, my husband and daughter enjoyed a Dole Whip on the pier. We snacked on beef and chicken skewers, jalapeno peanut brittle, and potato tacos around 6 pm. And grabbed an iced mocha coffee before heading home at 8 pm.
That was all that we ate while in the park. Like I said earlier, we mobile ordered our monte cristo sandwiches and picked them up on our way out of the park. We also brought home bunny butt rice crispy treats and chocolate covered fudge Easter eggs from Trolley Treats.
Strike a pose!
A Touch of Disney had more photo opportunities than I had expected. What surprised me the most was how we were able to walk right up to each one. Every once in a while we had one or three groups before us, but we never had to wait for long! The only characters I did not have the right timing for were Miguel from Coco, Chip and Dale, and Mickey’s friends. We did see Mickey, Mater, Lightning McQueen, and Joy from Inside Out. There were only a few Disneyland Photographer opportunities and feel there should have been more, but overall there were plenty of options for fun photos.
Play some games!
The boardwalk games are free! There is no charge to play the boardwalk games on Paradise Pier!! And while those who attended on opening day received prizes, they are no longer being given out. But I didn’t need a prize to feel like a winner, it was just fun playing something that I wouldn’t typically spend money on. Game balls, seats, and anything else a person touches while playing is wiped down between users. Seats are socially distanced and plexiglass partitions have been installed for further protection.
What we would have done differently
Personally, I would not have changed a thing. It was an amazing day! In fact, all three of agreed it was the best day we have had since our last visit which took place right before the shutdown. With that said, my husband was disappointed about not getting to eat his beloved Lobster Nachos from Lamplight Lounge. He would have preferred that our Carthay Circle reservation been later in the day and liked to have tried to get into Lamplight with a standby request via the app. But to do that something else would have had to be eliminated. One can only eat so much!
But that is it. Our parking, entry, and day in the park were perfect. We opened and closed the park, just like the good ole days before we became annual passholders, and cannot wait to do it again!
Tear making moment
I knew I would cry. I teared up last summer while having dinner at the Uva Bar. I cried again when we’re allowed to shop and dine on Buena Vista Street. But had surprisingly gone most of the day without crying during the event until 7:03 pm. I made sure we were in Carsland for the sunset and street lighting. The minute the music began and lights twinkled on, the tears began flowing. It was the magic I had been missing for over a year.
What about you?
Have you attended A Touch of Disney? What was your favorite food or moment? Did you cry?
If you have tickets for a future date, what are your plans for the day? What are you looking forward to doing? Do you have any questions for us?