If you’ve been missing your Disneyland theme parks — and who hasn’t? — well, we have some hoppin’ good news for you! You can get a taste of the magic with a new limited-capacity ticketed experience at Disney California Adventure Park this spring. A Touch of Disney allows you to access the Disney California Adventure theme park for dining and entertainment. Disneyland theme parks had been closed for one year when this event kicked off, so we were toadally excited to attend this frogciting event. Our frog bellies are stuffed with our favorite Disney foods! It felt so good to be back in the park and to see characters.
You may think that eight hours in a theme park with no rides is a long time, but we stayed until the very end and left looking forward to our next visit. April 30 (when Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park reopen with rides) cannot come fast enough!
We'll go over all of the tasty treats and bites available at this special event. And, yes, the Frog family favorites of lobster nachos, Jolly Holiday Combo, chili cone queso and pineapple Dole Whip are all on the menu! (We are doing the froggy happy dance over here.) We hopped by the event on opening day and found all of our must-eat items. It was so good to once again eat a Monte Cristo Sandwich and other favorites!
When Is A Touch of Disney?
The new experience is available Thursdays through Mondays, March 18 through April 19. (Due to popularity, two weeks were added to the event, which originally was ending April 4!) Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Tickets went on sale to this sold-out event on March 4. Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure reoopen with rides April 30.
What Does a Ticket Include?
The introductory ticket is $75. No discounts apply. Tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable. Tadpoles 2 and under do not need a ticket. Ticket purchase is limited to eight tickets per person. The event sold out within hours of going on sale.
- Parking at Mickey & Friends parking structure (when we attended, cars were let through at 11:30 a.m. We recommend lining up as early as you can, but keep in mind they may block entry before 11:10 to 11:15 a.m.)
- Unlimited downloads of Disney PhotoPass photos taken the day of the experience
- $25 A Touch of Disney dining card valid toward the purchase of food and nonalcoholic beverages at select participating food locations. You can also use the voucher to purchase sippers or glow cubes and other food accessories sold at dining locations.
You will have to purchase a date-based ticket in advance. Ticket booths will not open for this event. The event sold out within hours of going on sale.
Rides are NOT included with this event. Lockers are closed, so travel light, dress in layers or bring a comfortable backpack.
Discover new and iconic photo spots, including posing for a photo in front of a Pixar Play Parade float or a Little Mermaid-themed backdrop, or with one of the convertibles from Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters in Cars Land. There are a few photo walls around too! In order to view PhotoPass photos, scan your admission ticket into the Disneyland app. You'll have 45 days to download the images.
Parking and Arrival Tips
The event ticket comes with included parking at the Mickey and Friends structure. Parking trams are not running. Event goers can use a designated walkway from the structure to the park, using the road of the tram usually follows. It's a 15- to 20-minute walk, and you should expect a decent line to get into the park (complete with physically distant line markers to space out the crowd).
It's a long walk for people who have mobility challenges or underlying health issues. You can rent a manual wheelchair at the Mickey & Friends parking structure or inside Disney California Adventure near Kingswell Camera Shop (to the left of the lockers); these are $12, with a $20 deposit (so you'll pay $32 upfront, then receive $20 back once its returned). No ECVs are currently available.
For an additional fee (generally about $15 during the event) you can park closer to the theme parks if you need a shorter walk and even rent a scooter from an off-site location right across from the Harbor Boulevard security area. You can rent and ECV off-site across from the Harbor Boulevard entrance at One Stop Mobility. One Stop Mobility is near the Tropicana Inn & Suites, which offers Disneyland parking for $15 at this time. If you need a stroller, you may purchase one in the parking structure for $39.99.You can also rent from Select Mobility in the Best Western Park Place Inn, which also offers parking for $15.
We Frogs visited day 1 of the event and day 4. We had vastly different experiences based on how and when we arrived. Day 1 we arrived at Mickey and Friends at 11:28 a.m. all jittery and frogcited to head back into Disney California Adventure. At 11:30 a.m., when the parking booths opened all the cars were honking and people were yelling in excitement! How fun! However, it took a long time to park and line up and enter the park. The event started at 12 p.m. and we did not enter until 1:08 p.m.
For our second visit to the event we parked at Downtown Disney shortly after it opened to do some shopping and the Egg-stravaganza egg hunt. Then we got in the line for the event about 10 a.m. near the Disneyland ticketing booths. At 10:45 we could line up in the esplanade and at 11:20 a.m. we could enter the park early! Our friends had parked at hotels on Harbor Boulevard such as the Best Western and the Tropicana at 11:00 a.m. for $15 and hopped. inline with us before we entered the park. That got us all into the park about about hour and 50 minutes earlier than the day we parked at the structure! Hopping into an empty park and getting a head start on eating and finding characters made our day feel much more calm and peaceful than arriving late due to lines and parking delays.
If you do not need to arrive at opening, another option is to delay your arrival until after the initial crowds enter in the early afternoon. The event crowds inside the park seem to peak about 3 p.m. but the evening gets quieter as others begin to exit. The park never felt crowded, and even when we encountered waits for food, we always found a place to sit a safe distance from others.
If you have unused Sip & Savor passes from the 2020 Food and Wine Festival, you can get a refund. We have the refund details in our Food and Wine Festival post. You cannot use the pass at this event.
Legacy Passholder Corner
There is an offering for Legacy Passholders who purchase A Touch of Disney tickets. Hop over to the Legacy Passholder Corner in Paradise Gardens from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The area is themed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Disney California Adventure Park. It features a special photo-op and themed amenities (a Legacy Passholder magnet and a special button). Check out the historical timeline that charts the evolution of Disney California Adventure Park. Be sure to bring your eligible passport and government ID.
Is Buena Vista Street Still Free?
We have enjoyed accessing Buena Vista Street for free the past few months. But all good things must come to an end. Buena Vista Street is now part of the ticketed event and the gates are closed for free entry. Buena Vista Street and the neighboring Hollywood Land area closed March 15 to prepare for A Touch of Disney. Downtown Disney remains open during this event. The Backlot Premiere Shop at Stage 17 is only open to Downtown Disney shoppers (via the esplanade) on days A Touch of Disney is closed. People visiting A Touch of Disney may access it from Hollywood Land during the event.
Get a taste of A Touch of Disney from our YouTube video of when the event kicked off.
A Touch of Disney Tips
Here are a few tips to make your day easier:
- Arrive early. The parking garage officially opens at 11:30 a.m., but you can line up about 11:15 a.m. We pulled in at 11:28 a.m. and it took over an hour and a half to park, go through security, walk the path and wait in line to get in. Without any lines, the process still takes 45 minutes.
- The park has been opening the turnstiles by 11:30 a.m. if the park is ready (11:20 when we visited!)
- You might consider paying to park off-site at a hotel on Harbor Blvd. or Downtown Disney to save time and a long walk. We have some suggestions in our Downtown Disney post.
- Bring back-up face coverings.
- Grab a guide map when you enter. It identifies plant-based, kid-friendly and gluten-friendly offerings.
- Make sure any Legacy Passports are linked to the Disneyland app in advance so you can apply discounts.
- Link your ticket to the Disneyland app.
- Add your dining gift card to Mobile Order before checkout.
- Take advantage of PhotoPass photographers (ask for magic shots).
- Mobile Order in advance (even hours in advance) for must-have items (Golden Dreams was a popular booth).
- When Mobile Ordering, keep in mind that after you select Prepare My Order it can still take about 30 minutes to get the notice that your order is ready for pickup in some locations. So don't wait around — go have fun! Some booths and restaurants have long lines to wait in even after your food has been prepared (such as the chili cone queso cone at the Cozy Cone Motel and Golden Dreams. Divide and conquer with your party members. Your food will be prepared when you arrive.
- Check for dining availability in the Disneyland app or by scanning a QR code outside the restaurant.
- Be on the lookout for characters (see below).
- Enjoy some food at the tables to the right of Disney's Grand Californian Hotel theme park entrance. You just might get treated to some character sightings.
- Take advantage of photo-op locations and walls to photograph yourself and your yummy food.
- Sit in the Autopia cars on your walk from the parking structure to the park.
- Stay long enough to see the park lit up at night, especially Pixar Pier and Cars Land.
- Dress for the weather, with layers, wear sunscreen and wear good walking shoes.
- Play the games at Pixar Pier. They are free! (But no prizes.)
Dining at A Touch of Disney
We have so many favorite foods at Disneyland that we have been missing, and many of them make appearances at this event! There are items from all over the Disneyland Resort, including Dole Whip and the fan-favorite Monte Cristo Sandwich from New Orleans Square. You can even snack on chicken wings from Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar. Many items are served in a snack-size portion so you can taste it all!
Keep in mind with all that eating and drinking that face covering rules still apply. Guests may remove masks to eat or drink when outside, physically distant and stationary. Face coverings must be worn while standing, waiting or sitting in dining locations. When dining at a table-service restaurant, continue to wear your mask while ordering and wait until you receive beverage or food and are actively eating or drinking to remove your mask. Take advantage of all the tables set up around the resort in scenic locations you've never gotten to sit and enjoy food before.
Some table-service restaurants offer dining with outdoor seating. These restaurants also accept the Disney dining card (but not for alcohol). Open table-service restaurants include Lamplight Lounge and Carthay Circle Lounge — Alfresco Dining. Here's what's on the menu!
- Angus Beef Sliders – Beer and bacon cheese sauce, tomato-habanero chutney, lettuce and pickled onions on toasted Amish buns
- Lobster Nachos – Warm lobster with black beans, aged cheddar-Oaxaca cheese sauce, pico de gallo and chipotle crema
- Pastrami-spiced Impossible Burger – Seasoned patty, American cheese, pastrami-spiced pineapple, house-made pickles, mustard aïoli and toasted focaccia served with malted fries (plant-based; new)
- Potato Skins – Crispy Yukon gold potatoes with brown butter-caper yogurt, smoked paprika aïoli and Manchego cheese
- Spotlight Nachos: Barbacoa – Chile-spiced beef barbacoa and house-made tortilla chips with pinto bean purée, spicy tomatillo salsa, onions, cilantro, chipotle cheese sauce, queso fresco and pickled jalapeños
- Tuna Poke – Yellowfin tuna “rice bowl” with magic watermelon, avocado, edamame, shishito peppers and spiced mango nectar
- Cheddar Burger – Grilled custom burger blend with cheddar, roasted plum tomato, red onion and avocado ranch spread on a toasted Amish bun served with malted fries
- The kids menu includes a burger slider, grilled tenders with sweet chicken and a PB& J roll
- Assorted beverages and cocktails
- Novelties include Pixar lamp & ball straw and clip, sapphire glow cube, Lamplight Lounge coin souvenir
Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining:
- Baked Bay Scallop with creamy potato chowder
- Vietnamese Twice-cooked Beef Tacos with pineapple-mint salsa
- Ceviche of Kona Kampachi, avocado relish and tomato crazy water
- Moroccan-roasted Chicken Meatballs with pomegranate relish and tzatziki
- Duck Confit Empanada with Oaxaca cheese and California chili salsa
- Carthay Shrimp Spring Roll with Thai basil, mint and spicy aïoli
- Winter Pear Salad with roasted hazelnuts, prosciutto and goat cheese velvet
- Tortilla Soup with grilled chicken, avocado, tomato and whipped crema
- Strozzapreti Pasta with San Marzano tomatoes, basil and parmigiano-reggiano
- Sesame Soy-glazed Salmon with soba noodles, cucumber, edamame and ginger vinaigrette
- Lemon-crusted Fish of the Day with baby green beans and lemon-caper vinaigrette
- Roasted Colorado Lamb with Calabrian chili harissa and house hummus
- Artisan Selected Cheese Board with seasonal chutney
- Kids menu includes a cheese quesadilla, pasta with marinara, orange dragon chicken skewers and a hazelnut crunch picky pop
- Dessert items include a double chocolate ice cream sundae with chocolate fudge and candied almonds, and an apple pie sundae with warm apples, caramel and brown sugar Chantilly
- Novelties include both red or green grapes glow cube charms and a snowflake glow clip
- Assorted beverages and cocktails
Dining reservations became available March 11. Again, book early as reservations fill up quickly! Dining reservations do not grant access to the event. You must have a dated ticket to enter and access your dining reservation on the same day. If you cannot get a reservation, try the new mobile walk-up list in the Disneyland app. Select "Join Walk-Up List" on the restaurant's page. You can also check estimated wait times.
Quick-service locations are open, as well, with Mobile Order. Use the app or look for QR codes around the park. There is a way to add the dining card to the app to pay. You'll add the card before checkout. Here's how to do it:
- Select Review Order Summary
- Under Payment Methods select + Add a Card
- Type in the 16-digit gift card and hit Save then Purchase
- You'll have to add the card for each separate transaction.
You can add one gift card per transaction, but you can combine it with the credit card on file if you exhaust the amount left on the gift card.
Be sure to use the most updated version of the Disneyland app. Legacy Passholders whose Annual Pass was linked to the app as of March 14, 2020, should see their pass reappear in the app leading up to this event. If you have your pass, you can also link it.
There are no registers at the festival booths. If you do not want to Mobile Order, there are centrally located Marketplace cashiers. You can order all your festival booth foods at once and take the receipt to each location. (But be sure to hold onto it!)
Here's a look at the restaurants and some menu items. All of the menus and prices are in the app. Look carefully, as you may notice a few fan-favorite menu items from Disneyland Park appear in these Disney California Adventure locations.
Cozy Cone Motel:
- Churros Cone – Churro with dipping sauce, a churro milk and cookies with chocolate chip cookie and cookies & cream sugar served with cookies & cream dipping sauce, Ramone's Pear of Dice: soda, and a Piston Cup sipper.
- Ice Cream Cones – Soft Serve Ice Cream (vanilla, chocolate, chocolate-vanilla twist available with toppings) and a “Route” Beer Float. Novelties include Cruz Straw & Clip, Piston Cup Sipper and “Route” Beer Float Souvenir Glass (all available for purchase while supplies last).
- Chili Cone Queso Cone – Chili Cone Queso, Bacon Mac & Cheese Cone, vodka and all-natural lemonade, vodka and pomegranate limeade, Fillmore’s Fuelin’ Groovy all-natural lemonade (nonalcoholic) and Fillmore’s Fuelin’ Groovy pomegranate limeade (nonalcoholic). Novelties include a Cruz Straw & Clip and Piston Cup Sipper.
- Mickey Mouse pretzel with cheese
- Craft beers
- Hard cider
- Mango margarita
- Assorted soft drinks
- Bavarian pretzel
- Mini Meatball Sub –Italian meatballs and marinara with melted mozzarella on a crispy baguette
- Toasted Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Basil Soup (from Jolly Holiday Bakery Café)
- Beverages include assorted wine, beer, hard cider, cocktails and assorted Coca-Cola beverages
- Novelties include both green and red grapes glow cube charms (while supplies last).
- Brisket Mac ‘n Cheese – Creamy mac ‘n cheese, smoked barbecue brisket, pickled red onions and crispy fried shallots (new)
- ½ Monte Cristo Sandwich – sliced turkey, ham and swiss fried in a light batter, dusted with powdered sugar and served with berry purée (from Blue Bayou Restaurant)
- Petite Impossible Burger with guac and pepper jack and tomato on a toasted mini bun (plant-based; new)
- Impossible Chili Waffle Fries with spiced Impossible chili with beans, tomato and corn, spicy mayo, cheddar cheese and pico de gallo (plant-based; new)
- Shakes including s'mores, chocolate and vanilla
- Blue Angeleno Cocktail
- Frozen Coca-Cola with whiskey or rum
- Karl Strauss Aurora Hoppyalis IPA
- Bud Light
- Novelties include a Mickey Mouse ear hat bowl, a Mickey & Minnie retro straw clip and a sapphire glow cube
Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats:
- It's Lemon!
- Dole Whip pineapple
- It's Lemon! and pineapple swirl
- Corn dogs, hot link corn dogs and cheddar cheese sticks
- Carrot cake funnel cake fries
- Assorted beers and soft drinks
- Sapphire glow cube
- Mickey Mouse ear hat bowl
- Torta de Papas Street Tacos – Crispy potato, cabbage slaw with grilled corn, onions and cilantro, salsa de molcajete in corn tortillas (plant-based)
- Asian-style Beef Barbacoa Street Tacos – Braised Beef with Pickled Onions, Ginger, Cucumber and Serrano Peppers in Corn Tortillas
- Bengal Beef Skewer with Sweet Zulu Sauce (from Bengal Barbecue)
- Banyan Beef Skewer – Hot and spicy (from Bengal Barbecue)
- Chieftain Chicken Skewer with Polynesian sauce (from Bengal Barbecue)
- Jalapeño-Bacon Peanut Brittle (new)
- Assorted beer
- Traditional and pineapple margaritas
- Novelties include "Coco" jarrito mug and a Cocoa Edge sipper (while supplies last)
Rita's Baja Blenders:
- Rita’s Lemon-Lime Margarita
- Rita’s Strawberry Margarita
- Red Sangria
- The Tropicool (Lemon-Lime or Strawberry)
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop:
- World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae – Vanilla ice cream and handmade hot fudge topped with whipped cream, diced almonds and a cherry
- Gold Rush Sundae – Vanilla ice cream, sea salt, diced almonds, caramel sauce and whipped cream topped with a Ghirardelli SQUARES White Chocolate Caramel (new)
- Ocean Beach Sundae – Vanilla ice cream, sea salt, caramel sauce, and handmade hot fudge topped with whipped cream, sea salt and a Ghirardelli SQUARES Milk Chocolate
- Hop tip: if you need to purchase a bottle of water, Ghirardelli has the cheapest price in the park outside of a free cup of ice water! It's $1.75 at Ghirardelli and $3.99 at other restaurants and $4.25 at vending carts.
You can enjoy an assortment of mouthwatering selections you’d typically find during seasonal events (such as the Food and Wine Festival and Lunar New Year). All booths offer Mobile Order and sell the red or green grapes glow cube charms.
Mobile Ordering is available at the following six marketplaces:
- Disney D-Lish – Sink your teeth into new twists on classic sweets such as the Very Very Berry Mickey Waffle, or a classic such as Walt's chili from Carnation Cafe. Enjoy a refreshing farmstand punch.
- California Craft Brews – Quench your thirst with craft beer and enjoy an appetizing bite of Pepperoni Pizza Egg Rolls.
- LA Style – Enjoy favorite southland food-truck flavors such as Pork Belly Bánh Mì and the Impossible cheeseburger mac 'n' cheese with special burger sauce. Wash it down with honey bourbon lemonade.
- Golden Dreams – Taste sweet and spicy chicken wings from Trader Sam’s or Carbonara Mac 'n' cheese and wash them down with a nonalcoholic strawberry rose lemonade.
- Uncork California – Try a mimosa flight or selection of wines and nosh on an assorted California cheese plate with dried apricots and glazed pecans.
- Cluck-A-Doodle-Moo – Go for chicken gumbo from Cafe Orleans or the grilled beef tenderloin slider with chimichurri and pickled onions. Quench your thirst with a berry mule or the nonalcoholic agua fresca.
Be on the lookout for these carts to get your popcorn, churros, turkey legs, chimichangas, Mickey ice cream bars, cotton candy, pickles, Mickey pretzels and more:
- Willie’s Churros – Buena Vista Street for churros and the fluffernutter churro
- Popcorn Near Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining – Buena Vista Street for popcorn and caramel corn
- Cappuccino Cart – Pacific Wharf for croissants, cookies, hot or cold beverages and a Mickey & Minnie Mouse travel mug
- Vending Cart – Performance Corridor
- Vending Cart – Refreshment Point
- Popcorn at Pixar Pier – Pixar Pier with popcorn and "Onward" Guinevere popcorn bucket
- Poultry Palace – Pixar Pier with chicken drumstick box and jumbo smoked turkey leg
- Churros near Redwood Creek Challenge Trail – Grizzly Peak with horchata churro with sweetened condensed milk, regular churro and a Mickey & Minnie Mouse retro straw & clip
- Pacific Wharf Distribution Co. – Pacific Wharf for Karl Strauss beer
Retail Locations at A Touch of Disney
Select retail locations are open, such as the Buena Vista Street shops, Off the Page, Studio Store and Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff. The Backlot Premiere Shop has a new entrance for event-goers in Hollywood Land. It is only accessible for Touch of Disney ticket holders on event days. The Hollywood Outdoor carts sell balloons so you can take home a bit of Disney magic. We caught sight of them in Grizzly Peak.
At Bing Bong's Sweet Stuff, you can find the full candy assortment, along with the following:
- Russell cake pop
- Dug cake pop
- World of Color crispy treat
Are There Characters at the Event?
Yes! You can wave to chracters in unexpected settings. Catch Mater and Lightning McQueen in Cars Land (in new locations).
Share your emotions with Joy and Sadness in Pixar Pier. We have great joy and excitement about this event and Disneyland's April 30 reopening, but we feel great sadness that Disneyland has been closed for one year. This event toadally lifted our froggy spirits! You can also meet puppet Miguel in Paradise Gardens Park. Look to the Silly Symphony Swings platform and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel balconies to see favorite Disney pals (such as Minnie, Mickey, Daisy and Pluto). You just might catch Chip 'n' Dale picking up acorns off the forest floor near the hotel entrance in Grizzly Peak! Look to the hotel balconies to find Donald Duck shaking his tail feathers to the music. Can you find Goofy and Max fishing at Pacific Wharf?
Of course, all character interactions are physically distanced. You can hop over to our Disneyland reopening post for all of the health and safety measures that are in place for this event. It will help you to know what to expect in terms of wearing a two-layer face covering, temperature checks and physical distancing. Mickey and Minnie, are of course in a high-risk group due to their age so you will not be close enough to hug them, but you can wave and blow kisses. Perhaps they’ve already hopped on down to the Disneyland vaccination site!
Here's a hop tip: If you are at the bottom of the elevator or steps to Silly Symphony Swings as the characters enter or exit, you can get a closer look at them as they come or go. Otherwise you can wave to them from afar.
Entertainment at A Touch of Disney
There are no shows or parades at this event. Listen for a special soundtrack of reimagined Disney songs broadcast throughout the park. Snap those pics with new photo-ops. Keep an eye out for stationary parade floats. The WandaVision photo-op is still available. Keep hopping back for updates and new details as they are released!
You can play the boardwalk games for free at Pixar Pier. There are no prizes but the thrill is free. They did give out free prizes on opening day!
The Frog Family visited A Touch of Disney opening day, March 18! Hop over to our Instagram account at @themeparkfrog for more pics. We’ll "see ya real soon" at A Touch of Disney!
We've missed Disneyland so much! Are you excited for A Touch of Disney? What will you do first?