Disney California Adventure to host limited-time ticketed experience in March

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer

Today's 20th anniversary celebration for Disney California Adventure was definitely derailed by the pandemic-prompted closure of Southern California theme parks, but this morning, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock shared a ray of hope for cast members eager to return to work.

Starting in March, Disney California Adventure will play host to a "limited-time ticketed experience." Disney has not announced a name or a theme for the event, saying only that it will focus on the resort's "world-famous food and beverage offerings," "the latest merchandise," and "carefully crafted entertainment experiences." The event will be offered several days a week, and will be subject to capacity restrictions.

Disney California Adventure will play host to a new limited-time ticketed experience in March. MousePlanet file photo.

Potrock said this new event, combined with the recent reopening of outdoor dining in Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street, means about 1,000 cast members will return to work.

From the few details announced, we expect this to be Disney's version of the "outdoor dining and retail experience" events Knott's Berry Farm hosted last summer and fall that were themed to the Boysenberry Festival, Halloween, and Christmas. Even with ticket prices approaching $50 per person, those events proved extremely popular and often sold out. The Taste of Merry Farm event was cut short by the state-mandated closure of outdoor dining in December 2020, and Knott's has yet to announce any new events for 2021.

Disney says its new event will feature carefully crafted entertainment experiences. MousePlanet file photo.

Additional details about the Disney California Adventure event are still to come, and today's announcement leaves us with many questions. We've reached out to Disney to find out more about ticket prices and on-sale dates, as well as whether Legacy Annual Passholders will have an opportunity to purchase tickets before the general public.

It's unclear whether the Buena Vista Street experience would remain open as part of Downtown Disney once this event begins. The Carthay Circle Restaurant is not accepting reservations beyond the end of February, and we expect this signals that the park will be open only to ticket holders starting in March.

We also asked if customers who purchased Sip & Savor passes for the 2020 California Food & Wine Festival—was cut short when the Disney theme parks closed last March—will be allowed to redeem their unused tabs at this new event. We'll share updates as Disney provides additional details.

Disney may return to the Sip & Savor passport as the ticket for this new event. MousePlanet file photo.