A touch of Disney. Is it worth it?
It took 4 hours of waiting in a Disney virtual ticket line to finally purchase 4 tickets to A Touch of Disney. We have attended a few theme park food festivals in the past few months, and were beyond excited for this one because we just knew that Disney would go above and beyond.
Being huge Disney fans and Annual Passholders, our family missed Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. We missed going on random days for a few hours or an entire day. We missed never rushing, and just enjoying our time at the happiest place on Earth. We missed the magic of Disney.
So it felt incredible to be back at Disney California Adventure, even without the rides. The boys loved it and didn’t want to go home. There’s definitely a sense of nostalgia and wonder that comes with anything Disney related for our family. But is nostalgia enough?
Unfortunately, A Touch of Disney was not worth the price of admission. Literally! Tickets were $75 a person and only $25 of that cost went toward food. So we paid $50 per person to go inside a theme park that had no open attractions or rides, where we walked around and paid more money to buy the kids snacks that were not covered by the $25 meal card, and of course toys.
The food was terrible and the selection was minimal.
Walking into California Adventure was absolutely free, just last month. Yet this month, Disney is charging $50 a person for the same experience?
Look, I get it. Disney has and will always have a loyal fan base. An almost cult-like following. It’s a soft spot for millions. We grew up with Disney, we have fond childhood memories at Disneyland and we want our kids to have the same. And most of us will continue forking up no matter what. But I’m feeling like because of this loyal fan base, Disney has somewhat lost touch with rest of the world.
Honestly Disney, take a page from some of your competitors books...
Knott's Taste of Boysenberry Festival had so many different food options that we couldn’t even get to them all, and so many tastings per card, that we still have two cards left. Plus they didn’t charge for admission into a park with no open rides. What they charged for was the food.
Universal Studios Hollywood did the same and pampered their annual pass holders with a special day just for them. What a warm welcome!
SeaWorld San Diego had a ton of food options at their Seven Seas Food Festival. Again, so many options that we still have two cards of tastings left. Plus they had amazing shows and attractions to entertains their guests.
We just expect more from Disney and this was not it. What it felt like was a money grab. It was greedy.
Now let's talk Disney Annual Passes. We miss them! What more can I say?
We are now Legacy Passholders, which is an interesting title. We basically get to keep our discounts at the parks. We do get a few special perks, like photo ops at special Legacy Passholder photo sets. But the fact is, after being Annual Passholders on and off for over a decade, a ticketed day at the park just would not be the same.
As Annual Passholders, we were able to enjoy certain freedoms. The freedom to not rush, the freedom to not care if we rode our favorite ride because we would just go back another day and do it all again. We had the freedom to go in to stroll around on Main Street for an hour, and the freedom to go in to ride just that one favorite ride before leaving the park to continue our day. We went on random evenings with friends, just to eat at our favorite restaurants inside the parks, or run off on date nights after leaving the sleeping kiddos in grandma's care..
To be honest, I don't want to go to a Disneyland where I'm rushing to go on rides and not enjoying my day because we have to stick to a schedule so that everyone in our party gets to ride and see everything they want. Knowing full well that we would likely not make it on everything anyway.
A cast member at Disney California Adventure told me that in took Disney World an entire year to bring back some semblance of an Annual Pass, and that not everyone gets accepted into the program. I'm just hoping that it is not the case here in California.