Today is the 20th anniversary of Disney California Adventure, the second gate at Disneyland Resort. Of course, the fact that the park is spending its 20th anniversary closed, with the exception of a couple shopping and dining locations on Buena Vista Street, is not how anybody planned to spend this special day. There is no indication when DCA or Disneyland itself will return to their former glory, but today Disneyland announced that starting in mid-March a special food and beverage experience will open at California Adventure. The special ticketed event will functionally reopen the theme park, though certainly a lot inside will still be closed.
March is usually when the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival takes place, and while this new special event isn't being given that name, at least not yet, it seems that idea is to have something very similar as a ticketed event inside Disney California Adventure. Currently DCA's opening area, Buena Vista Street, has been open for guests to shop and eat as an extension of Downtown Disney, but this new event will, one assumes, close off that option, but open up more of the park for guests to wander through and eat and drink.
Details are scarce. We don't know if this event will reopen all of Disney California Adventure to pedestrian traffic or just more of it. According to the Orange County Register the event will be open multiple days per week, but exactly which days have not been announced, and we don't know exactly when this will all begin or when it is set to end.
This is going to make a lot of Disneyland Resort fans happy because many have called for something just like this. Other theme parks, like Knott's Berry Farm, have run similar programs for months. It has the benefit of bringing a decent number of employees back to work while also giving people a reason to go to the park's and spend money. The one big difference between the Knott's option and this one is that Knott's has opened the gates to the theme park for free, and so it only costs money if you plan to purchase food or merchandise. In this case the Disney version will be a ticketed event.
At this point it's anybody's guess how popular an event like this will actually be. For people who just want to be able to walk around Disney California Adventure or who were actually looking forward to the Food & Wine Festival, this is great. For those who are really waiting for the full Disneyland resort experience, it will likely feel shallow with no attractions running. For me, the ambiance of Disney California Adventure truly is one of the best things about the park, so an event like this sounds like a lot of fun. I certainly hope I'll be able to check it out.