Yesterday, on the 20th anniversary of Disney California Adventure Park, it was revealed that the park would finally be reopening, though unfortunately not quite in the way many were hoping. The theme parks must still remain closed as theme parks, but this March, DCA will host a special ticketed food and beverage event that will take place in the now closed theme park. While the event itself is great news for fans, it's also great news for a significantly large number of Disneyland Resort cast members, as nearly 1,000 people will be back at work once the new event kicks off.
Some Disney California Adventure cast members are already back at work as DCA's Buena Vista Street has been open for shopping since November and outdoor dining recently returned after a hiatus over the holidays. However, the upcoming event, scheduled to start in mid-March, will reopen the rest of the park, with the exception of Avengers Campus (as far as we know), of course, and that means a lot more people will be able to get back to work. The 1,000 cast members join the approximately, 350 people from various businesses at Downtown Disney who have also been able to work.
Certainly, even 1,000 people is still a fraction of the total number of cast members employed by Disneyland Resort, but under the circumstances every little bit helps. Attractions must remain shut down, and that means the cast members who usually run them will be the ones still stuck on furlough. It seems that's what determines whether or not Disney California Adventure is a theme park. Theme park's must remain closed under current California coronavirus guidelines, but outdoor events like a food and beverage festival can still happen under appropriate conditions.
However, the lack of attractions may not be the only thing that separates this event from a normal trip to California Adventure which traditionally hosts a Food & Wine festival this time of year. A Disney spokesperson is calling the upcoming event different from a traditional visit to the theme parks, which would seem to indicate that even when it comes to walking around DCA and enjoying some good food, the experience of doing that might look and feel different for those who have done that before.
As one who probably loves the food at DCA more than anything else there, it's certainly exciting to see this event coming to the park. While an exact date for the new experience has not been released, min-March puts it right at about the one year anniversary of the parks originally closing. It will be an unfortunate anniversary to say the least, but one assumes Disneyland Resort will have little difficulty selling tickets to this event considering the pent up demand. Exactly how long the event might last is also unknown, though one assumes that the answer to that question will depend largely on when the theme parks are given the green light to open properly, which is expected to happen this spring or summer.