Last weekend we made our trip to Disney California Adventure for their Touch of Disney food event. We had a fantastic time, it was amazing being back in the park for a few hours, and saying hi to some of our favorite characters from 6+ feet away.
We of course also tried some great food. Enjoy!
Written by Gregg Condon
Overall, we had a fantastic time at Touch of Disney. Was it worth the $75 entry, probably not, but hey, it's Disney and we had a great day.
As I mentioned in our Comparison video of Taste of Boysenberry Festival, Taste of Universal, and Touch of Disney ... I think out of the 3, Disney had the least amount of available seating and the biggest issues ordering the food.
While I think mobile ordering is the way to go, and that part was indeed easy, getting the Disney Gift Card onto the app to use it for the food was a bit cumbersome. I hope they figure out some way to fix that before the parks open. Because it would be nice just to be able to "load" cards onto the app to use for dining.
But those minor things aside, it's a great event and we're glad Disney has figured out a way to get some people back to work sooner than their April 30th opening date
This morning was the annual Shareholder meeting for the Walt Disney Company. Lots of things were discussed in the hour-long call including updates on attraction and parks opening, Disney+ updates, movie updates, and of course, the always entertaining questions.
Here are some of the highlights:
Bob Iger started off the meeting, reminding everybody that this will be his last Annual Shareholders meeting and he will depart the Walt Disney Company on December 31, 2021.
Up next was the boring part where shareholder proposals were rejected (including a proposal that would have put a Disney CM on the board, because how could you (apparently)).
Then came Disney CEO Bob Chapek with some pretty big announcements.
First that Disney+ now has over 100 million subscribers (wow).
This is pretty amazing considering how new the streaming platform still is, even with the success of The Mandalorian, WandaVision and a few other franchises. Also amazing considering that most people who had Free Trials for the first year have now had those run out.
For those who have Hulu and are also fans of ESPN, it was announced that ESPN+ could now be accessed from the Hulu app beginning tomorrow (March 10th).
In movie news, Black Widow is still heading to theaters on May 7th. But don't expect a simultaneous release on Disney+ premiere, doesn't look like it's going to happen. So sadly, for those of us who may not be quite ready to head to the theater by May, we're going to have to wait a bit. This will probably be the first Marvel movie many of us miss seeing in the theater. But you can see the strategy here I guess.
Next up came the parks portion of the meeting.
First up was the announcement that the California Parks will open sometime in late April. This makes sense considering how long the parks have been closed, having to bring back unionized Cast Members, re-hiring processes, training and of course all of the other logistics that go into restarting a park that has been closed for a year.
Rest assured though, the park attractions have been running through all of this so at least they don't just have to clear off the cobwebs from all the attractions not named Haunted Mansion.
In a bit of a shocker Bob Chapek also announced an opening date for Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, October 1st.
While at first glance this may not make sense, upon taking a deeper dive into the strategy here, it kind of does. There is already a LOT of demand for the parks in FL. They are slowly moving to get back to "normal" park operations over the next few months, and throwing a new attraction into the mix just would be another added thing in addition to the million other things going on.
Still, we'd be shocked if we don't see soft openings happen this summer, probably for an extended time period.
On that same subject, Avengers Campus which was originally supposed to open in the Summer of 2020 is also scheduled to open at some point this year. No specific date was given but I wouldn't anticipate this opening in late April when Disney California Adventure opens or even in the weeks or months following.
Again, pent up demand + lowered capacity limit given the California guidelines for opening parks pretty much means it's not necessary at this point. Best to do it right when you can have a proper opening.
For the international parks, Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea will open in 2023 and in Disney Cruise Line news the Disney Wish will have it's first sailing in 2022.
Speaking of the Disney Cruise Line, they are obviously wanting to get it back up and running and sailings could resume this fall depending on a variety of factors, including Vaccinations. Something other cruise lines have emphasized as well. It looks like the entire industry is on the same page on this one.
Next came the questions and answers portion, which are always wildly entertaining, and out there.
One of the questions was regarding Gina Carano to which Chapek gave the following answer: “I don’t really see Disney as characterizing itself as left-leaning or right-leaning, yet instead of standing for values, values that are universal, values of respect, values of decency, values of integrity and values of inclusion.”
For some reason that we always fail to understand, Bob Chapek gets a lot of hate from Disney fans. But this answer was absolutely perfect.
In the "somebody really asked this" category, somebody asked the CEO of a major corporation if he was going to fire the head of one of their most lucrative divisions during a Shareholders meeting. That's Disney for you.
His response when asked if hew as going to fire Kathleen Kennedy "We look forward to having Kathy Kennedy run our Lucasfilm operations for years to come".
This years meeting was definitely shorter than years past, but a lot of great information was shared.
Once again, it's great to see things being talked about "opening" vs the other way around.
Grand Opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT Set for Oct. 1, 2021, in Honor of Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary
‘The World’s Most Magical Celebration’ will also include opening of La Crêperie de Paris as part of newly expanded France pavilion
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 9, 2021) – During today’s virtual annual meeting of shareholders of The Walt Disney Company, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced the grand opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT will be Oct. 1, 2021. This new family-friendly attraction will officially debut as part of the kickoff for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” honoring Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure invites guests into the flavorful world of Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning “Ratatouille,” where they will feel as if they shrink to the size of Chef Remy and scurry through Gusteau’s famous restaurant. Guests will find Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in a newly expanded area of the park’s France pavilion, where the real is made fantastic in a reimagining of Paris inspired by the film.
Also debuting Oct. 1 in this section of the pavilion will be a delicious new restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table- and quick-service options. The menu will feature sweet crepes, savory buckwheat galettes (naturally gluten friendly) and authentic French hard cider. The attraction, restaurant and pavilion expansion are all part of the historic transformation of EPCOT currently underway, bringing a breadth of new experiences to the park in a celebration of curiosity, discovery and the magic of possibility.
“The World’s Most Magical Celebration” begins Oct. 1 on the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. This 18-month event will feature new experiences at the resort’s four theme parks and beyond, where shimmering EARidescent décor will appear as if by magic. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and La Crêperie de Paris will now join in the festivities for this landmark occasion; more details about the celebration will be announced in the future.
For more on the transformation of EPCOT and “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” visit WDWNews.com and DisneyParksBlog.com.