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The past week has been heavy. So today we were proverbially going to Disneyland. Almost.
My colleague Brooks Barnes, who covers Hollywood, sent us this dispatch from the Magic Kingdom, on the upcoming Disneylands opportunity. reopening scheduled for next month to have just a touch of Disney:
Disneyland will open for the first time in over a year on April 30. How many churros should Mickey and Minnie stock to meet pent-up demand?
Tickets have yet to go on sale and capacity, at least as long as the coronavirus remains a threat, will be limited by California regulators. But let’s put it this way: There may not be enough cinnamon sugar in all of the Disney verse.
On Thursday, a month-long event kicked off at Disney California Adventure, a theme park in the shadow of Disneyland in Anaheim. A touch of disney, as the offer is called, could be seen as a trial run or a gradual reopening: for $ 75 per person (no reduced price for kids), fans can stroll around the 72-acre property where no amusement rides is not going, but costumed characters wave a distance and buy food and goods.
Who would pay so much for the chance to pay for things?
[Read more about Disneys plan to reopen Disneyland, which has been closed for a year.]
A Touch of Disney tickets include parking and a $ 25 voucher. But stay.
The answer: When tickets for the event went on sale on March 4, the demand crashed Disney’s website. Disney quickly made more tickets available, but they were all purchased within hours.
I was so desperate that I started browsing the site in the middle of the night on my phone and laptop, and eventually it worked, said Jessica Mattei, 36, as she stood in the ears from Minnie to California Adventure Thursday.
Ms. Mattei, a receptionist from San Diego, attended solo. Some people may not get it, but this is my happy place, she said, laughing sheepishly and adjusting her mask. The rest of the world and all your problems sort of disappear.
Food is an attraction in itself, Ms. Mattei continued. My goal is to get something from every booth. After several hours in the park, her favorites included pepperoni pizza egg rolls ($ 7); macaroni and cheese breast ($ 7.49); and a Pacific Mimosa ($ 15), a concoction that included champagne, blue curaao, and pineapple juice.
Thousands of like-minded people filled California Adventure on Thursday. (A Disney spokeswoman declined to discuss the capacity, except to say it was limited and followed state coronavirus safety regulations.) By 3:45 p.m., more than 20 people lined up for the Monte Cristo sandwiches, a Disney specialty ($ 11 for half a serving). In Radiator Springs, a Pixars Cars franchise-themed area, 38 people waited to buy $ 7 churros and $ 9 chili con queso, after placing orders using an app on their phones.
[Read the latest on the states reopening.]
Walking through a Disney theme park normally takes a lot of patience. But without the marathon queues for rides, the traffic jams from the stroller, or the screams of roller coasters looping in the distance, California Adventure felt more like a real park, the kind where you leave relaxed rather than exhausted. People stopped to soak up the dogwoods, ablaze with pink blossoms and feeling the mist of the fake rock cascade on their faces. There was no rush-rush-rush to integrate everything.
It was great, although I thought there would be more characters, said Barry Young, who left Carlsbad with his wife, Natasha, and their five children, ages 6 to 14. We saw Donald Duck and Minnie from afar. But it’s hard when you have kids who want to kiss them. It has been a long pandemic for the whole family.
It was like someone else could use a hug from Mickey.
Here’s what else you might have missed over the weekend
Here’s a brief update on the efforts to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from office:
The most recent report from the California Secretary of State’s office, which was released on Friday, indicated that as of March 11, approximately 1.2 million signatures have been validated in support of the recall. In order to trigger a recall election, the state had to have received around 1.5 million signatures from registered voters by March 17.
Leaders of the effort said last week that they had submitted more than two million signatures before the deadline, which at the current rate suggests they will have enough. But county election officials have until April 29 to verify signatures.
Still, Mr Newsom admitted last week that he expected promoters to meet the signing threshold and has officially started campaigning to keep his job.
Heres all you need to know about the recall effort. [The New York Times]
Mr Newsom called those who sought to dismiss him from office as right-wing extremists. The head of the effort, he said, suggested immigrants should be given a microchip. Is it true? Yes. [The Sacramento Bee]
Not all supporters of the recall are far-right conspiracy theorists, as Mr Newsom has said. But many are part of a resurgence of right-wing extremism in Orange County. Skateboarders took to the streets of Ladera Ranch shouting racist slurs and affluent county commuters joined in the assault on Capitol Hill. [The Los Angeles Times]
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Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles, but she always wants to see more. Follow here or on Twitter.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.
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