Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Senses Working Overtime at Disney's Theme Parks

By Rick Munarriz - Feb 25, 2021 at 11:55AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

A Touch of Disney is coming to the media giant's original theme park resort. It will result in the sound of registers ringing.

It's fitting that the new ticketed event at Walt Disney's (DIS -0.28%) original theme park resort is called A Touch of Disney. When Disney California Adventure reopens on select days starting March 18 there will definitely be plenty to hear, see, smell, and taste, but it will be a far cry from the multi-sensory smorgasbord guests typically experience at the Anaheim gated attraction.

There won't be any rides operating or shows running at the event. There will be a limited number of costumed characters and photo opportunities, but the experiences will comply with social distancing norms. It's better than nothing, and it's smart for Disney to frame the experience this way.

Three time zones away in the Disney World -- where its theme parks have been welcoming guests since mid-July -- it has played down the epicurean festivals it hosts at Epcot throughout the year in a similar fashion. It's simply slapping a different sense in front of its festival names. The recently concluded Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts wasn't as elaborate as previous years of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. Touch? Taste? As long as it ends with the sound of a cash register Disney World and Disneyland will be appealing to the one sense it needs to keep its investors hopeful and its cast members working.

Mickey Mouse and friends in front of Disneyland's castle.

Image source: Walt Disney.

Touch and go

A Touch of Disney won't cost as much as a single-day ticket to the Anaheim theme park, but no one will argue that the $75 price tag is cheap. It should still sell out briskly when tickets for the eight-hour event begin selling on Disneyland's website next Thursday.

It's not a bad deal when you work the math. The $75 cover charge does include parking and a $25 card that can be used toward the purchase of food and non-alcoholic beverages. Guests will also have unlimited downloads of the Disney PhotoPass photos available throughout the park. The event is currently slated to run on select days through April 5, but it will add future dates on a rolling basis until the experience ends. In short, Disneyland is giving it a leash to nix the event the moment California clears the park and the adjacent Disneyland to reopen for real. 

With COVID-19 case counts falling sharply and the vaccination process picking up momentum it's not unreasonable to think that Disneyland is back in business at some point during the springtime season. Even New York is letting amusement parks finally reopen between late March and early April. 

The wait has been brutal for Disneyland fans, but investors are holding up considerably better. The stock is hitting new highs despite the media stock's near-term challenges with its theme parks, cruises, and theatrical releases. The stunning success of Disney+ to scale so quickly in terms of audiences and flagship content is carrying the entertainment giant these days. It will do for now, but eventually -- just as Disney parks will be serving all five senses -- Disney will be having to be firing on more cylinders.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
$95.65 (-0.28%) $0.27

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/29/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.