The first-ever Pixar Fest, being held in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure through September 3rd, brings guests together to celebrate the beloved characters and stories from Pixar Animation Studios, including such films as Toy Story, Cars, Monsters, Inc., Up and Coco. Whether you choose to see them come to life in the return of two favorite parades – the “Pixar Play Parade” and the “Paint the Night” parade – with new Pixar surprises, or the “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” fireworks show (which is truly their best yet!), check them out in the fun new decor, participate in singing and dancing along with new musical entertainment, pick up special event merchandise, or check out the creatively themed food and beverages (including the ridiculously adorable green alien macaron), or all of the above, you can top it all off in the Pixar photo area in DCA, as you meet and take photos with a variety of characters, rotating throughout the day.
To kick off the celebration of friendship and beyond, Collider was invited by the Disneyland Resort to check out all of the new offerings. Whether you’re a huge Pixar fan (like I admittedly am) or you’re being introduced to it all, for the first time, it’s definitely worth taking a trip to the parks. You can check out our exclusive photo gallery of images (All photos taken by Christina Radish) and read further details about what you can find at the Disneyland Resort during Pixar Fest.
The “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” can be experienced from multiple locations throughout Disneyland, as it uses projections on iconic park locations – Sleeping Beauty’s castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the facade of It’s a Small World and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. – to enhance the already incredible fireworks display. The new show combines pyrotechnics, immersive projections, colorful lasers and memorable music to provide an emotional storytelling experience that highlights Pixar favorites, such as Cars, WALL•E and Coco, and as an extra bit of Pixar magic, there will also be a special flyover by Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.
- The “Pixar Play Parade” has moved from Disney California Adventure to Disneyland, for the first time, and now, the parade will begin like all Pixar films have, with the iconic Pixar Lamp and Ball. Also joining the parade are characters from Up (including Wilderness Explorer Russell, Carl Fredricksen, Dug and the flightless bird Kevin) and Inside Out (including Joy and Sadness). You can get reserved seating for this parade, if you buy a meal package at Plaza Inn.
- The “Paint the Night” parade, featuring more than 1 million LED lights, is back and features characters from Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and Cars, with the new addition of The Incredibles (starting in June). You can get reserved seating for this parade, if you buy a dining package at Carthay Circle Restaurant and Wine Country Trattoria.
- If you’re a fan of Pixar Shorts, a collection will be featured at the Sunset Showcase Theater at DCA, where you can see them on a big screen, as the selection rotates during the celebration. The Film Festival is currently playing “Piper,” “Lava” and “For the Birds.”
- There are Pixar-inspired and creatively themed food and beverage offerings around the resort, including a Monsters, Inc. chilled noodle salad (at Lucky Fortune Cookery) with noodles that change colors, a Ratatouille-inspired three-course dinner (at Café Orleans), a Toy Story-inspired root beer float served in a souvenir Woody boot (at Golden Horseshoe Saloon), an Up-inspired fried bologna sandwich (at Carnation Café), a Coco-inspired Mexican chocolate pot de cr me (at Rancho Del Zocalo), and new churro flavors, inspired by Coco and Up. At Disneyland, Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port has been transformed into Alien Pizza Planet, inspired by the family restaurant frequented by Andy and his toys in Toy Story and featuring new pizzas and pastas.
The monorail has gotten a new look, with characters from The Incredibles and Finding Nemo, as it offers transport on a 2.5-mile route around the theme parks and Downtown Disney.
- At Paradise Gardens in DCA, you can meet some of your favorite Pixar pals, including Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story, Russell and Dug from Up, Flik and Atta from A Bug’s Life, Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc., and Mr. And Mrs. Incredible from The Incredibles.
- Guests will be able to celebrate the music of Pixar, with live performances from the Disneyland Resort musicians, each doing their own rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story, in both parks. And in DCA, a new seven-piece band, TripleDent Gum presents The Pixarmonic Orchestra, will perform a repertoire of songs from Pixar films.
- In DCA, guests can go to the Animation Academy for drawing classes, which typically occur every 30 minutes. They can learn to draw their favorite Pixar characters, such as Sulley, Dug, Edna Mode, Jack-Jack, Bing Bong and more, and then take home their art as a souvenir.
- On June 23rd, the permanent Pixar Pier, which will include the Lamplight Lounge and the thrilling Incredicoaster, inspired by The Incredibles, will open.
Pixar Fest is currently at the Disneyland Resort through September 3rd.