Pixar Fest kicks off the summer early at the Disneyland Resort

April 12, 2018, 10:23 PM · ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Disneyland Resort kicked off its Pixar Fest for reporters and invited guests Thursday night, in advance of its official public opening tomorrow. The celebration continues through September 3, featuring new entertainment, food, and merchandise throughout Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

The evening kicked off with the first performance of the Pixar Play Parade in its new home at Disneyland. The longtime DCA production now features three new units, starting with Luxo and including units themed to Inside Out and Up!

Pixar Play Parade effectively swaps places with Paint the Night, which moves over to Disney California Adventure. The trolley wires above the Hollywood Land section of the parade route have led Disney to eliminate the Frozen unit and shorten a couple of other floats, but otherwise the parade is the same as it ran at Disneyland during the 65th 60th anniversary Diamond Celebration. Starting June 15, a new Incredibles-themed unit will join the production.

But the highlight of the festival's entertainment is Together Forever, the new fireworks and projection mapping show at Disneyland.

While Disney hopes that the new entertainment will lure you and your friends to the resort, the real product here is the food and merchandise that makes the numbers for these special events work. I got to try a few bites of the new food during Disney's media preview last month, and the resort served a few more items tonight.

My favorites were the pastrami dog and the tres leches parfait, but I'd also recommend the friend bologna sandwich, too. You will be able to find Pixar-themed specialties at several restaurants throughout the resort, but the two hubs for Pixar-themed food will be the rethemed Alien Pizza Planet that takes over for Red Rockett's Pizza Port in Tomorrowland and the Coco-inspired take-over of Paradise Garden Grill in DCA.

The Paradise Garden is also the place to find several other PixarFest features, including meet and greets with Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Russell and Dug, Flik and Atta, Mike and Sulley, and Mr. and Mrs. Incredible. The stage will feature a new musical production, "TripleDent Gum presents The Pixarmonic Orchestra," a ragtag seven-member troupe performing favorite Pixar songs. Let's dive into why Disney is offering PixarFest, and how its creative team put this event together.

I will leave you with the "special surprise" that Disney had for us during the media event this evening, a performance of "You've Got a Friend in Me," recorded for Together Forever and performed live by Jordan Fisher and Olivia Holt. Check out Mickey and Minnie dressed as Woody and Buzz at the end!

Pixar Fest runs April 13 through September 3.

Replies (8)

April 13, 2018 at 10:38 AM ·

Nice writeuup. I don't mean to nit pick, but PTN debuted at Disneyland during its 60th anniversary. Not the 65th, which is in 2020.
I'd also like to point out that it's appalling that DLR now has two parades and WDW only has one.

April 13, 2018 at 10:59 AM ·

It is pretty sad that Disney World only has 1 parade....but, I'm not really surprised. WDW has been on autopilot for many years...they are just starting to give the parks some love.

April 13, 2018 at 11:45 AM ·

Great info! Looking forward to the Pixar Fest this summer even though I'm not really a parade guy and was very reluctant to embrace Pixar as full-fledged Disney at first, but I've come around. And thank the Imagineers for fake trolley wires.

I have never understood why so many of the WDW base complain every time Disneyland gets something they don't have. Disney spends infinitely more money on WDW than they do at Disneyland and WDW has a lot more live entertainment and nighttime shows.

April 13, 2018 at 12:15 PM ·

FYI, Here is the full interview on the food, plus the popcorn buckets that - let's face it - probably will end up being the top attraction for the first week or so. Until eBay is saturated with the things.

April 13, 2018 at 1:40 PM ·

Thanx. Now I have my must gets- the Sully popcorn bucket and Coco Mexican Hot Chocolate!

April 13, 2018 at 11:12 PM ·

Marksharp, you must be a Cali local and AP holder. Nice to know you're speaking from an objective viewpoint, LOL.

To say that Disney spends "infinitely more" on WDW is a gross exaggeration. They do have to spend more because WDW is much bigger. WDW has more live entertainment and nighttime events because it has twice as many parks. And some of those shows should've been replaced by a ride (or a new show) a long time ago.

DL got PTN for well over a year (I think it was 18 months), then MSEP. So why is DLR getting PTN once again, when MK is begging for a nighttime parade??

Four parks, one parade. Sorry, the math just doesn't work.

April 14, 2018 at 12:25 PM ·

My apologies if I get some things incorrect. Opened lands over the few years by WDW: Updated Fantasyland, Avatar, upcoming toy story land and Galaxys edge. DLR: Carsland, upcoming Galaxies Edge. Yeah, they beat them on parades but I’d gladly give up that edge and switch roles.

April 14, 2018 at 2:58 PM ·

I'm probably as objective about this as anyone else. My point was that guests at WDW have a lot of other options besides a nightime parade (which WDW had had until recently.) Disneyland has one day time parade and one nightime parade. Big deal. Anyway, I will bet you that Paint the Night and/or an equivalent will make its way to the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios in the next couple of years.

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