The first Pixar film was released in 1995 – the rootin, tootin wonder of “Toy Story.”
Following the success of that nostalgic toy adventure and a number of other creative + whimsical films, Disney purchased Pixar in 2006.
There have been a total of 19 Disney Pixar Films to-date.
- Toy Story (1995)
- A Bug’s Life (1998)
- Toy Story (1999)
- Monsters, Inc. (2001)
- Finding Nemo (2003)
- The Incredibles (2004)
- Cars (2006)
- Ratatouille (2007)
- WALL-E (2008)
- Up (2009)
- Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Cars 2 (2011)
- Brave (2012)
- Monsters University (2013)
- Inside Out (2015)
- The Good Dinosaur (2015)
- Finding Dory (2016)
- Cars 3 (2017)
- Coco (2017)
With such a heartwarming, humorous, and silly roster of films, it’s no surprise that Disneyland is focusing in on these films as part of a new festival this summer.
WHAT IS PIXAR FEST?
Running now through September 3, 2018, Pixar Fest is a BIG celebration at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. While you can still enjoy all of your favorite attractions, shows, and restaurants, there will also be new thematic elements throughout the park – including new shows, menu items, decor, and merchandise. Note that your park ticket gets you access to all of the Pixar Fest fun! No separate ticket needed.
Read on for 10 ways to make the most of your vacation to Disneyland during Pixar Fest!
1. PAINT THE NIGHT PARADE in Disney California Adventure
For a truly spectacular nighttime extravaganza, you’ll want to mark your schedule for the PAINT THE NIGHT PARADE. If you think you’ve seen it before, think again! The parade has new floats that will surprise and delight you. Expect to see all of your favorite classic characters (including the Princesses!), PLUS characters from Up, Bug’s Life, and Monsters Inc. You’ll also see Mickey & Minnie in this parade, which always helps to cap off any magical Disney experience. As with all Disney parades, the choreography is bar none. The costumes are extravagant, the lights are dazzling, and the cast members never miss a beat. You and your kids will truly feel that the characters are looking right at you! The other thing that makes this parade so fun is the choice of music. The headline song is “When Can I See You Again?” (by Owl City for Wreck-It Ralph). You’ll be tapping your feet and dancing along to the catchy tune! If you only have time for one parade, this is the one.
2. MONSTERS INC ride in Disney California Adventure
If you haven’t been to Disneyland Resort in awhile, you may have missed the addition of this new charming ride in Hollywood Land in Disney’s California Adventure. Hail a taxi, take a tour through Metropolis, and see scenes from the movie come to life. Kudos to the designers + engineers behind this ride – the scenes are imaginative and the music/sound effects are spot-on. The room with all of the “doors” is especially riveting. Fun for the whole family! Even babies and toddlers can ride on this slow-moving (air-conditioned!) ride. Because it is tucked away in a less busy part of the park, it is often less crowded than other rides. Experiencing this ride was one of my highlights from our recent trip.
3. CARS LAND at Disney California Adventure
If you have a fan of the “Cars” movies in your party, then Cars Land at DCA is a must-see. You’ll feel like you’re walking right onto route 66. It’s a truly immersive experience with so many photo opps! The best ride in this land is the famed Radiator Springs Racers (toward the back of Cars Land). This micro roller coaster takes you on a jolly adventure through the desert, then right on to the race track. Due to its popularity, you will want to get fast passes for this ride or run to the line right when the park opens. Another tip? You can split your party up and join the “Single Rider” line. You may not ride with your friends, but you will get on the ride a lot faster.
4. PIXAR PLAY PARADE at Disneyland
If you’re hoping to see a daytime parade, the NEWEST one on the scene is the PIXAR PLAY PARADE at Disneyland. Weaving it’s way right through the center of the park on Main Street USA, this parade features exclusively Pixar characters. Watch for the ultra-cute Up float. Give a “what’s up?” to Crush the Sea Turtle from Finding Nemo. See The Incredibles glide right past you. If you’re hoping to avoid the crowds and/or long waiting times before the parade, you can book a Pixar Play Parade dining package, which allows you to enjoy a picnic-style lunch and a voucher for access to a reserved viewing area.
5. NEW MERCHANDISE & FOOD at both parks
Do you see your favorite movie on the list above? Then, you’ll want to sneak a peek at the new clothing, toys, gadgets, gear, and food – inspired by all of your Pixar Pals!
6. TOGETHER FOREVER: A PIXAR NIGHTTIME SPECTACULAR at Disneyland
You may think you’ve already seen the fireworks at Disneyland, but it’s important to know that the fireworks show changes many times throughout the year. Disney always has new surprises up their sleeves. This new rendition features Buzz Lightyear (“To Friendship & Beyond!”), the Up house, and scenes from the newest Pixar Film – Coco.
7. IT’S A SMALL WORLD at Disneyland
It’s A Small World isn’t new (it’s true!). It is, however, a can’t miss ride for new and returning guests to Disneyland. The ride is a marvel, the music is memorable, and the message is one we should all get behind (“a smile means friendship to everyone”). Look for Pixar characters “hidden” throughout the ride – Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye from “Toy Story” and Nemo + Dory from “Finding Nemo.”
8. LEARN TO DRAW PIXAR CHARACTERS at Disney California Adventure
Need a break from ride lines? Walk over to the Animation Academy in Hollywood Land to get a 30-minute drawing tutorial. Choose which character you’d like to sketch – Edna, Jack-Jack, Bing Bong, or other classic characters. At the end of the class, you’ll be able to keep your drawing as a souvenir!
9. TAKE THE MONORAIL into Downtown Disney.
The Disneyland Monorail has a brand new look for Pixar Fest! You can ride one of two monorails – one themed for “Finding Nemo,” the other themed for “The Incredibles.” The monorail is a speedy way to get back-and-forth between Tomorrowland in Disneyland and Downtown Disney or Disney’s Grand Californian. Note that you will have to show your park tickets to board.
10. HOLD YOUR BREATH for the opening of the INCREDICOASTER at Disney California Adventure.
Coming on June 23, 2018! You’ll be able to experience a fast-paced thrill ride on Pixar Pier. Permanently transformed from the attraction that was California Screamin,’ you’ll notice new character moments, new special effects, and a new musical score.
MORE ABOUT PIXAR FEST
* Thanks to Disneyland for providing TucsonTopia with a sneak peek at Pixar Fest at a recent media event.