Pixar fans can expect a big summer at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Characters from Pixar’s many blockbusters have taken over Disneyland and Disney California Adventure this spring, with a full slate of new activities starting up at both parks last week. It’s called Pixar Fest, and it runs through the summer, wrapping up on September 3.
Pixar’s had a presence at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for years, but Pixar Fest is, as Disney proudly touts, “the biggest Pixar celebration ever to come to Disney Park.” The centerpiece is a new nighttime fireworks show at Disneyland. Together Forever—A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular uses projections, fireworks and music to bring some of the most beloved moments from every Pixar movie to life throughout the park. That photo of Miguel from Coco playing guitar on Sleeping Beauty Castle should give you an idea of what to expect from Together Forever.
Two older parades are returning, with new appearances from Pixar favorites. The Pixar Play Parade, which ran for years at California Adventure, has crossed the esplanade and set up shop at Disneyland for the first time. Characters from Up and Inside Out have joined the parade for the first time. Paint the Night, the hugely popular Disneyland parade that features over a million vibrant lights on a variety of high-tech floats, is now at California Adventure, with a focus on Pixar movies. A new Incredibles float will be joining Paint the Night in June, when Incredibles 2 comes to theaters.
Music’s always been a huge part of Pixar movies, and so it goes with Pixar Fest, too. In addition to the music in the parades and firework show, the seven-piece Pixarmonic Orchestra (presented by TripleDent Gum) have taken up resident at California Adventure’s Paradise Gardens. The various bands and musical performers that can be found throughout the parks, including the Disneyland Band, the Dapper Dans and more, will be incorporating Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” from Toy Story, into their repertoires. And on June 8 the Pixar Pals Dance Party comes to Disneyland’s Tomorrowland Terrace.
In addition to all these new activities, you’ll also be able to find new merchandise and food options based on Pixar characters. And a variety of Pixar attractions can be found in both parks, from the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters in Disneyland, to Radiator Springs Racers and the other rides at Cars Land in California Adventure.
This summer will also see the launch of Pixar Pier, a new Pixar-themed area at California Adventure. Previously known as Paradise Pier, it’ll feature the massively popular Toy Story Midway Mania ride (which celebrates its 10th anniversary this June) , as well as the Incredicoaster (an Incredibles-themed rebrand of the California Screamin’ coaster).
East coast Disney fans might be missing out on all the Pixar fun, but they have something else to look forward to: Toy Story Land will be opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World at the end of June.