With their heartfelt stories, endearing characters, and quirky humor, Disney•Pixar films are a treat for the whole family—which is why I couldn’t wait to head over to Pixar Fest at Disneyland Resort! The festival, which runs through September 3, is nothing short of magical.
During Pixar Fest, both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are filled with experiences for fans of all ages—there are plenty of characters to meet, rides to explore, entertainment to watch, and decor to immerse yourself in the Pixar worlds.
But there’s more: the return of two beloved parades with fresh new Pixar surprises, exclusive food and merch, and, to top it all off, a brand new multimedia fireworks show that provides the perfect ending to an incredible Disney day.
I had a great time walking through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure spotting all the new Pixar-themed details in the Parks, including a brand new shop called Knick’s Knacks on what will soon be the newly reimagined Pixar Pier. Named after one of Pixar’s earliest animated shorts, Knick’s Knacks has a ton of exclusive merchandise as well as beautiful concept art and pieces celebrating Pixar’s storied history. You will definitely want to save space in your bag for this merchandise—their ears game is strong.
If your little one is hoping to spot their favorite characters, there are opportunities throughout the Parks. But I would recommend heading to Paradise Gardens for special appearances by characters from Toy Story, Up, Monsters, Inc., A Bug’s Life, and The Incredibles.
Looking to take a little break? Daytime parades are a perfect opportunity to find a shady spot and enjoy some great entertainment. The Pixar Play Parade made its debut at Disneyland in honor of Pixar Fest and runs weekends at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and weekdays at 6 p.m.
This parade begins with a tribute to the iconic opening of every Pixar film. The moment I saw the 14-foot-tall Luxo lamp heading my way I knew I was in for a treat. From the bigger-than-life icon to the great rainbow bundle of balloons from Up, this parade is so packed with excitement, vibrance, and detail that seeing it once, or even twice, is just not enough.
Once the sun has set, a second spectacular parade awaits. The much-loved Paint the Night Parade, with its host of Disney characters, catchy music, and over one million LED lights, now makes its way through Disney California Adventure at 8:45 p.m and 10:45 p.m. on weekends and 8:45 p.m. on weekdays. I am so happy to see the return of one of my all-time favorite Disney parades. Amidst the dazzling lights and pop-art effects, you’ll find elements from Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and Cars. And starting in June, there will be an entirely new float inspired by The Incredibles. This parade always has me and my family dancing.
The nighttime shows at Disneyland have always been truly magical and the latest one, “Together Forever—A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular,” is no exception. This show, which begins at 9:30 p.m., includes fireworks, music, and stunning projections on the Sleeping Beauty Castle, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Rivers of America, “it’s a small world,” and charming buildings along Main Street, U.S.A.
Watching Pixar characters I love come together in this brand-new, heartwarming story of friendship, I felt the same wonder and awe that I experienced visiting Disneyland as a child. From my viewing spot on Main Street, I found delightful surprises on every corner—like the projection mapping of over 300 space aliens from Toy Story! “Together Forever” invites us all to become a part of the Pixar story as it unfolds and lights up the night sky. It will give you all the feels!
Pixar Fest is the biggest Pixar celebration ever to come to Disney Parks and I had so much fun experiencing every moment! It is a wonderful way to celebrate friendship and beyond. But it’s only here for a limited time, so be sure to visit soon to join in the festivities and make your own magical Pixar Fest memories.
For more Disney magic, try this Pizza Planet Fondue: