I bet I’ll have you singing ‘You’ve got a friend in me’ by the end of this post! All things Pixar are covered in this Complete Guide to Pixar at Disneyland. Pixar Fest at Disneyland opens today and kicks off what promises to be an Incredible summer of Pixar in the Disney Parks. Here’s what every Pixar fan needs to know about visiting Disneyland before September 3.
Last week I attended a special Incredibles 2 Event at Pixar Studios in California where we learned insider secrets about the making of The Incredibles 2. While I can’t spill those secrets just yet, I can say that I will never be able to watch a Pixar film the same way! My mind was completely blown.
That visit to Pixar was everything this Disney Pixar fan hoped it would be- and next week I’ll get to share my experience with you about my time on the special Pixar Studios campus.
For now: how cute is this photo op?!
One of my favorite sessions we attended was all about the Pixar presence in the Disney theme parks (and the fact that this was my favorite session should surprise no one who knows me).
I left the room with a new goal in life: work for the Pixar Studios Theme Park staff. Their jobs are just that cool, y’all!
The Complete Guide to Pixar at Disneyland
I adore visiting the Disney parks (coast to coast!) and am thrilled that this summer is all about Pixar.
Pixar in Disneyland starts with Pixar Fest (opening today) running through September 3. You can also find Pixar in Disney World when you meet Edna Mode at Walt Disney World Incredible Summer, starting May 25th.
There’s a lot happening with Pixar at Disneyland so I’ve put together the Complete Guide to Pixar at Disneyland for you; after reading this guide, you won’t miss a thing this summer!
Also: if I sound dorkily excited about all this, it’s because, well, I am. I am a big Disney theme park Pixar loving dork. Welcome to my world!
Pixar Fest at Disneyland
The Disneyland festivals are right up my alley when it comes to planning my next visit.
I loved the Disneyland Food and Wine Festival this spring- oh my goodness, so good!- and I’ve been a fan of the Disneyland Festival of Holidays too. So adding on a new Pixar festival got my Disneyland loving heart racing!
This is happening right now and I’m having the best time following my Disneyland friends enjoying all the fun. They are soaking up all the Pixar at Disneyland that they can and I am here for it. Check out #PixarFest hashtag on social media for all the excitement.
There’s new food, new merchandise, a new fireworks show, new parade floats, and so much more! Here’s what you need to know about Pixar at Disneyland.
Pixar Fest Dates
You won’t want to miss this special time at Disneyland!
Pixar Fest at Disneyland runs from April 13, 2018, through September 3, 2018.
It’s time to start planning that visit because you know you need this in your life. Start the planning process by checking out Disneyland’s park calendar.
I’m often asked when I think the best time to go to Disneyland might be. My answer is, of course, ANY TIME is the best time. Pick a date and go!
Pixar Fest Tickets
Pixar Fest is included in the price of your Disneyland ticket.
I suggest upgrading to a Park Hopper ticket so you can take advantage of everything Pixar Fest has to offer on the same day!
Annual Passholders are subject to the restrictions of their passes with some experiencing blackout dates during Pixar Fest. That would be quite the bummer to arrive and not make it through the gates- so double check before you leave home.
Pixar Fest in Disneyland Park
Guests are in for so many exciting experiences from Pixar in Disneyland Park that I am having a hard time deciding which one I’m most excited about!
- “Pixar Play Parade”: This is a Disney California Adventure Park favorite- but for the first time it’s making the path through Disneyland Park. There are some new additions to the parade: the iconic Pixar Lamp and Pixar Ball from the Pixar original short, “Luxo Jr.”. Character additions to the parade include Russell, Kevin, Dug, and Carl Fredricksen from “Up,” along with Joy, Sadness and Bing Bong from “Inside Out.”
- “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular”: Pixar stories come to life in a stunning show of fireworks, music and projections. Spoiler alert: I am 100% sure it will make me cry! Because Pixar is all about emotions- and friendships are the focus of this new fireworks show.
- Alien Pizza Planet: You can find this Pixar makeover happening in Tomorrowland. Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port transforms into Alien Pizza Planet during Pixar Fest, just like the restaurant Andy visits in “Toy Story.” You’ll find new specialty pepperoni pizza and cheeseburger pizza- and probably spy a few of your favorite little Green Alian friends, too!
- Musical Entertainment: You know you can’t have a something called Pixar Fest without special musical entertainment. Pixar’s music is legendary! You’ll hear “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from “Toy Story” performed by various musical groups, including the Disneyland Band, Straw Hatters, Dapper Dans (my FAVES!), Main Street Piano Player, Royal Street Bachelors and Jambalaya Jazz Band. The Straw Hatters also perform a rendition of “Married Life” from “Up,” along with the Royal Street Bachelors who add “If I Didn’t Have You” from “Monsters, Inc.” to their repertoire.
- Pixar Pals Dance Party: Pixar at Disneyland continues on through the summer with new adventures being added later on. This event doesn’t start until the summer, so be sure to make another trip if necessary! From June 8 to September 3, you can get up and move & groove with The Pixar Pals Dance Party at the Tomorrowland Terrace. This is a not-so-secret character meet and greet hiding in plain sight! You’ll dance with Russell, Dug, Woody, Jessie, the Green Army Men and more.
- Disneyland Monorail: You know the Disneyland Monorail wasn’t going to be left out of the fun! You’ll ride a train featuring The Incredibles and Frozone and another train will have Nemo, Marlin, Dory, Crush and Squirt swim through the parks. Just keep swimming, swimming…!
Pixar Fest at Disney California Adventure Park
Disney California Adventure is quickly becoming my favorite park and is a perfect fit for loads of Pixar activities. You haven’t seen anything yet- there are so many positive changes coming to Disney California Adventure over the next few years. It’s going to be amazing!
The park that celebrates all things California is the perfect place to celebrate all things Pixar, a California native company.
I’m going to start with my most favorite Disney news ever: Paint the Night Parade is BACK!
- “Paint the Night” Parade: I say this with conviction: this is the best parade EVER. And it has a new home at Disney California Adventure. The catchy song combined with over 1 million LED lights light up the night and will have you singing along. You’ll see Pixar pals from “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars” roll on by and in June, a new float inspired by “The Incredibles” will be included. I cannot wait for this!
- Draw Pixar pals at Animation Academy: How about a unique way to remember your Disney vacation? Even better: it’s a free souvenir! And scoring free stuff at Disneyland is always a good thing. Head over to the Animation Academy and learn to draw your favorite Pixar character. The illustrators will walk you through it- step-by-step- and you’ll end up with your own Sulley, Dug, Edna Mode (eep!), Jack-Jack, Bing Bong and more!
- Paradise Gardens is Pixar HQ: Food, music and Pixar artwork will all be found at Paradise Gardens. You can also find the AP (Annual Passholder) Corner here where every two weeks you’ll get a new Pixar theme! Keepsakes, special merchandise, and one-of-a-kind photo ops will be available exclusively for the Annual Passholders.
- TripleDent Gum presents The Pixarmonic Orchestra: Come for the AP perks, stay for the music and food! Guests will enjoy the tunes of TripleDent Gum presents The Pixarmonic Orchestra at the Paradise Garden Bandstand. Pixar movie music takes center stage as the seven-piece band performs with unconventional instruments such as cowbells, kazoos, duck calls, sirens and slide whistles. This summer, The Pixarmonic Orchestra will move to a new location at Pixar Pier.
- Paradise Garden Grill: You’re not going to want to miss this! Inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” the Paradise Garden Grill features delicious dishes such as Yucatán inspired vaporcitos, mole verde con pollo and tacos de estilo callejero. My stomach just growled- seriously, that sounds amazing!
- Pixar Shorts Film Festival: The Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land features a collection of Pixar Shorts during most of Pixar Fest, including favorites such as “For the Birds,” “La Luna” and “LAVA.”
Pixar Fest in Downtown Disney
You know they aren’t going to leave Downtown Disney out of the Pixar fun!
New Pixar topiaries can be spied – six of them in all. And Marceline’s Confectionery is going to have some special Pixar themed treats to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Speaking of sweet tooth, let’s talk about the food at Pixar Fest! Zomg this is my favorite part of any Disney trip.
What to Eat At Pixar Fest? The Food at Pixar Fest
Oh, my word, y’all. Disneyland has done it again. I know this was my number one question to the Pixar theme park team: what to eat at Pixar Fest?
The food looks amazing and we were told by the Pixar theme park team that, yep, it was. Absolutely amazing.
The folks at Pixar made a special call out for this: the fried bologna sandwich which you can find at Carnation Café. I’m hearing it’s one of those comfort foods you won’t want to pass up!
Pixar Fest Food at Disneyland Park
“Up” on Main Street U.S.A.
- The fried bologna sandwich at Carnation Café
- The pork chop dinner, reminiscent of Carl’s TV dinners, with a spiced apple pork chop, cornbread, peas and carrots, and a chocolate cake dessert at Carnation Café
- Specialty Éclair at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café
- Frozen “Grape Soda” slush at Cappo Cart
- “Coco” in Frontierland
“Coco”-inspired menu items at Rancho Del Zocalo
- include a Mexican chocolate pot de crème, topped with a Miguel chocolate
- Coco Churro with rich chocolate powder, vanilla bean and salted cinnamon sugar is served with a spiced, Mexican chocolate dipping sauce
“Toy Story” in Frontierland
- Root beer float served in a souvenir Woody boot at Golden Horseshoe Saloon (guests will want to check the bottom of the boot for a “Toy Story” memory)
- Berry funnel cake, topped with blueberries, strawberries, cookie-and-cream crumbles, crème anglaise, white chocolate and gold-dusted whipped cream at Stage Door Café
- Cinnamon pretzel at Frontierland Pretzel Cart
“Ratatouille” in New Orleans Square
- A three-course dinner inspired by the little chef, Remy, served at Café Orleans. The dinner features a charcuterie plate starter, Ratatouille a Confit Byaldi Shrimp dish entrée and berry and cheese beignets served a la mode.
Pixar Fest Food at Disney California Adventure Park
- Chilled noodle salad features color-changing noodles with mint, Thai basil, shredded daikon and tofu at Lucky Fortune Cookery (special sauce activates the new color)
- Mike Wazowski-shaped sourdough bread at Pacific Wharf Café
- Mint chip smoothie and whoopie pie at Schmoozies
- A new menu at Flo’s V8 Café for Pixar Fest features items such as a classic cheeseburger, turkey club sandwich, cobb salad, fried chicken plate and more.
- Habanero meatball cone at Cozy Cone Motel: turkey meatballs in a habanero derby sauce with a cheese crisp and spiral pasta “smoke stacks.”
Finally, we get to the best part of the festival. I call this the star of the Pixar Fest food: the Pixar Lemon-Raspberry Cake. And since it’s found in both parks, I think Disneyland and Pixar might agree with me.
This is #1 on my I need this on my Instagram and in my belly list. You can find it at the Plaza Inn in Disneyland and at the Pacific Wharf Café and Paradise Garden Grill in Disney California Adventure.
For a full rundown on Pixar Fest food, check out Britni’s reivew over on Play, Party, Plan!
Coming soon: Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure
It’s not ready for us just yet, but Pixar is moving in! Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure is currently under construction and will open on June 23 as a rethemed Pixar boardwalk called Pixar Pier.
We have a lot to look forward to in this newly re-imagineered section of the park with 4 Pixar themed neighborhoods in Pixar Pier to visit. The neighborhoods are themed after The Incredibles, Toy Story, Inside Out and a neighborhood celebrating a collection of Pixar fan favorites.
The Incredibles neighborhood has me especially excited. I’m going to find my brave and get on The Incredicoaster on my next trip.
It’s a newly themed version of California Screamin’ and is going to feature the Parr family and, of course, baby Jack-Jack. Guests will help the Parr family chase down Baby Jack-Jack who seems to have gotten away from them!
The storyline sounds like a lot of fun and might just distract me from the whole go upside down part of the roller coaster. Gulp!
Pixar Pier will also have new food kiosks themed after various Pixar characters and movies. As much as I love the idea of getting a churro from Senor Buzz Churro stand, I know just where I’ll be heading when I get hungry.
You’ll find me kicking back in the Lamplight Lounge noshing on the famous Lobster Nachos whenever I get the chance!
This summer is proving to be a great time to be a Pixar fan with the addition of Pixar Pier and Pixar Fest at Disneyland.
More Pixar at Disneyland
For those Pixar fans that can’t wait for Paradise Pier to open, never fear! There’s already a huge presence from Pixar at Disneyland- adding all the Pixar Fest activities and Pixar Pier is just plussing the parks.
It doesn’t get any more Pixar than this. The Pixar theme park team said their biggest compliment is when a guest will ask if Cars Land was where they filmed the movie.
Let that sink in. It’s that good, y’all.
Cars Land is one of the most immersive Disney Parks experiences you can have. If you want to feel like you’ve stepped into a movie, this land will absolutely do that for you!
You’ll love the food and character meet and greet at the Cozy Cone Motel; be sure to pick up a snack at Filmore’s Taste-In as well.
And do not skip breakfast at Flo’s V-8 Cafe. The French Toast Brioche is a must-have!
Get those kicks on Route 66 by riding Radiators Springs Racers, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters.
Turtle Talk With Crush
Grab shell and chat with Crush in the Animation Academy building.
He’s one totally tubular dude and you’re little ones will love this interactive discussion with their favorite friend from under the sea.
Toy Story Midway Mania
Get those high scores on Toy Story Midway Mania! This is usually a cut-throat battle (not really, but, yeah, kinda) when I ride with my family.
Shrink down to the size of one of Andy’s toys to play this 4D game. Whoever gets the high score has to buy the next Dole Whip! What? You don’t play that way? You should!
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Space Rangers: Assemble!
Ok, so I might be mixing my genres but this is another fun, but competitive if you travel with my kids, ride over in Disneyland Park.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
This one is such a cute attraction! If you have a Nemo fan (raising hand!) then you can’t skip taking a trip under the seas with Nemo and his friends.
Don’t worry: it’s perfectly safe and a lot of fun. And for anyone concerned about going into the submarine, there’s actually another option for you. Just ask the cast member if you can be seated in the Marine Observation Outpost room.
Monster’s Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue
Take a trip through Monstropolis with Mike and Sulley in a yellow scare cab on this dark ride adventure. This attraction is tucked away in a corner of Hollywood Land, but it’s more than worth making the trip to find.
I hesitate to add this one in because it’s rumored be on it’s way out of Disneyland. As you know, at Disneyland, things are always changing and Bug’s Land is one are that is slated for some big alterations.
But head over to Disney California Adventure and check it out while you still can, especially if you have little kids in tow.
They will love Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies, Flik’s Flyers and Francis’ Lady Bug Boogey. And don’t forget Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train!
Operation Playtime! -featuring the Green Army Men
This might technically fall under the Pixar Characters heading, but it’s also a fun show, so I’m making sure it’s going in here.
The Green Army Men from Toy Story entertain the crowds at Disney California Adventure Park Paradise Pier on a scheduled. Check that Disneyland app for details!
Pixar in Fantasmic!
Pixar characters are also found on the finale float during Disneyland’s nightly water show, Fantasmic! Come for the pirate boat scene but stay for the characters at the end- this is a favorite of Disneyland locals.
Pixar in World of Color
This water and light show is breathtaking- and includes some incredible Pixar scenes. The Brave scene takes my breath away every time. I’d say “Don’t Miss This!” … but it just went down for refurbishment and I don’t see a completion date posted. As always: check the app for any changes to the schedule.
Pixar Characters at Disneyland
Of course, there are Pixar characters at Disneyland!
What Pixar characters can you meet at Disneyland? There’s a ton of them at Disneyland. Be sure to check the Disneyland app from your smartphone to find their official locations and meeting times.
Woody and Jessie can be found in Disneyland Park in Frontierland.
Lightning McQueen, Mater and Cruz Ramirez can be found in Cars Land.
Sulley has been spotted near the Monsters, Inc. ride in Hollywood Land. Don’t forget to take an Instagram Disney Wall photo by the big doors at this attraction; it’s a super cute photo op!
Russell and Dug can be found at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
I’ve lucked out and run into Mrs. Incredible too.
She didn’t have a set meet and greet but was sometimes out patrolling the streets, as any respectable Super will do!
The great news is that during Pixar Fest, guests may meet some of their favorite Pixar pals at Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure.
Be on the lookout for Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Russell and Dug, Flik and Atta, Mike and Sulley, and Mr. and Mrs. Incredible.
I love it when they are all in one general area!
Incredibles 2 Movie New Trailer and Poster
All the Pixar at Disneyland adds to the hype surrounding The Incredibles 2 movie coming out on June 15.
This movie- guys, I’m extra excited to see it now and getting to June is going to be hard. I mean, it’s been something like 14 years of waiting, so I guess I can manage to wait a few more weeks. Be sure to follow the updates to our Incredibles 2 Event trip; we’re using the hashtag #Incredibles2Event on all social media.
Pixar’s Incredibles 2 New Movie Trailer
And we have a new poster and trailer for this movie! It all just came out today and I’m geeking because a few of the scenes we learned about in detail are shown to the public now.
We have a villain! Did you catch that at the end? This movie has so much action going on, I think I need to go back and watch this trailer over and over again.
Feel free to join me!
Getting to know our favorite family of Supers is going to be so much fun- they are just so relatable. The scene with Violet and Dash had me laughing out loud- for real, not just LOL- because that happens every night at my house. The Parr family is so relatable and that’s why we love them!
Be sure to get your tickets and take your family when it opens in theaters this summer.
Pixar’s Incredibles 2 New Movie Poster
Written and directed by Brad Bird (“Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille”) and produced by John Walker (“The Incredibles,” “Tomorrowland”) and Nicole Grindle (“Sanjay’s Super Team” short, “Toy Story 3” associate producer), Disney•Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” busts into theaters on June 15, 2018.
Follow Disney/Pixar on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypixar
Follow Disney/Pixar on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixar/
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Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)