The eagerly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge might not be opening until 2019, but Disneyland Resort has recently released new details about Pixar Fest and other 2018 additions and updates intended to entice guests into visiting during the upcoming year.
Pixar Fest, the biggest theme park celebration of stories and characters from Pixar Animation Studios, will be a limited time event where guests will enjoy a new Pixar-themed fireworks spectacular, the return of two parades with new Pixar surprises, new décor, atmosphere entertainment and more.
In summer 2018, Pixar Pier will open as a new land in Disney California Adventure (DCA), replacing the majority of Paradise Pier. The land will feature four neighborhoods where guests can step into Disney/Pixar stories.
The first neighborhood, inspired by The Incredibles, will feature the Incredicoaster, an updated version of the California Screamin’ roller coaster. A combination of character figures, lighting and special effects will depict the Parr family racing alongside guests in an attempt to catch baby Jack-Jack. The attraction will feature a new mid-century-modern-style loading area inspired by the Parr family home, as well as a musical score that connects the Incredicoaster’s story to Pixar’s Incredibles 2, which opens in theaters July 14, 2018.
The neighborhood inspired by Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story will be developed around the popular Toy Story Mania! attraction. Another new neighborhood, inspired by Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out will debut a new family-friendly attraction that’s scheduled to open at a later date. A fourth new neighborhood will celebrate a collection of Pixar stories. Mickey’s Fun Wheel will be themed with a new look and each of the 24 gondolas will showcase a different Pixar character. At the Games of the Boardwalk, which currently includes a game called Bullseye Stallion Stampede, guests will find that all the midway games will be inspired by Pixar characters. New games are expected to include characters from “A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” and “WALL·E.”
To prepare for these big changes, several attractions will close Jan. 8: California Screamin’, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Games of the Boardwalk and Sideshow Shirts.
Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and the Cove Bar will be transformed into a Pixar-themed lounge offering views of Paradise Bay and the new Pixar Pier. Ariel’s Grotto and Cove Bar will close Jan. 8, with Cove Bar reopening briefly in April before its permanent transformation. Guests wishing to reserve “World of Color” dining packages after Jan. 7 may consider Carthay Circle Restaurant or Wine Country Trattoria.
The remaining areas of the original Paradise Pier – including Paradise Gardens, Silly Symphony Swings, Jumping Jellyfish, Goofy’s Sky School, Golden Zephyr and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure – will become a new land called Paradise Park.
The popular Paint the Night parade returns starting April 13, this time to DCA. Paint the Night features characters from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and Cars. Another Pixar story will join Paint the Night in float form later in the year.
A collection of Pixar Shorts will be featured at the Sunset Showcase Theater at Disney California Adventure during most of Pixar Fest, including “For the Birds” and “LAVA.” The short films will rotate during the celebration.
A musical troupe will entertain guests with Pixar-inspired performances in the Paradise Gardens area of Disney California Adventure. Guests may also discover opportunities to greet Pixar characters, and younger guests will enjoy crafts and an activity area.
For those who wish to get into character and celebrate friendship, an exclusive Pixar Fest charm bracelet will be part of the merchandise selection. With multiple bracelet options and a variety of charms with fun friendship messages and Pixar characters, guests can mix and match for themselves, or friends and family.
Aside from Pixar Fest, other upcoming 2018 additions at DCA include an extended Lunar New Year festival (Jan. 26 to Feb. 18) and expanded Food & Wine Festival (March 2 to April 12), along with an updated menu at Smokejumpers Grill and limited-time “heroic encounter” meet-and-greets with Marvel characters like Thor, Loki, and Black Panther.
Over Disneyland Park, “Together Forever—A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” will premiere as part of Pixar Fest. This immersive, new fireworks show celebrates Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky with pyrotechnics and music. Like the former “Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “Together Forever” includes projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of It’s a Small World and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. Tinker Bell’s traditional flight over Sleeping Beauty Castle will be taken over by Buzz Lightyear.
The Pixar Play Parade from Disney California Adventure will make its way through Disneyland starting April 13, with the addition of three new story elements. The parade will begin as all Pixar films have, with an appearance by the Pixar Lamp. Rolling ahead of the famous lamp will be the familiar yellow Pixar Ball.
Also joining the parade are characters from the film Up. Wilderness Explorer Russell will appear astride the colorful flightless bird, Kevin. Carl Fredricksen and Dug follow behind, amid green foliage and snipe chicks, with Carl’s tethered house floating above. Inside Out also joins the Pixar Play Parade, with Joy and Sadness perched atop colorful memory orbs as they take flight aboard Bing Bong’s rocket wagon, with Bing Bong himself cheering them on.
A new Disneyland After Dark special event series starts with Throwback Nite on Jan. 18, inspired by the debonair days of the ‘50s and ‘60s at Disneyland. Each After Dark “nite” will feature specialty entertainment, themed food, collectible merchandise and more.
Outside the parks, Splitsville Luxury Lanes is set to open at Downtown Disney on the site of the former House of Blues in early 2018. Splitsville Luxury Lanes will feature 20 bowling lanes, four dining areas (indoors and out), two billiard tables, more than 25 flat screen TVs, the ability to host both live performers and DJs, and much more.
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, also opening at Downtown Disney in 2018, is known for its award-winning burgers and signature CrazyShake milkshakes that boast whimsical and over-the-top decorations and flavors. This will be Black Tap’s first California location and will have a customized concept specifically for Downtown Disney. And D-Street will be re-imagined in early 2018 into a new retail space offering Disney-themed home goods.
For more information about Pixar Fest at Disneyland, visit Disneyland.com and watch this video: