Pixar Fest: Disney Parks History

Pixar Fest Disneyland Entrance Sign At Night

Coming off the success of the Diamond Celebration and the relative apathetic reaction to the Sumer of Heroes, Disneyland Resort was looking for a new temporary festival to increase attendance in the summer months.

They found a way to celebrate both a new land and give a proper send off to a closing land, all with a collection of temporary entertainment offerings.

Pixar Fest Incredibles Monorail Passes Disneyland Resort Entrance Harbor Boulevard

Welcome to Disney Parks History and today we are taking you through the history of Pixar Fest at the Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland Entrance During Pixar Fest

Following the Diamond Celebrations roaring success Disneyland was looking to follow up with more seasonal festivals. While 2017s Summer of Heroes was not the success Disney wanted it to be, Disney was willing to step up their game for the 2018 festival, which would be tied in with a two major changes in the park.

Pixar Fest Ice Cream Disneyland

Pixar Fest was designed to tie in with the first summer of Pixar Pier, and the final summer of A Bug's Land, with a collection of Pixar themed entertainment, food, and more throughout all of the Disneyland Resort.

Pixar Fest Main Street USA Decorations Disneyland

Decorations themed based on Pixar would be spread throughout the parks. Main Street USA would be adorned with Pixar colored bunting.

The Incredicars Pixar Fest Cars Land Disney California Adventure

Cars Land would feature a series of posters of Pixar movies recreated within the Cars universe.

Elias and Co Pixar Fest Disney California Adventure Disneyland

Buena Vista Street Would also be filled with Pixar colored bunting.

The entertainment of the Disneyland Resort would also be adjusted for the temporary festival.

A temporary fireworks show would take place in Disneyland called Together Forever. It would feature projection mapping along Main Street USA and props on top of the buildings.

The dance parties of the park would be given a Pixar overlay for the summer.

One permanent change would come to Disneyland, retheming Pizza Port as Pizza Planet.

The musical groups of Disneyland, from the Disneyland Band to the Dapper Dans would also start performing more Pixar music than they normally would, pointing out that it was Pixar Fest as they performed.

The Pixar Play Parade, the long-lasting Disney California Adventure daytime parade would be given a final run at Disneyland park with a few additional parade floats for its last few months based on Up and Inside Out.

Paint the Night would also return to the resort, this time at Disney California Adventure for the celebration. 

Incredibles Float Paint the Night Parade Disney California Adventure

To celebrate the festival and release of Incredibles II, a new Incredibles float would be added to the parade featuring the Underminer battle from both films replacing the Frozen-themed float featuring the family and Frozone.

Pixar Film Festivals would play in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in underutilized theaters.

A Bug's Land Pixar Fest Disney California Adventure Entrance

Finally, a Bug's Life themed activity would be added to Bug's Land for its final months, giving a proper send off to the land.

The festival started on April 13th of 2018 and ended on September 3rd of the same year. It opened with Pixar Pier and closed with Bug's Land.

WALLE Pixar Pier Billboard Disney California Adventure Disneyland

The land celebrated the end of the first land based on any Pixar film and the start of the first land based on all of Pixar.

This would be nowhere near as elaborate as the Diamond Celebration, which involved a new parade, two new nighttime spectaculars, and more, but it was still a brilliant temporary overlay to the parks. They were both filled with Pixar magic in a way that was ever-present without it feeling too overwhelming.

This wouldn't be the last seasonal festival at Disneyland, with a Lion King one coming the next year, but it would be the last this elaborate at least up until right now. Amid the COVID19 pandemic, it is appearing more like these festivals may be a thing of the past.

Pixar Fest brought a lot of temporary fun to the park, and was perfectly timed for its moment in Disney history, a unique few month period where Disney California Aventure had three Pixar themed lands at the same time. None of the exclusive offerings were the best things Disney had ever done, but they didn't have to be. They were temporary from the start and a great way to make the parks a welcoming place for Pixar Pier.

This is the best part of Disneyland's status as a local's park. As many of its visitors come so constantly there is a place for limited time magic that is special due to its finite time in the park. Not all of them are hits, but it creates special memories that can't be recreated, but hold that classic Disney charm nonetheless.