Review: Pixar Fest and Pixar Pier
The inaugural Pixar Fest took place this past summer at Disneyland Park. New Pixar offerings, old favourites, and a brand-new Pixar Pier took centre stage during the summer and brought new magic to the parks. With parades, fireworks, food, merchandise, and new attractions, Pixar Fest was an exciting new offering, one I believe will return in the future.
Pixar Fest was the perfect time to experience Pixar Pier for the first time. While no new additional rides or experiences were added, the subtle Pixar references and overlays added to the existing rides added to the Disney magic. I personally love when Disney chooses to refurbish an existing ride with new characters rather than eliminate the ride completely. Since the majority of park guests were at Pixar Pier for the duration of the day, wait times were exuberant for The Incredicoaster, Toy Story Midway Mania, and the Pixar Pal-a-Round; there was time for my sister and I to experience the Silly Symphony Swings before the rest of our family made it through the Pal-a-Round line.
The Incredicoaster is a must-do attraction, multiple times if possible. Like Rockin’ Rollercoaster, you will miss something if you only ride it once. My favourite part (and Cast Members’ favourite part) is Jack-Jack Num-Num Cookie, something my sister missed entirely on our first ride through. My recommendation is you ride both in the front and in the back. In the front, you go slow enough at certain points that you see all The Incredibles additions, but will miss the delicious smell of the Num-Num cookie; riding in the back lets you experience the ride and smell the Num-Num cookie, but you will not have as much time to observe your surroundings.
The abundance of new food selections for Pixar Fest and Pixar Pier was spectacular to see, but unfortunately I was unable to try any of the new items. When talking to a few Cast Members during Photopass Day, we remarked about the incredible lines for all the Pixar-themed food; wait times were exceeding 30+ minutes with the Adorable Snowman’s queue merging with The Incredicoaster’s line. However, the food looked delicious and was creatively presented (especially the chicken and snow). The merchandise for Pixar Fest was also unique, colourful, and fun to browse through. My favourites were the necklaces, especially the Wall-E one I found at Downtown Disney. It was refreshing to walk into a store and see such vibrant pieces.
Bringing back the Paint the Night parade was an amazing choice. I firmly believe the parade had too short of a life span and was thrilled to finally have the chance to experience it. The parade, as it was moved to Disney’s California Adventure, had removed a few floats due to height restrictions, but the addition of The Inredibles float added to the Pixar atmosphere. I hope one day this parade travels to Walt Disney World so more people can experience it! The Pixar Play Parade was featured at Disneyland Park, but I couldn’t help but miss Mickey’s Soundsational Parade. While the Pixar Play Parade fit the atmosphere and was a lot of fun, it doesn’t hold the same magic as the Soundsational Parade.
One highlight of Pixar Fest was the option to view the Together Forever fireworks from four locations in Disneyland: New Orleans Square, It’s a Small World, Main Street USA, and the traditional Sleeping Beauty Castle. Unlike Walt Disney World, where only the fireworks can be viewed around the park, the Pixar viewing locations featured the castle projections with limited view of the house from Up. Before the fireworks, I watched Fantasmic! from the FastPass viewing section and stayed in my spot for the fireworks. I was skeptical, but thoroughly enjoyed the unique perspective. The water screens from Fantasmic! were used for the projections and as a short person who generally cannot see the castle during fireworks, I loved being so close to the projections and seeing the story play out with the fireworks off to the side.
Overall, Pixar Fest was an amazing experience. Those who visited during this time know that Pixar Fest will make an appearance around the world at other Disney theme parks. The fireworks show was an amazing celebration of Pixar and friendship and I’m certain this show won’t retire now that Pixar Fest is over. If Pixar Fest is brought back in the future, make sure you visit Disneyland to take in all the amazing Pixar-themed events and celebrate all-things Pixar!
Did you celebrate Pixar Fest this year? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook.