Sunday Territorian - - FRONTIER -

My heart was beat­ing like an eight-year-old who had eaten a packet of pop-rocks, done a line of Wizz-Fizz, downed a litre of Coke and was swim­ming through a lolly jar. Stand­ing with a crowd of thou­sands on Dis­ney­land Park’s Main Street, light pro­jec­tions trans­formed the iconic Sleep­ing Beauty’s Cas­tle into a cin­e­matic heart at­tack of an­i­ma­tion hap­pi­ness. Sud­denly, Buzz Lightyear flew 100 feet in the air over the top, and then BAM — hun­dreds of fire­works ex­ploded with mili­tary-like pre­ci­sion in time to an orches­tra as fire­balls, mu­sic and lasers started go­ing off, like a frog in a sock, all around.

I wanted to grab the stranger be­side me and hug them. Which wouldn’t have been that weird be­cause, you know … Dis­ney­land. Af­ter all, it is the hap­pi­est place on earth.

And when the hap­pi­est place on earth de­cides to throw a five-month-long party, it’s a damn good time to go.

Pixar Fest — the big­gest cel­e­bra­tion of Pixar in the Dis­ney­land Re­sorts, ever.

Run­ning from Septem­ber 3 at Dis­ney Re­sort in Cal­i­for­nia, Mickey Mouse, Jack Spar­row and The Lit­tle Mer­maid take the back seat, as sto­ries of the un­likely friend­ships be­tween char­ac­ters from Pixar films, such as ‘Cars’, ‘Mon­sters Inc’ and ‘Find­ing Nemo’, take cen­tre stage.

You can feel the theme of ‘friend­ship and be­yond’ in­cor­po­rated into both theme parks — Dis­ney­land Park and Dis­ney­land Cal­i­for­nia Ad­ven­ture Park (which con­ve­niently, are lo­cated be­side each other) — through new at­trac­tions, per­for­mances, pa­rades, decor, and merchandise avail­able to take home.

How? Dis­ney­land is pepped up on Pixar-fizz ev­ery­where you go, thanks to the in­cred­i­ble at­ten­tion to de­tail by the ‘imag­i­neers’. Cre­ative Direc­tor of Pixar Theme Parks for Pixar An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios (and for­mer an­i­ma­tor) Roger Gould and his team spent the last year dream­ing up, de­sign­ing and build­ing new ex­pe­ri­ences for guests to cel­e­brate Pixar ev­ery­where they go. Give the gang a raise, be­cause from the minute you walk through the gates, you’re part of the Pixar mad­ness and you don’t even know it.

From sub­tle changes on ho­tel keys and mu­sic in the street, through to new ad­di­tions to pa­rades and fire­works, every­thing gets the Pixar treat­ment. The new­est and big­gest high­lights to check out are: The sun is still up as this af­ter­noon pa­rade be­gins, led by the 14 foot tall Pixar Lamp which, Pixar Play Pa­rade de­spite hav­ing no eye­balls or view­able hu­man con­trol­ling it, suc­cess­fully rolls it’s way down Dis­ney­land Park’s Main Street with­out run­ning over cheer­ing kids. 120 per­form­ers in­clud­ing pup­peteers, dancers and ac­ro­bats en­ter­tain the crowd who lose their minds at the ‘Toy Story’ float and saw a num­ber of peo­ple swoon thanks to the march­ing-dance rou­tine by The Green Army Men (thus re­mind­ing me to get back on Tin­der). New­est ad­di­tions: the fel­las from ‘Up’ tow their float­ing bal­loon­house 17 feet above the pa­rade, and ‘In­side Out’ char­ac­ters sit atop 280 colour­ful orbs on a rocket wagon with a rain­bow tail. Once the sun sets, head over to Dis­ney­land Cal­i­for­nia Ad­ven­ture Park to see more than 1 bil­lion LED lights brighten the night. Clas­sic Dis­ney and Pixar char­ac­ters dance on

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