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