Dis­ney­land is throw­ing a five-month party ded­i­cated to its Pixar fam­ily favourites

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - DESTINATION UNITED STATES - RE­BECCA AN­DREWS

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 30m 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 five­month-long party, it’s a damn good time to go. Pixar Fest is the big­gest cel­e­bra­tion of Pixar in the Dis­ney­land Re­sorts, ever.

Run­ning un­til 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 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. From the minute you walk through the gates, you’re part of the Pixar mad­ness.

From sub­tle changes on ho­tel keys and street mu­sic, to new ad­di­tions to pa­rades and fire­works, every­thing gets the Pixar treat­ment. Here are the new­est and big­gest high­lights:


The sun is still up as the af­ter­noon’s pa­rade be­gins, led by the 4m tall Pixar Lamp which, de­spite hav­ing no eye­balls or view­able hu­man con­trol­ling it, suc­cess­fully rolls its way down Dis­ney­land Park’s Main Street with­out run­ning over cheer­ing kids. There are 120 per­form­ers in­clud­ing pup­peteers, dancers and ac­ro­bats en­ter­tain­ing the crowd who lose their minds at the Toy Story float and a num­ber of peo­ple swoon thanks to the march­ing-dance rou­tine by The Green Army Men. New­est ad­di­tions: the fel­las from Up tow their float­ing bal­loon-house 5m 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 mil­lions of LED lights brighten the night. Clas­sic Dis­ney and Pixar char­ac­ters dance on elec­tri­cally-charged floats in out­fits that have enough globes in them to dec­o­rate 80,000 Christ­mas trees. Per­form­ers dance in fully-lit cos­tume (I mean this lit­er­ally – they weren’t drunk) to movie tunes that in­clude Un­der The Sea, You’ve Got A Friend in Me and Beauty and the Beast. The one and only Mickey Mouse conducts the fi­nale on-board a spi­ralling ki­netic sculp­ture, at which point adults and kids go full fan-girl/boy crazy and are danc­ing, singing and feel­ing just as amped as the pa­rade.



Joy and Sad­ness hit the streets in the Pixar Play Pa­rade at Dis­ney­land Park for the Pixar Fest; Toy Story’s Green Army Men have a fab­u­lous march/ dance rou­tine, and eat themed food such as Nemo and Dory ap­ples.

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