Geek Out With Your Favorite Pixar Characters at Disney
This summer is all about Pixar at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Check out the new rides, limited-time entertainment and movie-inspired eats from all six parks.
Love Pixar movies? Get to Disney this summer. Land. World. It doesn’t matter. There are so many opportunities to hang out with your favorite Pixar pals. At Disneyland, Pixar Fest is running through September 3 and features a new castle projection show at night, the new Pixar Play Parade and tons of limited-time themed eats. Over at Disney’s California Adventure, there’s a new Pixar-themed night parade, tons of themed-eats and the recently opened Pixar Pier with rides and shops celebrating all things Pixar.
Walt Disney World is celebrating an “Incredible Summer” with new entertainment featuring the Incredibles and Edna Mode for the first time at the parks. Animal Kingdom has a new show with Russell and Doug from UP. And Hollywood Studios just opened Toy Story Land with new rides, restaurants and shops inspired by the iconic films.
There's easily more than 100 experiences you could have with Pixar at the parks right now. Without planning, you could miss some hidden gems. So if you don’t want FOMO, we’ve broken down the must-dos, by film, from park to park.
With the momentum of Incredibles 2 out this summer, you can step back into the story on the newly rebranded Incredicoaster at Pixar Pier inside Disney’s California Adventure. Help the supers chase down Jack-Jack, and after your ride you can even buy a chocolate chip cookie at Jack-Jack’s Cookie Num Nums. Super designer Edna Mode also makes special appearances each day at Pixar Pier so check the Disneyland Parks app for meet-and-greet times. And to see Mr. and Mrs. Incredible plus Frozone in action, don’t miss the new Pixar Play Parade over at Disneyland Park.
See the Incredibles Characters at Walt Disney World
Incredible Tomorrowland Expo, the celebration of all-things-super, welcomes Edna Mode – the “legendary” costume designer for the Supers – to Magic Kingdom Park for the first time ever this summer. Mr. Incredible, Frozone, Mrs. Incredible and other characters from the Disney●Pixar film, “The Incredibles,” and the upcoming “Incredibles 2,” join together for an interactive celebration featuring incredible decor and high-energy music. Families can even get their groove on during “Super Party Time,” a continuous dance party and show on the Rockettower Plaza Stage with themed games and engaging performances by up-and-coming Supers. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
Walt Disney World Resort
At Walt Disney World, the Incredibles have taken over Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom. You can bust a move with Mr. and Mrs. Incredible and Frozone during the “Super Party Time” dance party, or you might run into Edna Mode (who is happy to give guests fashion advice). The Incredible Tomorrowland Expo only lasts through September 3.
When you think Pixar, you think Toy Story. And now the OG feature film has a permanent home at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Land takes guests on a journey through Andy’s backyard where you’ll feel like you’re the size of a toy. New rides such as Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers are top priority here, but take the time to wander around and check out all the magical details in decor, too.
Welcome to Andy's Backyard
Toy Story Mania is one of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World and now guests can get even more of Buzz, Woody and the whole gang in the new 11-acre Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The land, based off the beloved Pixar films and characters, is designed to look like Andy’s backyard and guests will feel like they’ve shrunken down to the size of a green army man with giant toys scattered about everywhere. "It’s great to be able to bring guests into Andy’s backyard," said Disney Imagineer Shannon Mashchak. "It’s really fun developing all the immersive details, which is challenging yet exciting to take all of those toys that so many generations know and love and then blow them up so that you’re the size of a toy."
Ride Slinky Dog Dash
The marquee attraction at Toy Story Land is Slinky Dog Dash. The story is that Andy combined a mega coaster kit with Slinky Dog as the coaster car. "Something that’s unique and special about Slinky Dog Dash is that you actually get to ride inside one of those classic characters from your favorite movies," said Mashchak. The Disney Imagineer also said to look for fun details such as Slinky’s tail bouncing and characters Jesse and Rex talking to each other during the ride. For a coaster, it’s not intense like the park’s Rock 'N’ Roller Coaster and doesn’t have any scary drops so it’s a perfect introduction for kids ready to try a coaster ride.
Notice the Details
While it’s tempting to rush straight to the ride lines, take your time while you walk through this land. Part of the joy is in the details. And there are so many, from Andy’s footprints to benches made out of dominos and wooden racetrack pieces to Disney Easter eggs such as the Disneyland Viewmaster slide in the queue for Toy Story Mania. "Some of my favorites are the K’NEX details that we’ve done," said Mashchak. "Not only the railings that are throughout the land but the K’NEX tower and helicopter." And, yes, in addition to an awesome array of toys, there are hidden Mickeys in the land. This writer won’t give any spoilers but will say that you should take your time looking at Andy’s drawings.
Take a Spin on Alien Swirling Saucers
Inspired by a toy Andy brought home from Pizza Planet, Alien Swirling Saucers features the adorable little green men and the "claaaaaaaaw." If you’re not into spin rides, you may want to give this a go anyway. It’s not as intense as the iconic Mad Tea Party at Magic Kingdom. It’s more of a stern whisk than a dizzy spin.
Get Your Sugar Fix at Woody's Lunch Box
Perhaps one of the most creative quick service counters at Walt Disney World, Woody’s Lunch Box is literally a lunchbox propped up with toys, a thermos and other lunchbox food. And the menu is a lot of fun with items that take you straight back to your childhood such as a s’mores French toast sandwich or an old-fashioned soda float. "The inspiration was to bring back the kid we all have in ourselves," said Hollywood Studios Pastry Chef Sergio Avila Favela. And the food is just as cute as it is tasty. When asked what the best Instagrammable snack is on the menu, the chef chuckled and said, "Oh, the tart." These oven pastries are so much better than the boxed stuff and come in two delicious flavors: hazelnut with bacon bits and (my favorite) raspberry.
Instagram All the #DisneyWalls
If you’re not a Disnerd, you may not know what #DisneyWalls are but, like hidden Mickeys, these Instagram backdrops have become an obsession for park guests. So for those looking for the next great wall, Toy Story Land delivers. There are so many spots, from the colorful building block wall outside the restrooms to a fence made out of popsicle sticks with pastel fruit-stained wood to a larger than life checkerboard.
Take Your Time Walking Past Buzz and Woody
Buzz and Woody are literally a big part of the new land with two larger-than-life structures. You can find Woody at the beginning of the land and Buzz right outside Alien Swirling Saucers. While these toys might seem like they’re just decoration, they actually talk so when you walk past them hang around for a second to hear Woody welcome you as a toy to Andy’s backyard and Buzz speak in Spanish.
Lookout for the Green Army Patrol
You never know who you’ll find in Andy’s backyard. The Green Army Patrolmen (and women!) are extremely fun to watch but, be warned, they just might tell you to drop and give them 20. The Green Army Patrol also have a Drum Corp with a drumline performance that is sure to be a park highlight for the whole family.
Have Fun Waiting in Line
Long wait times don’t sound fun but Toy Story Mania makes the wait worth it with a brand new entrance inside Toy Story Land. While the attraction is the same the queue’s makeover features a carnival setting with tons of nostalgic '90s toys, fun riddles and puzzles to solve on a giant Etch-A-Sketch and an interactive Mr. Potato Head with the best dad jokes.
Rock the New Headbands
Toy Story Land has some fun merchandise such as a Lotso bear that, yes, really does smell like strawberries. But the most creative is the addition of two new headbands. If you love collecting Mickey ears, get ready for these over-the-top accessories. The new alien ears feature googly eyes that glow in the dark and there’s also a slinky dog headband that’s really more like a fascinator because it’s basically a slinky dog on top of your head. "It’s super comfy and plush," said Katie Thompson from the park’s merchandise team. "His little tail wags, too."
Visit Again at Night
Toy Story Land is worth a second visit at night because of all the holiday bulbs wrapped around straws and strewn about Andy’s backyard light up creating a glowing, vibrant primary color wonderland. And riding Slinky Dog Dash at night is super fun with the addition of twinkling LED lights that change the track color.
Over at Disneyland, there’s a new #DisneyWall with Buzz Lightyear wings that’s already a fan favorite on Instagram. You can find it at the very back of Hollywood Land in Disney’s California Adventure. And if you love Disney churros, head to Senor Buzz Churros at Pixar Pier. Inspired by Toy Story 2 when Buzz’s language settings switched to Spanish, you can find galactic churros with a spicy twist. If you’re more Team Woody, head to the Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland for a “Root Boot Float” in a souvenir Woody boot cup. And, yes, it says “Andy” on the bottom.
But the real star might just be the aliens. There are so many adorable accessories and toys for sale at Disney World, and the little, green men have taken over Red Rockett's Pizza Port at Disneyland for a limited time. This is your chance to go to Pizza Planet! Don't miss the alien macarons and alien cake parfaits. Fair warning: You will have a green mouth the rest of the day.
You can see Mike, Sully and yellow CDA agents during the new Pixar Play Parade at Disneyland Park. And if you’re a Disney foodie, there are several new Monsters, Inc.-inspired treats at Disney’s California Adventure such as the non-dairy lemon soft serve (similar to a Dole Whip) at the Adorable Snowman shack and the color-changing noodles at Lucky Fortune Cookery in Pacific Wharf. Just squeeze the lime wedge over the Asian-style salad and watch as the blue noodles magically turn purple.
No spoilers, but prepare to bawl your eyes out through some emotionally-charged tender moments with Carl looking through his adventure book during the Together Forever night show. And if that doesn’t get you, seeing the house with balloons soar past the castle surely will. You can also catch Russell, Doug and even Kevin in the Pixar Play Parade.
Up Float at Pixar Play Parade
CHARACTERS FROM ‘UP’ JOIN ‘PIXAR PLAY PARADE’ (ANAHEIM, Calif.) “Pixar Play Parade” returns to the Disneyland Resort, this time to Disneyland Park as a part of the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration. The delightful parade brings even more fan-favorite Pixar stories to life with the addition of three new story elements. From the Pixar film “Up,” Wilderness Explorer Russell appears astride the colorful flightless bird, Kevin while Carl Fredricksen and Dug follow behind with Carl’s tethered house floating above. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)
If you can’t make it to Disneyland this summer, there’s a lot of Up fun at Disney’s Animal Kingdom such as “Up! A Great Bird Adventure." The new show with Russell and Doug premiered on Earth Day and features exotic birds from around the world.
Together Forever Fireworks Show at Disneyland
TOGETHER FOREVER FIREWORKS – Debuting with Pixar Fest on April 13, 2018, “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” will celebrate Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky over Disneyland Park. Along with dazzling pyrotechnics and memorable music, a heartwarming story celebrates the theme of friendship, an ever-present concept in Pixar animation, connecting guests with characters they’ve come to know and love. “Together Forever” comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)
There are so many Coco-inspired treats for Pixar Fest, from the Coco Churro with Mexican chocolate dipping sauce to the tres leches parfait. And there are beautiful Coco sequences in the Together Forever show with showering marigolds and sugar skulls that magically dance across Sleeping Beauty Castle. Plus, the show features the film’s song "The World Es Mi Familia.”
In similar puppeteer style to "Disney’s The Lion King" on Broadway, you can spot Dory, Nemo and Marlin swimming down Main Street during Disneyland’s Pixar Play Parade. There’s also a float featuring a larger-than-life Crush and Squirt.
Meet Merida at Disney World
RIGHT ON TARGET: Merida, the adventurous heroine from Disney•Pixar’s animated feature film, “Brave,” makes special appearances at Fairytale Garden in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. In addition to meeting Merida, young guests can try their hand at archery practice and interact the three mischievous bear cubs from the film. (Gene Duncan, photographer)
Walt Disney World Resort
Brave isn’t a big part of Pixar Fest at Disneyland, but you can spot the three bears (or, brothers) at the entrance to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. If you want to meet Merida, head down to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. She hangs out at Fairytale Garden in Fantasyland. And the song “Touch the Sky” is also featured in the Happily Ever After night spectacular in front of Cinderella Castle.
In addition to the already popular Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure, you can see Lighting McQueen and the gang in the Together Forever show at Disneyland. And don’t worry if you aren’t super close to the castle for the show. There’s not a bad view. The buildings on Main Street come alive with their own projections, too. During the Cars segment, the buildings turn into a racetrack with cars zooming past.
If you’re a big fan of Wall-E, don’t miss the new Together Forever projection and fireworks show at Disneyland. There are several sweet sequences with Wall-E, and it’s really special seeing it up on the Sleeping Beauty Castle. For couples, check out the new Wall-E- and Eve-inspired Mickey ears for sale at Pixar Pier.
A Bug's Life
In addition to the popular A Bug’s Land already in Disney’s California Adventure, you can see Flik, Princess Atta and Heimlich in Disneyland during the Pixar Play Parade. Note: Most of the floats have water cannons and bubble blasters so, if you’re in front on the curb, you will get wet.
Inspired by the literally hotheaded Anger from Inside Out, the new Angry Dogs kiosk at Pixar Pier features a “Slightly Annoyed Dog” and the “Angry Dog” (served with hot fries). If you visit the newly remodeled Lamplight Lounge, the doors to the kitchen say “Inside” and “Out.”
You can also meet Joy and Sadness at “headquarters” at Walt Disney World. You’ll find them in Epcot near Future World. FastPass+ isn’t offered for this meet-and-greet, so check the My Disney Experience app for daily times and appearances.
You can find a Ratatouille-inspired three-course prix fixe at Cafe Orleans in Disneyland. The meal features a cheese board, shrimp ratatouille (of course) and berry-stuffed beignets. If that’s not enough, a new Ratatouille attraction is in the works at Walt Disney World in Epcot’s France pavilion.
For the mega fans, Disney is also celebrating the incredible Pixar shorts with a film festival at Disney's California Adventure. Starting July 20, you can watch select shorts in 3-D at the Sunset Showcase Theatre in Hollywood Land.