Pixar Fest is coming to Disneyland California

Pixar Fest opens on Friday 13 April, but Vacations & Travel magazine has been lucky enough to come to Disneyland for a sneak peak, that included the popular Fantasmic!.

Fantasmic reimagined

To get us in the “Disney” mood, tonight we ventured into Frontierland, sitting on the shores of the Rivers of America to watch Fantasmic!, a classic light and fireworks show that shows just what a bit of imagination – make that a lot – can do.

Disneyland, California, Fantasmic, Mickey Mouse

Fantasmic! has been delighting crowds for over 25 years, with the new version, launched last July, adding a host of new magic and adding new, much-loved characters. New projections featuring vibrant colours are a great background to Mickey, who is resplendent in his sorcerer’s coat, as well as the dancing fountains, and the river boats that slide into view for their starring roles. We have beautifully-decorated barges with loved-up couples such as Belle (Beauty) and her Beast and Ariel and her Prince, with Aladdin and Jasmine floating about on a carpet above. We have Jack Sparrow and friends sailing in on their pirate ship while swinging about the rigging, and we have the Mark Twain riverboat, its decks full of Disney characters, waving merrily as they steam past.

DIsneyland Resort, California, Pirates of the Caribbean

But that’s not all folks, we stay put for a few minutes and then have a preview of the brand new Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular. We see snippets of what will be an incredible lightshow on the many faces and turrets of Sleeping Beauty Castle, and the wonderful, magical, beautiful fireworks that turn everyone’s mouths into a smiling ‘o’ of wonder.

So with visions of so many Disney movies playing in my mind – Up, Toy Story, Lion King, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo are just a few – I hit the sack like an excited kid, marvelling at what lies ahead tomorrow.

Disneyland, California, Mark Twain riverboat, Fantasmic


  • Central to the magic of “Fantasmic!” are the three mist screens upon which the films are projected.
  • Scenes feature songs such as “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World” from Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin.”
  • A crew of ghost pirates man an eerie pirate ship that appears on the Rivers of  America. These professional stunt performers execute all the spectacular duels and falls.
  • More than 100 cast and crew bring Fantasmic! to life, in the 23-minute show.
  • The wicked Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty  rises to a height of 13 metres (45 feet) in 17 seconds, before transforming into the dragon.
  • The dragon is a fully animated three-dimensional design that replicates the movements of the dragon in Sleeping Beauty.
  • The dragon lights the Rivers of America on fire for 25 seconds
  • Water effects include 21 fountains and six “whale tails” in the scene when Monstro the whale charges across the Rivers of America
  • At the beginning of the show, two light towers appear on either side of the main stage. During the day, these towers sit seven metres underground. They rise to a height of 12 metres in less than a minute.
  • Kaa, the conniving snake from The Jungle Book who slithers across the Fantasmic! stage, is 30 metres (100 feet) long.
Fantasmic, Disneyland Resort, Kaa


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