Pixar Fest, the biggest celebration of stories and characters from Pixar Animation Studios to ever come to Disney Parks, kicked off at a glittering event on Thursday 12 April at Disneyland California. Attended by many domestic and international media, the three-tiered event had all the magic, wow factor and beauty that Disney is known for.
The first of the three main events, the Pixar Play Parade, jiggled and danced up Main Street USA in Disneyland Resort, with the popular parade showing off its new elements. One of the new inclusions is Luxo Jr, Pixar’s famous desk lamp, who leads the parade, while Mr Fredricksen, Russell, Kevin and Dug from the tearjerker Up as well as Joy and Sadness from Inside Out also joined in the fun. The upbeat parade has toes tapping and smiles beaming for the entire time.
Next up was Paint the Night, a high energy parade that lit up in more ways than one. The parade shines with 1 million brilliant LED lights on floats, costumes and props, accompanied by a great soundtrack. Highlights were Mack Truck and Lightning McQueen from Cars, Ariel and her sea creature friends, Buzz, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc, Goofy, Donald and Mickey Mouse, and a whole lot more. The parade was spectacular, with the wizardry of the technology behind costumes, characters and floats really mind blowing. The crowds really loved it with many clapping and singing along – including me.
Saving the best until last, Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular combines projections, fireworks, lights, action and music in an incredibly moving and beautiful show. Focusing on that incredible bond that forms when characters, or people for that matter, fall in like to be forever friends, the show comes to life through projections on 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.
We are in Main Street and as the first fireworks go up, we are transfixed on the amazing images appearing on the castle or on the buildings beside us. We see Buzz Light Year flying across the sky, giving Tinkerbell a break from her customary role. The soundtrack plucks heartstrings and draws a tear or two as some of Pixar’s favourite characters and scenes sweep and form across the castle. A highlight is the house and balloon from Up floating across the sky, and characters from Coco appearing on the front and on top of buildings nearby.
It is the perfect end to a perfect Pixar day, and when strolling back the hotel, the people all around me are smiling, happy and thinking about the value of true friendship, brought home by characters that might be animated, but play on our emotions like a virtuoso. •
Photography by Helen Hayes and Disneyland Resort.
- Pixar Fest is on from 13 April to 3 September, 2018.
Other events during Pixar Fest
- A collection of Pixar Shorts will be featured at the Sunset Showcase Theater at Disney California Adventure during most of Pixar Fest, including favourites such as “For the Birds” and “LAVA.” The short films will rotate during the celebration.
- In the Paradise Gardens area of Disney California Adventure, guests will be treated to the musical sounds of TripleDent Gum presents The Pixarmonic Orchestra. This zany, seven-piece band performs a fun-filled repertoire of songs from Pixar films with unconventional instruments such as cowbells, kazoos, duck calls, sirens and slide whistles. Guests may also discover opportunities to greet Pixar characters in this Pixar Pals area at Paradise Gardens.
- Special renditions of the hit song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” from the film “Toy Story,” will be performed by several musical groups, including the Disneyland Band, Straw Hatters, Dapper Dans, Main Street Piano Player, Royal Street Bachelors, Jambalaya Jazz Band and Mariachi Divas.
- Special Pixar-inspired food will be served around the Parks, along with special merchandise and jewellery.
- Disneyland Resort California – disneyland.disney.go.com