Pixar is taking over the Disneyland Resort next year as both parks get a major dose of characters and story from the film studio’s beloved filmography.
Let’s start with the temporary stuff: Pixar Fest. A new limited-time nighttime spectacular will debut at Disneyland on April 13 called Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular. The show will feature fireworks and projections on Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Matterhorn, Main Street, the Rivers of America, and It’s a Small World. You can expect to see all your favorite Pixar characters in the show, but the concept art confirms Cars will be featured. I know, you’re shocked. Buzz Lightyear will fly around the castle, which sounds like something not to miss
Also part of Pixar Fest, as confirmed at the D23 Expo In July, is the relocation of the Pixar Play Parade to Disneyland for a limited run. We’ll also see the return of the excellent Paint the Night parade with a new Pixar franchise joining Cars, Toy Story and Monsters Inc. which are already in the show. Any guesses as to what you think the new characters in the parade will be?
And now we move on to the permanent stuff across the way at California Adventure. Details of Paradise Pier’s transformation into Pixar Pier are going see quite a few changes coming to the area, including different sections, or “neighborhoods,” on the pier themed to different franchises.
The first is a neighborhood dedicated to The Incredibles. The big change is that California Screamin’ will become Incredicoaster. It will feature new ride vehicles and a pretty snazzy loading area with mid-century modern style features that look pretty nice. See the concept art below. If you look closely you can see Frozone painted to the left of the building. There will also be “character moments” in the attraction, so it’s time to bid farewell to on ride audio featuring Neil Patrick Harris. The attraction will close on January 8 to start undergoing changes.
The next neighborhood will be Toy Story-themed and anchored around Toy Story Mania! And the third neighborhood will be themed to Inside Out with a new attraction coming at an undisclosed future date (don’t expect to see that anytime next year).
The carousel can be seen in the concept art with topped in yellow and red, but Disney’s not sharing how it will be incorporated into the new pier yet. Sitting between Incredicoaster and Mania!, it could go either way, but my money’s on Toy Story.
The fourth and final neighborhood will be a catch-all for the rest of Pixar’s franchises (except for Cars of course, they’ve already got plenty of real estate). This will encompass the area around Mickey’s Fun Wheel who is not getting the boot at the center of the wheel. Mickey’s happy face will remain, though you may remember the earlier concept art the new name will be Pixar Fun Wheel.
Each gondola will feature Pixar characters and the wheel will get a more colorful paint job. The wheel also closes on January 8, so get your rides in before then. The games along the boardwalk will also see more Pixar characters alongside the Bullseye-themed game that’s already there. Nothing too exciting there.
Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar will also become a new lounge and grill, though no further details have been released yet. Both locations close on January 8, but Cove Bar will temporarily reopen in April before closing again until its relaunch.
The rest of the pier past the boardwalk shops will be renamed Paradise Park and it sounds like it’ll remain mostly unchanged, at least for now. Paradise Gardens, Silly Symphony Swings, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Goofy’s Sky School, Golden Zephyr and The Ariel’s Undersea Adventure are sticking around.
Pixar Pier will launch during the Pixar Fest celebration, potentially giving Imagineers just over three months to pull off the transformation. It’s a much quicker turnaround than we’re used to seeing from Disney for a project of this size, even though there are no new attractions coming with the launch. Are you excited about what is coming next year or do you think it’s overkill?