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Pixar Fest at The Disneyland Resort 2018


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A day at The Disneyland Resort is always one of the best days you can have. So when Disney invited Theme Park Review for not 1 day, but 2 days of fun celebrating "Pixar Fest," Brittney and I were overflowing with excitement! On April 12 we packed our sunscreen and some snacks and headed to the Disneyland Resort for what was sure to be an awesome event - and it totally delivered! For Pixar Fest Disney has swapped and improved two of their best Parades (the Pixar Play Parade moves to Disneyland and Paint the Night moves to DCA), added an all-new fireworks show with some brand new special effects (Together Forever - A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular), added brand new character meet and greets, whipped up delicious foods and drinks, and created tons of awesome merchandise! The event is the biggest celebration of Pixar ever at a Disney Park! Pixar Fest runs through September 3rd, 2018. Check out our report below to see everything that’s in store!

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We’re at the Disneyland Resort to check out Pixar Fest - a celebration of all things Pixar!

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Pixar Fest banners are hanging throughout Downtown Disney and the Esplanade, getting guests ready for the celebration.

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First up we headed into Disneyland to check out the Pixar Play Parade. We even had a reserved viewing location!

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This parade has moved from California Adventure to Disneyland, and receieved some upgrades in the process. The giant Pixar ball leads the way.

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The first float is brand new! It’s modeled after the Pixar Lamp that introduces every Pixar movie.

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The parade has characters from Monster’s Inc.

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And The Incredibles!

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There are special effects such as fire, bubbles, and water.

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Here’s another brand new float from Pixar’s Inside Out!

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Nemo and Marlin!

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Duuuuude! This float so totally rocks!

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Heimlich always gets a great response from the crowd.

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Disneyland’s streets are smaller than DCA’s, so everything seems closer than ever. You can see how close the giant floats get to the crowd!

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Also brand new is the Pixar Up float.

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The Pixar Play Parade was always a lot of fun, but it’s even better at Disneyland with the new floats and in-your-face action!

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We’re going to be doing a lot of park hopping over the next 2 days! Lets start it off by hopping over to DCA!

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Totally not Pixar related, but Brittney couldn’t resist showing off the Dole Whip and Mickey Pretzel plushes - they’re too cute!

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On the subject of merchandise, here’s the AP-exclusive Pixar shirt!

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And here’s a small taste of the other Pixar Fest merchandise that’s available...

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There are T-shirts...

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Hats...

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Friendship bracelets...

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Charms...

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Double-sided pouches with Pixar friends on each side.

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We headed over to the Hyperion Theater for a special presentation.

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The stage was decorated for the event.

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Bob Chapek, Chairman of Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products, came on stage to welcome everyone to the event.

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He teased all the awesome things in store for Pixar Fest.

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And he got the crowd excited for Pixar Pier and the Incredicoaster - opening in June.

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Also debuting in June is the movie “Incredibles 2” - so as a special surprise they debuted the trailer for the film - we were the first audience in the world to see it! Since it was being shown a day before its public release we weren’t allowed to take any photos or video during the trailer, but it looked great! If you’re interested in seeing it, the trailer has since gone public - so you can look it up online!

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Josh D’Amaro, the new President of the Disneyland Resort, then came on stage and talked about Pixar Fest and how the event will celebrate the spirit of friendship found in Pixar movies.

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He also talked about some of the new Pixar merchandise. Check out those Wall-E ears! They’re cool on their own, but even better - when the Eve and Wall-E ears get close you can see a hidden heart in the ears.

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Josh also showed off his Pixar alien socks.

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He spoke about Pixar Pier - saying that it will feature re-imagined merchandise, entertainment, games, attractions, and dining experiences.

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Susana Tubert, Disney Parks Live Entertainment Creative Director, then came on stage to talk about the entertainment at Pixar Fest.

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You’ll be able to meet with lots of Pixar Pals at Paradise Gardens.

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Paint the Night has returned, and beginning June 15 there will be a new Incredibles float added to the parade!

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Susana also talked about “Together Forever - A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular,” the brand new fireworks show at Disneyland filled with sound, lighting, special effects, and stunning fireworks. We'll be checking it out in person later!

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After the presentation, Disney had a huge surprise in store! Jordan Fisher and Olivia Holt came on stage to perform a new version of, “You’ve Got a Friend In Me,” created just for Pixar Fest!

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So cool!!!

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They were even joined on stage by a large cast of Pixar characters!

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This special version of the famous song was really beautiful!

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It was such a fun surprise, and we were right next to the stage for it!

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Afterwards we headed outside where a celebration was just getting underway!

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Disney had all sorts of Pixar Fest food and drink items for us to try. Here’s the Up-inspired Fried Bologna Sandwich.

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The Chilled Noodle Salad was delicious!

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Habanero Meatball Cone.

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Cheeseburger Pizza!?!?

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Over on the dessert table was Ensalada de Frutas.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Pastries.

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The Alien Macarons stole the show!

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The Pixar Cake was really awesome as well!

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There were lots of balloon decorations. It must have taken forever to blow all of these up!

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Decisions, decisions. Actually, it was an easy decision - since we were steps from the Hollywood Red Car Trolleys, Red Trolley Ale was the obvious beer to choose!

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Brittney got you some wine! Enjoy!

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Disney gave the media two pairs of the same socks, and encouraged us to make friends to trade with. Brittney found someone who was happy to trade their Toy Story socks for her Monster’s Inc. socks. She was kind of excited about it!

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They even had Up-inspired Grape Soda Slush! It was delicious and refreshing!

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As night started to fall on the party the atmosphere lit up with pretty colored lights and a warm glow.

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To infinity, and beyond!

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To macaron, and beyond!

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Wait a minute! Those macarons aren’t vegan! Brittney is totally losing her vegan powers right now - nobody tell the vegan police! (The macarons were just too cute, and she really, really wanted one)

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I found her three days later in some dark corner of the resort overdosing on alien macarons.

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The party was a ton of fun, but we had to keep on swimming because the premiere of the Paint the Night Parade at DCA was about to begin. Here it comes now around Carthay Circle Theater for the first time ever!

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Paint the night is my personal favorite parade on planet Earth! You MUST see it! It’s so bright, colorful, and fun from beginning to end!

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All the floats and costumes light up, many in unique and interesting ways.

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It’s inspired by the original Main Street Electrical Parade, but it updates that parade with new technology and characters. Paint the Night even has a bit of the Electrical Parade’s “Baroque Hoedown” music as a tribute, remixed for a modern audience!

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The Cars floats are my favorites! Lighting McQueen guides the way for Mack, a full-size light up big-rig pulling a giant 3-d light screen!

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Here comes Mack!

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Each little ball in the trailer can be made to light up any color - making this a giant 3-d screen of light!

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The screen makes lots of pretty patterns and shapes. Here it’s displaying some spheres!

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There are so many interesting costumes in the parade that light up in unusual ways.

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And lots of Disney and Pixar characters to keep guests entertained!

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Nemo and Marlin swim through a sea of jellyfish.

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Here comes Slink!

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Hi Woody!

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Ooooooooh!

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I’m liking this float a lot!

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I learned that there are 1.5 million points of light in this parade! Which is really impressive considering my Christmas tree has around 100 lights, and I struggle to keep that lit up!

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The final float has Mickey Mouse high above the ground with an abstract light-up kinetic sculpture behind him!

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Some guests even decorated their strollers to celebrate the return of Paint the Night! So much fun!

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Time to make the park hop again over to Disneyland for Together Forever - A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular! On the way out of DCA we looked back to check out the lights on the Pixar Fest sign. The Pixar Fest signs look great lit up!

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Look up! The fireworks are starting!

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This is a brand new fireworks show just for Pixar Fest!

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And there are lots of special surprises. The house from Up may be the coolest thing to have ever flown over Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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Pixar fans will definitely love seeing this! (Photo: Disney)

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There are lots of great places to watch the parade, and you get a different experience in each place. There are projections on the buildings of Main Street, The Castle, and It’s a Small World. And over at the Rivers of America, the Fantasmic water screens and special effects are used to enhance the show! (Photo: Disney)

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On Main Street 10 figures pop up on top of the buildings during the Coco scene and there’s all-new surround sound audio!

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No matter where you watch it, it’s an awesome celebration of friendship and the perfect end to the night! (Photo: Disney)

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You can’t have fireworks without a grand finale!

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After the fireworks we shot some interviews to learn more about all the new additions coming to Pixar Fest. Check back soon to see our interviews - I’ll add them here when they’re up!

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We even got to take photos on one of the Incredibles vehicles! That’s it for the first night, but there’s still an entire day of Pixar Fest fun left!

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Day 2 begins with a monorail ride into Disneyland on one of the awesome new Pixar-Themed monorails. It’s a rule - any day that begins with a monorail ride is going to be a great day!

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Since Pixar Fest is celebrating friendship, Brittney brought some of her Pixar pals from home to come hang out with their friends at Disneyland!

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Nemo and Dory were super excited to take a ride on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage!

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Once we got out into the open water they swam out of the submarine and into the attraction where they met up with Marlin!

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Watch out guys, these waters can be dangerous!

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At the end of the ride Nemo and Dory met up with all of their friends!

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They thanked us for bringing them to Disneyland to be with their friends and wished us well as we re-surfaced!

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Here’s the orange Incredibles Monorail over the Lagoon. I love the Pixar monorails! (report continued below...)

Edited by ILoveRides
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... continued from above.

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Oh no, one of the seagulls broke free and is getting away!

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Next up, It’s a Small World.

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Do you follow Theme Park Review on Twitter? If not, you should! We gave away these awesome Pixar Fest items while we were live Tweeting from the event! While it’s too late to get these items, there will definitely be other contests in the future - so go follow TPR now to stay in the loop!

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We brought RC along on Small World to see if we could find him some friends to hang out with. It may be a small world after all, but to a little toy car the world is huge!

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Small World is always fun!

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And they always pump the AC inside, which is totally awesome on those hot So Cal days.

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Every time I look at photos from this ride the music gets stuck in my head. I’m literally humming “It’s a Small World” at my desk as I’m typing this.

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This hippo has always been my favorite character in the attraction.

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Hey look RC! We found your pals Woody and Sally! Say hi!

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RC was super excited and thanked us for bringing him to see his friends!

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Truth!

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Next lets go see Pizza Port - err, Pizza Planet - where some changes have clearly taken place.

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It seems green aliens have taken over Pizza Port for Pixar Fest, changing it into Pizza Planet “A Better Place!”

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A friendly employee and a green alien greeted us at the entrance.

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There are some small menu changes and additions. You can even get a green alien slushy now!

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Eating with some friends!

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Throughout the restaurant there are green aliens flying.

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I love the new decorations!

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There are also alien-inspired travel posters hanging all around the restaurant.

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Oooooooooooooooh!

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The alien parfait seemed like a huge hit!

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Brittney slurped up the last few drops of alien slushy, and we hit the road.

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Oh no! As we were leaving we were stopped by some storm troopers who demanded to see identification.

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I suppose Brittney’s ID was permissible because they allowed us to continue on. These characters are really hilarious - definitely interact with them if you see them wandering around. It’s also a great preview of the fun experiences to come when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens next year!

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Next we hopped on the train to see the new changes that opened several months back. To make way for Star Wars Land the Rivers of America were made smaller, and the train was re-routed. Initially it seemed like this would be terrible news - but Disney took this as an opportunity to plus the train ride, and boy did it work out! Every train fan knows that bridges and tunnels make great additions to train layouts, and this grand bridge running over waterfalls is a jaw-droppingly gorgeous addition to the train.

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The train used to only have right turns, but now as it approaches Big Thunder Mountain there is a left turn. This makes it feel more like a real train meandering through the wilderness, and not just a circle of track around Disneyland. Also, check out all that brand new rock-work - it’s really spectacular!

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Here’s a shot looking backwards across the bridge. It’s just wonderful! As a big train fan I was really excited to see this, and I’m so pleased that it turned out so great.

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The train then turns right again as it goes into this new tunnel and re-connects with its original layout.

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Over in the Grand Canyon and Primeval Worlds, lots of subtle improvements have been made.

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There’s new lighting and some special effects - including a storm scene with lightning.

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And after the storm, rainbows appear.

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The changes enhance the feel of the dioramas without spoiling any of their original charm.

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All the dinosaurs you’ve come to know and love are still there!

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These guys are STILL drinking water - they must be really thirsty!

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And these guys are STILL fighting! Will we ever know who wins the battle!?

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I was as giddy as a gumdrop after riding the refreshed train, but I wanted to see the new bridges and waterfalls from off the train as well, so we headed to the Mark Twain to get a better look at everything.

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You get a great view of this figure from the top deck of the boat.

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And you can really appreciate all the waterfalls from the boat as well.

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From the train you see the bridges and the river, but from the boat you can see all the rushing water underneath the bridges.

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Zoomed in, here’s a peek at Star Wars Land!

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The Star Wars Land construction is really coming along - only about a year left until it’s open!

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In typical Disney fashion, small details abound, such as this beaver gnawing at the wood on the bridge.

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The massive rock-work fits in well with its surroundings, which must have been a challenge considering it has to blend with the Old West rocks of Big Thunder Mountain and the futuristic space rocks of Star Wars Land at the same time.

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There are various Native American scenes at different heights so that wherever you are on the boat you have something to look at!

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This eagle’s nest is a nice touch!

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Gertrude approves of all the new scenes!

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Here’s one last shot of the trestle with Star Wars construction behind. If this doesn’t get you excited for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, nothing will!

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Since Star Wars Land isn’t open yet, we decided to get to space another way - on Space Mountain!

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A roller coaster-type ride in the dark.

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In the spirit of Pixar Fest, we harnessed our inner Buzz Lightyear! To infinity, and beyond!

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Speaking of Buzz, next we headed over to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

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We brought along Woody and Bullseye to hang out with their friend Buzz!

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Then we grabbed a laser gun to save the universe!

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It’s Emperor Zurg, get him!

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Honestly not a bad score considering I was shooting with a camera as much as I was shooting with my laser gun!

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At the Astro Blasters exit is a cool Pixar Fest merchandise display.

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Brittney is showing off one of the Pixar Fest shirts.

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Here’s the Pixar Fest 2018 mug.

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There are even 2-sided ornaments with different Pixar friends on each side of the ornament.

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It isn’t a trip to Disneyland without Dole Whip! Who wants some?

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I do!

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Next we headed to Pirates to bid farewell to a VERY iconic amusement park scene.

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Nope, not this iconic scene.

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Not this iconic scene either.

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Ahh, there it is. The bride auction. It’s one of the most famous and iconic amusement park scenes ever created. But alas, times change, and despite the fact that pirates are a scummy bunch of people who do stuff like this, it’s no longer considered appropriate to show scummy pirate behavior in an amusement park setting. So, for better or worse, the scene is going the way of the dodo.

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It will definitely be missed. Hopefully the replacement scene lives up to the original!

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Regardless, Pirates still has some of the greatest sets of any attraction ever built!

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In my opinion, the set design of this attraction is unmatched even today.

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It’s as good as it gets!

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As the sun set we headed to Sleeping Beauty Castle to take some photos.

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Our Photopass photographer, Dylan L, did such an awesome job!

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He spotted our Pixar Fest socks and laid down flat on the ground to get a photo of them! Without us even asking! Who does that? We’re so happy he was able to help us capture some great photos.

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The Castle is so pretty at night!

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Time for one more park hop over to DCA to experience more Pixar awesomeness. Construction is well underway on Pixar Pier!

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We brought our Toy Story Lego Green Army Man to Midway Mania so he could be with his friends!

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He loved riding and playing along.

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When we got to the military plate-breaking game he hopped on his radio and sent in commands to his teammates. He was super happy to be included in the fun!

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Over in Cars Land the cars have dressed up for Pixar Fest.

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Radiator Springs was looking as gorgeous as ever!

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It’s time to ride our favorite Pixar attraction, Radiator Springs Racers! (report continued below...)

Edited by ILoveRides
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... continued from above.

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It’s hard to believe it has been 6 years since Cars Land opened! It still looks as new and impressive as day one!

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It doesn’t matter how many times I see it, the rock-work in Cars Land always amazes me.

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What’s up Mater? Lets go tractor tipping!

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Success!

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I bet our car could win a race against either of these two!

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For some reason I usually end up in Luigi’s Tire Shop, but today we lucked out and got to go to Ramone’s Paint Shop!

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Mmmmm, paint smell. (Is that a good thing?)

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We had a very close race, and came out victorious at the very last second!

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After our successful race we wandered around Cars Land taking in the sights.

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These Cars-themed Pixar movie posters were hilarious!

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All the neon is so pretty!

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We even spotted Buzz Lightyear hiding out in the Cozy Cone Motel!

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It’s like a Pixar world within a Pixar world - Pixar Inception!

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We went into these 2 days expecting it to be amazing fun, and we weren’t disappointed! Pixar Fest is such an awesome celebration of all things Pixar! There’s Pixar rides, entertainment, shows, food and drink, merchandise, and so much more! And that’s on top of everything you know and love at The Disneyland Resort. Pixar Fest runs through September 3rd, 2018 - don’t miss it! Thanks to Disney for inviting us to attend, and thanks to you for checking out our report!

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This has to be your biggest photo-TR, right?! Thanks for all the photos, I really miss DL and DCA now! I'm so thankful I got to sneak in a visit in February but I really need to get back there for more than 8 hours to enjoy the park on a slow pace

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This has to be your biggest photo-TR, right?!

 

The only one I can think of off-hand that might be bigger is the Cars Land opening report, but that got broken up into 3 separate parts! I usually try to keep them shorter, but I really wanted to show stuff like Pirates and the train in this one, along with the full day of enjoying Pixar stuff!

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Awesome TR on everything you did, saw, ate, drank, ooohed and awwed at.

Pixar Fest looks like it's going to be a great event at both parks.

 

I never get tired at looking what foodstuffs the Disney Team comes up with,

during special event times, etc. Eating any of it would be a PLUS, but I can dream.

 

Many thanks for posting all of this!

 

EDIT p.s. The train shots of all the new trestle and rock/water areas, look

Edited by Nrthwnd
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wonderful pics!

 

looks like a great time, and really, I expect I'll be spending some time today (instead of working), going back and looking at the pics a bunch of times.

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Great report! Tons of awesome pics and details. I'm impressed with this promotion - looks terrific! And oh, that food...

 

In describing the transformation of Pixar Pier, specifically the Incredicoaster, did they mention if they are going to re-paint the coaster? I am very excited for the thematic changes to this ride, but hope they take the time to re-paint it while they have all that scaffolding up, as it will truly make this coaster pop. It was looking pretty worn-down and drab the last time I rode it.

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When I was there last week, the scream tubes near Midway Mania were already painted that really vibrant Incredibles Red and really popped. -

 

That's awesome - yes, I've seen some of the pics of the scream tubes and they look really great. I'm just hoping they're able to paint the track and supports as well before re-opening in June. We'll see!

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I have not been to DL or DCA since my boys were little but you captured it all so well that a visit this Summer is in order. You write the best TRs with great photos...! Looking forward to a KBF Hang Time Opening report soon!

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