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Disneyland Pixar Fest with Kids (2024 Event Guide)

Disneyland Pixar Fest with Kids (2024 Event Guide)


Held at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park, Pixar Fest is the Southern California theme parks’ biggest Pixar celebration yet! Guests can revel in all things Pixar during this multi-month Disneyland Resort theme parks event. Find out everything you need to know about doing Disneyland Pixar Fest with kids.

Disneyland Pixar Cake in display at Plaza Inn restaurant

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I received complimentary admission and hotel accommodations to cover the Disneyland Pixar Fest event. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Disneyland Pixar Fest Event Details

What: Disney parks Pixar Fest is a resort-wide celebration of the films and characters from Pixar Animation Studios.

Where: Exclusive Pixar Fest activities happen at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park.

Who: This event offers Pixar fun for all ages! Guests 3 and up require a park ticket and valid theme park reservation. Children who have not met their third birthday have complimentary admission.

When: Pixar Fest events happen for a limited time, from April 26-Aug. 4, 2024.

Pixar Fest display in esplanade at Disneyland

Disneyland Pixar Fest with Kids

All the fan-favorite Pixar worlds combine to create this awesome event! If you’re visiting the SoCal theme parks with children, what are the must-know tips to maximize your days? Keep reading for all the important information about doing Disneyland Pixar Fest with kids!

This article outline offers details on the entire Pixar pals celebration, with special advice on taking kids to Disneyland’s Pixar Fest. Here’s what you’ll find in this post:

  • Entertainment for Pixar Fest
  • Pixar Fest Foods
  • Top Characters to See During Pixar Fest
  • Best Pixar Fest Souvenirs for Kids
  • Kid’s Pixar Fest Itinerary
  • Creating the Ultimate Pixar-Themed Disneyland Vacation

Disneyland Tickets for Pixar Fest

Pixar Fest is happening at both Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park. An additional special event ticket is not required. All Pixar Fest entertainment is included with a regular theme park ticket.

Is Park Hopping Important During Pixar Fest?

Event entertainment, character meetings and some themed foods are unique within each park. Some activities take place at Disneyland only, while other events are featured only at Disney California Adventure.

It is highly recommended to purchase a Disneyland Park Hopper ticket to take advantage of each of the two theme parks.

Guests may make a theme park reservation at their starting park, then “hop” to the other park after 11:00 am.

Disneyland pixar fest ticket with woody

Should I Purchase Disney Genie+?

Disney Genie+ is a replacement system for the old Fastpass & Maxpass. Guests who purchase Disney Genie+ can access shorter wait times through the Lightning Lane (formerly called Fastpass lines).

Pixar Fest is sure to be a busy event, bringing in large crowds. Disneyland’s Pixar Fest also overlaps with Star Wars: Season of the Force, which takes place from April 5th – June 2nd, 2024. Disney Genie+ is encouraged, especially if you aim to ride attractions during your trip.

Click through for special offers on tickets, including Disneyland Park Hopper with Disney Genie+.

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Disneyland tickets purchased now are good through January 12th, 2025. Purchase your multi-day tickets through Get Away Today today and lock in the best pricing of the year.

When you’re ready to book your Disneyland vacation, my friends at Get Away Today are ready to help! Mention code REWRITTEN to receive an extra discount off your SoCal vacation package (when booking 2+ nights with two or more tickets).

Entertainment for Pixar Fest at Disneyland

Disney live entertainment goes all out, and Pixar Fest is no exception. Expect to see colorful décor, high-energy dancing, and iconic music, all in keeping with the Pixar stories.

When visiting Pixar Fest at Disneyland with kids, schedule out your day to include time for these activities. Kids will often want to linger, especially when there are hands-on activities, characters, or dancing.

Check the times of operations for the events in the Disneyland app in anticipation of your visit. Expect to find crowds during the busiest hours of the day. Aim to stop in when events first open.

Pixar Pals Playtime Party

Held at the Fantasyland Theatre throughout the day, this family-friendly area is a great place for kids to dance, play games and do activities inspired by Pixar feature films. Characters meet n’ greet here, so be sure to check the Disneyland app for exact times. Look for characters from Luca, UP!, Elemental, and Onward.

There are also photo locations and iconic shorts playing on the big screen. My kids were delighted to watch one of their favorite shorts, “Bao”. There’s plenty of shaded bench seating in the arena, and guests may bring in snacks and extend their visit while resting.

Nearby, the Troubadour Tavern has changed up their usual menu to offer up Pixar-inspired drinks and foods. Kids will enjoy items like the Mixed Emotions Popcorn, Lotso Berry Lemonade, and Firetown Mac & Cheese Bites.

UP! photo op within the Pixar Pals Playtime Party area

“Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular”

The Pixar nighttime spectacular returns for Disneyland Pixar Fest. Scenes remain from the original productions, while newly added scenes and characters enhance the show in 2024.

This Disneyland spectacular includes projections, lasers and memorable Pixar music. Fireworks don’t happen every night, so be sure to check the entertainment guide on the website or in the app for details and showtimes.

The premium fireworks viewing takes place on Main Street U.S.A., in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. As you can imagine, crowd levels here are intense. For less crowded options, try watching the show from the Rivers of America or my favorite, the façade of “it’s a small world”.

Disney California Adventure Park Entertainment for Pixar Fest

If you thought you had your fill of Pixar Fest at Disneyland park, you’ve got even more happening at Disney California Adventure! With a dynamic daytime parade, dance party and food festival, you’ll want to make time for both theme parks.

“Better Together: A Pixar Pals Celebration!” Parade

With colorful floats, Pixar characters, dancing and music, this new parade at Disney California Adventure is can’t miss. Two dozen Pixar characters appear in this new parade, including both classic and new characters.

This new daytime parade happens twice daily in the late afternoon/evening hours (check the event calendar in the app for times during your visit).

In general, the parade route in California Adventure is long and usually easy to find viewing. However, as this is a new production, it’s recommended to stake out a spot early. Prime viewing locations include the curb in Hollywood Land and Paradise Garden area.

Parade Viewing Dining Package

If you want to ensure a great parade view for the entire family, consider booking the Sonoma Terrace parade viewing dining package.

For $69 cost (each guest over 3), you’ll receive a premium viewing location and reserved seating along the Sonoma Terrace area next to Wine Country Trattoria. Each guest receives a selection of Pixar-inspired foods, desserts and cheeses and unlimited soft drinks, bottled water. Coffee and a specialty mocktail is also offered.

Advance reservations are required and can be booked 60 days in advance online or in the app. I highly recommend using MouseDining to score these coveted reservations.

Disneyland pixar fest dessert party food

Club Pixar

Located in the Hollywood Backlot area, Club Pixar offers guests a lively nighttime party. The area decor is inspired by the characters and stories from Pixar Animation Studios.

Look for an interactive DJ dance party, live performances, themed food and beverages, appropriate for all ages.

Club Pixar image from Disney Parks
Image credit: Disneyland Parks

Dance Party Tips for Disneyland Pixar Fest with Kids

To make this nighttime party scene kid-friendly, take into consideration your own child’s temperament. The noise level will be high and crowd levels increased in this area.

If your child doesn’t appreciate the dance club atmosphere, consider skipping Club Pixar or finding solutions that will help them enjoy it. Noise cancelling headphones and visiting in the late hours before park closing can ease some of the concerning aspects.

It can be very easy to lose a child in high-energy atmospheres like this. If your children tend to get separated from you, have a discussion about what they should do if they find themselves lost. Designate a meeting place nearby but away from the large crowds to reconnect. I also highly suggest using glow in the dark jewelry to help you spot your kid in the crowds.

Little girl sitting stroller wears glow in the dark necklaces and bracelets.

Top Disneyland Pixar Fest Foods

It wouldn’t be a Disneyland special event without creative themed food and snacks! Pixar Fest delivers with a great number of themed menu items at various locations, including both parks and Downtown Disney.

Must-Try Foods at Disneyland Pixar Fest with Kids

  • The colorful and delicious Pixar Fest Cake from Plaza Inn returns.
  • Try the kid-friendly Cheeseburger Pizza and Green Drink from Alien Pizza Planet.
  • Lamplight Lounge non-alcoholic drinks like the 2319 and Goofball Island are hits with kids and adults alike.
  • Paradise Garden Grill offers up a menu inspired by the movie Coco, including Red Velvet Tres Leches Parfait that’s topped with a chocolate candy skull.
  • Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff regularly stocks Pixar-themed snacks, including this Forky Cake Pop.
Little girl wearing Jessie the cowgirl dress holds a Forky Toy Story character cake pop

Pixar Marketplace

In Disney California Adventure park, within the Paradise Garden area, there are six different marketplace booths. These festival-type kiosks offer uniquely themed foods based on Pixar Animation Studio films.

  • Portorosso Pasta – “Luca”
  • Gusteau’s To-Go – “Ratatouille” 
  • The Elemental Table – “Elemental” 
  • 4*Town Fav*4*ites – “Turning Red”
  • The Spark – “Soul” 
  • Hanger Management – “Inside Out.” 

Expect the Disney California Adventure food marketplace to operate similarly to the dining booths during Lunar New Year and Disneyland Food and Wine Festival.

Note that there is no Sip & Savor type lanyard in the Pixar Marketplace. Guests can order all kiosk food from a single booth, then save the receipt to pick up at the individual locations.

Image credit: Disney Parks

Must-See Characters to See During Disneyland’s Pixar Fest

Favorite Pixar pals will offer up character meets and photo opportunities at various locations in both parks.

Some locations, like the Hollywood Backlot will feature characters from Pixar feature films throughout the day. Expect to see iconic Pixar characters like Buzz Lightyear and Woody and The Incredibles. New friends Ember and Wade from “Elemental” will also be making their Disneyland Resort debut during Pixar Fest! 

Young girl and mom stand in front of the bandstand in Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure with Joy character from Inside Out

How to Find Disneyland Characters

To find character greeting locations, use the Disneyland app.

  • Click the navigation button at the bottom of the screen, then use the drop down menu to select “Characters”. Some characters appear under the “Entertainment” tab, so try that as well.
  • Tap the Mickey silhouette icon to view which character is meeting in that location.
  • Tap again to find out appearance times.
Preschooler with Toy Story Woody at Disney California Adventure

Disneyland Pixar Fest Photo Ops

Banners, sculptures and colorful decorations will be located all over the Disneyland Resort. These photo locations are inspired by favorite Pixar stories and are perfect for capturing memories.

In the esplanade between Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park, pose with the 25-foot-tall sculpture featuring the iconic Pixar Ball.

During the day at the Hollywood Backlot Club Pixar area, guests can snap a photo in front of Pixar-themed backdrops. There are additional photo ops at the Pixar Pals Playtime Party at the Fantasyland Theatre.

Using Disney PhotoPass during Pixar Fest at Disneyland with Kids

Complimentary PhotoPass images are included with the price of Disney Genie+. Purchase a Disneyland ticket with Disney Genie+, then take advantage of the unlimited downloads by professional Disney photographers.

Disney PhotoPass photographers will be available in some locations to capture family photos. Find PhotoPass locations via the Disneyland app (Click navigation button, then PhotoPass drop down).

If you see a short PhotoPass line, jump in! Some lines appear lengthy, but tend to move quickly. PhotoPass lines are generally shorter early in the day and are a great way to take advantage of rope drop at Disneyland.

Little girl wearing Jessie the Cowgirl dress poses in front of jessie's critter carousel at Disney California adventure park

Best Disneyland Pixar Fest Souvenirs for Kids

Looking for the perfect keepsake to commemorate your visit to Disney’s Pixar Fest? There’s sure to be something great! Pixar Fest merchandise will roll out into the parks and on Disney Store so you can shop ahead of your visit.

Collectibles and commemorative merchandise for Pixar Fest includes a Pizza Planet truck popcorn bucket, clothing items including sweatshirts and hats, medallions and tumblers.

Pizza Planet truck popcorn bucket at Alien Pizza Planet Pixar Fest at Disneyland
Image credit: Disneyland Parks

Tips for souvenir shopping at Disneyland Pixar Fest with kids

When children shop for souvenirs at Disneyland, it can get really overwhelming! The large stores and overwhelming selection can make it challenging to decide on what they want to bring home.

Visit Pixar merchandise exclusive locations – Choose to shop in smaller stores, like Knick Knack’s, Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff, and the shop in the exit to Toy Story Midway Mania.

Shop ahead of your trip – If you’re looking to maximize your theme park days and not spend time shopping, consider buying Disney souvenirs ahead of vacation.

Which Merchandise is Best for Kids during Pixar Fest?

There’s a LOT of Pixar Fest merchandise to choose from, but these are a few of the best items for children:

Straw Clips and Bottle Toppers – From the Panda Mei straw clip to the Edna Mode bottle top, these small souvenirs are ideal for kids. These budget-friendly items can easily be added on to your mobile order when purchasing food and snacks.

Sippers and Tumblers – The Slinky Dog and Pixar Ball sippers are guaranteed to be popular, so purchase these early in the event.

Bubblers – The Buzz Lightyear bubble machine is a classic Disneyland souvenir.

Plush – Nearly every shop at Disneyland will have a selection of plush toys, both big and small.

Young girl holds Woody the cowboy doll

MagicBand+ Pixar Fest Perks

Disneyland is fairly new to using MagicBand+ within its theme parks. A Disneyland MagicBand+ is a great souvenir, that’s both fun and practical.

Guests can use their Disneyland MagicBand+ to enter theme parks, access Lightning Lane entrances, and link PhotoPass images. Interactive experiences including searching for virtual bounties within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

There are several new Disneyland MagicBand+ features, special for Pixar Fest! During “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular,” MagicBand+ vibrates and twinkles in synchronization to the music. In Disney California Adventure, use MagicBand+ to interact with a Pixar-themed installation.

Little boy wearing a MagicBand holds it next to the Mickey icon at Walt Disney World

Best Things to Do With Kids During Pixar Fest

This round-up itinerary for taking kids to Disneyland Pixar Fest will help you maximize time in the theme parks while still having so much fun!

Have a Plan of Must-Do Rides and Attractions

Pixar themed lands and attractions are some of the most popular. Use Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane to visit the most popular attractions early in the day, including Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land, Monsters Inc. in Hollywood Land, and Toy Story Midway Mania! in the Pixar Pier area.

Front entrance of Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney california adventure park

Other Pixar-themed rides include Jessie’s Critter Carousel, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

READ MORE: Check out these additional Tips for Crowded Days at Disneyland for more ways to maximize your visit.

Look for Hidden Pizza Planet Trucks

Just for Pixar Fest, around 50 Pizza Planet trucks have been hidden in plain sight around the Disneyland theme parks. Some are in the original iteration, while others have been reimagined and enhanced for the theme of the Land.

Dress Up Like Favorite Pixar Characters

Plan your child’s vacation wardrobe by dressing them as a favorite Pixar character. Costumes themed to Toy Story are easy to find. Miguel from Coco, Mei from Turning Red, and characters from Inside Out are fairly easy to replicate using regular clothing from the closet.

Kids under 12 can dress up in costume any day at Disneyland! Use the practical tips on this article about the best Disney outfits for kids.

Little girl wearing jessie the cowgirl dress poses with Bo Peep from Toy story at Disneyland Pixar Fest with kids

Active Play and Games

Play games in the Hollywood Backlot during the daytime in the Club Pixar area. The Pixar Pals Playtime Party will also have kid-friendly games and dancing. Win prizes at the games of Pixar Pier for an additional cost.

Carnival Games of Pixar Pier

Ways to Complete a Pixar-Themed Disney Vacation

Pixar Place Hotel

Extend your adventure with an overnight stay at the new Pixar Place Hotel. This newly reimagined hotel is completely immersed in Pixar fun, from the rooms to the rooftop swimming pool.

It’s a place where Joe Gardner from Soul plays jazz and Bing Bong from Inside Out greets guests in the hotel lobby. The pool area is themed to Finding Nemo and Luca, with a place to view fireworks and play games.

Downtown Disney District

Even without stepping into the theme parks, there are lots of things to do on an off day at Disneyland. Pixar Fest has been extended to several areas outside of the parks.

The outdoor shopping and dining venue will have lively Pixar decor, along with photo opportunities, merchandise and Pixar-inspired menu items at select dining locations. 

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