Pixar Play Parade Disneyland
The Pixar Play Parade ended at Disneyland on November 4, 2018
The Pixar Play Parade was first introduced to Disney California Adventure in March 2008 as part of the Disneyland Resort’s Year of a Million Dreams. In 2018, it moved to Disneyland as part of the Pixar Fest celebration. The parade features characters from many of the Disney-Pixar movies, aboard playful floats outfitted with a number of surprises to delight and entertain guests. The talents of dancers, stilt walkers, acrobats, and puppeteers are also featured.
The Pixar Ball and Luxo Jr. lead off the parade. The light in the lamp blinks on and off.
Monsters, University follows, with their cheerleaders, drum major Roz twirling her baton, and a group of students. Sulley provides the Monster Power as he “pedals” the float. An audio-animatronic Mike, providing parade commentary, is perched on the back. Members of the Child Detection Squad bring up the rear, ready to spray anyone who might have become contaminated.
The Incredibles segment starts when Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone zoom into view riding their own individual hovercrafts. The huge, two-story Omnidroid follows, with baby Jack-Jack perched on top. As an added surprise, Jack-Jack exhibits his superhero talent by periodically bursting into flames.
The Inside Out float is new to the Disneyland parade. Joy and Sadness are in a wagon perched atop a pile of memory orbs, with Bing Bong on the back.
Nemo, Marlin, and Dory, performed by playful puppeteers, just keep swimming along. Crush and Squirt float gracefully along in a bubbly underwater world accompanied by jellyfish dancers. .
Heimlich from “a bug’s life”, followed by his individual caterpillar segments (which seem to have a mind of their own!) precede the garden float where Flik and Atta sway on their flower swing. Behind them a couple of bugs swing two large daisies from side-to-side – which spray water on unsuspecting guests beside the parade route. Colorful bug dancers accompany the float and a stilt-walking stick bug brings up the rear.
Paradise Falls comes to Disneyland with the new Up float. Kevin, with Russell riding on her back, runs along the parade route, sometimes getting a close-up birds-eye view of the guests. Her babies ride the float along with Carl and Dug, while Carl’s house floats overhead.
The Toy Story movies are well-represented, starting off with a Tinker Toy figure, the Green Army Men and a space ship filled with Little Green Aliens wielding water guns. Buzz Lightyear follows in his rocket ship. Mr. Potato Head rides in a dump truck preceding the Toy Story float, which appears to be pulled by Hamm. Aboard this large and colorful float, Woody and Jessie sit on a Tinker Toy teeter-totter equipped with water cannons that they spray at the audience while acrobatic cowboys and cowgirls flip and somersault around the horizontal bar Rex holds in his mouth. Slinky Dog follows along as the “tail” end of the parade.
The Pixar Play Parade is about 20 minutes long and takes about 50 minutes to complete the entire parade route. It is generally performed once a day on weekdays and twice a day Friday-Sunday.
Viewing locations: Since this parade has no performance stops, good viewing is available anywhere along the parade route. The viewing areas are most crowded on Main Street .
A Pixar Play Parade Dining Package is available at the Plaza Inn Restaurant, which gives diners access to a reserved viewing area for the parade. The package includes a picnic-style lunch with choice of entree for $39.99 for adults and $24.99 for kids. The package can be reserved up to 60 days in advance by calling Disneyland Dining or booking online at disneyland.com. Pending availability, guests may also walk up and request the package.
Be aware that most of the floats in the parade, and some of the characters too, spray water. While nothing is drenching, water effects range from light misting to large drops to a stream of water, so be aware of that if you are planning to use a camera.
There are many walk-around characters who will stop and greet guests along the parade route, and some people may receive special attention from the characters armed with water, such as the Child Detection Agency squad, the Little Green Aliens, and Woody and Jessie.
The parade officially premiered at Disney California Adventure on March 14, 2008, and at Disneyland on April 13, 2018.
There are 8 parade units and almost 100 people in the cast and crew, including dancers, acrobats, puppeteers, and stilt walkers and stilt jumpers.
Many of the popular Pixar characters appear, including Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear and Mr. Potato Head from Toy Story; Roz, Mike, and Sulley from Monsters, Inc.; Flik, Atta, and Slim from “a bug’s life”, Frozone and Mr. and Mrs. Incredible from The Incredibles; Crush from Finding Nemo; Joy and Sadness from Inside Out; and Carl, Russell, Dug, and Kevin from Up.
The original parade included a Ratatouille unit; it was retired in 2010.
Luxo, Jr., the Inside Out unit and the Up unit were added when the parade moved to Disneyland.
Creative forces behind the scenes include Emmy-nominated director Fred Tallaksen, puppet designer Michael Curry (The Lion King on Broadway), costume designer Mirena Rada, and composers Matthew Girard and Robbie Nevil (High School Musical).
New music for the parade includes the Countdown to Fun! and The Party’s On themes.
If you have comments or tips to share with others about touring Disneyland, please email us. Thank you.