Things to Do at Pixar Fest 2024 as an Adult: Disney California Adventure

I’m an adult Disney fan, unashamed of my love for all-things-Mickey Mouse, and thrilled to be a Magic Key holder. Disneyland and Walt Disney World and their associated parks are not just for kids! Pixar Fest and all of Disney’s festivals and seasons have things for adult Disney loves, and I’m here to tell you, don’t let anyone dissuade you from heading to the park for an adult day, or even a solo Disney day! Here is a list of reasons…I mean, a list of things to do at Pixar Fest 2024 at Disney California Adventure!

First, a disclaimer: Disney California Adventure is huge, so this list can only include so many things. I only spent the one day last week, and I am going back next week to do the things I missed! Sadly, one of them is a photo with Dug the dog. He was not available when we were there, but we did get to see him in the parade. More on that later! Also, Pixar fun is also occurring to a more limited extent in Disneyland, but we park hop, so all my fun things to do at Pixar Fest are focused on DCA.

Pixar Fest runs from April 26 to August 4, 2024. Everything is included with the price of your ticket, but give yourself time — there are SO many things to do and lines can be long for certain things.

Things to Do at Pixar Fest 2024 at Disneyland California Adventure

Watch the Better Together: A Pixar Pals Celebration parade. Lively music you’ll recognize, characters from a bunch of Pixar Animation Studios films, and literal dancing in the streets.

Speaking of dancing, Club Pixar takes place at the Hollywood Backlot. Performances take place throughout the day!

Also in the backlot, you’ll find the drive-in theater. This may have been my favorite thing! Take your seat in one of the ‘cars,’ and watch one of many Pixar shorts that rotate throughout the day. Grab a snack at one of the booths and kick back to give your feet a break while seeing some favorites on the big screen!

Get your photo taken with your favorite Pixar characters. The Disneyland app will tell you where and when you need to be, along with the idea of the wait times. Keep in mind that being in line doesn’t guarantee you will get your photo opp; characters do rotate in and out, so you could enter the line for one character and end up seeing another if they change. The regular characters are still out and about too!

donald duck photo at disney california adventure

Hungry or thirsty? There are six main festival marketplaces throughout Disneyland California Adventure. Each is themed on a Pixar movie: Elemental Table (from Elemental), Hanger Management (Inside Out), The Spark (from Soul), 4*Town Fav*4*ites (Turning Red), Gusteau’s To-Go (Ratatouille), and Portorosso Pasta (from Luca). Each menu has several food and/or beverage items. Some have alcohol; some are mocktails. You can place an order at any marketplace and pick them up as you wish; just be sure to keep your receipt!

Outside of the marketplaces, Pixar-themed food is available at various restaurants in both parks. You can place those orders via the app to pick up later.

There is also a show in Disneyland at the Fantasyland Theater: Pixar Pals Playtime Party, but we didn’t go to Disneyland so I have no photos of it.

If you want to shop and bring home some Pixar souvenirs, there are special items available only during Pixar Fest, like popcorn buckets, beverage containers, backpacks, clothes, ears and more.

I love a good solo Disney day, but having friends around for silly selfies and good waiting-in-line conversation are even better during special events. We walked almost the entire park and I didn’t have enough room to eat all the food I wanted. I normally get at least one seasonal churro, like the pineapple-coconut one at the booth to the right of the fountain in DCA, but I had to try the Red Panda Bao Bao at 4*Town Fav*4*ites.

bao bun at pixar fest 2024 marketplace turning red

I was so hungry, I never eat at the house on Disney days, and I powered through this spicy treat in about four minutes. The chili sauce is so good! (It also is messy, so grab a lot of napkins!)

Then we hit up Gusteau’s To Go. Since eating at Bistrot Chez Remy’s at Disneyland Paris, I have a love for everything related to the movie. The Ratatouille Pizzetta is good, but small, whereas the bao bun was pretty big. My favorite at Gusteau’s? This tangy and refreshing Little French Daiquiri. I mean, rum and fruit notes, you can’t go wrong.

little french daiquiri at gusteau's to go pixar fest 2024 disney california adventure

Adults at Disney do <sometimes? often?> enjoy the many beverages available, and we definitely found that we liked this refreshing beer, a Garage Brewing Co. Prickly Pear Hefeweizen Wheat Ale, coming in at ABV 5.5%. We got this at the Spark marketplace.

pear hefeweisen beer at pixar fest 2024

Hydrated and ready to move on, we road Radiator Springs Racers and hopped on Monster’s Inc., Mike & Sully to the Rescue, where the line was incredibly short.

Then we took a detour from Pixar Fest and got an immediate walk up table at Carthay Circle’s alfresco bar. Their Derby drink is my favorite drink in the park, made with Bulleit Bourbon, fresh grapefruit juice, and honey. Goes down easy and pairs perfectly with their bao buns and Strozzapretti Pasta. (That garlic scent pervades the whole room when it’s created!)

Pixar Fest 2024 can really take a couple of days to thoroughly enjoy, which is why I’ve made another reservation for next week. My pass is blocked through half of June and all of July, but during that time period, we go to Downtown Disney for drinks and dinner to soak up some of the Disney magic we may be missing.

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure still require reservations, but keep an eye on the app. When people cancel by midnight the day prior, those reservations open up. Otherwise, if you’re a pass holder, make your reservations in advance and keep in mind that sometimes one of the parks closes early for a special event like grad night or ticketed event like Sweetheart’s Nite. I’m still hoping they bring back Heroes After Dark, when DCA was all about Marvel Avengers and their movies. Best night ever!

Fellow adult Disney lovers, download the app and book your visit to go see Dug, along with all your regular favorite Disney characters! I hope this list of things to do at Pixar Fest 2024 helps you plan your day!

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