Disneyland: What to Look Forward to in 2018

by Zachary Laks
Disneyland: What to Look Forward to in 2018

Pixar Fest. Photo: Disneyland Resort


California’s greatest tourism ambassador is a mouse, Mickey Mouse, that is. Reported to generate $5.7 billion in economic activity each year, Anaheim’s Disneyland welcomes an estimated 16.1 million visitors each year. Although attendance at the parks has cooled off a bit in the past year and Star Wars: Galaxy Edge will not open until 2019, Disneyland has a few new developments up its sleeve in the next year, aimed to bring crowds back to its wonderland.

Here is a look at the most exciting new developments slated to open in 2018 — a handy reference for travel agents to use when talking with Disneyland-bound clients.

All about Pixar
Expanding on the insanely popular success of Cars Land, Disneyland Resort welcomes its first-ever “Pixar Fest,” scheduled to begin April 13, 2018. The new event will feature the return of two parades (Pixar Play Parade and Paint the Night), along with a new fireworks spectacular called Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular.

The Pixar Play Parade reemerges across the way at Disneyland park for the first time, having run for nearly 10 years on California Adventure; while Paint the Night is dusted off and swapped over to California Adventure after over a year of being replaced by the classic Main Street Electrical Parade.

As for the debut of Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular, Disneyland promises a dazzling display of pyrotechnics and stunning projections as the theme of friendship is explored through Pixar’s many blockbusters. The event will occur throughout the park each night, with projections seen on Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of It’s a Small World and the buildings of Main Street U.S.A. Another not-to-be-missed experience is the special flyover by Buzz Lightyear at

Sleeping Beauty Castle
Paradise Pier will be transformed into Pixar Pier, revealing a brand-new look featuring Pixar favorites with a touch of whimsy. Guests can expect to see plenty of appearances from their favorite Pixar characters (think The Incredibles, Inside Out, and Toy Story), themed food and beverage, and new merchandise items. The Pixar Shorts film festival in Hollywood Land on Disney California Adventure will also feature rotating favorite shorts.

Easier access
Disneyland is also planning on adding a new arrival point to the main park, slated to open in late 2018. The project includes 6,800 additional parking spaces, a new transportation facility, and an elevated pedestrian bridge. This will help to relieve the crowds at the front gates and add a new arrival point for buses, taxis, bikes, and shuttles.

Throwback nights
Turning back the clock and extending the hours, Disneyland is planning to introduce its newest series of events called “Disneyland After Dark,” set to begin on Jan. 18, 2018. These special, late-night events will feature rotating themes, and the chance to roam the park without the crowds. The first After Dark event is Throwback Nite, giving guests the chance to step back in time to the ‘50s and ‘60s for a taste of the classic after-dark experience at Disneyland. Guests are encouraged to come dressed to the theme, and will have access to the rides until the wee hours of the night (as late as 1 a.m.). Live music and dancing will harken back the days of the bygone era, prior to an exclusive showing of Fantasy in The Sky” fireworks.

As for beyond 2018, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set to debut in 2019 as one of the most anticipated and hyped park expansions ever. The $1-billion project will include two new attractions and plenty of opportunities for guests to immerse themselves in the Star Wars saga.

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