Pixar Play Parade is back!
But, it’s not at California Adventure. It’s at Disneyland. It’s a joy to see this previously ‘less popular’ parade marching down Main Street, demanding everyone’s attention.
I am loving this parade at Disneyland more than I ever did at DCA. And, there’s a dining package to coordinate with it!
I reviewed it the second day it was available, April 14, 2018, and have lots of info to share about it. Follow me to learn more.
In this article
- Pricing for adults (age 10 and older) is $39.99 and kids (age 3-9) is $24.99.
- Infants (up to age 2) are FREE. Children age 2 and under do not have to pay for the meal and do not have to have a voucher to enter the viewing area. A meal will not be provided to your child, but he or she can eat off your plate.
- When making a reservation with children age 2 and under, include them in your party count so that Disney can make seating accommodations for everyone in your group. If you have 5 people in your party and 1 person in your group is a child age 2 or under, you will only have to pay for 4 people. But, by letting Disney know there are 5 of you, you’ll be seated at a table for 5.
- Guests who choose this package can dine on site (as we did – photos below) or take their meal to go.
- Reservations made between 12:00 PM and 1:55 PM will receive a voucher for the first parade of the day. (Typically at 3:30pm.)
- Reservations made between 2:00 PM to 4:15 PM will receive a voucher for the second parade of the day (if applicable)
- Dining packages are always popular at Disneyland and with the return of Paint the Night, these are initially in high demand. Do not hesitate to book your package now. If you change your mind on using it, cancel within 24 hours of your dining time so that your credit card on file is not charged the $10 per person cancellation penalty. This package does not require pre-payment. All you have to do now is make the reservation. The app does not allow you to make these reservations. You must use the Disneyland site or call Disney directly at (714) 781-DINE (3463) between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM daily (Pacific Time) to book.
- Annual Pass discounts do apply to this dining package.
- Dining packages can be booked 60 days out from the day you plan to dine.
- Disney makes every effort to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions. If you call in to make your reservation, let the cast member know your requests. If you book online, enter your requests in the space provided.
- Book this page here.
If you visit the Plaza Inn for lunch, you’ll most often stand in a long line to just get in the door. If you have a reservation for the dining package, you can bypass that long line and check in to the left, where you see the sign below.
You’ll pay at the kiosk outside and then move indoors to pick up your food.
Most guests know and love Plaza Inn for the famous fried chicken. But, there are other options.
Here is the complete adult and kids menu.
Once inside, head over to this food line set up specifically for guests with this dining package. Again, it’s lovely to bypass the big lines of people selecting food from the normal menu.
I got the Adult Dinner Fried Chicken and thoroughly enjoyed it. I always share the chicken lunch or dinner offered here, as it’s too much for me, so this plate created with only two pieces of chicken and several sides is totally appealing.
This is what your meal will look like if you dine on site. Because this is a “picnic” option, you can get this wrapped up to go if you wish.
The Plaza Inn hosts my absolute favorite character meal in the park and I’ve attended it a dozen plus times. While there, I never miss out on looking at all the gorgeous detail in this unassuming restaurant. Walt’s wife, Lillian, designed it.
You may dine outside if you prefer. I’ve done both and enjoy both. Most often, however, I choose indoor dining for lunch since I likely have been at the parks since opening taking advantage of the lower lines and enjoying attractions.
If you do sit outside, there are plenty of umbrellas to shield you from the sun.
Lanyard and Return Ticket
When you check in and pay for your meal, each paying guest will receive a return ticket (looks and acts just like a FASTPASS…..also referred to as a voucher) and a lanyard.
Keep both. You can’t get into the viewing section with your lanyard alone. That’s just for fun. Your return ticket is your way in.
Here are photos of the lanyard and the return ticket.
When to Arrive
This dining package isn’t nearly as popular as the Paint the Night options. I think most park guests assume the Pixar Play Parade will be like it was at DCA. But, it’s not. People are anxious to see it run through Disneyland and the crowds are heavy so far.
I did a live feed of the parade and viewing section from this dining package. Check out this link to see that video.
So…….we reviewed this dining package day 2 of Pixar Fest. As with any new events, it often takes a little time to get it all right. Disney is great about responding to guest concerns and making changes as needed.
This viewing section moved across the parade path shortly after we reviewed it. It’s now on the other side of Main Street, in front of Jolly Holiday. Same set up…..sectioned off…..great view……but now, there’s no afternoon sun directly in your eyes.
This map shows where the updated viewing section is:
Although this is now the wrong side of the street, I am leaving this photo here until I can take another of the new section. Look for the check in sign and ropes reserving this area.
While waiting for the parade, cast members came by with bottled water for everyone. I thought this may have been an unusual perk, due to the hot sun. However, I have heard friends say they were given bottled water, too.
There it is! It really does feel like this parade had new life breathed into it with its arrival to Disneyland. It’s colorful and fun and just so happy. I enjoyed it at DCA. I enjoy it much more at Disneyland.
I think it’s a great fit overall for this park, especially since the parade route is shorter than what DCA has…..which is a great fit for the uber popular Paint the Night parade.
- When we dined, we were given the option to choose which parade we wanted to attend. The info I shared above states that guests are assigned to the first or second parade, depending on when they dine. I recommend arranging your dining time to fit the parade you wish to see, based on that info above. Then, if you’re given the option to choose, then you can make a change if needed. Otherwise, commit to the parade you desire at the time of booking your meal.
- We chose the later parade (6:00pm) over the earlier one (3:30pm) in hopes of avoiding the hottest time of the day. This seemed a lot more important when the viewing section was in the location I shared above. With it now across the street (updated photo coming asap), the 3:30pm time might be more comfortable. I typically break from the parks mid-afternoon to let kids nap or swim, so the later parade makes more sense to me. I am rarely in the parks at 3:30pm. I always recommend guests arrive an hour prior to official park opening and then spend the morning enjoying as many attractions as possible before the crowds become too severe. By the time you go through a busy morning and eat lunch, you’ll be wanting a break. If you can, escape that mid-day chaos in the park and return late afternoon or early evening, which makes that later parade time of 6:00pm perfect.
- For guests wanting to book this dining package, an ideal day would look like this: Arrive an hour prior to official park opening. Enjoy attractions and have a light lunch (or just snack, snack, snack as you’re going through attractions). Break at 1:30pm. Rest/nap/swim at your hotel. Return for the 4:15pm dining time for this package, watch the 6:00pm parade. It will take you about an hour start to finish to dine at the Plaza Inn. That gives you 45 minutes until the parade starts. Use the restroom and then grab your spot for the parade.
- If you want to sit on a bench or claim front row, I recommend arriving 30-45 minutes prior to parade time. Otherwise, 20 minutes early will suffice. From what I have seen, this viewing section isn’t ever terribly crowded. So, most guests will sit on the ground one or two rows back from the street. More guests will be further back on benches, too.
- One adult may enter the viewing section with a blanket to secure his or her family’s space while another adult keeps kids busy until parade time. The blanket can never be left unattended. But, you can section off a bit of the viewing section for your crew. Be courteous, of course, and respectful of other guests needing their own space.
- This dining package is super family friendly with a laid back lunch and then ample space in the viewing section.
- Strollers, wheelchairs and scooters are allowed in the viewing area.
- The closest restrooms are located in Adventureland. From the viewing section, walk past Jolly Holiday, past the Tiki Room and then under the Adventureland sign. The restrooms are straight ahead.
- The closest place to grab food would be Jolly Holiday (snacks, salads, sandwiches, drinks, etc) or the Tiki Room (Dole Whip). There’s usually a cotton candy kiosk near Main Street Photo Supply, too.
- Disneyland is super accommodating with food allergies. If you have specific needs, share those when you book online in the section provided. If you call in to book, let the cast member helping you know your needs. Then, when you check in at your dining time, reiterate those details again.
- In an ideal world, reservations for dining at Disneyland would open exactly 60 days out, as is the goal. This doesn’t always happen, so don’t panic if you don’t see availability on the 60 day mark. Keep checking back.
- If you try to make a reservation and the date you’re interested in is not available, don’t count on booking a regular reservation for Plaza Inn and then being allowed to upgrade/change it to the Pixar Play Parade dining package. Check back often to see if any reservations open up for your timing. As you get closer to the date you’re visiting, reservations will sometimes become available due to guests cancelling.
- The Pixar Play Parade lasts about 25 minutes. If there is one parade, it will start near it’s a small world and end in Town Square. If there are two parades, the 3:30pm parade will start at it’s a small world. The 6:00pm parade will then start at Town Square and end at it’s a small world. Either way, the viewing location is about dead center. Expect to wait about 15 minutes for the parade to come by.
- Don’t want to indulge in a dining package? Visit this link for my favorite spots to watch the parade.
- As with any new event at Disneyland, cast members are working hard to ensure your experience is the best it can be. Please be patient with them as they learn how to best manage the viewing sections.