Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney’s original theme-park in Anaheim, California, is as ever-changing as the seasons, and every year brings something new. 2018 has plenty of magical new attractions, shows, restaurants, parades, and more that will make any Disneyland vacation special and memorable. From the debut of Pixar Fest, Pixar Pier, to Star Wars experiences and more, find out what you need to know about what’s new at Disneyland in 2018. Pursuitist presents the Top 10 Best New Things to See and Do At Disneyland:
1. Join The Pixar Fest – Beginning April 13, celebrate favorite Pixar stories during the first-ever Pixar Fest, featuring the new Pixar-inspired fireworks and parade at Disneyland park as well as fan-favorite “Paint the Night” parade at Disney California Adventure park.
2. Stay At The Updated Grand Californian Hotel & Spa At Disneyland – Recently renovated, this upscale arts-and-crafts hotel with a 6-story, lodge-style lobby provides direct access to Disney California Adventure and the Downtown Disney District. Perks at the Grand Californian include three themed swimming pools, a hot tub and a waterslide, plus kid’s activities and a luxe wellness spa featuring rustic stonework. There’s also an exceptional restaurant and bar, Napa Rose, a fireside lounge, a snack bar and a casual cafe.
Make sure to upgrade to a Concierge floor at the Grand Californian. Within the Concierge Lounge, continental breakfast is available in the morning, tea sandwiches, scones and fruit are available in the afternoon, with appetizers, beer and wine in the early evening. Desserts, cookies, and other sweets are available in the evening. Beverages and fruit are available all day. Disneyland’s fireworks are visible from the patio outside the Concierge Lounge.
3. Check Out Star Wars Experiences – Star Tours—The Adventures Continue at Disneyland park now features a thrilling new adventure inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi as well as a visit to Batuu, the remote outpost guests will discover when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disneyland in 2019. In addition, live the Star Wars adventure throughout Tomorrowland at Star Wars Launch Bay, Star Wars: Path of the Jedi and “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.”
4. Watch “Together Forever—A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” Fireworks – Disneyland has also launched a new fireworks spectacular in Disneyland as part of Pixar Fest. “Together Forever” is focused on friendship – a theme that runs through many Pixar classics. The fireworks use projection technology on the castle, along the storefronts of Main Street USA, on its a small world, and on the Rivers of America to surround guests in multiple locations with the full experience.
5. Visit Pixar Pier – This summer, during Pixar Fest, this permanent transformation of the Paradise Pier area will open, featuring four Pixar-themed neighborhoods, a new Pixar-themed lounge and grill and more.
6. Ride The Incredicoaster – The centerpiece of Pixar Pier’s transformation will be the thrill ride to be known as the Incredicoaster. What used to be California Screamin’ will be re-themed to feature the Incredibles family, just in time for the opening of Pixar’s Incredibles 2 sequel in theaters June 15.
7. Visit Downtown Disney – New dining and entertainment experiences are coming to Downtown Disney District, including Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID and Splitsville Luxury Lanes. D-Street will also be reimagined into a retail space that offers Disney fans a variety of Disney-themed home goods.
8. See The Views From Mickey’s Fun Wheel – Mickey’s Fun Wheel is also getting a revamp as part of the launch of Pixar Pier. It will anchor the 4th neighborhood within Pixar Pier. Each of the 24 gondolas will be themed with a different Pixar character.
9. Get Spooked During Halloween At Disney California Adventure, Oogie Boogie will take over the park with his twisted version of Halloween, inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. In Cars Land, the citizens will celebrate by turning Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams, as the entire land will be transformed with a special Haul-O-Ween makeover. At Disneyland, the iconic Haunted Mansion will be transformed into the Haunted Mansion Holiday, also inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas.
10. Ride Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! While this ride opened in 2017, we experienced this amazing Guardians of the Galaxy ride for the first time in 2018, so it was a new experience for us! The reimagined Tower of Terror ride at California Adventure is one of my favorite rides ever. Join Rocket, the gun-wielding, lab-enhanced raccoon, as he attempts to rescue his friends and fellow Guardians Star-Lord, Baby Groot, Gamora and Drax from the Collector’s Fortress.
With so much to offer, from Pixar to Star Wars, 2018 is the perfect time to visit Disneyland and experience new memories. What are you most excited about? Comment below!
Christopher Parr, is the Editor and Chief Content Creator for Pursuitist, and a contributing writer to USA Today, Business Insider — and the on-air host of Travel Tuesday on Live at 4 CBS. He is an award-winning luxury marketing veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. Named a "Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger” by USA Today, Parr has also been selected as the official winner in Luxury Lifestyle Awards’ 2023 list of the “Top 50 Best Luxury Influencers and Bloggers in the World.”