What is the Pixar Pals Dance Party?
DJ at the Pixar Pals Dance Party
As part of this summer’s Pixar Fest, last weekend Disneyland Park began a nightly Pixar Pals Dance Party. Featuring a DJ spinning favorite pop and Disney tunes and leading guests in line dance choreography, this party is further energized by ongoing appearances of Pixar character favorites.
Each set of characters has a particular dance associated to them – from Russell doing a “Wilderness Explorers Hand Jive” to a “Green Army Men March” to characters forming a Conga line to a monster or food-themed dance. Plus other familiar songs with choreography are played such as the Macarena, so everyone can follow the DJ and Cast Members as they lead the moving musical fun!
Who are the performers?
On the first night I attended the party last weekend, along with the terrific DJ keeping the party going non-stop, special characters included:
Remy and Emile from Ratatouille
The Green Army Men from Toy Story
Russell and Dug from UP
Normally I think I could safely argue that when it comes to entertainment, the Disneyland Resort can hold its own – and often top – the offerings of any other Disney Parks & Resorts.
The Pixarmonic Orchestra in their new Pixar Promenade home!
That said, this summer for Pixar Fest, they only introduced one new show – the Pixarmonic Orchestra, who as of today take up residence in their new bandshell location at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure. Otherwise, we just had a parade park swap – and in my personal opinion, the Pixar Play Parade seems a bit lost at Disneyland Park as I think it was a much better fit at Disney California Adventure, whereas Paint the Night finally has room to breathe and lots of great viewing locations at Disney California Adventure even more so than it did at Disneyland Park. Overall I think it was a wash switching the two parades.
So I’m going to admit that I’m a wee bit jealous (or in one particular case – a whole lotta jealous) of some of the shows happening at other Disney Parks this summer and if I could travel to any of them, here’s where I would go and why:
EPCOT at Walt Disney World
Through August 19th, the America Gardens Theatre in the World Showcase is host to the show: Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live! featuring a visiting rock band from Xandar and guest appearances by Star-Lord and Gamora.
Performing live musical selections from the two Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix soundtracks, I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this show that plays several times daily! Check the My Disney Experience app for times but be aware this show can often be affected/shut down due to summer storms.
While I wouldn’t trade the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! at Disney California Adventure for anything, I would be absolutely thrilled if when the Dance-Off ended for the evening, Star-Lord and Gamora could hop over to a stage in the Hollywood Backlot and rock out with a crowd that has been sorely missing a regular nighttime live rock band since the Diamond version of the Mad T Party ended two years ago. Continue reading
From April 13th to September 3rd, the Disneyland Resort will be hosting Pixar Fest – a celebration of all things Pixar. As expected with seasonal events, there will be special food and merchandise offered. And on June 23rd, Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure will officially reopen as Pixar Pier with newly re-themed attractions and venues. But as usual, what I’m looking forward to most are the entertainment options!
Since we have the whole summer to enjoy this event, I’ll slowly work my way through the various offerings, but here are the highlights of what I’m looking forward to seeing:
- Will the Dapper Dans add some of Pixar greatest hits into their repertoire? The park website seems to hint at it, so I’ll be sure to check and report back!
- Pixar Play Parade – with new floats and characters added, it will make its way up and down the parade route here as it migrates over from its original home at Disney California Adventure.
- Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular – the new Pixar-themed fireworks show features the UP house with balloons floating over the castle!
- Pixar Pals Dance Party – starting June 8th at Tomorrowland Terrace, party it up with characters that will supposedly include: Russell, Dug, Woody, Jessie, the Green Army Men and more! (This pretty strongly implies that we won’t have bands at this venue this summer. And since the Downtown Disney main stage will also be gone by the end of June, Disney California Adventure is our only hope now for live musical entertainment this summer as the Dance Party will likely be DJ-driven.) Continue reading
Next weekend the 2018 edition of the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival will begin. It will run from March 2nd through April 12th. And as with previous iterations, it’s neither the food nor drink that I’m excited to sample – it’s the entertainment!
This year, different bands will be performing daily and I’m particularly happy that two of my favorite groups have regularly scheduled performing days throughout the Festival run.
First up is the rockin’ Grilled Cheese Soundwich! They will be performing on Mondays and Wednesdays and should have five 30-minute sets that would run between 12:30pm-6:45pm. For exact times, there may be Festival printouts available starting next weekend or the information may be posted by the stage. I’m guessing they will be on the main stage in front of Paradise Bay, but they could also wind up at the Paradise Garden Bandstand. When I find out more, I’ll update this post!
UPDATE 3/2/18: Yes, it looks like they are set for the main stage (UPDATE: 3/15/18: set times at 12:30pm, 1:45pm, 3:15pm, 5:00pm, and 6:15pm):
Their scheduled dates (as always subject to change) are:
- March 5, 12, 19, 26
- April 2, 9
- March 7, 14, 21, 28
- April 4
Second is the swingin’ Phat Cat Swinger! They will be performing on the main stage in front of Paradise Bay on most Fridays and Sundays and should have three 30-minute sets that would start at: 10:45am, 11:35am, and 12:50pm.
UPDATE 3/15/18: They also have a set at 1:45pm!
Their scheduled dates (as always subject to change) are: Continue reading
“Oh, but it’s cold outside…”
What is Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel Piano?
Inside the majestic Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, hotel guests and day guests alike may enjoy the song stylings distilled from the (appropriately enough) grand piano here!
While I tend more often to stop and indulge in the music when one of their talented piano players is working their melodic magic, I’m pretty sure I’ve been there in the past when it sounded like it was a player piano that was performing on its own. That may have been piped in, but in passing I thought it sounded like it came from the piano.
The musical mix here ranges from Disney classics (so those young and old can recognize and appreciate them) to seasonal favorites, such as the predominantly Christmas music filling the hall this month.
Who are the performers?
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting when different musicians sat at the piano. Many play songs strictly from memory, others use books. Some will take song requests. Others have been known to occasionally sing in accompaniment to their playing.
When and where can I find it? Continue reading
The Beverly Belles singing holiday songs at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
If you’re feeling the need for Christmas cheer this season at the Disneyland Resort… umm… it’s everywhere!
But if you’re specifically yearning to hear some Christmas carolers, then Downtown Disney and the Disneyland resort hotels are the places to go!
First off, if you’re in Downtown Disney, you may want to check out Holiday Harmony – a contemporary a capella caroling group performing in front of the WonderGround Gallery.
Their schedule for the season (always subject to change as with all things Disney) is as follows:
Four half hour sets begin at 5pm, 6pm,
7pm and 8pm (or 7:30pm and 8:30pm – the band’s schedule notes different times than the park does! I’ll see if I can confirm which is correct on my next park run) on the following dates:
- Friday-Sunday – December 1-3
- Thursday-Sunday – December 7-10
- Thursday-Sunday – December 14-17
- Monday-Monday – December 18-25
Update 12/5/17: I checked and 7:30pm and 8:30pm are the correct set times for this group.
But it you want to step inside the resort hotels – and step back in time a bit – you can enjoy other caroling groups, too! Continue reading
I don’t know how it happened, but I apparently missed this group when they were performing in Downtown Disney in Anaheim last year at Halloween Time. I probably was busy running back and forth between the Dapper Dans of Disneyland and the Cadaver Dans at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Sadly, this year, the Cadaver Dans are not singing publicly, only at Mickey’s Halloween Party itself. That left a Halloween-sized hole in my entertainment-loving heart that needed to be filled, so I went to check out The SCAREolers who are performing in front of the WonderGround Gallery this season.
I spent a full evening earlier in the week watching The SCAREolers. Their performances are half an hour long and they have two different set lists they perform over the course of four shows throughout the night (so: set A, set B, set A, set B). I found the group’s times listed on the daily events schedule on the Disneyland website, so I’d recommend checking there first.
Their backstory is that they are a few of the 999 happy haunts from The Haunted Mansion who have been let out for the evening to entertain the guests.
What I loved: First off, the costumes and the choreography were terrific. And out of all of their songs, I especially thought the Disney villains mash-ups were spectacular! For me those were the absolute highlights of each set. I also really enjoyed the Hercules retrospective (that surprisingly didn’t include the gorgeous “Go the Distance” which I think this group could knock out of the park… so to speak) – as well as their fun performance of the Hocus Pocus songs.
What I liked: the acapella sound and arrangements. The modernized, hip-hop version of the “Monster Mash” was particularly fun. I’m always up for a “Dead Man’s Party” and of course “Thriller” (complete with zombie dancing!) is a definite requirement for the season. Continue reading