Disney Parks Celebrate Summer With Favorite Celebrations And Limited-Time Offerings For The Season

Summer is on the way, and nothing says summer like heading out to the Disney Parks. With the debut of a highly anticipated new attraction on the horizon, both Disneyland and Walt Disney World are celebrating with special fun throughout the summer months, with new entertainment and special offerings, and even the completion of EPCOT’s major transformation! Let’s take a look at everything going on as the temperatures rise in Southern California and Central Florida.

Disneyland Resort 

Season of the Force

While Summer kicks off at Disneyland just as Season of the Force (celebrating everything Star Wars) wraps up, fans will still be able to enjoy the usual Star Wars fun at the park, including the attractions and fun of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the park. Fans will also have new experiences aboard Star Tours – The Adventures Continue thanks to new scenes based on Star Wars: Ahsoka, Andor, and The Mandalorian that debuted on April 5th. While these additions are here to stay, if guests get to Disneyland Park by June 2nd, they can still enjoy Hyperspace Mountain, which was brought back as part of the festivities when they kicked off on April 5th.

Pixar Fest 2024

The big news for Summer at the Disneyland Resort though is the return of Pixar Fest from April 26th through August 4th. This celebration of all things Pixar Animation Studios spans across both parks of the Disneyland Resort and is bringing brand new entertainment offerings to Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Park. Headlining the event is a new parade coming to Disney California Adventure – Better Together: A Pixar Pals Celebration! The new processional is set to bring Disney California Adventure’s Performance Corridor to life with high-energy dancing and appearances by more than two dozen Pixar characters. You’ll spot Red Panda Mei and her friends rocking out to their favorite boy band, 4*Town; Joe Gardner and 22 from Soul celebrating the sweeter things in life; Luca, Alberto and Giulia from Luca enjoying their time together on the water’s edge in Portorosso; and more. The grand finale will feature Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl from The Incredibles, Miguel from “Coco,” Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc., and Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.

Night also comes to life in Hollywoodland at the park with the new Club Pixar. During the day at the Hollywood Backlot, you can snap a photo in front of Pixar-themed backdrops, play games and maybe even encounter a favorite character to pose with. When day turns to night, Club Pixar will take over the area for a nighttime party, inspired by the amazing stories from Pixar Animation Studios. Those who stop by can enjoy an interactive DJ dance party, live performances, exciting games, photo opportunities, themed food, specially crafted beverages and more.

Across the Esplanade, throughout the day, everyone can dance and play the Pixar way with some favorite pals at the Pixar Pals Playtime Party at Fantasyland Theatre. Those who visit can enjoy a high-energy show, interactive games, photo locations and activities inspired by Pixar feature films, and even watch a selection of iconic shorts on the big screen.

At night, the skies of Disneyland come alive with the return of Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular. In addition to iconic moments from the original production (like Miguel strumming his guitar and Carl and Ellie’s house floating above Sleeping Beauty Castle) that guests saw back in 2018, fans will also see new scenes that have been added featuring characters and moments from Pixar’s Onward, Soul, Luca, Turning Red and Elemental. Guests don’t necessarily have to be near Sleeping Beauty Castle either, as the vivid projections, colorful lasers and memorable music can be enjoyed from multiple locations throughout Disneyland, including the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and Main Street, U.S.A. And on most evenings, fireworks will illuminate the sky with this beloved show. Also, if you have a MagicBand+, it will come to life with twinkling lights and vibrations synchronized to the music of the show.

Pixar Fest will also include special character encounters, themed dining marketplaces throughout Disney California Adventure, Pixar novelties like a Pizza Planet truck popcorn bucket, and plenty of merchandise. And, for the ultimate way to geek out as a Pixar fan during Pixar Fest, we also suggest staying at the new Pixar Place Hotel at the Disneyland Resort. The official transformation from the former Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel was completed earlier this year, turning the 15-story hotel overlooking Disney California Adventure Park into a contemporary celebration of the artistry of Pixar Animation Studios. Featuring themed guest rooms, new dining featuring Great Maple restaurant, a rooftop pool area with a Finding Nemo-themed splash pad, new fitness center, play court, shopping and more.

With a wealth of vibrant artwork on display, Pixar Place Hotel evokes the creativity, artistry and humor that each Pixar story holds. From initial sparks of inspiration to final designs, hotel guests can see how the filmmakers bring beloved Pixar movies and short films to life.  


Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular isn’t the only thing bringing the night to life at Disneyland Park, as Fantasmic! Is due to return on May 24th, where the spectacular will once again illuminate the Rivers of America with new special effects, a thrilling new battle scene between Sorcerer Mickey and Maleficent, plus the return of the iconic Peter Pan scene.

Walt Disney World Resort

Out in Walt Disney World, this Summer marks the highly anticipated grand opening of the new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

While we don’t have a specific date officially yet, this summer, Walt Disney World guests will be able to join Princess Tiana and her jazz-loving alligator friend Louis on their journey through a shimmering bayou as they prepare for a spirited celebration during Mardi Gras season. Along the way, passengers will see familiar faces and make new friends as they’re brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s inspiring story. Walt Disney World guests will get to ride it before their West Coast counterparts because Florida’s version of the attraction is set to open this summer, and Disneyland’s is still set for later in 2024.

The Bears Return

Just done the Frontierland pathway, this Summer will also see the debut of a new show at the Country Bear Jamboree! The Country Bears are set to put on a new show that pays homage to the Opry-style shows of Nashville. While the Country Bear Musical Jamboree will include easter eggs from the beginning to the end including a familiar tune fans may remember, the bears will sing new, reinterpreted Disney tunes in different genres of country music – like bluegrass, pop-country, Americana, rockabilly and other styles.

EPCOT’s CommuniCore Hall/Plaza

Surrounding the fun of the new attractions this summer, plenty of other Limited Time experiences are debuting at the start of the season to kick Summer into high gear. Starting over at EPCOT, fans have long been awaiting the official transformation of the park to be complete – and that is set to happen on June 10th, as CommuniCore Plaza and CommuniCore Hall debut. Inside CommuniCore Hall, guests once again have a dedicated space to meet Mickey and all of his friends, anchored by a beautiful mural celebrating all things EPCOT past and present.

Also starting June 10th, and staying through September 6th, a new sing-along show featuring the characters from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film, Encanto, will debut. ¡Celebración Encanto! runs several times throughout the day and will not only invite you and your family to sing along with some of your favorite songs, but you’ll also spot Mirabel and Bruno on the newly opened CommuniCore Plaza stage.

30 Years Of The Lion King

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, fans can celebrate the 30th (yes, 30th)  anniversary of the iconic Walt Disney Animation Studios film, The Lion King, with special festivities taking place throughout the park. Guests can hop aboard the Wildlife Express to Rafiki’s Planet Watch where they can take part in the Animation Experience at Conservation Station, where they will learn to draw characters from the hit film. While there, they can meet and greet with Timon and Pumbaa, now available in this location and not just floating by on the boats circling Discovery Island.

Specialty themed treats and drinks will also be available, as well as a Pumbaa popcorn bucket, alongside special The Lion King merchandise.

Drones Above Disney Springs

At Disney Springs, drones are set to take flight over Lake Buena Vista for the first time since 2016 with a new show that will light up the night from May 28th – September 2nd. “Disney Dreams That Soar” will be a summertime experience that will be a late-night perk for visitors of Walt Disney World’s shopping, dining, and entertainment district. Disney stories celebrating the joy of flight will be showcased by state-of-the-art drones choreographed to create designs in the sky and paired with a soaring musical score and memorable movie quotes. To view, guest will be able to turn their eyes to the skies above the West Side with a show amongst the stars.

Hollywood Studios Stars

Pixar Animation Studios is set to release their new film, Inside Out 2, in theaters everywhere on June 14th. As part of the fun, guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios can head to Pixar Plaza, where Joy will be available for meeting and greeting starting on June 10th. She’ll be joining stars from other Pixar feature films, and new Pixar souvenirs and apparel will be featured in the Beverly Sunset Boutique on the park’s Sunset Boulevard.

Typhoon Lagoon / Fort Wilderness

While all of this fun takes place on dry land, you can get your feet wet when Disney H20 Glow After Hours returns to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park for 18 select nights, starting on May 25th and running through August 31st. This after-hours party turns the water park into a beach bash extravaganza, creating an energetic atmosphere with waves and pulsating beats. Guests can immerse themselves in radiant lighting effects, vibrant decor and high-energy DJ dance parties with some of their favorite Disney characters, like Goofy. New this year, cabanas will be available to rent online for groups looking for a private, reserved area during the event.  

In terms of a place to stay, along with all the other great options at Walt Disney World with their official hotels, July also marks the official opening of the new Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The new cabins will begin opening then, providing Disney Vacation Club Members and guests at Fort Wilderness with more ways to relax and celebrate the natural beauty that has made Fort Wilderness so special since opening in 1971. If you’d like to stay in the new cabins, or anywhere else at Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort for a summer getaway, be sure to reach out to our friends at Mouse Fan Travel, who can assist with all your Disney Travel needs.

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Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.