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While Star Wars fans still have more than a year to wait before Galaxy's Edge opens up at the Disneyland Resort, the two Southern California theme parks still have a lot that's new and exciting to offer guests in 2018. One of the lands at Disney's California Adventure is currently undergoing a significant overhaul in time for a major event later this year that will bring a new look, along with new events, parades, and rides.
If you're considering hitting Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure this year, be on the lookout for these new attractions and events, including one that is already open for business.
Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire
This new experience recently opened at Walt Disney World as well, though we left it off that list as it technically opened there in December 2017. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is a new VR experience that is now open in the Downtown Disney district adjacent to the two theme parks. It allows multiple people to work together in a multiplayer virtual reality environment that sees you infiltrate an Imperial stronghold. What sets the new experience, created by VR company The Void, apart from other VR games is that it's not a stationary experience, but one that allows you to physically move through space, making the virtual reality experience seem that much more real.
Lunar New Year
This isn't the first year that Disneyland has celebrated the Lunar New Year, but this year, the celebration is expanding to 24 days. Starting January 26 and running until February 18, Disney's California Adventure will add multicultural performances, new activities, and of course, interesting food that will allow guests to explore Chinese culture in a different way. Among the events that will take place during the celebration are Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession and Hurry Hom - a Lunar New Year Celebration which is a nighttime water show that will likely be replacing World of Color for the duration.
2018 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival
Fans of both Disney and food on the east coast have the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, but in recent years the west coast has gotten in on the action as well with a similar event at Disney's California Adventure. Beginning March 2 and running through April 12, foodies will have plenty to enjoy as Disney provides all the new and interesting food and drink you could possibly consume. Thirteen unique kiosks will be set up to offer different tasting options. Seminars will be available for those who want to learn more about how to produce great food rather than simply eat it. Several different celebrity chefs will also be on hand to show off their skills.
_Image courtesy Disney/DisneylandNews.com _
Most of the big changes coming to Disneyland and its sister park in 2018 are Pixar related. Currently, much of the area known as Paradise Pier is closed down and undergoing a refurbishment in order to transform the space into the new Pixar Pier. The new pier will have space dedicated to The Incredibles, Toy Story, and Inside Out, among other Pixar favorites. The general facelift of Paradise Pier is only one aspect of the change. One of the major attractions in the land is being given a whole new look that is sure to delight fans of a particular superhero family.
California Adventure's single roller coaster is one of the highlights of the park. Previously known as California Screamin', the attraction is currently being transformed into the Incredicoaster, as it's being redesigned as part of the Incredibles area of Pixar Pier. The ride will tell the story of a time that Edna was put in charge of babysitting Jack-Jack. Things don't go well, leading to the family apparently trying to chase down the kid. With the new coaster scheduled to open around the same time that Incredibles 2 hits theaters, expect to see elements of the new movie make their way into the ride.
To celebrate all the new Pixar material in the park, Both California Disney Parks will begin celebrating Pixar Fest On April 13. The renovations on the Incredicoaster and Pixar Pier should be done by then, making the event a sort of grand opening for the new area. Limited edition merchandise as well as, surprise, unique food and beverage options, are being teased. While Pixar Fest has a start date, it has no end date currently announced. It's a safe bet it will last through the popular summer season, probably at least until decorations need to be updated for Halloween.
A Parade Trade
Before all the new Pixar stuff hit California Adventure, the park already had a Pixar themed parade. While the Pixar Play Parade has been closed since 2013, it will be making a return during the Pixar Fest, only this time, it will be running across the plaza at Disneyland. In exchange, Disneyland will be sending one of its recent parade hits, the Paint the Night Parade, across to DCA. That parade is a sort of neon colored update of the classic Main Street Electrical Parade that already included several Pixar character floats. Expect to see new characters added to both parades when they start running in April, such as the way Inside Out is being added to the Play Parade.
Image courtesy Disney/DisneylandNews.com
Together Forever -- A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular
Disney Parks are some of the best in the world when it comes to nighttime spectaculars of fireworks and lights, but the description of Together Forever---A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular, sounds like they're now taking it to the next level. The show, which will run at Disneyland during Pixar Fest, will include Disneyland's trademark fireworks and music, but is also boasting projections that will be displayed on Sleeping Beauty's Castle, It's A Small World, water screens in the Rivers of America and the fronts of the building on Main Street U.S.A., which would indicate that the show will be taking place all over the park all at once. If that's the case you may want to see it more than once, in order to take everything in.
Pixar Shorts Film Festival
While Pixar's feature films are some of the most movies of recent years, the studio's short films don't get quite as much love. Pixar Fest will try to change this when a collection of shorts comes to the Showcase Theater in Hollywoodland. Shorts like Lava and For the Birds will be included among others. The Showcase Theater has been the home of frequently rotating material ever since the closing of Muppetvision 3D, perhaps this will become a more permanent fixture similar to the way a similar show is currently going on at Epcot.