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Pixar Live At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Sarah Chapman

When we heard the announcement of the Summer Concert at Disney’s Hollywood Studios featuring live orchestra playing favorite songs from Pixar’s film library we knew it was a must-see for our family.  With two brass musicians and all of us big fans of Pixar movies how could we miss this limited time opportunity?  We literally drove through lakes to get there, but it was 110% worth it!

The show is presented three times nightly at the Beauty & the Beast theater, and has a limited run through the summer.  I highly recommend you plan some time to see it if you have a trip during its run.  There are two options for “reserved” or priority seating for the show.  You can book a FastPass+ (the option we chose) or you can book a dining package at Mama Melrose, Hollywood & Vine or Hollywood Brown Derby.  Just make sure that you are selecting the Pixar Live dining package to get the seating vouchers—not just a regular dining reservation at these restaurants.  If you are on the Disney Dining Plan these packages are a great deal because you get extra food (an appetizer) and the seats for your credit.  There is an additional option that includes priority seating for both Pixar Live and Fantasmic if you are interested in doing both.  We did not want to do the dining package, so we chose FastPass+.  The disadvantage here is that you cannot use that 3rd FastPass until the evening show, so you can’t make any more FastPasses until that time.  It worked out for us . . .as soon as we checked in to this show we made an additional FastPass for the Great Movie Ride—your mileage may vary.

On the evening of our show there were torrential rains in the Orlando area.  Not just your 20 minute afternoon thunderstorm that clears.  This was hours of hard & heavy rain.  We were NOT going to miss this show, so we donned our rain jackets and hats and out the door we went!  Getting to the Studios was a little tricky.  There was so much rain so fast (on the news we heard it set a single day record for the most rain in a day in like 2 years) that the retention ponds and other drainage methods in place for the construction around the studios couldn’t keep up.  As we drove through the parking lot it was literally a lake—and a deep one.  Traffic cones were floating & washing away.  More of a thrill ride than we were anticipating for our evening.  But we made it and walked with purpose just in time to make our FastPass.

The theater was about 1/3 full but there were still seats available in about the 2nd to 3rd row back on the side which we selected.  I think we did great as far as our view and feeling connected to the show.

The pre-show involves the Green Army Men coming out and interacting with the audience. They were fun and funny, I recommend you arrive early to get a great seat and to see that part of the show.

Then the orchestra arrives and the show begins.  This is a 45 minute concert with no breaks, and I’ve heard some people warn that it might be too much for younger children.  My 5 year old was enthralled throughout the entire concert.  Between the combination of the dynamic music, beloved characters on stage, the motion and movement of the orchestra, and the video clips shown on the big screens he sat still and quiet the entire time.  In fact, we all loved this show.  When it was over I was shocked—it felt like we had only been in there for half the time, I was ready for more Pixar music.

The show is beautifully put together with pieces from favorite movies, and it really goes to show what a big part the score is to these movies & our enjoyment of them.  When the music is emphasized you appreciate how well done it is.  I laughed, I cried, and I was so thankful that we were there during this concert series.

I think you have to plan for this knowing going in that the concert itself is 45 minutes so you are going to need to dedicate more than an hour to the total experience . . .making sure you are not missing any dining or FastPass+ reservations.  And knowing your family and children to see if they are going to be interested in sitting for a concert when Tower of Terror and Rock N Roller Coaster are just feet away is another consideration.

I hope that Disney continues to add high class, top notch entertainment options like this to the parks—especially Hollywood Studios as it undergoes its transformation into what it will become.  This is a concert we would’ve paid probably $35+ per person to see in an outside venue and here it was included in our admission price—a great perk for us!  If you have a chance, schedule Pixar Live into your Walt Disney World vacation schedule this summer.  Right now shows are scheduled through August 27 at 5:00pm; 6:45pm and 8:00pm.

Have you seen Pixar Live?  What did you think?

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SarahLBAC for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).