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Disney Brings More Pixar to Disney World, Disneyland

The animation brand has become a huge part of the Disney experience and that's growing.

Pixar saved Walt Disney (DIS) as we know it.

First, the then-struggling Mouse House became newly relevant as a film studio by distributing Pixar's early movies. Those films changed the animation game, making it clear that cartoons could be massive box office hits -- just not the type of cartoons Disney had made its name on.

Disney used the Pixar model to rebuild its own animated film division and then as inspiration for live-action adaptations of those movies. Later, in 2006, Disney paid $7 billion for the then Steve Jobs-led company.

It was a transformative deal for Walt Disney, eventually paving the way for its Marvel and Star Wars purchases which turned the company into the giant it has become. After buying Pixar, Disney integrated it into its theme parks building lands dedicated to Pixar properties at both Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California.

Now Disney's theme parks and one popular theme park-adjacent property are getting even more Pixar.

Pixar's Finding Dory.

Disney Adds More Pixar to Its Parks

Pixar brings its new film, "Turning Red" to its streaming service, Disney+, on March 11. To celebrate that it's showing a piece of the film at one of its parks. 

"Guests can get an early glimpse of scenes from 'Turning Red' in a sneak peek, now playing at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the sneak peek is presented as part of the Walt Disney Presents attraction and offers you a chance to see never-before-seen clips from the film before its release," the company posted on its media website.

The company will also be offering a number of other "Turning Red" tie-ins across its theme park empire:

  • Disney Springs: Amorette’s Patisserie (available March 11 through March 31; limited offering per day): Amorette’s Turning Red Mini Dome Cake: Based on the classic Canadian dessert -- the Nanaimo Bar -- this dome cake has layers of chocolate brownie, coconut, nuts, vanilla custard, and semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Epcot: Canada Popcorn Cart (available March 1 through May 31) Pand-Ade: Coconut-Pomegranate Lemonade with Pomegranate Boba Pearls

  • Epcot: Le Cellier Steakhouse (available March 1 through May 31) Beef Stir Fry Poutine: Fresh-cut Fries, Canadian Cheddar, Stir-fry Beef, and Gravy with Asian Flavors
  • Epcot: Le Cellier Steakhouse Shrimp & Pork Dumplings: Pickled Cucumber, Sesame-Soy Drizzle, and Crispy Noodles (available March 1 through May 31)

Disney's California Adventure will also have its own "Turning Red" experience.

"And for all of you red panda and boy-band-loving guests visiting the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, make sure to check out a brand-new photo-op now available near Silly Symphony Swings at Disney California Adventure park themed to "Turning Red," the company added.

Disney's cruise line will also be showing select clips of the movie on some sailings.

'Turning Red' Is Skipping Theaters 

Disney has struggled to find a model for releasing films that aren't superhero blockbusters. Some of the Pixar movies made during the pandemic got a split release debuting in theaters and on Disney+ for an added fee at the same time. That was how the movies "Soul" and "Luca" were released, but the dangers from Covid were more present when that happened.

"Turning Red" won't get the dual release treatment and will be exclusive to Disney+ as part of the service without members having to pay more. That's certainly and bonus for people who subscribe -- and something that will likely drive new subscriptions, but it's not a universally popular decision.

A number of Pixar employees have quietly (and anonymously) expressed dismay that "Turning Red" won't get a run at the box office, Fatherly.com reported.

One staffer reportedly was "shocked" by the move, but understood why it happened, saying “it sucks but I get it.”