Due to the large construction phase in the park, the parade went on hiatus starting on January 4, 2011. It was originally set to return in November, however it did not as construction was still ongoing. During the hiatus, it was replaced by "Pixar Pals", an interactive show that only featured characters from Monsters Inc. and The Incredibles. Pixar Pals concluded in May 2012 and Pixar Play Parade returned on June 15, 2012 to coincide with the grand reopening of Disney California Adventure.
Monsters University Unit: A group of Monsters University cheerleaders and students lead off the parade with a baton-twirling Roz and a large, oddly shaped drum driven by Sulley, in his Monsters University jacket. A small-animated figure of Mike Wazowski, wearing his Monsters University cap, sits on the back of the float, inviting the parade viewers to chant the Monsters University fight song. Then a few members of the CDA follow. The unit is set to a cover version of "Bang the Drum All Day", originally performed by Todd Rundgren.
The Incredibles Unit: The Incredibles float features a large replica of Syndrome's Omnidroid with two arms moving around the float with the help of two performers, spouting water occasionally. Jack-Jack, the baby of the family, rides on one of the arms of the droid, occasionally shooting flames from his head. On the other arm of the Omnidroid is Violet in the force field. Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible (aka ElastiGirl), and Frozone ride in front of the float on individual "hovercrafts", along with dancers on spring-loaded stilts. The unit is set to a cover version of "Don't Stop Me Now", originally performed by Queen.
Ratatouille Unit: Chefs on stilts lead in the large food-themed float. Remy stands on the front of the float, in front of Chef Gusteau's famous cookbook, while rats on the other sections of the float hanging from spaghetti, including Remy's brother Emile, waving and dancing to guests in a ladle. This unit does not usually run regularly. This unit lasted until 2010, and was set to a cover version of "Yummy Yummy Yummy", originally performed by Ohio Express.
Finding Nemo Unit: Puppets of Marlin, Nemo, Dory, and Squirt lead this section of the parade, with oversized pieces of coral and a large puppet of Crush on the float along with water-squirting baby turtles. Female performers with large jellyfish puppets follow the float. The unit is set to a cover of the pop standard, "Sea Cruise".
A Bug's Life Unit: The longest float in the parade, it features Flik and Atta on a two-person swing with Dot looking on, along with two larger swings in the back portion of the float capable of swinging almost 360-degrees around the top of the float. Heimlich leads the float, pushing a water-squirting flower with him, occasionally splitting into multiple portions as he walks. Slim takes up the rear of the float dancing and playing with a smaller female bug and waving to guests. The unit is set to "Bugs Just Want to Have Fun", a cover/parody of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun", originally performed by Cyndi Lauper.
Toy Story Units: The final unit features five separate portions: the first portion consists of a walking tinkertoy figure that squirts water through its fingers followed by the Green Army Men led by their commander, possibly Sarge. The second features Little Green Men armed with squirt guns. The third float features a large clear globe with plastic balls bouncing around inside with Buzz Lightyear atop the float in a rocket. The fourth portion features Mr. Potato Head in a construction truck that is featured in Toy Story 3. The final section, seemingly pulled by Hamm the Piggy Bank, features Rex (Sculpted by Nick Petronzio) standing atop a large Luxo ball, holding a long bar in his mouth that acts as beam for gymnasts to swing around on, along with Woody and Jessie on a motorized teeter-totter squirting water from spring-action shooters. Slinky Dog front portion stands on the back of the float, while his back portion walks along the route following the float creating the illusion that he is pushing the float. The unit is set to a cover version of "You've Got a Friend in Me", the film series' theme song originally performed by Randy Newman.
A week after the parade debuted, an accident took place on the "A Bug's Life" float. One of the platforms on a swing in the back portion of the float broke off during a performance, but the performer had gotten off the swing before it broke. The float was taken off the corridor for almost three months, with only the front portion remaining in the parade. This accident caused Disney to suspend all acrobatic acts in the parade for a small amount of time, but they all returned less than a month after the accident. The back portion of the float itself returned to the parade in July 2008.