This summer, Disney’s California Adventure opened it’s latest attraction, Pixar Pier. Formally known as Paradise Pier, the pier was home to a couple rides, eats and an overall good time. As a frequent Disney parks visitor, I could not wait for my first visit to the pier and it did not disappoint. Join me as I take you on an adventure throughout the pier and talk about all the must sees, eats and more throughout the different Pixar themed neighborhoods.
The Pier is set up in neighborhoods, which means each zone is differently themed. The neighborhoods are the Pixar Promenade, the Incredibles Park, the Toy Story Boardwalk, and the Inside Out Headquarters. When you first enter the pier, you’ll immediately hear your favorite Pixar songs being played. The music immediately transports you to a world of fun and imagination. If you are hungry, I highly recommend eating at the Lamplight Lounge. The upstairs is all general admission and the downstairs is reservations only. I would describe the lounge to be a sophisticated gastro pub with Pixar themed artwork and food. All the food and drinks are themed after your favorite movies. My recommendation is that you order the burger or lobster nachos (don’t like lobster, you can change it out for chicken or steak). If you happen to be 21, order the Open Ocean. It’s a blue frozen drink themed after Finding Nemo and is delicious. Be sure to take your time and look at all the details in the restaurant. One of my favorite locations is the walls near the bathrooms because they are filled with Pixar quotes.
Across from the lounge is a gift shop called knick-knacks, which is themed after the knick-knack short. Remember the snowman trying to leave his snow globe? Inside you will find candy, shirts, toys and everything else with the Pixar name to it. If you’re an annual pass holder, there is exclusive merchandise, such as an incredicoatser shirt.
The prize attraction on Pixar Pier is the Incredicoaster, which happens to be my new favorite ride. This coaster is themed after the movie and does disappoint. When you step into the incredible themed neighborhood, you’ll be greeted by a magnificent arch and ride entrance. As you make your way to the front of the line, you’ll learn that Edna Mode has been placed in charge of watching Jack-Jack. However, she has lost the baby. The entire coaster features your favorite super heroes rushing to find Jack-Jack. Throughout the ride you’ll encounter Dash, Violet, Mr. and Mrs. Incredible and multiple versions of the adorable Jack-Jack. The coaster is a MUST DO and I highly suggest riding it at night because there are cool lighting features that are visually pleasing. I love the ride because it’s a rollercoaster that tells an immersive story. As you race down hills and go upside down, you hear the incredible voices from the movie. The wait time does get long, which means you should fast pass this e-ticket attraction.
Other Pier must dos include Toy Story Mania, a carnival inspired shooting game and the Pixar Pals Ferris wheel. If you like thrills, I suggest riding the Ferris wheel carts that swing! These two rides have not change from the Paradise Pier days. There are also Pixar themed carnival games where you can win fun prizes. I won a Wall-E plush when I visited and was very proud of my win. As you continue down the pier, you’ll notice a couple construction walls. This is because the Pier is not completed yet. In 2019, we will see a new Toy Story themed carousal and Inside Out themed spinning ride. A new candy shop themed around Bing Bong from Inside Out just opened recently (more on that to come later).
My favorite thing to do when I go to a Disney park is eat the sweet treats. From Churros to cookies to Beignets, my sweet tooth literally tingles when I’m hanging with the mouse. Pixar Pier opened two new sweet treat destinations. The first is The Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, which serves soft serve ice-cream and other frozen treats. I have yet to try this Monsters Inc. inspired ice cream, but guests have been raving about it. If you find yourself at this adorable place, make sure to try the “It’s Lemon! Cone.” The line is always long for the ice cream so prepare yourself. The next sweet treat destination is located besides the Incredicoaster and is called “Jack-Jack Cookie Num Num.” At this location, they serve warm chocolate chop cookies that are huge! I recommend sharing, but if you’re like me, don’t share. The chocolate chip cookies are more on the expensive side, but are totally worth it. Every time I go to the Pier, I always have to stop to get a cookie.
If you are looking for your next great adventure, I highly suggest visiting Pixar Pier. In addition to what I mentioned above, you can get churros, boxed chicken, angry hot dogs and even hear live Pixar music for when you need to take a minute to relax. The pier is also where you’ll find your favorite Pixar Pals hanging out (yes Edna Mode is there). Pixar Pier is one of my new favorite places to hang out and I hope you get to visit it soon too. Remember, adventure is out there!
Michael Fracassa | Writing Contributor
B.A | Media Studies | Bowling Green State University
M.A | Film & TV Producing | Chapman University
Michael Fracassa is a Michigan native who recently moved to California to pursue his dream of producing children’s television. Currently, he attends Chapman University where he is obtaining his masters in Film and Television Producing. He is passionate about all things Disney, Marvel and Star Wars. You’ll find him adventuring around Disneyland or swimming in the ocean. Instagram @Fracassaaa | View My Blogs
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