It’s no secret to the plugged-in Disney Parks fan that the decision to transform Paradise Pier at Disney California Adventure into Pixar Pier is a controversial one. Although a land based on traditional carnival rides was the antithesis of Walt’s vision, many fans grew to love Paradise Pier and its attractions. Most fans revere Pixar, Disney’s premier animation studio, and believe its characters and stories deserve the best of the best attractions. I share these feelings, and when Disney announced Pixar Pier at 2017’s D23 event in Anaheim, I must admit I was skeptical…until I paid Pixar Pier a visit.
Pixar Pier has reimagined Paradise Pier into a land of four neighborhoods - The Incredibles, Toy Story, Pixar Promenade, and Inside Out. The land isn’t quite finished yet. 2019 will bring Jessie’s Critter Carousel to the Toy Story neighborhood. The Inside Out neighborhood, soon to feature confectionary Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff and Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind, a Dumbo-like spinning ride, will open over the course of the next year.
My skepticism was put to rest as soon as I stepped into the Incredibles neighborhood and rode Incredicoaster. The attraction is the successor to California Screamin’, a rollercoaster with a 360 degree loop. Screamin’ was one of my favorite attractions at Disney California Adventure, but I’m an even bigger fan of Incredicoaster. The layout is the same, but the story (which is tied to the plot of Incredibles 2) and new soundtrack ramps up the fun and intensity. Continuing the story, the neighborhood also features a cookie stand with one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had - Jack-Jack’s Cookie Num Num.
Also new to Pixar Pier is Angry Dogs, a hotdog stand featuring Inside Out character Anger. It serves a spicy hot dog named an Angry Dog and its toned-down cousin Slight Annoyed Dogs. I really enjoyed the Angry Dog and its accompanying Raging, Agitated, Displeased, and Keeping It Together sauce choices. Also a hit was Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, based on the lovable character from Monsters, Inc. I tried the Pixar Pier Parfait, a non-dairy lemon soft serve with blue raspberry snow cone topping, and it was a great treat for a hot day.
That’s not all the land has to offer. Toy Story Mania and Pixar Pal-A-Round (formerly Mickey’s Fun Wheel) remain open and ready to experience. Guest favorites Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto restaurant have been rethemed to Lamplight Lounge, a restaurant and bar that celebrates the best of Pixar.
Pixar Pier is a worthy addition to Disney California Adventure, and I’m looking forward to my next visit when I can explore even more.