There are so many changes coming to the Disneyland Resort in the next few years. We are excited for all of these and can't wait to see how the parks grow with the new additions! The first changes taking place include the Pixar Pier enhancements occuring in Disney California Adventure Park.
Once known as Paradise Pier, the re-imagined area will focus on the Pixar stories we know and love. We know there are still a lot of questions about Pixar Pier, which is why we’ve gathered the what, when, where and why. We’re guaranteeing you’ll be a Pixar Pier enhancements expert by the end of this article! Find out everything you need to know below and let us know if you have any questions in the comments.
Pixar Pier Enhancements at Disney California Adventure
The Where of the Pixar Pier Enhancements
So where exactly are all these refurbishments taking place? Pixar Pier enhancements are happening in a large portion of the area formerly known as Paradise Pier. They begin where Ariel’s Grotto once was and end right after the Games of the Boardwalk, just before the Silly Symphony Swings. The attractions remaining on the untouched portion of Paradise Pier (Jumpin’ Jelly Fish, Paradise Garden Grill, The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, etc.) will become known as Paradise Park and will not experience any of the Pixar Pier enhancements. Which leads us to the next question – what exactly is happening in Pixar Pier?
The What of the Pixar Pier Enhancements
Here’s everything you can expect from the Pixar Pier changes:
Four new neighborhoods celebrating Pixar stories. One will focus on the Incredibles, another on Toy Story, the third on Inside Out and the last will be a conglomerate celebrating many of our Pixar friends. As of May, we now know the official names for these neighborhoods; Incredibles Park, Toy Story Boardwalk, Pixar Promenade and Inside Out Headquarters.
The Incredibles Park will transform the California Screamin’ coaster into the Incredicoaster. The newly-themed ride will center around the Incredibles’ family home and the adventures of Jack-Jack realizing his new powers. Parts of the coaster will be fully enclosed to show some of the Incredible heroes racing alongside you, along with a few other touches that haven’t been disclosed. While we loved California Screamin’, we can’t wait to see the Incredicoaster come to life. Or to taste the freshly-baked treats from the Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums stand waiting right outside the ride!
The Toy Story Boardwalk will center around Toy Story Midway Mania!. No changes will be made to the attraction itself, although we suspect a facelift will be occurring to help it better match the theme. On top of Toy Story Midway Mania!, the neighborhood will also feature Jessie's Critter Carousel. That’s right, King Triton’s Carousel has closed and will reopen as Jessie's Critter Carousel sometime in 2019. You won't want to miss the delicious snacks and meals from the two food carts found here; Senor Buzz Churros and Poultry Palace.
The Inside Out Headquarters will occupy the west end of Pixar Pier and feature a brand-new attraction. Disney hasn’t released much about this attraction, except that it will focus on the characters from Inside Out and open much later - hopefully in the beginning of 2019. While Disney hasn't confirmed, there have been quite a few rumors that the attractions will mimic Flik's Flyers from the closing "a bug's land" area.
Pixar Promenade will showcase all of our beloved Pixar characters. You'll be able to enjoy the Games of the Boardwalk, including Heimlich's Candy Corn Toss, Walle-Space Race, La Luna Star Catcher and the Bullseye Stallion Stampede. If you have a sweet tooth, you won't want to miss Bing Bong's Sweet Stuff shop. You can follow it up with a delicious hot dog from Angry Dogs, too. The center of this neighborhood will be the Pixar Pal-A-Round, formerly known as Mickey's Fun Wheel. While Mickey's iconic face will remain, each gondola will be remodeled to highlight a different Pixar story.
Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar are being re-imagined into a Pixar-themed dining experience. The new dining lounge is called Lamplight Lounge and will open with the rest of Pixar Pier. Luxo Lamp Jr. will shine down on the seaside-themed lounge from the Pixar Pier sign. On top of the fan-favorite Lobster Nachos from the Cove Bar, the Lamplight Lounge will feature Claifonria casual gastro-pub cuisine. You'll be able to glimpse the sketches of Pixar films past while you dine on things like Potato Skins, Spinach Salad, Carne Asada Rolls and more. Reservations are highly recommended (available up to 60 days in advance) as we're sure the Lamplight Lounge will be the top eating spot for the next few months.
The When of the Pixar Pier Enhancements
Now that you know the where and what of the Pixar Pier enhancements, you’re probably wondering when all these exciting changes will be happening. Paradise Pier officially began the refurbishment on January 8, 2018, when almost all of the area being worked on closed. The only attraction currently open during construction is Toy Story Midway Mania!. The area will re-open, with almost all of the planned enhancements being complete, on June 23rd. The Inside Out ride and Jessie's Critter Carousel are so far the only two attractions that will be opening in Pixar Pier at a later date. We can't wait to party with all of our Pixar pals!
The Why of the Pixar Pier Enhancements
We’ve noticed some mixed emotions about Pixar Pier. Some of you are fully behind the idea, while others seem to be questioning the value of the Pixar changes. So we wanted to look a little bit into Pixar and why it’s such a great choice for these changes.
First, let’s look at some of the movies Disney and Pixar have created together. Toy Story is one of the most beloved Pixar movies of all time, with several movies joining the lineup. Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, Cars, The Incredibles, Wall-E, UP and Brave are just a few of the other movies Pixar is known for. Another notable movie is Coco, the Pixar movie released just last fall that many have hailed as one of the best to come from the studio. On top of that, Pixar also creates what are known as Pixar shorts to showcase before each feature film. You’ve likely loved many of these movies and their shorts as they all focus on big issues. Issues like loving yourself no matter how different you are, appreciating your family, not giving up against giant odds and even finding out that love isn’t always what you thought.
These stories and the feelings they bring to light are the exact reason for the Pixar Pier enhancements. As time progresses, the parks have to change (even if you don’t want them to) and Disney chose some of the best stories to change with. Plus, just remember how everyone felt about Tower of Terror changing to Guardians of the Galaxy. No one seemed to like the idea, but it’s now one of the most popular rides and many say they love it more than they ever loved Tower of Terror.
We know change is scary, but we trust that Pixar Pier is going to be great. Especially if Disney hides a few Pixar Easter Eggs within the land. We wouldn’t be surprised to see A113, the Pizza Planet truck, Luxo Jr. or the Pixar ball hidden throughout. Disney and Pixar hide them throughout almost every Pixar movie, so keep an eye out when you visit Pixar Pier later this year!
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