When California Adventure first opened, Paradise Pier celebrated the classic theme parks found in Los Angeles’ piers and beaches. California Screamin’ was Disney’s first looping roller coaster, bringing much needed thrills to otherwise tame park. As time went on, however, Disney started to drift away from the original idea for the park. Instead of a celebration of California, the park began to change. This eventually led to the change from Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier in summer of 2018.
With the new rebranding, a number of new food stands, shops, and attractions opened. And they aren’t done yet! Here are 5 things you HAVE to try when you’re at Pixar Pier.
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True, they didn’t make HUGE changes to California Screamin’ when they changed it to the Incredicoaster. It got a fresh coat of paint, making it red and changing the “Paradise Pier” sign to “Pixar Pier”. Dash’s voice replaced the countdown at the beginning (Sorry Neil Patrick Harris) but other than that, it’s still the same ride. Still, it’s one of the best thrill rides at Disneyland resort! If you’re a fan of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this ride is definitely one you have to check out. It launches you at the start, and then takes you on twists, turns, drops and even a loop. The Incredibles theme is a nice added touch that helps it fit in to the new branding of the park.
Because a few trains are usually going at all times, the ride loads pretty quickly. The wait is usually only about 15-20 minutes, but a Fastpass will make the wait even shorter!
Jack Jack Cookie Num Nums
If you’re not motion sick after getting off the Incredicoaster, be sure you grab one of these delicious new cookies at Jack Jack Cookie Num Nums. These huge cookies are soft and warm, straight from the oven and the PERFECT midday snack! The traditional chocolate chip cookie is my personal favorite, but they also offer shortbread cookies and a gluten free variety as well. Why the Jack Jack theme? You just need to watch The Incredibles 2 in order to get the reference!
Toy Story Mania!
Competitive dark rides are one of my favorite parts of Disney parks! Toy Story Mania pits you against friends and family as you play classic midway games with a 4D Toy Story twist. Chris and I loved this attraction and rode it twice when we were at Disney (he won one game, I won the other!) Fans of ALL ages will enjoy this ride, and since your game changes every time, you can ride it over and over again without getting bored!
The wait for this ride can stretch over an hour especially on busy days. However if you grab a Fastpass, you can usually board much quicker. If you have to wait in line, at least Mr. Potato Head is there to entertain you!
Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff
Who’s your friend who likes to play?! Bing Bong, Bing Bong! If you’re a big fan of Inside Out, you HAVE to stop by this candy store. Not only does it have wall to wall sweets for you to choose from, but you can also get “Memory Refreshers” which are essentially Icee’s in various flavors and combinations. Even if you’re not craving something sweet, I recommend you check out the shop anyways. The decor is ADORABLE, and the large Bing Bong display in the middle of the store is very well done. The entire shop is so cute!
I was one of the many people disappointed when Ariel’s Grotto restaurant closed to make way for Lamplight Lounge. Despite the change in scenery and absence of princesses, Lamplight Lounge is a great place to relax and grab a signature cocktail. Many of the drinks and appetizer plates are themed around Disney Pixar shorts and films. If you’re in the mood for a full service meal, the downstairs dining area provides full entrees. There are separate menus for the upstairs and downstairs lounges, so be sure you check out what is available before seating. It’s a lovely place to hang out with your friends, take a load off your feet, and just relax with a delicious drink!
If you’re looking for another great dining option, be sure to check out Wine Country Trattoria, one of my personal favorites!
Pixar Pier is just a small part of Disney’s California Adventure park, and it’s still growing and expanding! A Toy Story themed carousel will be opening in the near future, as well as an Inside Out themed attraction. There are many other shops and food stands on the pier as well, if you have time, be sure to check them all out!
What’s your favorite part of Pixar Pier? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter so you can receive updates when I post new Disney content!