A Peek At Pixar Pier


Photo Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

Maggie Liu, Editor-in-Chief

The long-awaited addition to Disney California Adventure Park, Pixar Pier, opened its doors three weeks ago. Pixar Pier replaces Paradise Pier with refurbished rides, new restaurants, and original shops. After shamelessly obsessing over every detail and change reported about the attractions before the opening, I finally experienced it for myself.

Much to my disappointment, Pixar Pier lacks the quality that is expected of Disney. Although superb in appearance, the overall attraction is anticlimactic due to its monotonous rides, unsavory food, fragmentary areas, and ludicrous crowds.

Before my adventure to the park, I even attempted to prepare for the overwhelming waves of guests by purchasing a mobile fastpass system called Maxpass, a digital system that allows park goers to reserve fastpasses from their mobile devices for $10.

Even with Maxpass, I rushed to Pixar Pier as soon as I was through the gate. As I was approaching, the first thing that struck me was the intricately designed boardwalk. The cheesy Paradise Pier logo was replaced by a bright and inviting Pixar Pier sign.

Along  the boardwalk is  the new Knick’s Knacks shop, lamplight lounge and Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats. I was dumbfounded by the attention to detail as I walked toward the Incredicoaster under overhanging star lights and past murals of “Up,” “Coco” and “Finding Dory.”  

Although I was already astonished by the design of the boardwalk, the Incredicoaster and its surrounding area blew me away. Following the same thread as “Incredibles 2,” the whole area is extremely sleek and modern with an undeniably Metroville atmosphere. The actual ride, however, was only mediocre.

The ride follows the Parr family as they attempt to capture an escaped Jack Jack. Other than the new storyline and design, the Incredicoaster is the same coaster as California Screamin’, but with an added 2 hour plus wait. The line for the redesigned roller coaster wrapped outside the waiting area by 11 a.m. and only grew  longer as the day went on.

The same could be said of the Pixar Pal-A-Round. It is identical to Mickey’s Fun Wheel with its swinging and non swinging gondolas. The only change is that the gondolas are embellished with Pixar characters and the wait for the attraction is doubled.

The only completely new elements of Pixar Pier are the restaurants. The boardwalk has a total of seven  different locations to purchase food: the Lamplight Lounge, Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, Nom Nom Cookies, Poultry Palace, Angry Dogs and Senor Buzz Churros. I had a $3.75 It’s Lemon! Cone from Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, a $4.75 churro from Senor Buzz Churros and a $11.49 turkey leg from Poultry Palace.

Despite the jaw dropping decor, the food was disappointing. The ice cream cone was overly sweet and lacked lemon flavor, the churro was too dense and in need of more cinnamon and the turkey was too dry. Although the quality of food was dissatisfying, the nail in the coffin was the wait. Lines for the most popular vendors, Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats and Poultry Palace, were more than 30  minutes.

Even after its opening, Pixar Pier is missing many attractions: Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff, Jessie’s Critter Carousel and an unknown “Inside Out”-themed ride. The boardwalk seemed to be jammed with too many people and not enough things to do.

Pixar Pier is a superbly decorated and themed addition to California Adventure that falls short because of its paucity in new rides and absurd wait times. I regret not waiting to visit when the ticket prices are cheaper, lines are shorter and all the attractions are completed.