At D23 Expo 2017, Disney Parks and Resorts announced that Paradise Pier in Disneyland Resort’s Disney California Adventure theme park would be transformed into Pixar Pier. Details at the time were non existent, but they hinted that rides would be rethemed to Pixar films, that new restaurants would open up and that there might even be room for new attractions. Now that Disneyland is gearing up for Pixar Fest, we have learned the first details of this new Pixar-themed land.
Pixar Pier Opening Date
Pixar Pier will officially open in Summer 2018. To make way for the new Pixar-themed land, California Screamin’, Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and the Cove Bar, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Games of the Boardwalk and Sideshow Shirts will close on January 8, 2018. Pixar Pier will open during the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration, which begins April 13, 2018. The celebration will include the new “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” fireworks as well as the return of Pixar Play Parade and “Paint the Night” parade, and more to be announced.
When Pixar Pier opens along the southern shore of Paradise Bay, with newly themed attractions, foods and merchandise throughout. This new, permanent land in the area that is now Paradise Pier will introduce four new neighborhoods representing beloved Disney·Pixar stories.
The four neighborhoods will be themed around the following three Pixar movies: The Incredibles, Toy Story, Inside Out and a fourth section will “be a celebration of many of your favorite Pixar stories.”
California Screamin’ Will Become The Incredicoaster
The first of the four themed neighborhoods guests is inspired by The Incredibles and will involve the popular California Screamin’ rollercoaster being transformed into The Incredicoaster. As you can see in the above concept art, the queue building will be rethemed to reflect the mid-century modern house of the superhero family. We can also see a mural on the back wall that looks in the same style as the opening credits sequence.
The ride itself will likely not be any different, although I’m assuming Neil Patrick Harris’ announcement will now become Edna Mode or a character from the films. Disney says that the new version of the ride will include “new character moments and a new look for the ride vehicles.” I don’t look at this as a bad thing as Screamin’ was always a good ride with a poor theme. Hopefully what they add is cool and not just pasted on.
Toy Story Mania Will Remain
The second neighborhood in Pixar Pier will be based around the Toy Story franchise. The popular Toy Story Mania! interactive game attraction will remain, and there is no word on if they will update the ride to reflect any of the new characters being introduced in Toy Story 4 or the recent Toy Story short films.
Inside Out Will Get A New Family-Friendly Attraction
A neighborhood inspired by the film Inside Out will be found on the western side of the boardwalk and will include a new family-friendly attraction in the expansion pad at the right end of California Screamin. It has been rumored that the ride would be a themed spinner ride, and if you look at the broad concept art you can see that with the colored balls from the movie. The new ride is scheduled to open at a later date, I’m betting in late 2018 or early 2019.
Mickey’s Fun Wheel Will Remain, But With Pixar Themed Gondolas
In the fourth neighborhood celebrating other Pixar films, Mickey’s Fun Wheel will be given a new look with each of the 24 gondolas featuring different Pixar characters. But don’t worry, the iconic face of Mickey Mouse will remain on the Paradise Bay side of the wheel. The Ferris wheel on the opposite side of the bay has become one of the most iconic landmarks of Disney California Adventure.
The Games of the Boardwalk will be transformed into midway games inspired by Pixar characters. Bullseye Stallion Stampede game will remain.
Ariel’s Grotto Restaurant and the Cove Bar Will Be Rethemed Into A New Lounge And Grill
Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and the Cove Bar will be transformed into a “new lounge and grill offering sparkling views of Paradise Bay and the new Pixar Pier.” This is probably the only thing in this transformation that I am personally concerned (and possibly angry) about. I, like many of you, love The Cove Bar. I really hope Disney doesn’t mess with what made it great. Please keep the Lobster Nachos, the themed alcohol drinks, the wings. Please don’t kiddify the one place in DCA where adults could go to enjoy themselves with real alcohol. Please Disney please.
The Cove Bar has been one of the most high demand walk-up food spots in all of Disneyland Resort, so maybe this is a matter of them expanding the options into Ariel’s Gorotto, allowing for more seating and less waiting? Maybe I’m being too hopeful?
Now personally, I never cared for Ariel’s Gorotto, but I know it was one of the only character dining options where kids could meet the princesses, so I wonder what Disney is going to do about that.
The Remaining Areas Will Become Paradise Park
The remaining areas of Paradise Pier, including Paradise Gardens, Silly Symphony Swings, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Goofy’s Sky School, Golden Zephyr and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, will become a new land called Paradise Park.
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