Pixar Pier and Incredicoaster Opening This Weekend at Disney’s California Adventure!
Just as summer officialy begins Disney’s California Adventure is ready to open their overhauled Pixar Pier section of the park that Disney announced last summer at D23 (and showed more details of back in fall). The new area takes over for the former Paradise Pier section of the park, and has been under construction for several months now.
The new Pixar Pier has been updated to feature four separate “Pixar Neighborhoods” themed to different films. The first of these areas is “Incredibles Park”, not surprisingly themed to the Incredibles. This area is home to one of the signature attractions of California Adventure, the former California Screamin’ now known as the “Incredicoaster”. The ride has been overhauled to have a little more of a Disney slant, as the ride now features detailed effects and a storyline. According to the park’s press release, “the Incredicoaster takes guests on a super adventure with the Parr family to chase after the elusive baby Jack-Jack, a storyline that will connect with fans of Disney Pixar’s latest film, “Incredibles 2.”
New music, lighting, effects, and prop characters are all part of the updated coaster. According to the excellent review of the ride by Vanessa Franko for the OC Register (read it here), the plot is mostly advanced in the tunnels on the ride, which are now fully enclosed (before they were partly open), while the queue fills in the backstory of the ride and sets up the adventure. Maybe the most exciting part of the new is that the ride and queue include original music by one of my favorite film score composers, Michael Giacchino. Check out this great behind the scenes look at the music from the Disney Parks Blog.
Beyond the Incredicoaster, the next area of Pixar Pier is the Toy Story Boardwalk. A lot of this will be familiar, as Toy Story Mania is the main attraction here. There’s also a new ride coming in 2019, Jessie’s Critter Carousel.
The Pixar Promenade is next section of Pixar Pier. This area is sort of the catch-all for other Pixar franchises that don’t have their own lands. Mickey’s Fun Wheel is now the Pixar-Pal-Around, featuring cars decorated for characters from a mix of Pixar films (don’t worry, the giant Mickey is safe). The Promenade also features a bunch of midway games, a great fit for the essence of the area. These are again themed to a wide range of Pixar properties, like Heimlich’s Candy Corn Toss and the WALL•E Space Race. They even included some of the Pixar shorts with a La Luna Star Catcher game (one of my favorite shorts).
Later this summer Bing Bong’s sweet stuff candy shop will be opening in the Promenade, which leads into the last area, Inside Out Headquarters. Unfortunately, there aren’t any attractions here yet, but there’s still an as-yet unannounced ride coming in 2019.
The other update people probably care most about is the change of Ariel’s’ Grotto and the Cove Bar. Generally viewed as one of the best restaurants at Disneyland, it is now the Lamplight Lounge. According to the press release, “Lamplight Lounge serves a new menu of California casual gastro-pub cuisine that is playfully presented, along with unique signature cocktails. The seaside lounge contains a full bar with picturesque waterfront views of Paradise Bay from both upstairs and downstairs.” The Lounge actually sounds pretty exciting, as it’s themed to a hangout for animators, and so is decorated with things animator and artists regulars leave behind. Concept art, sketches and doodles, little collectible figures, that kind of thing.
Meanwhile, the opposite side of Pixar Pier is keeping its old theme. The area will now be known as Paradise Gardens Park, and will still be home to attractions like Ariel’s Underseas Adventure and Goofy’s Sky School.
More info on Pixar Pier can be found on Disneyland’s website and the official Disney Parks Blog. If you get a chance to visit this weekend, let us know what you think of the new area, and keep checking Coaster101 for more on the latest attraction openings across the country.