The Pixar Pier Premiere
It’s been just under 6 months since Disney closed down Paradise Pier for a big transformation, and we’ve finally made it to the shiny reveal.
Saturday, June 23rd, was the grand opening, but Mark and I decided to beat the crowds and splurge on tickets to the special Pixar Pier Premiere ticketed event the day before. It was pretty pricey ($299 a pop, and no AP or CM discounts applied) but ultimately the splurge was worth it — keep on scrolling to see why.
Buckle up, this is a long post!
The Pixar Pier Premiere event ran from 3-9pm, which ended up being more than enough time to take in all the new sights and sounds — especially since the crowds were so light.
After checking in, we were given wrist bands and lanyards, which included tear off tickets that we could use to redeem free goodies at the various snack stands throughout Pixar Pier.
In mega love with the new billboards.
This Up-inspired balloon wall was one of my favorite additions to the Pixar Pier boardwalk area, but it turns out they were just a temporary add for the Premiere event. By the very next day, they’d already taken it down. #sadface
Before we get into all the excitement around the Incredicoaster, let’s talk about the Lamplight Lounge. Of all the changes slated for Pixar Pier, this is probably what Mark and I were most excited about.
Rollercoasters are fine and dandy, but give us the option of bypassing long lines full of sweaty people in favor of colorful alcoholic bevvys in a relaxed atmosphere? Yeah, you know where we’ll be. Besides, Cove Bar was one of our favorite gems in Disney California Adventure, so we were equal parts excited and anxious to see what they’d done to the place.
Spoiler alert: they changed the menu. But don’t worry — the beloved lobster nachos made the cut.
They also super-spruced the new cocktail menu into a “sketchbook” of sorts, with adorable pictures to accompany every drink item.
The inside is full of Pixar accents, from the floors to the walls to the tables. We didn’t do much exploring in the restaurant proper (the bottom level is reservation only) but we’ll be heading back next weekend to dine!
The upper level is still walk-in bar service, and it looks exactly like it did as Cove Bar. I mean, why fix something that wasn’t broken?
For all you fans of the old “secret” Cove Bar menu, looks like you’re going to have to find a new drink of choice. The beloved Funwheel is gone!
That said, the Lamplight Lounge drink menu is BRIMMING with so many new options, and we were in no way disappointed. This blue beauty, for example, (dubbed the “Open Ocean with a Splash”) was dee-lish.
As were these potato skins.
The orange drink on the right (called “the Sequel”) had dry ice at the bottom of the glass, so it bubbled over like a science experiment and tasted like an orange push pop. Highly recommend!
Oh, and this carne asada “sushi” was pretty good, too.
Lamplight Lounge was a win in our book (we probably could’ve sat there all day, slurpin’ away in the sunshine, if not for the new Incredicoaster calling our names).
I can’t wait to head back in a week and try the table service portion downstairs.
I absolutely LOVED Incredibles 2, so I was pretty stoked to give the new Incredicoaster a go. Well – I should say “new,” since the ride itself is essentially the same as California Screamin. Only difference is that it now has an Incredibles-themed narration, and a bunch of Jack Jacks all over the place. Oh, and an entirely refurbished mid-century themed entrance and queue.
I won’t go into the story too much (check my IGTV if you want to be spoiled), but suffice to say – it’s a good time. If you have a chance, ride at night! The new overlays look much, much better once the sun’s gone down.
A huge perk of the Premiere event was that the lines for all the rides were zilch, nada, zero. If only it was always this empty.
If you’re a fan of Edna and Jack Jack – Disney’s new power duo – you will be a fan of this ride.
Pro tip: If you’re heading to Pixar Pier this summer, be prepared for some LONG wait times for this ride. I haven’t seen it under 60 minutes since it re-opened to the public. If that’s not your thing (honestly, it shouldn’t be) be sure to grab a Fast Pass.
Another change: Mickey’s Funwheel is now the Pixar Pal-A-Round.
And guess what? The swinging gondolas are just as terrifying as they always were. #neveragain
Toy Story Mania has remained unchanged. The only thing special about it during the Premiere event was the ZERO minute wait. #bless
In addition to the Lamplight and Incredicoaster, there are also a bunch of new snack stations peppered throughout the pier area, all well themed to one of the beloved Pixar franchises.
Easily one of the most popular new snack setups is the Jack Jack Cookie Num Num station, serving deep dish chocolate chip cookies (similar to a Pizookie). Whereas the attraction lines during the Premiere event were nonexistent, the snack lines were loooong. We’re talking 40+ minutes for a cookie!
The line for this Pixar Pier Parfait was also pretty unbelievable, but again — worth it. The parfait is made of a non-dairy lemon sorbet, served over a blueberry slushy. It melted all over the freaking place, but it was the perfect refresher in the 80 degree heat.
Señor Buzz serves regular cinnamon churros and spicy cinnamon churros, and the latter tastes like a piece of Big Red gum. So weird.
In keeping with the spicy theme, Angry Dogs serves… “angry dogs” (aka spicy hot dogs) and “slightly annoyed dogs” (aka regular hot dogs). The angry dogs are perfect – not too spicy, but enough kick to be interesting – and they’re served with flaming hot Cheetos, which I thought was hilarious.
Poultry Palace offers up chicken drumsticks with a side of slaw. We didn’t get a chance to try it, cause the line was insane. Next time!
As excited as I was about the food, I was probably equally stoked about the merch. So much potential!
Sad to say, it was disappointing. While there were a few cute options, nothing really wowed us and said YOU MUST BUY ME. I was kind of expecting Tokyo-level cuteness, and instead we just got a few plushies and some Pixar-themed candy. Meh. Try again, DCA.
All-in-all, the Pixar Pier Premiere event was pricey but soooo worth it. When else would you be able to snap a photo in front of the brand new Pixar Pier sign and only get 3 randoms in the frame!?
On our way out of the park, we got to snag goodie bags filled with a Pixar Pier hat, Incredibles water bottle and artwork, and a big Wall-E plush. It was a nice touch, especially considering we didn’t buy any merch.
Oh, and for some crowd context…I snapped these pics a couple days ago, a week after Pixar Pier opened to the public. The Incredicoaster had a whopping 90 minute wait. No thanks!
But hey — crowds or not, it sure is pretty. (Which, I’m thinking, is pretty much Disneyland’s implied tagline.)