When I first visited Disneyland Resort in California, I was eager to see Pixar Pier at the Disney California Adventure Park. As an avid Disney parks fan, I had seen so many pictures of that iconic Pixar Pal Around Wheel (originally the Sun Wheel then Mickey’s Fun Wheel) and the Incredicoaster (originally called California Screamin’). That landscape is so original and different from anything at the Walt Disney World theme parks.
If you are considering a trip to Disneyland, you may wonder what you’ll find at Pixar Pier and whether it’s worth a visit. Here is our guide and review, including things to see and do at Disneyland Pixar Pier.
Disclosure: For the past two years, I received complimentary admission to Disneyland as part of my participation in a conference, but upgraded my ticket with my own funds. I also received a complimentary hotel stay at the HoJo Anaheim.
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Guide to Disneyland Pixar Pier at California Adventure
Location of Pixar Pier
Pixar Pier is a boardwalk-style land at Disney’s California Adventure in Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California. This Pixar-themed land celebrates your favorite Pixar characters and Pixar films with rides, entertainment, food, and more. It’s one of my favorite Disney Parks lands because it’s vibrant and fun.
Once you enter California Adventure theme park, you’ll find Pixar Pier toward the back of the park, near Paradise Gardens Park. It’s easy to walk to this section of the park, and during my recent trip, I visited multiple times in one day.
Attractions at Pixar Pier
Wondering what you’ll see at Pixar Pier when you visit? There are several Pixar-themed attractions in the land – including a few that offer FastPass to help you save time.
Pixar Pal-A-Round Wheel
This huge Ferris wheel is one of the most recognized icons of the Disneyland Resort. Originally called the Sun Wheel, and later rebranded to Mickey’s Wheel of Fun, the Pixar Pal-A-Round features both static, traditional gondolas as well as sliding gondolas. There are only two of these wheels, with the other one being in Coney Island.
Riders can choose the type of gondola they ride on – swinging or non-swinging. Each gondola also features the image of a popular Pixar character. While I haven’t been on the swinging gondolas, I have heard that they aren’t for the timid, so keep that in mind.
Incredicoaster Roller Coaster
The Incredicoaster, originally called California Screamin, is the only ride at Disneyland that goes upside down. It’s a fun thrill ride where you’ll chase Jack Jack from the Incredibles through several laser-lit tunnels. It’s exciting and fun, and definitely worth riding if you love coasters.
Riders of the Incredicoaster must be at least 48 inches to ride, and FastPass is offered. It’s a smooth ride and very exciting – I definitely recommend checking it out if you enjoy thrill rides.
Toy Story Midway Mania
This 4-D, midway-inspired attraction features the popular Toy Story characters. It’s the same ride at the one at Toy Story land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is fun for the whole family.
This has always been one of my family’s favorite rides. It offers FastPass, and is very popular.
Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
Visit the inside of Riley’s head on this spinning ride located at Pixar Pier. This relatively new ride is open to all heights.
Jessie’s Critter Carousel
Another classic amusement park ride reimagined is Jessie’s Critter Carousel. This merry-go-round features characters from Pixar’s Toy Story and it’s open to riders of any height.
It’s important to note that on some nights, the attractions at Pixar Pier close early because of the World of Color show.
Other Entertainment at Pixar Pier
In addition to the rides, there are entertainment and shopping options at Pixar Pier.
Four traditional carnival/midway games line Pixar Pier. These are all themed to Disney Pixar Movies and Shorts.
There’s also Knick’s Knacks, a gift shop filled with Pixar souvenirs. Another shop, Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff, offers candy, souvenirs, and more.
You’ll also get to see various characters at Pixar Pier, including Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, Frozone and Edna Mode from The Incredibles, Mike and Sulley from Monsters Inc and Monsters University, Dug and Russell from UP, and Woody, Bo Peep, and Buzz from Toy Story. Keep in mind, however, that characters are always subject to change – look at the Disneyland app for the latest info, including times.
The World of Color show takes place in the Paradise Gardens Park area of California Adventure, right in front of Pixar Pier on Paradise Bay. FastPass and designated dining packages are available for reserved viewing of this water and light show.
Food at Pixar Pier
If you are hungry while visiting Pixar Pier, you’ll have lots of options right there. Quick bites are offered at the Poultry Palace, Angry Dogs, Senor Buzz Churros, and Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats.
The Lamplight Lounge is a Pixar-themed table-service restaurant located at Pixar Pier. It offers brunch, lunch, and dinner, and reservations are highly recommended. There’s also a lounge menu offered.
In season, guests may also enjoy tastings and samplings from the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival. While these marketplace kiosks aren’t located right in Pixar Pier, the majority of them are in Paradise Gardens Park, adjacent to Pixar Pier.
Hotels Near Pixar Pier
Any of the Disney area hotels would be convenient to Pixar Pier. The closest Disney hotel is Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, although the Grand Californian is also nearby.
For my most recent visit, I stayed at the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground. It’s a short walk to both Disneyland Resort and California Adventure and is very family-friendly and affordable.