Pixar Pier is now officially open at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort, and Collider was invited to check out all of the offerings, a couple of days prior to the public launch. As usual, the attention to detail paid to every nook and cranny is clearly evident, and as you walk about the pier, you’ll find tributes to many of the Pixar characters from the feature films and shorts.
Guests can find all manner of merchandise at Knick’s Knacks, take photos with a variety of Pixar characters (including Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, Frozone, Edna Mode, Flik and Atta, Russell and Dug and more), check out the cool fountain that pays tribute to the iconic Pixar ball, pick up a wide variety of treats, and even dance and sing along to the tunes of The Pixarmonic Orchestra. You can check out our exclusive photo gallery of images (all photos taken by Christina Radish), read about highlights to keep an eye out for while you’re exploring Pixar Pier, and see what Walt Disney Imagineering Assistant Producer Elliott Rosenbaum had to say, during a small group interview.
- When exploring the neighborhoods of Pixar Pier – which includes Incredibles Park, Toy Story Boardwalk and Pixar Promenade – keep an eye out for all of your favorite Pixar characters, from the feature films and the shorts. In 2019, Inside Out Headquarters will open with the new family-friendly Emotional Whirlwind attraction.
- The thrilling Incredicoaster, featuring characters from The Incredibles franchise, takes guests on a superhero adventure with the Parr family to chase after baby Jack-Jack (and keep an eye out for the 19 times he appears throughout the attraction). With character figures, special effects, lighting, new music (The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 composer Michael Giacchino scored the music for the attraction and the queue area), and even a special cookie scent, you’ll zoom across the longest and fastest coaster at the Disneyland Resort. And while you’re waiting in line, be sure to check out the mural created by artist Teddy Newton, who was a character designer on The Incredibles and a writer on the Pixar short Jack-Jack Attack.
- Along with the Incredicoaster, Pixar Pier also includes the popular Toy Story Mania! attraction, the Pixar Pal-A-Round Wheel (each of the 24 gondolas features a different Pixar pal and offers views of the pier), and will see the addition of Jessie’s Critter Carousel in 2019. Pixar Promenade features the new Games of Pixar Pier, where guests can test their skills and win a prize at pay-for-play game booths, including La Luna Star Catcher, Heimlich’s Candy Corn Toss, WALL•E Space Race and Bullseye Stallion Stampede. Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff is scheduled to open in late summer 2018, offering such confections as saltwater taffy and rainbow cotton candy.
- There are walk-up food and beverage locations all along Pixar Pier, including Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats (featuring soft-serve cones and parfaits inspired by the lovable monster from Monsters, Inc.), Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums (featuring baby Jack-Jack’s favorite treat), Poultry Palace (with turkey legs and chicken drumsticks inspired by the oversized meal box and juice box featured in the Pixar short Small Fry), Se or Buzz Churros (with a selection of the tasty treat), and Angry Dogs (featuring spicy hot dogs inspired by the Anger emotion from Inside Out).
- The Lamplight Lounge, celebrating the creativity, inspiration and personalities of the artists and storytellers who have brought Pixar stories to life, is a California casual gastro-pub with tasty food and unique signature cocktails. Throughout the lounge, guests can check out concept art, memorabilia and collectible toys of beloved characters, and the seaside lounge contains a full bar with waterfront views from both upstairs and downstairs. There is also a secret “office” on the lower level, with a small sitting area and dining table, retro board games and a max capacity of 13, that anyone can book, if the space is available.
- The “Paint the Night” parade now features a new Incredibles float, that is 11 feet wide, 18 feet tall and 30 feet long, and features the entire Parr family (Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack), along with Frozone, who stands nearly 12 feet off the ground on his own ice trail. The super suits for Mr. and Mrs. Incredible are illuminated with nearly 100 sheets of flexible, miniature LED lights, and the chest logos are made up of 60 individually programmable LED lights. Seating for the parade is first-come, first serve, unless you purchase a dining package at Carthay Circle Restaurant or Wine Country Trattoria, where you can receive a voucher for entrance to a reserved viewing area.
Below is our interview with Walt Disney Imagineering Assistant Producer Elliott Rosenbaum:
Question: There’s so much to take in around Pixar Pier. Are there any specific details that you hope guests will notice?
ROSENBAUM: My favorite thing, in the level of detail and the attention to detail that we’ve paid in designing this place, is how many characters and how many references to Pixar movies and shorts we were able to fit in. It’s from the characters who are in the gable, right as you walk in, or in the mural that we have at Knick’s Knacks, all the way down to featuring the Poultry Palace, which is from the Toy Story short Small Fry. We really tried to look at the big franchises, like Toy Story, and the small characters that you might know from a short, 20 years ago, and tried to find them a place here. It should be really fun, going around and trying to see them all.
Do you ever worry that something might be too obscure, or do you hope that people will just go look it up, if they’re not sure what something is?
ROSENBAUM: Personally, one of my favorite things about Disneyland, because we have a lot of guests who come frequently, is that there are levels of discovery. It might not be a read that you get your first time. It might not be a read that you get on your tenth time. But maybe on the 100th time that you come, you catch a little detail that you’ve never seen before. That’s something that I think is really fun. We worked really hard to try to get that level of detail in the land here. Maybe it’ll be obscure, if it’s your first time, but then you go see the Incredibles film for the fifth time and you pick up a detail that you realize we tied into the story here, and it all comes together.
Do you have a favorite detail that you were a part of?
ROSENBAUM: My personal favorite detail is how, in Incredibles 2, to calm Jack-Jack down, they give him a big of a cookie num-num, and we have Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums. It’s a cookie cart that serves a delicious chocolate chip cookie. On the Incredicoaster, we’ve got a scene that involves a cookie num num, and we’ve piped in a cookie scent, so as you’re riding through, you get a big whiff of chocolate chip cookie. Then, of course, as soon as you get off of the ride, the cookie cart is ready for you.
You have so much stuff included now, but is there room to grow, as new Pixar films come out?
ROSENBAUM: Yeah, absolutely! The way that we did the neighborhood strategy is that you’ve got the Incredibles neighborhood and you’ve got the Toy Story neighborhood, and then the third area is called the Pixar Promenade, which is our opportunity to celebrate all of our Pixar stories. You’ll see characters there from some of the Pixar shorts, from Coco, from Cars, and from Monsters Inc. All of the stories are represented there. We think that that gives us a lot of opportunity to incorporate additional characters. I know Pixar is about to do a series of original films, so we’re really looking forward to seeing that content, to see if there are ways to fit them in here. Everything Pixar is gonna have a home here, or can have a home here.
Is there anything that was on the top of the list of something you knew had to be included in all of this?
ROSENBAUM: The first thing that we came up with was to build the story around the Incredicoaster. We knew that the Incredibles franchise is something that resonated with guests, 14 years ago when the film came out, and we knew that the second film was coming out. We were anticipating that it was gonna be a big hit, and it was a big hit on opening weekend, so we knew that that story was really gonna be central to our experience. It’s interesting because The Incredibles takes place in the 1960s and has mid-century, modern-style architecture, so trying to figure out how to incorporate that into Pixar Pier was one of the most interesting design challenges.
What was the process for then building things out from that initial Incredibles concept of the Incredicoaster?
ROSENBAUM: Midway Mania was, of course, already here, and we had the Incredicoaster, which started to give us the sense of a neighborhood. And then, we knew we needed to have a location where we could fit all of the other stories. That brought to life the shape and narrative of the land. There are also some additional stories that are coming to the Pier, like with Inside Out. We’re gonna be thrilled to introduce all of the additional elements to the land, as they come out. I know Walt said, “Disneyland will never be finished, as long as there is imagination left.” We like to think Pixar Pier will never be finished, as long as there is imagination left. We’re looking forward to seeing how we can continue to develop Pixar Pier, for the months and years to come.
What are you most proud of, so far?
ROSENBAUM: Over at the games, there’s a game called the WALL•E Space Race. WALL•E is my favorite Pixar film, and I love the way that game turned out, with the art style and the amount of fun that you have playing it.
Do you have a personal favorite supporting Pixar character that maybe doesn’t get as much love?
ROSENBAUM: I’ve really fallen in love with Knick Knack. I didn’t actually know all that much about Knick Knack. It’s an old short. It’s one of the first shorts. When we were looking for some of the characters, it was old technology that they hadn’t updated and we couldn’t use it, so we got to discover the character fresh. We got to sculpt him new and render him in 3D, not for the first time, but the first time in a long time. So, I went back and watched the Knick Knack short, which I’m sure I saw, at some point, when I was a kid, but I was able to fall back in love with that character.
For further details, go to www.Disneyland.com, and check out more photos below: