Disneyland’s California Adventure has been revamped. Here’s everything you need to try.
When Disney’s California Adventure opened in 2001, the Paradise Pier area featured a variety of seaside amusements, which were given a vintage Victorian makeover for the park’s 2012 relaunch. Now, the boardwalk has been reimagined into Pixar Pier, complete with new rides and character experiences. Here are five fun things you can’t miss while visiting Disneyland Resort’s newest sensation this summer.
Dash over to the Incredicoaster.
California Screamin’ was rechristened the Incredicoaster in honor of the super-heroic Parr family, and it’s still the E-Ticket attraction of Pixar Pier. Whatever its name, the looping steel roller coaster continues to be the longest and smoothest in the resort’s repertoire. Ride at night to best appreciate the new lighting effects, and look for the single rider line to cut your wait time substantially.
Play a carnival game.
With games like fishing and bean bag tosses themed around Pixar characters like Wall-E and Heimlich from A Bug’s Life, the carnival skills games along Pixar Pier’s midway are a decent value and fun to play. It costs about $5 per game, but the plush prizes easily compare to toys sold in the park’s shops and several of the booths award a winner every round.
Eat a cool, snow-capped treat.
The snack stands around Pixar Pier have all reopened under new management, with Inside Out’s Anger grilling spicy sausages and Buzz Lightyear (as his Señor Buzz persona) cooking up caliente churros. But the don’t-miss dessert comes from Monster Inc.’s Adorable Snowman, whose lemon soft serve is a tasty cousin of Adventureland’s famous pineapple Dole Whip. Try it “snow capped” with a white chocolate topping.
Get a FastPass for Toy Story Midway Mania.
Toy Story Midway Mania reopened with a revamped entrance when its Pixar peers arrived (and it will get a new neighbor in Jessie’s Critter Carousel next year). Since it's a popular draw, be sure to grab a FastPass (or use MaxPass) to skip the standby queue.
Savor a cocktail at Lamplight Lounge.
The Cove Bar at Ariel’s Grotto restaurant was Disney’s California Adventure’s most popular watering hole, but the new Lamplight Lounge that replaced them both looks to be just as big a hit. Full meals are available downstairs, but the upstairs bar offers Pixar-inspired craft cocktails and small plates (including the fan favorite, lobster nachos) with a postcard-ready view of the lagoon.
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