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The Grand Opening of Pixar Pier at DCA!


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Pixar Pier is now open at Disney California Adventure (DCA)! Formerly Paradise Pier, this newly reimagined land brings 4 Pixar-themed “neighborhoods” to the pier: Incredibles Park, Toy Story Boardwalk, Pixar Promenade, and Inside Out Headquarters. Incredibles Park houses the standout attraction of the pier, the Incredicoaster! This re-theme of the original California Screamin’ roller coaster adds a storyline and theming to the attraction. As the coaster begins, baby Jack Jack escapes, and you get to race alongside the Incredibles as they try to capture him and bring him home. Character figures, lighting, music, and special effects have all been added to bring the story to life. In the Toy Story Boardwalk neighborhood you can check out Midway Mania and ride Jessie’s Critter Carousel (opening in 2019). Pixar Promenade houses the Pixar Pal-A-Round - a Pixar inspired re-theme of Mickey’s Fun Wheel, as well as newly reimagined boardwalk games and a stage for music acts and character encounters. Inside Out Headquarters will house Emotional Whirlwind, an Inside Out inspired re-theme of Flik's Flyers from Bug’s Land (opening 2019). TPR was invited to a 2-day event to preview this newly re-imagined land and experience all the Pixar awesomeness that the Resort now has to offer. There was so much to see that we broke the report up into 2 parts:

 

Part 1 [ Below ]: Pixar Pier Preview Day! The food, merchandise, Incredicoaster, Pixar Pal-A-Round, and an awesome dinner at the Lamplight Lounge! Plus as a bonus: Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular fireworks at Disneyland, and a look at the new changes to Pirates of the Caribbean.

 

Part 2 [ Coming Soon ]: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge construction, more Pixar Pier, Pixar character meet-and-greets, the Paint The Night Parade with a new Incredibles themed float, and a popcorn love story!

 

Keep reading to join us for part 1 and see everything that Pixar Pier has to offer! On with the report...

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Part 1! We’re at the Disneyland Resort to check out Pixar Pier!

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We’re all checked in and ready to go!

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Right off the bat we got to meet Edna Mode, sweet!

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Covering media events has its perks! We each got a bag with special ears, a giant Pixar Pier towel, and a stuffed animal. Brittney got Wall-E and I got Eve! So cool!

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We grabbed some snacks before heading into the park. Check out the custom Pixar Pier napkins! Disney always thinks of everything!

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This may be the prettiest event lanyard we’ve ever received. It had multiple pages with maps and info, plus along the side there were tabs for free food items!

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Inside DCA Pixar Pier was roped off since it was still closed to the public...

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But no worries, you’re with TPR so you can come in with us!

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First up, lets head to the revamped Lamplight Lounge (formerly Ariel’s Grotto) to check out the new food items at Pixar Pier.

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Here’s the menu for the Lamplight Lounge. But who wants to read? Lets look at pictures instead!

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There are burgers...

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Lots of delicious meaty things...

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The lobster nachos were always popular, so good news: they’re still on the menu!

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My suggestion - to feel like you’ve entered into a Pixar movie, get the Ratatouille!

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Spinach salad...

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Potato skins...

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Even the kids food items looked fancy!

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Angry Dogs has the pissed-off-hot-dog market cornered.

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Poultry Palace has the regal-fried-chicken market cornered.

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These bubbly drinks were all the rage. A dried ice compartment in the bottom creates bubbles that float to the top, causing the cherry pearls to dance around! There were both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of these, so the whole family can join in the fun. All gimmicks aside, the drink itself was delicious as well!

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Incredible drinks deserve an Incredible straw!

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And incredible meals deserve incredible desserts! Fresh, warm, fluffy donuts with dipping sauce? Yes, please!

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Or maybe you’re like Jack Jack and cookies are more your thing?

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Our dessert of choice would have to be the lemon soft serve from Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats. It’s like Disneyland’s famous Dole Whip, but in an equally delicious lemon flavor. We’ll talk more about this later when we give it a taste!

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Next we’ll head over to Knick’s Knacks to check out the merchandise!

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There’s tons of new merchandise for Pixar Pier!

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We definitely liked the Pixar Fest Camp Shirt.

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Edna Mode glasses will turn anyone into a great fashion designer! No capes!

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There are lots of cute keychains.

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Oooooooh!

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They have everything you need to dress up as Mr. Incredible and then run around the house trying to keep baby Jack Jack’s powers in check!

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These could be yours! (If they weren’t mine)

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This oversized alien hair accessory totally looks like something you’d see at Tokyo Disneyland. Q: How do you think it attaches to the hair? A: A claw!

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Find your perfect partner with Wall-E and Eve ears! When they’re side-by-side they match up to form a heart image in the ears!

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Take home a friend of your own.

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Or have a ball with one of these Toy Story footballs.

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In the words of Eeyore, “It’s not much of a tail, but I’m sort of attached to it.”

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Blow bubbles to infinity and beyond with this Buzz Lightyear Bubble Blower!

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Race you to the scare floor!

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Brittney was wearing alien earrings, so when she stepped outside to get ice cream I bought this awesome necklace to match. Shhhh, it’s a surprise!

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I would’ve stayed longer but the store was overrun with rats.

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Time to try the soft serve!

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Surprise! Brittney loved the necklace, but almost dropped her soft serve while showing it off!

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You can get plain cones or cups of lemon, chocolate, or vanilla soft serve. But the specialties menu is where you should really be looking!

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This is the, “Pixar Pier Frosty Parfait” and it’s not a want, it’s a need. As you work your way to the bottom the blue raspberry swirl and yellow lemon soft serve melt together into green syrupy heaven that can only be described as a “must try!”

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Have we really gone almost 50 photos into this report without talking about the Incredicoaster?!? That all changes now!

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Here’s the massive Incredibles-themed arch that welcomes guests to the Incredibles Park neighborhood.

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And here’s the sign for the coaster. I love Jack Jack in the “O.”

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I can’t wait anymore, lets ride! In this intro scene before the launch, Jack Jack’s unpredictable super powers start showing themselves, and he escapes!

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It’ll be up to us and the Incredibles to get Jack Jack back!

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Dash counts down and begins to race after Jack Jack as the train launches. You can see his footsteps in the water alongside the train.

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The new water effect is really cool, and adds a lot of visual interest to the launch.

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On more look at Dash’s footsteps in the water!

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Into the first tube, we see Dash narrowly avoiding Jack Jack’s laser eyes!

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There’s Jack Jack!

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Out of the tube and around into the next lift hill...

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Wheee!

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Near the top of the lift hill we enter the second tube.

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Inside we see Helen (AKA Elastigirl) using her stretching powers to grab Jack Jack.

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But Jack Jack just laughs it off as he phases in and out of the tunnel wall.

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If you want Incredibles merchandise, they’ve got you covered!

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Mr. Incredible then smashes through the tunnel wall with a cookie, hoping it’ll attract Jack Jack. Breathe through your nose here, it smells like cookies! (Funny story - Brittney was screaming out, not breathing in, so she had no idea there was cookie smell in the tunnel until I mentioned it after the ride!)

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Down we go!

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The coaster then curves around, revealing one of my favorite views at the resort!

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Into the loop we go!

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Woo hoo!

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After the loop, it’s up and into the final tunnel.

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Inside the final tunnel Jack Jack lights himself on fire!

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Violet then makes a forcefield protecting riders from the flames.

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As you burst out of the tunnel you can see Violet overhead creating the forcefield.

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The coaster then turns around again and heads towards the airtime hills.

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As you crest the airtime hills you realize that Jack Jack has multiplied and there are Jack Jacks everywhere!

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There’s one final scene that the cameras didn’t capture at the end of the ride, so it’ll have to be a surprise for when you ride the coaster yourself. But suffice to say there’s a “BIG” finale! (and a happy ending!)

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As you exit the ride there’s cool mid-century style art lining the walls.

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Don’t be a dummy, go ride the Incredicoaster!

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It looks like a family of water dummies is enjoying their ride! The handles on the water dummies look like eyes in the photo!

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Brittney was so excited for the Incredicoaster that she jumped for joy!

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Lets check out the rest of the Pier! Midway Mania is awesome as always.

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Here’s Poultry Palace.

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Buzz Lightyear has switched to Spanish mode at Señor Buzz Churros. Here you can get traditional churros, or if you prefer a little twist on the classic try the spicy churros!

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Angry Dogs!

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The boardwalk games have been re-done!

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You can try your hand at horse racing.

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Or try tossing the candy corn into Heimlich’s mouth.

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No Brittney! Don’t eat the candy corn!

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I gave the game a try, and ended up with an embarrassing 0 points!

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Brittney gave it a try and totally showed me up by getting 3 in! That’s a winning score!

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Unfortunately it was a “free play” they were offering for media to try out the game, so she didn’t actually win anything. But here’s what Brittney would’ve won had it been a real game! We love the Heimlich!

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There are lots of new Pixar characters that you can meet!

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Frozone is a ton of fun!

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The Pier is now officially open, but some elements such as Jessie’s Critter Carousel and Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind are still under construction and will be opening next year.

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The old billboards have been replaced with new Pixar inspired billboards!

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Keep our Pier clean!

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Next we headed over to Lamplight Lounge where we had an RSVP for a special preview dinner. The Lamplight Lounge is a restaurant that honors Pixar and the people who bring their stories to life.

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Above the staircase that descends to the restaurant is this large chandelier.

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There are lots of sketches hanging from the chandelier.

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Pixar inspired art adorns the lobby walls.

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After heading downstairs we come upon the indoor part of the restaurant.

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The indoor section is nice, but my favorite section is where they happened to seat us - right on the water with an amazing view of Paradise Pier! Best seat in the house? I think so! (Report continued below...)

Edited by ILoveRides
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... continued from above!

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We had an amazing view of Paradise Pier, but Brittney was much more excited about the front row view of passing ducks.

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Here’s the restaurant menu!

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And here’s the drink menu!

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This is one of the nicest drink menus I have EVER seen!

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There’s so much great art in it - it was really exciting just flipping through the pages taking it all in!

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Which one of the drawings should we order and bring to life? Decisions, decisions!

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The drink coasters say Lamplight Lounge on one side, and each one has different Pixar art on the back.

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A coaster and a coaster - a match made in heaven!

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Here come the drinks! On the left we have “Open Ocean with a Splash” - a frozen cocktail made with Bacardi Raspberry Rum, Bols Blue Curacao, Liquid Alchemist Orgeat (Almond), agave nectar, and fresh lime juice! On the right is “Server Room Chill” - A fizzy cocktail with Plymouth Gin, Aperol, agave nectar, and ruby red grapefruit juice. Both of the drinks were really great, but “Open Ocean with a Splash” was the winner for us - totally recommended!

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And here comes the food! First up is the Ratatouille, veganized with tofu! It was so yummy, and it’s such a uniquely Disney item that you won’t find at many other restaurants! Remy would be proud!

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Next up is the Impossible Burger. This off-menu item is available upon request, and it’s great as well!

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We had one more round of drinks! Brittney loved “Open Ocean with a Splash” so much that she got it again. Wanting to venture into uncharted waters, I tried “Final With a Fix” - tequila, raspberry liqueur, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and a dash of Del Maguey Vida Mezcal. Another really beautiful, delicious, thought-out drink! I’m beginning to see a trend here!

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I loved relaxing here and pigging out on food and drinks while taking in the amazing views of Paradise Pier!

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And Brittney loved relaxing here and pigging out on food and drinks while taking in the amazing views of passing ducks!

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We even saw Gertrude and friends heading over to take a ride on the Incredicoaster!

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When we were about to leave our waitress offered to give us a tour of the restaurant which we gladly accepted. This display of lighted Pixar balls is what you see at the bottom of the main staircase.

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On the other side of the Pixar Ball wall is a really special booth. The table has hundreds of Cars toys underneath the glass. How fun would it be to eat here and admire all the amazing details of the cars?

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Up above the same booth are shelves filled with a selection of Pixar toys!

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On the walls of the restaurant are all sorts of Pixar movie memorabilia and artifacts. There are movie posters from around the world, and behind the scenes photos and props all over. You could probably spend hours looking at everything!

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For example, this photo is from when the Pixar artists took a research trip during the making of Coco. It’s neat for guests to see these behind the scenes items, and it’s an awesome way to honor the creators of Pixar magic!

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We were then led to the back for a very awesome and unexpected surprise. I thought for a moment we were going to tour the kitchen, but instead we were taken to this interesting looking door. Our waitress spun the handle around and around until the 3 lights in the window lit up, unlocking the door!

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Inside this mysterious space was a private room with a dining table and framed sketches lining the wall. It turns out you can actually request this private room and if it’s available they’ll let you eat there!

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There’s even a lounge area in the room. But the best part of the room is yet to come... there’s another door beside the lounge area that you can open...

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And it opens up to a private balcony looking out at the Incredicoaster’s launch track!

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What a view! You can literally sit out here and drink drinks on your private balcony while watching coaster trains go by! It’s like Disney geek and coaster geek heaven! We TOTALLY have to come back again and try to do this sometime!

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And the icing on the cake? There are 2 special drinks - 1 alcoholic and 1 non-alcoholic - that you can only order from this room! We didn’t get a chance to sample them today, but if they’re anything like the rest of the drinks we had, they’re going to be amazing! What a neat space!

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We LOVED Lamplight Lounge. In fact, I’m just going to say it - I know the Incredicoaster is billed as the “star” attraction of Pixar Pier, but for me, the Lamplight Lounge was actually my favorite new addition. Everything felt very considered, and the food, drinks, and service were totally on point! Definitely make a reservation here if you’re visiting the pier!

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As the sun began to fade we headed over to Pixar Pal-A-Round.

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The experience is pretty much the same as it was on Mickey’s Fun Wheel, but all the gondolas have been Pixarized (Pixarated? Pixamatized?).

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There are swinging gondolas and stationary ones. Brittney doesn’t like the swinging gondolas, so I distracted her as we walked in so that she wouldn’t notice I chose the swinging side - because lets face it, everyone (except Brittney) knows the swinging gondolas are the best, right? She wasn’t very happy when she found out!

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She’s okay as long as we aren’t swinging.

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But once the gondola starts rolling and swinging she loses it!

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One more shot of the new Pixificated gondolas.

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I would hate to have been the graphic designer tasked with making Pixar Pier’s initials (PP) look good! I do like the subtle heart though, well done!

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There’s also a Pixar Ball water feature that you can spin around to your heart’s content.

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Lets take one last look at the Incredicoaster as the evening lights begin to turn on. The entry arch looks wonderful lit up.

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Here’s the view underneath the entry arch. For those who are into all the Instagrammable walls at Disneyland, this is being billed as a unique photo spot as well!

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I like the lighting!

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The queue has signs explaining who the characters are - so even if you haven’t seen the movies you should get a good idea of what’s going on. (But if you haven’t seen the movies, you should! They’re great!)

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Here’s Elastigirl’s sign!

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The mid-century looking station is a huge improvement over the old California Screamin' station.

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One last jump for the Incredicoaster, this time with some friendly passing cast members! (Thanks guys!)

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Here’s a shot of the new billboards as we headed off the Pier.

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We found our special moment at Lamplight Lounge! Where will you find yours?

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“The adventure is down there!” It sure is!

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But if Brittney isn’t careful she’s going to be going up!

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The Pier at night is lovely. It has all the charm of a California beachside boardwalk amusement park.

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This is what you see as you leave the Pier.

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We had an awesome time checking out Pixar Pier!

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We then watched Paint The Night, but we’ll include those photos in Part 2 of this report since we watched it on night 2 as well. Instead, we’ll skip now to Together Forever - A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular. We made it to Disneyland just as the show was beginning and Buzz Lightyear was flying over the castle.

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Ahhh, fireworks! That Mickey balloon was especially enjoying the fireworks - he had an amazing view above the crowd.

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Does anything say “Disney Magic” more than fireworks?

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If you remember our Pixar Fest report - we watched the fireworks from Main Street for that report. This time we were much closer to the Castle.

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The show gives different experiences depending on where you watch it. For example, we couldn’t see the inflatable characters on Main Street this time, but we had a better view of the projections on the castle. Over at the Rivers of America, they use the Fantasmic effects and water screens as part of the show - we haven’t seen it there yet, but it sounds like another great spot to watch it!

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Check out the lasers shooting out of the Castle! So many neat effects!

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Giant fireballs are always impressive!

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane - nope, it’s the giant balloon from Up!

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You get a great view of this when you’re near the Castle!

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What is this firework effect called? A fan? A wave? Whatever it is, it wouldn’t be a Disney fireworks show without it!

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Here are a few more photos to oooh and ahhh at!

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Oooh!

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Ahhh!

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Here comes the finale!

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So many fireworks! It’s like staring at the sun!

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After the fireworks we headed to Pirates of the Caribbean.

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You may remember that we checked this out in our Pixar Fest report because they were about to make some big changes to the ride.

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Well, those changes have now been made, so lets see what was done!

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Right after the piano is the first major change. The fog screen projection effect has been removed, and the original voice of Paul Frees once again narrates the dark cave.

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There’s a new scene inset into the cave with a skeleton holding a treasure chest.

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As you pass by, the skeleton comes to life! It’s a neat little effect, and my favorite change that was made.

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The ship battle scene was extra foggy on the day we rode. I don’t know if that’s the new norm, or if it was just extra foggy in there that day, but it was neat! It made it feel more like you were out in open waters.

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Here’s the biggest change, the brand new scene to replace the bride auction!

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Instead of auctioning brides, stolen goods are now being auctioned off.

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That clock looks heavy!

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There are lots of references to the old scene. The auctioneer now says, “Strike your feathers, dearie. Show them your flock.” instead of, “show ‘em your larboard side.”

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And the redhead is still there, but now she’s a pirate named Redd.

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Overall, most of the ride is just the same as before though.

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And whether you support the changes that were made or not (it was quite a controversial topic!), there’s no disputing that Pirates is still among the best attractions in the world!

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And most of the original iconic scenes still remain!

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Including perhaps the most famous scene, the dog with the key!

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After Pirates we joined up with a rowdy bunch of green aliens and we all took the monorail out of the park.

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Sadly, today is over. But never fear! We’ll be back for tons more fun in Part 2 of this report! Still to come: More Pixar Pier, Pixar character meet-and-greets, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge construction pictures, the Paint the Night Parade with a new Incredibles float, and a love story about popcorn! Stay tuned for all of that! In the meantime, thanks for checking out part 1 - and don’t forget to check out Pixar Pier which is NOW OPEN at DCA!

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wonderful report! thanks so much for sharing.

 

What is required to get onto that special Balcony in the Lounge? Is that reserved for certain guests, or certain levels of Disney customers? or just if it's empty, one could request to sit out there??

 

great pics!

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This is such a great report! I can't wait to get back to Disneyland to check out Pixar Pier--especially Lamplight Lounge where it looks like there are a ton of new items I need to try (plus more of my favorite lobster nachos)! Thank you guys for sharing such awesome photos with us!

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What is required to get onto that special Balcony in the Lounge? Is that reserved for certain guests, or certain levels of Disney customers? or just if it's empty, one could request to sit out there??

 

We were told that normal guests could request it, and if it was available they’d be allowed to sit there. I don’t know if there are any restrictions beyond this, but we weren’t told of any. I’m guessing that availability will be VERY hard to come by once word gets out - so my advice if you’re interested would be to visit ASAP (and probably call in advance of your visit if your heart is set on it). I will say though, the room itself didn’t have any windows, so I much prefer the open-air experience of the normal restaurant for dining. But for drinks, sitting out on that balcony would be really nice!

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^^ Cool.. thanks.

 

it will be a while before we get back to Disney, but absolutely on our radar due to the Pixar Pier overlay.

(we don't care too much about Star Wars (I KNOW!!!). . so likely will try to visit once that is open, since that will draw most of the crowds away from DCA)

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Lamplight Lounge looks amazing, and honestly the Incredicoaster looks like a great re-furb of an existing attraction. I don't know, I've seen a lot of people on Twitter and other social media outlets bashing the whole Pixar Pier overlay but honestly I think it all looks pretty great.

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Wow, I didn't pay much attention to it until now, but that lounge is fantastic. So many good things. Although the "you can only order this drink from this one specific room" is just so California. I'm sure that appeals to somebody, but being from the Midwest, it just seems ridiculous.

 

But really all of Pixar Pier looks...incredible.

 

latest?cb=20070908163244

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Awesome trip report! Really enjoyed the photos and the Pixar themed jokes in the descriptions. It's cool to see all the nods to Pixar short films spread throughout the pier, like Knick Knack's shop and the La Luna sign in the Lamplight Lounge. The Lamplight Lounge looks, for lack of a better word, incredible (that private room is crazy), as does the Incredicoaster. Hope to be able to visit someday!

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It does give Pixar it's own stand alone area of DCA. Which is definitely D-CAlifornia, right?

 

Good for it and The Best Ever to all the Re-Imagineers involved.

 

And AWESOME for your great TR of the opening of it all, thanks!

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Another amazing report with stunning pictures and detail. Pixar Pier looks great, and it's so nice that Incredicoaster is open now! After seeing the movie I really love the theme and what they did to refresh the ride. The food and drink options all sound soooooo good! I seriously love these reports as I'm not able to make it out to Cali very often and Disneyland/DCA is probably my favorite park. These reports make me feel like I'm right back there

 

Thanks!

-Zach

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