Well, well, well… look who’s on hand to give us a little Sneak Peek of Pixar Pier, opening on June 23, 2018 in Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort!
Edna Mode from The Incredibles — who, by the way, guests will soon be able to meet in both Disneyland Resort (starting June 15th) and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom (beginning Memorial Day Weekend) — started off a day of Pixar-riffic adventure, offering glimpses into all the fun — and FOOD — that is to come on Pixar Pier!
I was so excited to attend a Media Preview for Pixar Pier yesterday, and I can finally share this sneak peek — and even some sneak tastes — with you!
We got to hear directly from people behind the scenes of Pixar Pier. The panel of presenters included Creative, Art, Show, and Culinary Directors, as well an Executive Producer of Walt Disney Imagineering and the General Manager of Disney California Adventure Park West. And the excitement over this new Land was palpable!
Actually, though, “sneak peek” may be a bit of a misnomer… because there is a TON of new info to share! So let’s dive right in!
Pixar Pier Neighborhoods and Attractions
Four neighborhoods will make up this new Land. The Incredibles, Toy Story, and Inside Out will each have their own themed neighborhood, and several Pixar stories will be represented in the fourth neighborhood, the Pixar Promenade.
There is a goal of making each neighborhood feel like its own “individual land.” For instance, between Incredibles Park and Toy Story Boardwalk there will be a water wall so the music from one won’t be heard in the other.
Speaking of The Incredibles neighborhood (which will be known as Incredibles Park)… The Incredicoaster was created in partnership with the production team from The Incredibles 2.
The premise is that The Incredibles are being honored in their hometown, Municiberg, with the coaster. As it turns out, Jack Jack and Edna Mode are not tall enough to ride the coaster (parents, you may know the feeling…), so they have to wait in the VIP lounge.
So, Jack Jack escapes (natch)! And it’s time to chase Jack Jack (and tempt him with COOKIES!) to get him back.
Look for effects and story to include two minutes of original animation, a countdown from Dash at the start of the coaster (with a water effect!), and 50 pounds of glitter (!!!) to make the fire scene! Tracey Noce, Creative Director of Walt Disney Imagineering, shared that hand-painted murals will also complete the coaster.
Of course, since cookies are such a huge part of the coaster’s storyline, Disney will actually pump the scent of cookies into the coaster and tempt YOU with the Jack-Jack’s Num Nums cookie kiosk (which we told you about a while back here!) on your way out! More on that later in this article… .
Mickey’s Fun Wheel is being transformed into the Pixar Pal-A-Round.
While Mickey’s mug will still be featured on the Paradise Bay side of the wheel, you’ll see the Pixar Ball as the central image from the Pier side.
The gondolas themselves will feature various pairs of Pixar pals (like Mike and Sulley!) with new character art — 12 pairs in all! Roger Gould, Creative Director for Theme Parks – Pixar Animation Studios shared that, like Pixar Fest (happening right now), attractions like the Pixar Pal-A-Round are not just celebrating the Pixar movies, but the emotional connection guests have with the characters and their friendships.
More Pixar Pier Fun
You can enjoy the Pixarmonic Orchestra right now during Pixar Fest, but they will receive a bandshell to serve as their regular location on Pixar Pier.
Games of the Boardwalk will be transformed into spots with Pixar themes and characters including characters from popular Pixar shorts like La Luna. Look for Heimlich’s Candy Corn Toss, Wall-E Space Race, La Luna Star Catcher and Bullseye Stallion Stampede.
A new centerpiece for the Land will be the Pixar Ball! And Jeffrey Shaver-Moskowitz (Executive Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering) shared that there will be more seating, shade, and comfort for guests so they may linger and enjoy the area even more — a genuine change in architecture to the Land.
Pixar Pier EATS
Now… what are we gonna EAT at Pixar Pier?!?
Garry Maggetti (General Manager, Disney California Adventure Park West) had not only some specs to share, but also some of the inspiration behind the lounge.
Offering 261 seats downstairs and 200 seats upstairs (and yes, reservations will be accepted), the spot will have a “California casual gastro pub” feel presenting a place to unwind and relax on the waterfront as part of the entry area for Pixar Pier.
Pixar Partners Roger Gould and Tasha Sounart (Creative Director and Associate Creative Director for Theme Parks — Pixar Animation Studios, respectively) shared how Lamplight Lounge will celebrate not only “the stories of the studio, but also the artists at the studio” in a stylish spot for the whole family to enjoy.
As the story goes, the lounge is an old warehouse space that’s been renovated, and the Pixar regulars at the establishment have left lots of cool memorabilia including sketches in the lounge.
Part of the fun in creating the Lounge was digging through the Pixar archives to find artwork, research trip photos, and even gather toys of the Pixar characters — all of which will play a part in setting the scene. “Layers of history” will be on display so guests can return multiple times and always find something new, with “lots of little secrets to find.” (LOVE!)
Fun fact! Harley Jessup is a production designer who worked on Coco, Ratatouille, and Monsters, Inc. who also worked on the design for Lamplight Lounge! Much like he wanted to strive for an authentic feel for Coco, he wanted the same thing for Lamplight Lounge — that it would feel like a spot “Pixarians” would frequent.
Now, we have known for some time that the Lobster Nachos from Cove Bar will be served at Lamplight Lounge.
But Culinary Director of Food & Beverage at Disneyland Resort, John State, showed us SO much more! He added on that the cuisine at Lamplight Lounge will indeed be “California casual gastro pub, playfully presented,” so we are to expect familiar foods presented in an unfamiliar way.
The presented selections — which he referred to as a “snapshot” of the menu, which will change throughout the year — were created with the diverse audience of Southern California, who are “open to all sorts of flavors, textures, and ingredients,” in mind.
Shareable items and full-on entrees will be served in different ways.
“Pix & Bits” make up the shareables, and will include a fun take on on Potato Skins, with crispy Yukon Gold potatoes served with brown butter-caper yogurt, smoked paprika aioli, and Manchego cheese.
The Carne Asada Rolls are a non-traditional sushi dish, featuring Grilled New York Strip Steak rolled sushi-style with roasted Fresno chili salsa, escabeche, and crema.
Culinary Director State shared that “sushi” simply refers to the seasoned rice, wrapped in seaweed. That’s why this playful take features the unexpected strip steak.
The “Budding Artists” menu is focused on the kiddos (ages 9 and under). And the PB&J Roll is… well, exactly what it sounds like!
The presentation of the creamy peanut butter and whole wheat rolled topped with strawberry jelly was created so kids can feel like they’re eating like mom and dad, sushi style!
It will be served with a “flowerpot” of veggies with hummus and fresh fruit.
The full menu served downstairs will also feature “Bigger Bites” (modified versions of these dishes will be served upstairs). These include a “straightforward” Chicken Sandwich covered with a spicy chili glaze, vinegar slaw, and pineapple butter on a toasted Amish bun.
Altogether, the flavor profile is sweet, spicy, and vinegar-y for a burst of tastes.
Another Bigger Bite will be the warm Spinach Salad.
It’s comprised of curly spinach with warm wild mushrooms, a soft poached egg (made to be broken and smeared throughout the salad), charred onion vinaigrette, shiitake “bacon” and blue cheese toast on the side.
We also learned that one signature dessert will be Mini Donuts with dipping sauces, and will be “the dessert that you’re going to want to get over and over.”
Of course, Specialty Beverages will play a large part of the menu as well, featuring handmade cocktails as well as mocktails.
The Senior Production Manager for Food and Beverage expressed that the cocktails served will be unique to Lamplight Lounge, with names inspired by the film industry and Pixar Studios. For instance, Over Budget is a classic Moscow Mule with the addition of passion fruit.
And The Last Word will be a refreshing mix of Aperitif Wine, Peche Liqueur, Amontillado Sherry, lemon juice, agave nectar, and soda water.
Beer drinkers will have plenty to look forward to with twelve beers on tap served downstairs, and six on tap upstairs, along with bottled selections. And one beer will be a proprietary brew entirely unique to Lamplight Lounge, created by Bottled Logic Brewery in Anaheim.
And now for the really fun part… we got our first taste of Lamplight Lounge, by trying two of the dishes!
I thought the Potato Skins (which Culinary Director State referred to as Potato Pillows and recommended that we swirl in both the butter-caper yogurt and smoked paprika aioli before taking a bite) were incredible. (No Pixar pun intended 😉 ).
The Carne Asada Rolls were a fun take on sushi. While I’m not a fan of seaweed (like…at all), I can still see the appeal of these for sushi fans and steak fans alike.
I can’t wait to taste more when Lamplight Lounge opens with the rest of Pixar Pier on June 23rd!
Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff Confectionery
Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff Confectionery (inspired by the candy tears of Inside Out’s Bing Bong, according to Associate Creative Director Tasha Sounart) will be located across from the Pixar Pal-A-Round. And it will be THE SPOT for candy treats and classic confections like caramel apples, cake pops, and more! OH, and yes…there WILL be Candy Tears from what we’ve heard!
But it will have MORE snacks unique to the location as well… like Rainbow Unicorn Cotton Candy! You may think that’s simply multi-colored cotton candy, but it will have a twist… as in, an actual twist. Tucked inside as the “stick” for the cotton candy will be a tall, swirly lollipop!
It will also feature a Slushy that’s a “mix of emotions”…custom made with the “emotions” you want! What came to mind for me was something similar to the World of Color Goofy’s Glacier situation — a “secret menu” item that you can create in Disney World and Disneyland currently.
FYI — the Slushy area will be themed to Jangles the Clown.
Pixar Pier Food Kiosks
Food kiosks themed around Pixar stories and characters will provide plenty of snacks around the Pier.
Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats
Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats has already been deemed an “insane hit.”
Jack Jack’s Cookie Num Nums
But we also received more info on a spot that has remained a bit of a mystery until now. Jack-Jack’s Cookie Num Nums (like we said, you’ll actually smell cookies when you step off the Incredicoaster) is going to serve warm, brown butter chocolate chip cookies… made REALLY BIG for sharing! (The cookie was actually compared to a pie since it will be so big and thick.)
But you can’t really enjoy a cookie like that without milk, right? And fortunately, flavored milks will also be on the menu!
will feature none other than Anger from Inside Out. As Tasha Sounart (Associate Creative Director for Theme Parks — Pixar Animation Studio) shared, this hot dog stand will offer different flavors with varying degrees of spiciness.
And the angrier he gets, the hotter the flavors are! Condiments will include choices like spicy srirachas.
Senor Buzz Churros
The Boardwalk, of course, is where you’ll find Buzz Lightyear represented (in Spanish mode, of course) at Senor Buzz Churros!
We learned one more detail about Poultry Palace (from the Toy Story Toon: Small Fry film short).
This giant fun meal box will feature a “fun size” Zurg for photo ops!
Now, how’s THAT for a “Sneak Peek”?!? I know I’m not the only one completely PUMPED for Pixar Pier! How about you?
Find out all there is to know about Pixar Pier on our Pixar Pier Page!
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Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Yesterday, we were invited by Disneyland to attend a very exclusive media preview of Pixar Pier. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ