Lamplight Lounge has a prime location on the water at Pixar Pier , and their menu mixes highly themed drinks with iconic DCA dishes. Plus, they have a (not-so-secret) secret menu! We previously shared a first look at our experience, and now we’re here to give you all of the details! Let’s cross into the world of Pixar and dive right in!
As you enter Pixar Pier you can’t miss Lamplight Lounge. It’s the big white and red building to your right as you enter (look for the big red pointy rooftop!). Lamplight Lounge opened a few years ago when it took over the space that was once the Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto.
The vibe at this restaurant is very relaxed and laid back, and the decor celebrates all things Pixar! The famous bouncy Pixar lamp, Luxo Jr., inspired the name of Lamplight Lounge. You’ll spy tributes to him everywhere, including in the logo! You can get a FULL look at the decor by checking out our review from when it first opened.
Lamplight Lounge has an outdoor patio upstairs, as well as indoor and outdoor seating downstairs. For the event, they were only seating guests outside. The style is very casual with cafe-style tables and chairs as well as bar seating.
On our last visit, tables were pretty tight together, but now due to health measures in place, they were much more spaced out.
Not that we would ever complain, because look at this perfect view!!! It’s no surprise the spot has copious outdoor seating — it’s a popular location to get a prime view (with food and drinks!) of the nightly World of Color showings (when they’re happening!).
We visited on the first day of the event, and were very impressed by the service! The cast members were definitely excited to be back (more on the service in a bit!).
Now on to what we really came here for, the FOOD (and maybe a drink. Or two. Or three…).
During A Touch of Disney, Lamplight Lounge will be offering a few main food items, kid’s items, and assorted wine, beer, and specialty cocktails. Once we were seated, we were given paper menus to peruse.
The menu has been reduced to just a few options. There are various types of burgers, nachos, and bar snacks…
…paired with beer…
…as well as their signature Pixar-themed cocktails…
But we weren’t after THOSE drinks. Those “in the know” know you could typically order from an extensive SECRET menu here back in the Cove Bar days and, thankfully, into the Lamplight Lounge days as well! These drinks were all mainly layered concoctions that were MAJORLY Instagrammable and often quite strong. We were curious if the secret drinks made the Touch of Disney cut and THEY DID! (Cue us doing a major “OMG they’re still here!” happy dance!)
We started with two drinks that have been legendary to DCA since this location was still the Cove Bar: The Fun Wheel and the Neverland Tea! Both of these drinks are from that secret menu, which makes them feel even more special! These are the perfect Instagram drinks! The “secret” menu drinks here are all takes on a Long Island Iced Tea. Most of the drinks range from being moderately-strong to VERY strong but are still VERY sweet (bright fun colors in a mixed drink often mean SWEET! That certainly applies here!). You definitely get bang for your buck in the booze department with these.
First up, the stunner Fun Wheel. This starts with your standard Long Island ingredients — gin, vodka, and rum — but the color comes from pineapple juice for the yellow, then X-Rated Passion Fruit Vodka for the pink layer, and then blue curaçao (Disney’s favorite 😂).
This drink is just very sweet and fruity. You get a bit of pineapple with it but mostly a strong boozy flavor and, again, SWEET! This one will cost you $14.
Next up, the Neverland Tea for $13.25. You might think you can fly like Peter Pan after too many of these, so careful! 😉
This big greenie is made with vodka, gin, and rum plus peach Schnapps, Pineapple Juice, and Midori (the neon green you see above!). The flavors here are still super sweet but the Midori lends a nice mild melony flavor. Combined with the peach and pineapple, it’s very drinkable.
For food, we started with the Lobster Nachos and the Spotlight Nachos. Because what is better than one plate of nachos? Two plates of nachos!!!
The Lobster Nachos are a staple DCA item that has been around for-e-ver. They are made of warm lobster with black beans, aged cheddar-Oaxaca cheese sauce, pico de gallo, and chipotle crema (plus plenty of fresh jalepeño slices!). It’s a MONSTER plate of chips! The toppings are flavorful and there’s a nice zing from the chipotle. And who doesn’t love a drippy cheese sauce?
The lobster on top had a nice flavor, but we would have liked a little bit more to go with all those chips.
For $21, this is majorly sharable and (if you like seafood) basically a rite of passage if you eat here!
The Spotlight Nachos are a more classic version of nachos and consisted of chile-spiced beef barbacoa, pinto bean puree, spicy tomatillo salsa, onions, cilantro, chipotle cheese sauce, queso fresco, and pickled jalapenos. This is a good option if you aren’t into seafood but still want nachos. We love that there’s a nacho dish on the menu for everyone! 😉
We thought that they were very tasty BUT…they’re the same price as the Lobster Nachos — $21. If you’re comparing nachos to nachos here, you get WAY more toppings and a MUCH bigger plate full of chips with the Lobster Nachos. The Barbacoa nachos were just kind of underwhelming in comparison and not as good of a value. But, they did have a nice flavor and will satisfy those looking for a more traditional plate of nachos.
We also got the Angus Beef Sliders for $22. The Sliders pay tribute to an upscale burger and are made with a beer and bacon cheese sauce (!!!), tomato-habanero chutney, lettuce, and pickled onions on toasted Amish buns.
They are a crowd pleaser, and we think kids would enjoy them as well! The toppings aren’t TOO exotic. Still your basic burger flavors here. The chutney flavor was strong but not overpowering. And who wouldn’t want to just drink beer and bacon cheese sauce straight out of a bucket??
The menu notes these are cooked to guest preferred doneness but we were never asked what temp we wanted ours. The result? Well…
…fairly “well done” burgers. We would have preferred if we had the option to ask for these to be cooked a bit less, but the meat still had a good flavor and was surprisingly tender for being so cooked.
The Tuna Poke was made of Yellowfin tuna, “magic” watermelon, avocado, edamame, shishito peppers, and a spiced mango nectar. The dish comes covered in a “rice bowl”, which, when removed…
reveals the beautiful poke tower!
The poke was very light, and is a great guilt-free option. We thought it was a little mild in flavor but very refreshing. It’s the most adventurous item on the menu, and a great choice if you enjoy poke bowls! Be careful of the shishito peppers, about one in ten is super spicy!
The serving is fairly small, but it’s also one of the cheaper items on the menu at $18.
The food menu is small, so make sure there’s something for everyone in your party before making a reservation. Even though the options are limited, they are still just as delicious as we remember!
A full belly and two colorful drinks later, we were stuffed!
Nosh or Not
Bounce right to this spot if :
- You’ve never been to California Adventure before, as this is an iconic photo spot, especially at sunset!
- You are looking for a place to relax and have a drink because this place is alllllllllll about the cocktails!
- You want to try some iconic California Adventure foods. Sit down options are very limited in DCA right now, and we thought this was a great pick.
Pass this spot by if :
- You’re looking for more kid-friendly options (or more options in general — the menu is pretty limited right now!)
- You are looking for a quieter spot; the Incredicoaster is right next door and can get NOISY (although the rides aren’t operating right now, so it’s a bit quieter now!)
- You don’t want to waste time sitting down for a meal. There’s plenty of great options to grab as you make your way around California Adventure if you’re short on time!
We were just so happy to be eating in this spot once again! We LOVED it as Cove Bar, we LOVED it as Lamplight Lounge, and we LOVE that it’s back open finally!
Aside from those OG nachos, nothing registers as destination-worthy food to us here. Everything we tried was good, but not the BEST. This is a unique spot where the drinks are still the main draw. Well, and those bomb Lobster Nachos. A year later and they’re still delish. This spot is a fantastic location for first-time California Adventurers looking to take it all in as well as for folks just soaking up as much of the “back in the park” feeling as they can right now! (We feel ya!)
The views are still killer. We timed our meal just right to get gorgeous sunset views over the Pixar Pal-a-Round Wheel and the Incredicoaster. Sitting here on this covered patio just feels like being in California Adventure to us. And on our first day back in California Adventure for Touch of Disney, this was the perfect endcap to the day. We can’t wait nosh on more goodies once Disney’s California Adventure is fully open!
Will you be visiting Lamplight Lounge anytime soon? Let us know in the comments!