Pixar Pier transformation at Disney California Adventure begins Jan. 8

November 2, 2017, 1:58 PM · The Disneyland Resort will close many of its Paradise Pier attractions in Disney California Adventure on January 8, 2018, to begin the land's transformation into the previously-announced Pixar Pier.

California Screamin', Mickey's Fun Wheel, Games of the Boardwalk, Ariel's Grotto, and the Cove Bar all will close on Jan. 8, with the Cove Bar reopening briefly during the Spring Break period in April before closing again to finish its remodel.

California Screamin' will become the Incredicoaster, with a reopening scheduled for summer 2018. The rebooted coaster will feature "a mid-century-modern-style loading area, new character moments, and a new look for the ride vehicles," according to Disney's press release.


The Incredicoaster will anchor the Incredibles-themed eastern quarter of Pixar Pier. Next to that will be a Toy Story-themed section, anchored by the existing Toy Story Midway Mania ride. (No official word yet from Disney on which zone gets the rethemed King Triton's Carousel in between.) Mickey's Fun Wheel will anchor the third "neighborhood," as Disney is calling the new subsections of Pixar Pier. This one will be a grab-bag of all other Pixar franchises, with each of the 24 wheel's gondolas featuring different Pixar characters. (Mickey's face remains, however.) The fourth neighborhood, where the old Maliboomer was, will be themed to Inside Out and feature a "family-friendly attraction, scheduled to open at a later date."

The rest of Paradise Pier, from the Silly Symphony Swings all the way around to The Little Mermaid ride, will become Paradise Park as Disney splits the former Paradise Pier in two.

Pixar Pier will open in time for the Pixar Fest event that starts on April 13. However, as mentioned, the coaster won't be open until the summer and the Inside Out attraction not until who-knows-when. No word yet on new names and reopening dates for Ariel's Grotto and the Cove Bar, either. (The line for Lobster Nachos on Jan. 7 is going to be crazy.)

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Replies (43)

November 2, 2017 at 2:05 PM · Hope they don't change Screaming too much as love the launch and the loops. Still good work, nice to see the park adapting.
November 2, 2017 at 2:09 PM · I don't think the track will change at all. Can't really tell from the concept art, but I hope they lose the over the shoulder restraints on the redecorated trains.
November 2, 2017 at 2:13 PM · I think Incredibles will work for Screamin'. The movies has a great score that they can adapt for the ride and I like the concept art for the new queue. I hope they make some sort of story work for the ride so it isn't just a IP-branded rollercoaster a la Six Flags. I'm curious what the family-friendly Inside Out attraction is going to be. Are there any rumors about that?
November 2, 2017 at 2:16 PM · And the reason for taking a cohesive theme and chopping it into 3 different ones is? What about Ariel and Goofys sky school? Are they not part of the pier?
November 2, 2017 at 2:25 PM · Daniel, I've always thought that Paradise Pier mostly lacked theme (because its theme is based on boardwalks that don't really have themes, and in that respect, it's themed excellently). I think adding characters will help it. This is coming from a huge fan of Pixar movies so I might be biased. I think it will help the park feel more like Disney.
November 2, 2017 at 2:40 PM · I think this is awesome. I actually thought that should've been done to Disney's Hollywood Studios as well with the current Pixar Place, however that never got off the ground and now it's gonna be a land themed to one pixar film franchise(Toy Story) instead of incorporating a lot of them which would've been better in my opinion.
November 2, 2017 at 2:40 PM · When does Disney consider summer? I’ve got a trip planned for the second to last week of May... would be a huge bummer if California Screamin was closed!
November 2, 2017 at 2:55 PM · Before everyone jumps on the poo-poo train, remember how much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair took place prior to the renovation of the then Tower of Terror.
I have to admit, I love the turn of the century seaside boardwalk vibe of Paradise Pier, so I don't feel the need for changing this up for changing's sake.
I love the mid-century look of the station and I'm curious about the fully enclosed tunnels where once there was only half enclosures. I just hope that a land based on Pixar characters has as much depth of story and emotional connection as their movies usually do.
November 2, 2017 at 3:07 PM · The best part of Pixar Pier will come at the end of the night, when all the street lamps jump down and stomp on the people who don't get out of the land in time. #BadLuxo
November 2, 2017 at 3:13 PM · This is all so stupid...

Disney World is getting these cool new attractions and we are getting THIS?

November 2, 2017 at 3:19 PM · I have never heard of an announcement with so little.

There's at least 4 unknowns.
1. Ariel's Grotto
2. Cove Bar
3. King Triton's Carousel
4. Inside Out attraction

Then there's no mention of how the midway, shops, carts, and food areas will be re-themed.

I assume the area music will change too. You'll hear a mix of all the Pixar hits in a boardwalk style hopefully not in the chintzy style of how they did "California Girls".

November 2, 2017 at 4:08 PM · Still seems like a bad idea to me. I love Pixar, but nothing to be excited about here. This is the level of theming you would expect at Six Flags. It would've been better if they just filled the pier, demolish everything except Midway Mania, and create a clone of DHS's Toy Story Land. There's no reason for any of these poorly themed rides to be near each other besides being created by the same studio. At least Toy Story Land has a theme! These are just a bunch of reskinned rides on a fake boardwalk for no reason! Why are they doing this!?
November 2, 2017 at 4:28 PM · What an INCREDIBLE waste of money. When are they going to stop TOYing around with the park. Until they FIND a solid plan and get it UP to the standards of Disney park and get a story behind the place it's just going to FLOUNDER.
November 2, 2017 at 5:58 PM · I like the changes. Pixar finally will have a cohesive place at the resort.

Anton, I know the midway games will be various Pixar IP's....so I'm guessing the tidbits they didn't mention will be as well. (I could see a Remy food cart....Wall E recyclable containers, Buy N Large, etc.)

Pixar has such a diverse catalog that this seems like the possibilities could be endless. I'm assuming Cars & a Bugs Life will be excluded from this area.....??

On another note, that California theme is slowly (or should that be rapidly) dissolving....

November 2, 2017 at 6:08 PM · The Carousel has a giant Jessie doll standing guard over it in the concept art, so perhaps that will be redone with a Toy Story theme. I wish they would relocate the Carousel by Mermaid and kept the theme, giving the Pier a new ride in it’s place (Slinky Dog Spinner like in Paris/Hong Kong?).

More to the point, they’re only adding one small family spinner for Inside Out, which is certainly more deserving of a better and... more imaginative ride. And where is the theater seen in the D23 reveal, either for a relocated Turtle Talk or clone of Florida’s Pixar Short Film Fest? Or just revolving M&G’s with Merida, Wall-E and EVE, and so on? This amounts to a lame re-do of a decently-cohesive area, with little net gain for the park capacity.

Now, if they announced another dark ride or something in the helix of Screamin’, then maybe we’d have something here. But for now, I just see this as a place to throw a mix of Pixar stuff without committing to building a new, expensive ride or show for each Pixar film. It’s... lazy and underwhelming, compared with Pixar’s other marquee Cars Land in the same park. It smacks of dreams of execs filling a store with hot Pixar merch, with little thematic connection, other than brand. This is the third redesign of this area, and guess what? It started cheap, the first re-do was budget cut (lost new station for Screamin, Fun Wheel, and Carousel, and Parachute ride from DCA 2.0)... anyone care to guess how this will look in a few years, compared to Cars Land, Galaxy’s Edge, and Marvel Land?

November 2, 2017 at 7:09 PM · The concept art makes it look like King Triton's Carousel will be Toy Story-themed. Jessie appears to be spinning it. The Inside Out ride looks like a classic spinning attraction not all that different from Golden Zephyr, which is disappointing to me. I hope Imagineers do some work designing a great Inside Out attraction of some sort for some park (Imagination Pavilion or somewhere at Hollywood Studios?) because there is so much to work with in that brilliant movie.
November 3, 2017 at 9:53 AM · I wouldn't be surprised if this is part of a larger overall re-theming of DCA and the resort in general. The new hotel and Splitsville both look very mid-century as well and old Hollywood is being replaced with a decidedly more contemporary Marvel Land. Paradise Pier has a great old timely feel but its a case of the parts being less than the sum. Some of those opening day attractions need to go- like the Golden Zephyr, which can't operate in breeze and Goofy's Whiplash Madness. What are they going to replace them with more retro carnival rides? They have to do something else and this seems like a move towards the future.
November 2, 2017 at 9:12 PM · Incredicoaster? That's the name Disney came up with for the retheme of California Screamin'? And I thought CraZanity was bad...

Honestly, other than the uber-lame name, I think this area looks decent for what it is. 90% of it is just a cosmetic change, and while it won't resemble a Victorian pier any longer, it will fit a bit better as a Disney park. Plus, we're getting one or two minor attractions out of it as well. Yes, it is completely unnecessary, but if it will draw more people to DCA it's a good move for the park.

November 2, 2017 at 10:29 PM · Pixar Pier and the icon/wienie is a giant Mickey face lol
November 3, 2017 at 3:48 AM · Um, the new Inside Out ride looks suspiciously like Flik's Flyers from a Bug's Land. Moving it over to make room for Marvel land?
November 3, 2017 at 6:01 AM · If I had to guess a “Why?” behind this decision, it’s because A Bug’s Land will be removed in the near future to make room for other IP based attractions, possibly more thrilling. Pixar Pier will be able to accommodate the families with small children that would otherwise spend time in A Bug’s Land.
November 3, 2017 at 7:22 AM · Disneyland lovers.... welcome to they way WDW lovers have felt for the last 15 years or so. Feeling as though everything you get is very lack lusters while the other park gets all the goodies. It's a sucky feeling that I hope goes away soon for you guys and doesn't last as long. I think the feeling will go away when more information and renderings are released for the new Marvel Land.
November 3, 2017 at 7:50 AM · I'm not really sure what the purpose of this makeover is other than to take more California out of DCA (already lost Soarin', the entrance, and will soon lose the Hollywood Backlot). These "mini-lands" make very little sense in the grand scheme of the area, and will break up what was probably one of Disney's best modern themed designs. I'm curious if Incredicoaster will include more actual stops at the block breaks, instead of roll thru's, to allow for animatronics and a story to play out during the ride. Based on the one drawing, it doesn't look like the OTSRs are going away (appear to be bright blue in the concept drawing).

The release doesn't say, but I'm wondering if the Pixar Parade will be routed solely through Pixar Pier or will follow the typical DCA parade path on the other side of the lagoon (Paint the Night will clearly go that way).

The strangest bit to all of this is that Cars and Bug Life both have their own independant lands at DCA and there's the Monster's Inc. ride in Hollywood, yet Pixar Pier is supposed to be a celebration of "everything Pixar". At this point, Disney might as well just call DCA Non-Lucasfilm Stuff We Bought Park, and just eliminate all of the California theming.

November 3, 2017 at 8:08 AM · The timing stinks. We're making our first trip to Disneyland ever in May, 2018 and two big rides are down for re-theming!
November 3, 2017 at 8:32 AM · This really looks like a mishmash of designs that add very little to the Guest experience of these attractions. DCA Needs more attractions to equal Disneyland’s variety, not more money spent to make existing rides look different. They already did that! Our experience of the Sun Wheel is the same as Mickey’s Fun Wheel and Pixar’s Fun Wheel. The Inside Out ride appears to be Flik’s Fliers rethemed.
November 3, 2017 at 9:47 AM · Buena Vista Street, Grizzly Peak, half of the Paradise Pier, and Hollywood are there. Soarin' has a new movie, but the land reflects more of California's national parks aesthetic. Bug's Land and Carsland were added after the fact. Pacific Wharf didn't change yet. There is still a lot of acreage that's not affected by the makeover.

Disney doesn't need to eliminate California theming. They are merely applying a Disney character overlay to the California theming. No one is saying the Haunted Mansion is now the Nightmare Before Christmas and it has nothing to do with New Orleans. Pixar Pier is placed in California as is the Little Mermaid is still in Paradise Park in California. Did anyone claim Ariel's Grotto was not in Paradise Pier? What changed? Nothing really.

They added mid-century architecture to the Incredicoaster. This re-affirms the placement of the pier. All you have to do is look at the architecture of the new Luxury hotel coming to Downtown Disney.

Seems like everyone is getting upset over what is perceived as the breakdown of the park theming. My feeling is it's more a deliberate re-positioning of the park towards newer IP. They built DCA to break away from Disneyland. After trying to bring it closer with DCA 2.0, it's time to move in an another direction.

November 3, 2017 at 10:24 AM · See, that's the thing Anton. DCA 2.0 to me was a refocusing of the California theme while incorporating some new IP. With that, they were very successful in incorporating facades the evoked California along with its architecture and lifestyles while housing attractions that appealed to a world-wide audience through their IP. It seems that the $2 billion makeover wasn't enough, and instead of reaffirming the California aesthetic, Disney is doubling down on IP alone. I still don't understand why they can't digitize Soarin' Over California and have DCA run that movie, while EPCOT runs the more appropriate Around the World movie. I could be wrong, but I doubt Marvel-land will incorporate anything related to California, since most of the MCU happens in NYC or outside the US altogether. If IP is more important than the overall park concept (which is clearly what has happened over at DHS), then they should rename the park. There is still California in DCA, but it's clear park designers are no longer interested (or more likely don't want to be bothered) in maintaining the theme across the park. Cars Land was a perfect example of how IP can be used to compliment the overall concept of DCA (Little Mermaid in the old Golden Dreams Theaters wasn't terrible either), so either Imagineers have gotten lazy/cheap, or simply have run out of ideas to get IP to work within the California concept.
November 3, 2017 at 10:23 AM · I agree with you Anton. And as far as the California theming goes.. while Paradise Pier 2.0 is certainly better that the 1.0 version it doesn't feel particularly California. Neither does 'A Bug's Land' (which was set in Texas.) Frankly, I think this is much better than having a 'Toy Story Land' like the other parks. At least it will have a good mixture of attractions for all ages.

I also agree that this is probably a precurser to removing A Bug's Land (and possibly Monsters Inc.) to make way for the new 'Marvel Land.' That would make a lot of sense from a theming and traffic flow point of view. And we don't know what the new Marvel Land is going to look like yet. It could actually reinforce the California theme even better than the faux Hollywood backlot.

November 3, 2017 at 10:30 AM · Interesting that DCA and Hollywood Studios are heading in such similar directions: California entryway/Main St (even the same gates!) with IP themed lands surrounding it. Very little unifying theme. I understand why it is happening at Hollywood Studios but I can't believe they are so quick to change DCA after spending a billion fixing it such a short time ago.
November 3, 2017 at 10:31 AM · Well said Russell. There is Pixar already all over the place.
November 3, 2017 at 10:31 AM · Well said Russell. There is Pixar already all over the place.
November 3, 2017 at 11:26 AM · I have to disagree. How did the Little Mermaid compliment the California theme exactly? I don't think the Imagineers are lazy or have run out of ideas (regarding the CA theme.) The Pixar makeover in fact looks to be reinforcing the California theme better than the Victorian makeover did.

As far as Marvel Land goes. The settings in the films often deviate from the original comics. Iron Man for example is mostly set in Southern California. Like at HKDL they can place the earth-bound characters pretty much anywhere.

November 3, 2017 at 11:28 AM · "How did the Little Mermaid compliment the California theme exactly?"

That mural in the loading area. It may seem silly, but that simple mural makes the connection between the exterior of the former Golden Dreams Theater/Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and Ariel's undersea world. While most of us know the Little Mermaid story evolved from a Hans Christian Anderson fable set in the North Sea, it feels right at home on the Northern California Coast with the Theater being the portal.

The Victorian look of Paradise Pier was perfect, and evoked the long held connection between Californians and the Pacific Ocean. The design of California Screamin' to appear like a classic wooden coaster on an entertainment pier was pure genius, and further bolstered by the Midway look, TSMM, along with the Mickey/Sun Wheel and the Golden Zephyr, unusual for today, but commonly found attractions on seaside amusement parks (I LOVE the Zephyr, long live the Zephyr). The Mid-Century Modern look being plastered onto Screamin' works for the Incredibles theme, but buys into a current architectural fad not singularly identifiable with California and one that will be out of favor again by the time Disney opens it.

It's true that Iron Man identifies more with California than anywhere else, but the MCU, which I would think is where Disney would go with any Marvel Land, moves him to NYC. Also, if the rumors of Disney's ride patent application are true, Marvel Land will be anchored by SpiderMan, who has always resided in NYC. I have no doubt that Disney can put any character in any setting, but from what they've shown us so far with this Pixar Pier renovation is that California is no longer a primary design directive for attractions in DCA and the IP now rules over park concept. But, I guess some would say that's already been done with Avatar at DAK and what is happening to DHS and to a certain respect USF. The idea of a singular park concept driving attractions and design is a thing of the past.

November 3, 2017 at 12:03 PM · The attempt to bring the California theme to the distant past of 1900s is no more as was the original attempt to bring it to contemporary time of the year 2000. It's now bringing it to the modern age circa 1970s. It seems to line up with Cars Land that has tributes to the 1960s. Grizzly Peak is 1950s. Buena Vista is 1940s. Each land references a decade. Then again, characters are timeless. Or sort of since we are getting a new Mickey Mouse.
November 3, 2017 at 11:30 AM · That's an interesting interpretation Anton. If Disney really had that in mind, then call me amazed, because it does work. However, I don't think Imagineers are thinking about it that deeply, and are instead figuring out how they can plaster IP over the beautifully Californian facades as fast and cheaply as possible.
November 3, 2017 at 12:01 PM · Here's hoping that they'll squash Bugs Land (sorry) and use the Pixar area to add some new rides aimed at younger children. As it stands, the Bugs Land rides are all duds (the bumper cars go 2mph; the ladybugs are tea cups minus the spinning), and almost all the other "kids" rides (jumping jellyfish, swings; etc.) have height restrictions that box out younger riders.

Honestly, as the park currently stands, parents with young ones are limited to crap bugs land rides, the carousel, ferris wheel, mater, dancing cars and ariel. Hard to justify more than a morning there.

November 3, 2017 at 1:25 PM · Russell: I do agree DCA looks like a mishmash. Hopefully, it'll look more coherent within another 5 years. Same situation with Disneyland's horribly neglected Tomorrowland and the aging Fantasyland. The icing is the new Downtown Disney with new luxury hotel.

My bet is they'll do Marvel Land as a Phase 1 instead of waiting for the Eastern Gateway with transportation hub relocation, which is further down the line. This means Bugland will go away and they'll build behind Tower of Terror within 5 years. What happens beyond 2022 is anyone's guess.

November 3, 2017 at 1:46 PM · And see, that's the problem. DCA 2.0 was supposed to fix all that, and despite $2 billion, they're back at it, and doing so on the cheap again. I didn't mind the redo of the entry plaza (still kept it California), while Little Mermaid and Cars Land did an excellent job relating to the California themes. Marvel Land would seemingly solve the blight that Bugs Land is, but potentially takes out Hollywood in the process too (perhaps win win in the long run). Pixar Pier takes a sledge hammer to the over-arching California theme that DCA 2.0 sought to maintain. Whether future developments further strip California out is still unclear, but if I had worked on DCA 2.0, I'd be pretty upset at what appears to be a cheap refacing, which goes back to why DCA 2.0 was necessary in the first place. Has Disney not learned anything from this park??? Do they even know what this park is supposed to be and its target audience???

I completely agree about Tomorrowland, but it's clear, with Galaxy's Edge on the opposite corner of the park, the land is going to continue to get neglected for the foreseeable future. I'm surprised the tree-huggers at CalEPA haven't forced Disney to shut down Autopia, which would go a long way in forcing Disney's hand in fixing Tomorroland. Fantasyland is what it is, though some unification of styling, like what Disney was able to achieve in WDW, is desperately needed, though Small World and Matterhorn cannot be sacrificed for that effort.

Call me skeptical about the new hotel. The initial visualization for me is a bit meh. The project is going to cause a HUGE amount of growing pains, only compounded by the increased attendance likely due to Galaxy's Edge. Reworking Downtown Disney was a must, and moving the entire complex towards a self-contained resort (pushing locals out of Downtown Disney in favor of hotel guests), I think is a smart move in the long run. However, I wonder if locals may just become overly frustrated with the whole place (perhaps also because of new AP rules to limit visits in the face of overwhelming Star Wars crowds), making DL/DCA a more hospitable place for tourists like me (tentatively planning for a summer 2019 visit). However, what's good for me is not good for you Anton, who I assume lives in SoCal.

November 3, 2017 at 2:12 PM · This is what I think they should do: one ticket for BOTH parks. In Orlando, a ticket for any park also gets you into DHS, but at WDW you probably have a park hopper anyway. The bottom line is with DCA being so shut down, they should give the park hopper option for free.
November 3, 2017 at 4:29 PM · How did you hear $2 Billion? I heard $1 Billion and it still isn't enough to completely makeover DCA. It's just too hard to bring up the entire DCA park to Disneyland standards. Pixar Pier is a bandaid. Actually, there's nothing they can do with the land without completely taking it out so they won't. There're merely bringing it up to DHS' Toy Story Land, a minor step up.

Downtown Disney needs to move to the east side via the Eastern Gateway. There's no more room on the west side. The new repositioning of the hotel changes everything.

November 3, 2017 at 4:51 PM · Hey Russel, it seems you're not familiar with Mid century modern, so here's a definition from Wikipedia, "Mid-century modern is a term that describes mid–20th century developments in interior, product, and graphic design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965." You don't need to worry about it going out of style. It's sufficiently dated to feel stylized and timeless at this point.
November 4, 2017 at 11:00 AM · Looking forward to the park rename: Disney Partner-Affiliate Studios Adventure.
November 6, 2017 at 11:15 AM · I didn't say it would necessarily go out of style, but it, just like any distinct architectural style, is likely to fall out of favor at some point. Mid-Century Modern has been a "hot" style trend over the past 1-2 years, but is just another in a long line of trends/fads that come and go in the blink of an eye. There's little about the design aesthetic that will hold in the long run, which is why it fell out of favor for nearly 50 years. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and while I think the style works well for an Incredibles themed attraction, it uproots a much more stable and widely appreciated Victorian design aesthetic that has proven to not only be perfect for the entertainment pier theme of that section of DCA, but also a more timeless architectural style than mid-century modern. Style comes and goes with the times, but I think uprooting a style that worked so well for an area of the park to cater to an IP is the exact opposite of what Disney should be doing with the park, and the exact same poor decisions that led to the need for DCA 2.0.

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