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Did Disney attain or destroy with the Pixar Pier?

June 23, 2018, 3:49 PM ·

So what did Disney accomplish with Pixar Pier, now that a refurbished land is open to a public?

At a unequivocally least, a switch from Paradise Pier has given Disney an forgive to boost a graduation of a land, that ought to expostulate some assemblage to Disney California Adventure this summer. We’ve been writing about this project for months and Pixar Pier stories now fill internal newspapers and inhabitant transport media, too. No one does PR like Disney, and when a association cranks adult that machine, it tends to get results. At slightest in a brief term.

And there is during slightest some piece behind a hype. Some unchanging visitors who no longer disturbed to float a California Screamin’ drum coaster will haven to go on a new form in a Incredicoaster. New food equipment around a land are already attracting fans fervent to fill their Instagram feeds, if not their stomachs. And a enlargement of a Cove Bar into a Ariel’s Grotto space in a guise of a new Lamplight Lounge expected will accommodate many Lobster Nacho fans who would have walked divided rather than wait in a aged bar’s consistently prolonged line.

So there’s that.

Superficially, Disney’s Imagineers combined an engaging masquerade for a refurbished land. Employing an Indo-Saracenic Revival character desirous by England’s Brighton beach (run by Pixar’s primary tone filter), a categorical opening to Pixar Pier provides DCA with another social-media-ready print backdrop.

And it’ll be even improved once Disney installs that betrothed Luxo Jr. animatronic atop a marquee.

While Pixar has combined some of a many constrained franchises in renouned entertainment, it doesn’t usually make features. Pixar has finished some-more to means brief films than any other studio in Hollywood during a moment, and Pixar Pier reflects that commitment, including references to shorts as good as a studio’s vital franchises.

But while Knick Knack pairs good with a altogether pattern of a land, other “neighborhoods” in Pixar Pier interrupt that flow. The Incredibles area drops us into a Mid-Century Modern style. Toy Story Midway Mania brings us back, yet a Poultry Palace usually sits within it like a giant, rejected takeaway box.


And construction walls around Jessie’s Critter Carousel and Bing Bong’s honeyed emporium and just-announced skeleton for a bizarrely named Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind (should have been “Memory Maker”), serve remind us that Pixar Pier is not a finished vision. Heck, Disney couldn’t even repair all a lights on a Midway Mania marquee.

Design tragedy can strengthen a project, if finished with intent, yet a incompletions amid a disruptions here usually leave me feeling undone instead of inspired. So is this devise a fail?

I don’t consider so. Pixar Pier improves on what remained Disney California Adventure’s many uneasy area following a billion-dollar 2012 makeover. It’s fun, and eventually that is a many vicious customary for judging thesis park attractions. Allow me to call in Joe Rohde for some pattern perspective, too.

Rohde led a pattern group for Disney’s 2017 hits, Pandora and Mission Breakout. While we am certain that Pandora had a bill during slightest an sequence of bulk incomparable than Pixar Pier’s, we would not be astounded if Mission Breakout also had a incomparable bill than a whole Pixar Pier makeover, as well. And that is a vast partial of a changing margin of play to that Rohde alluded.

Limited budgets do not forgive bad design. But they do criticism for what is clearly a some-more medium change than what fans saw from Mission Breakout opposite a park. we would have favourite to see Disney retrack a whole California Screamin’ and reinstate a trains. we would have favourite to see animation inside a Incredicoaster’s uncover tunnels. And we would have favourite to see Jessie’s coaster open this week, and a some-more novel float judgment for a Inside Out attraction. But it is easy to spend someone else’s money.

Yet when Disney spends that money, a Imagineering talent tends to safeguard that a association creates it back… and with large distinction alongside. Pixar Pier should assistance boost assemblage during a park this summer and beyond. But we fear that in 5 years or so, once a newness of a singular change has ragged away, Pixar Pier face a same predestine that Paradise Pier did — apropos a sleepy land that fails to excite would-be visitors to a resort.

And what will Disney do about it then?

If we haven’t yet, greatfully take a demeanour during a full coverage from a opening of Pixar Pier, related below, along with a Instagram story of a Pixar Pier media preview.

Replies (32)

June 23, 2018 during 4:39 PM

And what will Disney do about it then?

What each other park does with a kiddy land each 5 or so years, reskin it to some other IP.

June 23, 2018 during 4:45 PM

I consider a idea that Paradise Pier indispensable to be “fixed” is wrong. It was a many successful area of a park when it opened, and in a mostly strange state 6 months ago it was distant higher to a nothingburgers that are Bug’s Land and Hollywood Land, that for a impulse has a Marvel float with a horrifically forced thesis sitting in it. Paradise Pier wasn’t great; it was easily themed, to be sure, and in some ways it was lipstick on a pig in terms of lumping a garland of fair rides in one area; yet it had a bit of personality, gave immature children attractions they could do in a park, and had a legitimate idol in California Screamin’.

I adore IP in a parks. It’s a Disney park, it should have Disney characters. But this is forcing something where it wasn’t indispensable and doing it in run-down fashion, and we don’t accept that a singular bill can be blamed. I’ve forked on prior posts to Toy Story Land in Orlando as a good instance of putting together a peculiarity designation on a tiny budget, one that was cut exceedingly during a pattern process.

If we can’t do it properly, don’t do it.

June 23, 2018 during 5:10 PM

I feel like DCA is usually a large Tinker Toy for a Imagineers, something to play with when they have a bit of downtime. I’m job it a destroy until Luxo shows adult above a Pixar Pier pointer that we hear is another “later” addition. Not that it matters, crowds will come as they always do.

June 23, 2018 during 6:12 PM

They attempted to align a goals of Toy Story Land with Pixar Pier. we will contend they mostly succeeded if not for a 2 remaining attractions that couldn’t be finished in time. The theming lacks conformity as it is now. This is a watchful diversion to see how DCA turns out after entirely realized. This is generally loyal of Mission Breakout where it anchors a new Superheroes Land. This is a reason I’m watchful and watching.

June 23, 2018 during 7:07 PM

NICELY settled blog post.

Universal beheld a same with their Harry Potter lands, assemblage stagnated. But, usually like Disney they transposed a vicious disturb ride.

How will disturb seeking fans react? Hopefully, before flitting settlement on a family accessible captivate they will float it.

June 23, 2018 during 8:20 PM

Disney bound California Adventure in 2012 and has been ruining it ever since. Removing Soarin’ Over California. Removing Twilight Zone. Inappropriate I.P. is now everywhere, destroying California Adventure’s charm. California Adventure should be renamed Disney’s I.P. Projectile Vomit.

June 23, 2018 during 11:05 PM

Considering a spin of peculiarity that we’ve seen form Disney recently, it’s positively a dissappointment, yet it’s not a failure. The Incredicoaster and Pixar Pier are still improvements from what came before, even if usually a little, and I’m disturbed that tooany people are treacherous peculiarity with expectations.

June 24, 2018 during 2:14 AM

This park was a lot some-more awake about 6 or 7 years ago. California is engaging adequate to be a theme, they usually cheaped out and it never recovered. Maybe when a all Pixar it will make some-more clarity again.

June 24, 2018 during 3:56 AM

I privately don’t have a problem with IP’s when they are truly disney esque, pixar is defintely a improved compare than Star Wars, Marvel or Pandora. But that’s a whole other thing!
But a thing we am unequivocally struggling with is a miss of care, maybe we am too vicious yet we pattern a lot from Disney. And we am usually not observant it, we pattern full soak and we dont see it.
Without creation my criticism too prolonged a incredicoaster is a transparent instance of that. As we finish a ride, we transport of weed and dirt, and we see copiousness of backstage area as we stop before a final uncover building. To me this is all that Disney isnt. In a Disney park i dont pattern to see this arrange of thing and it overtly gets to me.
As we contend maybe we am too critial!
All in all we determine with an progressing criticism 100% “If we can’t do it properly, don’t do it. ”

June 24, 2018 during 6:39 AM

Although a post was inexpensive it did during slightest had a demeanour of an aged timey pier. A romanticized impulse in time usually like Mainstreet USA. They could have plussed that yet instead they lonesome it with extraordinary ip’s that all merit extraordinary rides, not a carnival.

June 24, 2018 during 10:58 AM

I don’t wish to sound like I’m knocking a whole thing. The new lights and pointer demeanour good and a cinema I’ve seen during night demeanour unequivocally good — is it gonna go behind to being dim many of a time since of World of Color?

I consider this new change unequivocally illustrates Disney’s change from place-maker to IP factory. we can know “Pixar Pier” and “Midway Mania” and since it’s in a California Theme Park. we don’t know a Incredicoaster. Am we ostensible to be on a rapid adventure, roving with a Incredibles or am we on a drum coaster that usually happens to be flitting by a Incredible family problems. we consider it would have been improved left as usually a good strand post drum coaster.

As Robert mentions, I’m surrounded by all kinds of time frames and styles. So since am we here?
And since is this opposite than any other slapped together entertainment park other than it has Jack-Jacks?

I wish they would usually possess a strand review thesis and make it a many amazing, pleasing chronicle of a strand post as usually Disney can do, or usually toss a whole thing and make it a genuine “Pixar” park.

June 24, 2018 during 11:17 AM

I don’t consider they should have entirely left it alone. Rather, revamp it, still gripping a Paradise Pier thesis yet redoing a marquee for California Screamin’ and repainting and improving a Cove Bar. Perhaps a improved thesis would have been to continue a change of aged Disney cartoons and widespread a Fabulous Five around a post in sequence to keep with a aged time feel.

June 24, 2018 during 12:14 PM

I’ll haven my finally settlement until we revisit a park myself and after a other captivate open. But carrying seen corresponding videos of a before and after we have to contend regardless of what we consider of a changes we have to acknowledge it’s visually a estimable improvement.

June 24, 2018 during 12:22 PM

The problem with Pixar Pier is that it took a cohesive thesis (early 1900 strand CA pier) adore it or not, and disintegrated into a mish crush of thesis and even underneath a some-more ubiquitous Pixar thesis it is not unconditionally transformed. The hulk Mickey face, Paradise Garden grill, Little Mermaid, all of that fit underneath a aged non IP specific theme, are now strangely out of place. Oddly adequate they could have still finished a IP synergy that they wanted, while gripping a thesis total (Midway Mania is a ideal example). It is a destroy imo, and doesn’t accommodate a standards set by a park opposite a esplanade.

June 24, 2018 during 5:02 PM

I consider there is something that a few commenters here forget, not everybody that visits DCA has a knowledge of a strand post attractions. To a lot of unfamiliar visitors, it is a nostalgia outing we don’t know since it was never partial of a history.

A Pixar Pier has a thesis and a offshoot that can have a tellurian appeal.

While other lands in Disney parks (Frontierland, Main Street are primary examples) are unequivocally Americentric, they have been immortalised in large films and tv shows over a decades, and still are to this day since a strand post doesn’t have that exposure.

Having pronounced that we desired a aged pier, we suspicion it was illusory and desired erratic around it and spending my time there and it didn’t need to be changed. However, we will still adore erratic around there and experiencing a abounding thesis that can pronounce to my personal practice with films.

This is something that will order fans, some will adore it, some will hate, and others (i consider most) cannot indeed caring or unequivocally notice sine a changes are mostly cosmetic

Perhaps a check should have had a final choice for ‘Meh, doesn’t matter possibly approach to me’

June 24, 2018 during 8:12 PM

Pixar Pier is an engaging judgment and investigate for creation an area of DCA feel new when there isn’t anything that is. Instead of giving Imagineers a leisure to dream large it all feels usually like lipstick on a singular bill and mandate. The arriving Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind is also a re-theming of Flik’s Flyers from a Bug’s Land area. The post now is divided into 4 areas with opposite themed song and rabble can designs that let we know what land we are in. Paradise Pier, during slightest ,had one low-pitched boardwalk thesis . we do praise Disney Imagineers for their expansion of a area. DCA continues to feel disconnected. An altogether devise of a park needs to residence how this ties in to a now treacherous Paradise Gardens Park area.

June 25, 2018 during 8:49 AM

Instead of “Emotional Whirlwind” it should have been “JoyRide.”

June 25, 2018 during 9:55 AM

I down voted this new concept, mostly on a fact that it’s not complete. The fact that there are still construction walls adult is disappointing.

However a changes in taste is a good sight.

And Lamplight Lounge is a good Pixar hangout spot. we was there yesterday with a jubilee of 8, that had dual apart groups of 4 reservations. However we were means to knowledge a private dining room inside a loll called The Office. This room is reservable for parties of 8-13, yet will shortly be a tough reservation to get as a now requisitioned out for a month. We were usually propitious Disney guest who got a warn for a birthday celebration.

June 25, 2018 during 10:09 AM

Judging by a lines this weekend, Disney will substantially hold a Pixar Pier reskin a good success! With all a media hype that went into a buildup, people were extraordinary and they came in droves to get in on a zeitgeist.

Park ridecount is down, yet a new “Land” is pulling in a bucks.

I’m not during all tender with a slipshod cosmetic enhancements that were made. The whole thing feels like it’s a outcome of lots and lots of bill cuts. However, Disney competence learn positively a wrong doctrine from this one: Build adult a marketing, skimp on a enhancements, and watch a income hurl in.

June 25, 2018 during 10:45 AM

Let’s not sugarine cloak things here. Disney is putting a lot of broadside and selling behind a common reskinning that would get slammed if it were during Disneyland or one of a WDW parks. we have no doubt that a bill was minimal, with Imagineers forced to put lipstick on a pig (not to contend Paradise Pier was awful, yet it was positively not a many cosmetically appealing land during DCA), yet fans should not be singing their praises simply since they did “something” (and overtly this “something” SHOULD have been finished 5+ years ago as partial of DCA 2.0). we don’t covet Disney for re-purposing and retheming attractions, yet Pixar Pier looks inexpensive and tacky, and adding another reskinned prosaic float on a pad that’s been empty for over a decade along with a rethemed carousel is not going to dramatically change what’s eventually a muted effort. Disney spent reduction money, and it shows, and if guests/fans accept this work as passable, Disney will continue to trim budgets and force Imagineers to do some-more work like this instead of blockbuster additions like Pandora and Galaxy’s Edge.

I have no doubt that Disney spent tons some-more on Pandora and expected a Guardians retheme of ToT, yet that should not forgive them from spinning this Six Flags-esque reskinning and publicizing it like it’s a subsequent entrance of CarsLand. The participation of TSL during WDW should also not be an forgive for Disney to cut corners and over-publicize this phoned-in try to crow summer attendance. we don’t hate, nor indispensably dislike what has been finished here (it’s a low-budget makeover of an area that indispensable a small some-more TLC than it received), yet Disney is approach overselling this. Sea World got in difficulty for doing a same thing with Antarctica and got hammered, so usually since it’s Disney overselling a common growth should not hoard a opposite response. The fact of a matter is that Disney can and should do improved than this, regardless of a budget, conditions, and thesis matter, and fans should reject inexpensive reskinnings like this, or they competence spin a norm, and CarsLans, Pandora, and Galaxy’s Edge will be once in a lifetime additions.

June 25, 2018 during 1:26 PM

The usually word we can come adult with to report Pixar Pier is “half-assed.” It seems like all a full-time imagineers were on vacation, so they let a few interns pattern it.

June 25, 2018 during 2:01 PM


Though I’d be wavering to use that denunciation with Jack Jack using around. we theory it’s a good thing he’s stranded on a finish of all those sticks.

June 25, 2018 during 2:15 PM

I consider it is too early to judge. Currently, a whole park seems to miss a cohesive theme. Disney needs to flow a lot of income into revamping a Hollywood Land and Grizzly Peak into something that pertains to Disney, Pixar or Marvel, even a renaming of a park could boost attendance. Disneyland excites a imagination, while Disney California Adventure sounds like a place indifferent for those with memories of California who wish to be reminded of a time left by.

June 25, 2018 during 2:57 PM

First of all, for everybody fortifying a ‘old’ Paradise Pier as somehow being a finish fulfilment of a thesis (turn-of-the-century strand entertainment park,) that’s insane. Before or after a vital re-work of DCA, Disney never unequivocally finished this theme, withdrawal a lot of Paradise Pier in a complicated drag.

With regards to either or not Pixar Pier is a success or not, we suspect that’s adult for interpretation. If we’re looking for Disney to broach immersive experiences, than a slew of off-the-shelf fair rides flashy in Pixar dress substantially doesn’t cut it. If we’re looking for some teenager improvements in décor and IP-related stuff, afterwards it does. (And if guest attend a park and are happy with Disney’s scanty investment in a area, afterwards it’s a success for a company.)

At a same time, I’m reminded of something Bob Iger pronounced in 2007:
“Any time we do something common with your brand, that’s a withdrawal. California Adventure was a code withdrawal.”

June 25, 2018 during 5:31 PM

Russell put it perfectly. In a preshow a Incredibles fun that a coaster is usually an aged float slapped with a new theme. Great irony.

June 25, 2018 during 6:51 PM

It’s an aesthetically upsetting place, a prosaic ring of pavement with 0 shade and a sounds of a city resounding on a other side of a fence. Almost no volume of themeing is going to change a fact that everybody is rushing to float their rides and get out of there before they detonate into flame.

Couple that with a stretch we have to travel for a rides that exist. The cost-benefit of walking over to Goofy’s sky propagandize is never an easy question. Or we could trek past a game/shopping alley that looks like it was purchased from Six Flags. It’s a sore frame mall in a center of a blazing-hot parking lot.

The coaster is passable, yet Goofy’s sky propagandize is a testicle-busting, decayed tort watchful to happen. The swings. The slower, reduction engaging swings. The crap small child parachutes that have a tallness requirement over anyone who could feasible suffer a ride. And bad mid mania, aka spinning Wii games from 5 years ago (on old-fashioned screens).

It’s like a genocide impetus opposite a object from Ariel to a Ferris wheel. This re-wrap can’t change that. All since they had to have a lake.

June 25, 2018 during 7:46 PM

Russel, Disney didn’t spend frequency anything on GOTG retheme compared to a investment they typically put into attractions… that is substantially since they suspicion this would work for Pixar Pier.

June 25, 2018 during 7:55 PM

Honestly… anyone observant there was a cohesive thesis in that side of a park is fibbing to themselves. Did we see a aged haven for a coaster? It did not demeanour like an aged coaster haven from a 1900’s. It looked like Six Flags.

June 25, 2018 during 11:36 PM

The Pier is a ideal instance of since it’s vicious to do something right a initial time. It’s always been my slightest favorite partial of any Disney park (maybe other than Chester Hester) and never was as good as a intention. It has always felt out of place during DLR, even yet DCA wasn’t as good themed as it should have been when it initial opened, a Pier took cheesiness to a whole new spin and it seems no matter what they did to try and jazz it adult usually doesn’t work. World of Color is a good captivate yet other than that they could take out a whole Pier and we wouldn’t care.

So does Pixar Pier transport any better? No…I mean, it’s a same thing, so we don’t have any disproportion in opinion about it.

June 26, 2018 during 2:21 PM

With Pixar Pier Disney had valid to everybody that it can broach a muted design, prophesy and execution of a Six Flags Park. Pixar Pier amounts to a Pixar Hometown Buffet of imagery, characters and IPs thrown together with a gone talent of Art Direction, placemakinng and storytelling. Pixar Pier is a homogeneous of a hothouse propagandize creation Snow White and a Seven Dwarfs embellished plywood cutouts and screwing it to their building and job it an immersive themed training environment. This land is full of low points, from a disintegrating collection of architectural styles, wanton graphics, and truly nauseous family of kiosks, to a mid-century meets spin of a century coaster that sells both The Incredibles and a strange character short. If this is a destiny of Disney, afterwards we are all in for a startle as Imagineers mistake themeing for storytelling. This will be one story that has an nauseous ending.

June 26, 2018 during 5:49 PM

As an 18 year-post Disneyland/WDStudio expel member, we was uneasy to see that Disney’s execs authorised such a cheesy re-do of a pier. It seemed to me that they rushed a opening. The changes on a Incrediacoaster are a joke, we felt like we was during Knott’s Berry Farm or Six Flags?! Where’s a Disney peculiarity control? Walt contingency be branch over in his grave during what a new era of Disney exec’s has finished to a high peculiarity standards and practice that Walt gave us.

June 27, 2018 during 11:48 AM

Considering a crowds that will be slamming Disneyland subsequent year, it competence have been wiser to bomb Paradise Pier altogether and build Star Wars Land there. But afterwards they had a outrageous investment in World of Color and would have had to (horrors!) change a name of a park again.

Barring that, we wish they had kept a thesis of a Victorian post and finished it even some-more aged timey. They could have put Mystic Manor somewhere and combined a fun house/spook residence attraction.

People like to be ecstatic to another time and place, a post could have been DCA’s homogeneous of Main Street. Yes we know, there’s Buena Vista Street, yet a post was closer to a time duration of Main Street.

Pixar Pier is some-more of a hodge podge, it’s partial aged time pier, partial mish crush of Pixar. I’m certain a Lamplight Lounge will be successful, yet it stays to be seen about a rest.

One thing that screams ‘carnival’ to me some-more than anything else is a ferris wheel/Mickey’s Fun Wheel/Pixar Pal-A-Round’. Even if it has a large Mickey face, it still doesn’t contend ‘Disney’ to me. To me, a ferris circle represents all that Walt was opposite in carnivals. It’s even some-more schizophrenic now, since Mickey doesn’t go in Pixar. we would have taken it out, yet again, there was substantially a large investment there.

Article source: https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201806/6166/