Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog released more information on Pixar Pier, the new themed land coming to the Disney’s California Adventure park in Anaheim in 2018. The company is converting Paradise Pier, a recreation of turn-of-the-century boardwalks that features midway games and the popular California Screamin’ roller coaster, into an area devoted to the movies of Pixar. So say goodbye to the Santa Monica Pier homage you might be used to, and hello to attractions based around The Incredibles, Toy Story and more.
First up: California Screamin’ will be screaming away forever, as it’ll be rethemed into the Incredicoaster. This Incredibles-based coaster will maintain the same track layout as Screamin’, but with retooled cars, a new queue and vague promises of some kind of “new character moments.” Screamin’ is already one of the most popular rides at the park, so it’s not like it needed any kind of a redesign to stay relevant, but hey, Disney’s gonna do what Disney’s gonna do.
Elsewhere Inside Out will be getting its own small area, with an as-yet-unrevealed “family-friendly attraction” opening somewhere down the line. No word on if this will be a old school Disney dark ride or a carnival-style ride with some Inside Out theming. Toy Story Midway Mania, which has been a part of Paradise Pier for almost a decade, will be the linchpin of a new, expanded Toy Story section. And those old midway games will be getting a Pixar overhaul, so expect something like a WALL-E ring toss, or something.
And you know that giant Ferris wheel with Mickey Mouse’s face in the middle? The main central icon of Paradise Pier and, really, the entire California Adventure park, with the big, beaming face of a non-Pixar character smack dab on the side? Well, Mickey’s staying right where he is, but all the gondolas on Mickey’s Fun Wheel will have Pixar characters splayed all over them.
Finally, Ariel’s Grotto, a restaurant based in Paradise Pier, and the Cove Bar will both undergo as-yet-unannounced transformations into something presumably more Pixar-centric.
This only impacts one end of Paradise Pier. The northern stretch of the area will be rebranded as Paradise Park and will still feature classic boardwalk rides like the Golden Zephyr, the Goofy’s Sky School wild mouse coaster and the Silly Symphony Swings.
California Adventure is already home to two areas dedicated to specific Pixar movies. Cars Land is probably the best thing in the entire park, an exhaustively detailed and lifelike recreation of Radiator Springs. It’s the home of Radiator Springs Racers, one of the best Disney rides in the world. There’s also A Bug’s Land, which mostly features rides for smaller children and is rumored to be going away in favor of a Marvel-themed area, although nothing official has been announced about that yet. Cars Land won’t be going anywhere, but with Pixar getting its own section, and A Bug’s Life being one of the less popular Pixar films, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Disney thinks A Bug’s Land is expendable.
California Screamin’, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Games of the Midway, Ariel’s Grotto and the Cove Bar will all be closing on Jan. 8, 2018. They’re scheduled to reopen as the first wave of the Pixar Pier rebranding in summer 2018. So if you’re a fan of the pleasant little waterfront throwback as it’s been known since 2001, you’ve got just over two months to visit it one last time.