The day before Pixar Pier debuted to the public, Disneyland offered the option of a VIP-style party so guests could experience Pixar Pier in a more intimate environment. Many guests thought it ridiculous and that it was simply too expensive for a retheming of a land that already existed. When it was announced, even I thought it was a silly idea. As the event inched closer and there were still tickets available, I decided I would go simply to see what could possibly be so different to offer the $300 price point. I ended up being pleasantly surprised and was given one of my favorite experiences in recent memories.
Included in the $300 ticket to enter the party were these perks:
- Mix-in with Disney California Adventure Park starting at 3 p.m.
- Parking for the Disneyland Resort
- Unlimited PhotoPass downloads for the event
- A sampling of food items from each outdoor vending stand on the pier
- First access to attractions, merchandise, and photo opportunities
The obvious draw for this exclusive party is to ride the new attractions in the pier. I was expecting lines to be longer as most guests were showing up simply to see these new offerings. To my surprise, the capacity of the rides was much higher than the attendance of the party, and all attractions were available with absolutely no wait. The only time I experienced any wait was when I opted to wait for the next car so I could ride on my own. There was never any pressure to experience attractions with guests you didn’t know, and you were frequently encouraged to choose where you wanted to sit. By the end of the night, I had experienced Incredicoaster six times and Pixar Pal-a-round and Toy Story Midway Mania once. This gave me time to truly experience and enjoy Incredicoaster from every point on the train and experience it at all points of the day. This alone made it worth it, as I knew lines would grow over summer.
Throughout the day, there were many Pixar characters out and about for meeting. One of the most exciting parts about there being so many characters was how many of them were characters you don’t get to meet frequently! Some of the more rare characters I saw were Boo from Monsters Inc., Remy and Emil from Ratatouille, and the entire gang from Up! There was a DJ hosting a dance party throughout the night, and the characters would often stop on their way to meet guests to have a dance with guests! As the party was closing out, the dance floor was full of Pixar characters, giving us the opportunity to not only snap pictures but also experience our favorite characters in a way that not many can say they have.
With food being included with the price of admission, I wasn’t expecting for the lines to grow as long as they did. Really, the longest I waited for anything was for food! With the event credentials, there were tabs for the redemption of food, drink and the swag bag at the end of the night. Truly, the only food I was interested in was the warm chocolate chip cookie from Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums, so I opted to try out the food at Lamplight Lounge instead, which was not included. Party guests only had access to the upstairs seating, but the appetizers were more than enough to keep me happy! Getting access to the lounge without having to wait the lines that I know will be coming this summer was a huge perk!
While I was surprised that there wasn’t any exclusive premiere merchandise available for purchase, I was blown away by the bag we were given as part of our entry! The bag itself it a quality canvas backpack that notes that it was for the Pixar Pier Premiere. Inside the bag was an exclusive premiere party ball cap, a full-size Wall-E plush, from the games area of the park, an Incredibles 2 water bottle with matching sunglasses, and an exclusive Incredibles lithograph that features the exit scene from Incredicoaster. All of this was unexpected, as it wasn’t mentioned in the promotional materials, and was one of my favorite surprises of the night!
When I came back the next day for the official opening of Pixar Pier, my choice to attend the party was immediately validated. It was difficult to move, the lines were stretching to be hours long, and the demand for food was so high that some stands were running out. I realized that the party allowed for an experience I may never have again, an opportunity to run around taking pictures and experiencing the pier with no crowds. I felt like I kid experiencing Disneyland for the first time with how much I felt my experiences were unlimited. As someone who doesn’t enjoy large crowds, the party was the perfect and least stressful way to see the pier for the first time, and I will never forget that!
Overall, while the price tag was a little outrageous to some, I would easily pay it again to experience that level of joy and comfort for an opening weekend. It allowed for an amazing and calming opportunity surrounded by people who shared the same level of passion and excitement.
Check out our video recapping the event below and let us know what you think!