Soft serve, and Angry Dogs, and cake pops, oh my!
Everything at the Disneyland Resort is changing this summer. Paradise Pier, which served as an ode to California’s coastal boardwalks and the games and attractions within them shuttered earlier this year, making way for Disney California Adventure’s newest land, Pixar Pier, opening June 23. With the reinvention comes a new story, design and effects to inversion coaster California Screamin’ — which will add animated superheroes from Pixar’s “Incredibles” to become the Incredicoaster — as well as a new “Toy Story” carousel and update to Mickey’s Fun Wheel paying homage to films like “Coco,” “Wall-E” and “A Bug’s Life.”
Out of all the changes, it’s the treats and eats that are poised to become showstoppers, with a half-dozen new locations that will serve can’t-miss cookies, upscale meals with a view, and even a brand new version of Dole Whip.
Come this summer, Mickey Bars won’t be the go-to ice cream — it’ll be lemon soft serve. “It’s Lemon,” a frosty citrus swirl, is likely to become the de-facto sweet treat at Disney California Adventure’s new “Monsters, Inc”-themed kiosk. Like the pineapple soft-serve sold in Adventureland, this one’s also made by Dole, making for an ideal frozen counterpart to Disneyland’s best-seller. The confection comes dipped in white chocolate atop a cone or mixed with blue slush for an ice cream parfait bearing the colors of the studio’s emblematic Luxo ball from its first animated short.
A pair of popular park eats will get the Pixar Pier treatment with kiosks dedicated to memorable animated characters, while two other new locations will offer Instagram-worthy food direct from Pixar’s films. Señor Buzz Churros will serve the cinnamon and sugar-dusted snack with a nod to the “Toy Story 3” plot of Buzz Lightyear being reset in Spanish-language mode, while Anger from “Inside Out” will put his hot-headedness to good use with an Angry Dogs hot dog stand. The forthcoming Poultry Palace kiosk, modeled after the popular Toy Story Toon “Small Fry,” will bring the pretend fast food chain to life while Jack-Jack’s Cookie Num Nums will provide sustenance to those braving the nearby Incredicoaster. (Not ringing a bell? The chocolate chip cookies are said to appear in the forthcoming sequel, “Incredibles 2,” out June 15.)
A full-fledged bar and restaurant will anchor Pixar Pier’s entrance and serve as its culinary home base. Lamplight Lounge, which will open in tandem with the rest of the land, replaces two of Disney California Adventure’s older restaurants: Ariel’s Grotto, a waterfront eatery with princess meet-and-greets and Cove Bar, an ever-popular lounge known for its colorful secret cocktail menu and monstrous lobster nachos. With the gastropub taking over both spaces, the lower level will operate a traditional dining room while the upstairs focuses on shared plates, like tuna poke and deviled eggs, offering options for vacationing families and casual locals while providing stellar views of the World of Color nighttime show. Intended to be where artists would hypothetically come spend time after work, the restaurant will not be explicitly Pixar themed but provide small nods to the storied animation studio amid the rustic industrial interiors.
Though it doesn’t count as one of the six new eateries, there will be another foodie favorite that can’t be missed come June: Bing Bong’s Confectionary. The candy shop helmed by “Inside Out”’s lovable imaginary friend will offer slushes, exclusive sweets and, if this journalist’s hopes come true, his very own candy tears.
For those who can’t wait until Pixar Pier’s summer opening for the vast array of delightful indulgences, there are plenty other cinematic-inspired bites available now throughout both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure for Pixar Fest, a resort-wide summertime celebration. Macarons shaped like “Toy Story” green aliens sold within a restaurant re-themed to the little claw-obsessed creatures, five different themed churros and candy apples in the likeness of Dory, Nemo and characters from “Up” are only the beginning of the seasonal items. With all this photogenic food landing at Disneyland, don’t be surprised if you don’t even find time to go on the rides.