Hi Friends! It has been a couple week since I’ve posted to my blog. I think I started feeling like I needed a little break just after Easter. April is such a weird month because it holds the last holiday we ever spent with our son Ryan. Plus with the passing of each day it gets us closer to the May. We lost Ryan on May 2nd and with out telling me, it seems my body sort of shuts down and only does the bare minimum. The last couple weeks our little family has stayed close to home. Truly not doing much but spending quality time with just us. Playing inside Mila’s room, watching movies together and going out for ice cream. I kept quiet on social media and didn’t feel like I had much to share. A ton of you sent me kind messages, so many of you remember this time of year for us is a hard one. I have the best online friends in the world and I’m so grateful for all of you. I’m starting to feel like myself again and recently Mila and I took a trip to Disney California Adventure to celebrate her big brother. We get so many questions on what we like to do and eat at Disneyland I thought it would be fun to share exactly what we love so much about Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure.
And thank you again for being here for my family and I always.
As most of you know my three year old daughter Mila and I frequent Disneyland. We try to go at least once every two weeks. I know that sounds insane to some, but our family has been annual pass holders for nearly nine years. Disneyland is one of the only places I can feel my late son Ryan. Running around the park with what feels like both my kids is a feeling that I can’t quite describe. Disneyland fills my heart in all the right ways. Plus, the churros ;)
Lately, Mila and I have been hitting Pixar Pier a ton because it is filled with so many FUN things for Mila’s age. It also is home to TWO of our favorite Disney desserts! The churro cart, Senor Buzz Churros! The churros there are just your basic cinnamon sugar churros but with extra special space dust (edible glitter). Also, the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats stand! We love getting the lemon soft serve swirled with creamy vanilla! If ever on Pixar Pier, either of those two are worth a try. (Also the Jack-Jack Cookie Num Num stand serves warm chocolate chip cookies as big as your face! Definitely try those, especially on a nice cool evening to warm you up from the inside out :) Can you tell I have a thing for sweet treats?!
There are tons of benches and sitting areas in Pixar Pier. Out favorite place though to enjoy a snack is the bridge looking over the Incredicoaster start. You can watch the roller coaster count down and speed off. It is really exciting and the perfect dose of roller coaster thrill for little ones who are too timid or too short to ride.
One of the BEST things about Pixar Pier is the attention to detail. I guess that is true for all things Disney. Pixar Pier is filled with nods to all our favorite Disney Pixar films and tons of photo opportunities. I think Mila and I find something new each time we visit. As far as rides go, Mila is tall enough to ride Jessie’s Critter Carousel and Toy Story Mania. Which are both extremely fun! Pixar Pier is also home to The Incredicoaster, but Mila isn’t quite 48 inches tall yet to ride it. Mila is currently 42 inches and can ride almost every ride attraction at Disneyland. Though Mila’s favorites are still Haunted Mansion, The Little Mermaid, and It’s A Small World. I think once she gets older she’ll want to ride the bigger/faster rides. The good news is, within every “land” or section of the park there are rides that have no height requirements. There are more rides little ones can ride on than there are rides they can not. If that makes sense. If you are unfamiliar with the rides and which ones have height requirements, do your research before heading to the park. Go to the Disneyland Resort website HERE and look at the attractions. Make a list of the ones your children can and want to ride before going. This way you know which rides to make time for and which ones to skip.
Disneyland is known for a ton of things like their food, iconic rides, and character meet and greets. Though don’t forget there are so many other fun things to do within the parks! Especially on Pixar Pier! Mila has recently shown interest in the Pixar Pier games which are pretty incredible. There are four fun games similar to ones you’d find at a state fair or carnival. Each one themed with a Disney Pixar film. To play the games you’ll need to purchase a Pixar Pier Game Play Card that has prepaid credits on it. Then you use the card to play at which ever game you’d like to try. I typically only put enough money on the card for two games. Unless Dan is with us, he always wants to keep playing until he wins. The games are really fun and pretty simple. Sometimes we win and sometimes we don’t. This last trip we won the WALL*E Space Race game and Mila scored a tiny WALL*E.
If you follow my Instagram and Instagram Stories then you know that Mila is wildly addicted to body paint, face paint, paints on herself with markers etc. I think because Dan and I both have tattoos? But also because she thinks it is fun and loves seeing the colors on herself. She just recently started getting painted on her face. Normally she’d request to get paintings done on her arm so she could look at them whenever she wanted. Gotta love a girl who knows what she wants!
One of our favorite face paint areas is actually on Pixar Pier. It is right across the way from Lamplight Lounge (a delicious place for lunch/dinner and drinks). Mila likes this spot because they offer actual Disney Pixar movie characters. This time she went with Disgust from the movie Inside Out. Hot Tip - If we know we’ll be getting Mila’s face or arm painted then we usually try to hit that up first. This way she can enjoy it longer. Plus, you can get free touch ups all day at any face paint stand within both parks.
My favorite is watching Mila get her face painted. She acts like she is at a spa and becomes fully relaxed. I almost want to go grab her a drink and fan her with a giant palm leaf :)
So that is all the fun we like to have on Pixar Pier that is preschool friendly! Though below I’ve listed a few other fun preschool experiences at Disneyland Resort. I hope it helps when you are planning your next trip. We’ve done all of these and I’ve detailed below which ones are our favorites.
Disney Junior Dance Party at Disney California Adventure Park - Mila loves this show because it features her favorite characters from Disney Junior. It is loud and fully a dance party. We like to sit on the floor up close to the action but you can enjoy the show from the back too. Plus in the back there are a few seats. This show runs pretty much all day so it is easy to catch.
Mickey and the Magical Map at Disneyland Park - This has been our favorite show for years. It has characters, dancing, and singing. Plus bubbles and colorful confetti streamers. It is so fun for everyone in the family! Be sure to check showtimes and dates. This show only runs on the weekends and Mondays I believe.
Storytelling at Royal Theatre- Disneyland Park - I feel like I love these mini shows more than Mila. They are hilarious! The actors are so funny, some of the jokes I think are meant for the adults. You can either catch the story of Rapunzel or Belle and the kids can sit up front. In that same area you can also meet Princesses at Royal Hall.
Frozen Live at the Hyperion at Disney California Adventure Park - This show is incredible. We try to see it every few months. The last time we saw it we had the whole family with us on Ryan’s birthday last year. It was awesome. Honestly, this is a MUST see! When Elsa sings Let It Go it gives me goosebumps and Mila talks about it for days afterwards.
If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them in the comments below. Thank you for being here!
Photos by Lily Ro Photography