Great news! The Pixar Place Hotel is officially open! Formerly known as Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, the property has been rethemed to match Pixar Pier at Disney’s California Adventure. While this hotel may be considered the “value” option out of the three hotels at Disneyland Resort, it certainly is not a budget experience. Keep reading to learn about everything Pixar Place Hotel has to offer!
Pixar Place Hotel is unique in that it wasn’t originally a Disney property! It opened in 1984 as the Emerald Hotel of Anaheim, owned by the Tokyu Group. The Walt Disney Company purchased the property in 1995 and it was renamed Disneyland Pacific Hotel. When Disney’s California Adventure opened in 2000, the hotel was renamed Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel after the Paradise Pier (now Pixar Pier) area of the park.
In 2024, the hotel underwent extensive renovations and was renamed Pixar Place Hotel. Some of the rooms even overlook the pier area, and you can watch World of Color from your room!
The hotel consists of two towers with 481 rooms, which includes 25 suites.
Pixar Place Hotel is the smallest of the three Disneyland Resort hotel properties, and is also the furthest distance from the main gates of Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. For these reasons, this hotel often has the lowest prices of the three Disneyland Resort hotels.
Even though Pixar Place Hotel has the smallest hotel footprint overall, its rooms are very spacious and the hotel has all the amenities you could want, including a sit-down restaurant, a gift shop, fitness center, meeting space, and a “rooftop” pool and waterslide.
While staying on Disneyland property is overall magical, this hotel does have a few negative features. Their elevators are small and slow, the dining options aren’t great, and the pool area is very basic.
Pixar Place Hotel Review – Disneyland Resort, California
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There are lots of benefits to staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel verses staying off-property. The best benefit is probably the Early Entry for Disneyland Resort hotel guests. Guests can enter either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure, depending on the day, 30 minutes early and can experience select attractions and restaurants. Valid theme park admission and proof of hotel stay (your key) is required.
Another benefit of staying at Pixar Place Hotel specifically is its own entrance into Disney California Adventure! The walkway is located across the street, right next to the entrance gate for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. You’ll enter the park near the Golden Zephyr attraction.
A new benefit for Pixar Place Hotel is exclusive character meet and greets! Guests can frequently find Joe Gardner from “SOUL” playing piano in the lobby, and Bing Bong hanging out in the lobby or by the pool.
Other perks include: wake-up calls from characters, charging purchases to the room via your key card or app, have purchased merchandise sent to your hotel front desk instead of carrying it around, preferred access to hotel dining reservations, and of course, that full immersive Disney magic!
Lobby and Parking
If you are driving to Pixar Place Hotel, you can either valet at the front entrance or park behind the hotel in their parking structure. Enter the parking structure via the guard gate for Pixar Place off Disneyland Drive (turn east for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel valet; turn west for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Pixar Place Hotel self parking).
Parking in the structure will put you at the back of the hotel, and be advised there is one elevator and it can be slow, so if you have a lot of luggage you may want to drop it off at the front before you park, or unload it on level one and have a member of your party wait with it.
When you enter the hotel on level one from the parking structure, you need to walk through the hotel corridor to get to the front desk on your right side. A Cast Member will assist you with checking in.
This is a fairly small hotel, so everything is easy to find. Adjacent to the lobby you will find a sizable gift shop called STOR-E. At the end of the walkway you’ll find two dining opens – Great Maple, a sitdown spot, and Sketch Pad Cafe, a coffee lounge with grab-and-go options.
The hotel utilizes “smart” elevators. Press your destination on the central screen and you’ll be assigned an elevator – A, B, C, or D. This was my first time using an elevator assignment system like this and it seemed to work efficiently for me.
To walk to Downtown Disney and the Monorail station, exit the rear of the hotel (near the parking structure) and go right towards the Disneyland Hotel. Keep going right adjacent to the Disneyland Hotel until you reach the security checkpoint for Downtown Disney. The Monorail station is to the left, just after security.
Pixar Place Hotel has 15 floors and nearly half of the rooms have park views. Many of the suites are located on level 3 and do not have park views, but do have lanai access to the pool. Note that most rooms do not have a lanai or balcony.
The rooms have been recently refreshed (in 2024) and they feel modern and clean and new. The Pixar theme is evident by a big mural on the wall behind the beds and the iconic Pixar logo lamp on the desk.
A minor inconvenience for me is the washroom. I prefer a split washroom, which makes mornings easier when sharing a room with others. One person can shower while others utilize the sink area.
The newly remodeled Pixel Pool is themed to “Finding Nemo” and looks like a lot of fun for kids. They have a waterslide and a splash pad as well. There is also extensive lounge space next to the pool that includes firepits and a game area. A cafe and bar will open in March 2024.
Restaurant and Lounge
Located on the main floor, Great Maple serves American comfort food. The indoor/outdoor setting is very nice and perfect for warm summer nights. There is a large U-shaped bar which is perfect for travelers who just want to relax with a drink. While the food options are extensive, I was not impressed with any of the dishes I had. I did enjoy sitting at the bar and chatting with the friendly staff.
Sketch Pad Cafe
Right next to Great Maple is Sketch Pad Cafe, serving freshly made coffee and tea drinks, plus grab-and-go pastries from Great Maple. I spotted croissants, muffins, cookies, and brownies. I had a delicious iced mocha latte here but at nearly $10 for a small cup I don’t think I’ll be returning.
The pool bar will open in March 2024.
Ballrooms and Meeting Rooms
Pixar Place Hotel has one main ballroom and several smaller meeting rooms that are currently under renovation.
The recent renovations to Pixar Place Hotel certainly improves this locations credibility, although it still lacks the charm of Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. If you’re a Pixar super fan, you’ll love it. If you’re not, I recommend spending the extra money and staying at Disneyland Hotel instead.