Pixar Place Hotel

Pixar Place Hotel: Disneyland Resort’s Tribute to Artistry and Imagination

by Joe Tracy, editor of Theme Park Magazine

Since 1955, Disneyland and the Disneyland Resort have been a beacon of imagination, a place where stories come to life in enchanting ways. On January 30, 2024, Disneyland Resort unveiled its latest contribution to the adventure: Pixar Place Hotel.

Replacing Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, the newly reimagined Pixar Place Hotel seeks to celebrate Pixar Animation Studios’ creativity, artistry, and storytelling skills. The 15-story hotel, perched with a view of Disney California Adventure Park, introduces guests to a world where Pixar’s characters and tales envelop most aspects of their stay.

The Evolution of Pixar Place Hotel

As guests cross the threshold into Pixar Place Hotel, they enter a world where artistry and innovation converge in a celebration of Pixar’s storied history. This hotel, with its design spanning from the inviting lobby to the themed guest rooms, serves as a living tribute to the creative journey of Pixar Animation Studios. It encapsulates the evolution from initial concept sketches to the cherished cinematic treasures that have captivated audiences worldwide. Yet, the story of this hotel is not just about its present incarnation but also its history, marked by significant transformations that reflect the changing landscapes of hospitality and entertainment at Disneyland.

The origins of the hotel trace back to 1984 when it first opened its doors as the Emerald Hotel of Anaheim, later becoming The Pan Pacific Hotel Anaheim. In 1995, Disney, planning a massive expansion, saw the potential in this property and brought it into its fold, rebranding it as the Disneyland Pacific Hotel. This acquisition marked the beginning of a new era, aligning the hotel’s destiny closely with the thematic and immersive experiences Disney is known for. The turn of the millennium in 2001 saw another transformation, with the hotel being renamed Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, coinciding with the opening of Disney California Adventure Park. This change further integrated the hotel into the fabric of the Disneyland Resort, offering guests thematic accommodations that complemented their park experience.

The most significant metamorphosis came in 2024, with the reimagined hotel opening as Pixar Place Hotel. This transformation is the most extensive in the hotel’s history, symbolizing a new chapter that honors Pixar Animation Studios’ legacy and showcases the seamless blend of art and technology.

First Impressions: A Pixar-Themed Welcome

Upon stepping into the Pixar Place Hotel, guests are immediately welcomed by the lobby’s vibrant redesign, a loving tribute to the expansive Pixar universe. This space masterfully sets the initial scene with a captivating sculpture of the iconic Pixar Lamp, Luxo Jr. a playful nod to the studio’s creativity.

The lobby brims with Pixar references, ranging from subtle to overt, where each furniture piece, wall art, and architectural detail mirrors the rich themes and diverse color palettes found in Pixar’s storytelling. Adding to this immersive ambiance, a large video screen cycles through memorable snippets from Pixar films, wrapping guests in a visual embrace of Pixar’s cinematic magic.

Enhancing the lobby’s homage to Pixar, the front desk showcases featured moments from the films, starring characters in larger-than-life curated artwork that captures the essence of Pixar’s charm. Dominating the lobby’s visual landscape is a massive sculpture of the Luxo Jr., perfectly poised atop its ball. Above, an imaginative mobile featuring beloved Pixar characters dangles from the skylight, illustrating the characters in their formative stages—when they are first brought to life through basic shapes and colors by Pixar’s artists. This artistic installation serves as the lobby’s focal point and as a tribute to the creative process behind Pixar’s characters, inviting guests to embark on a journey through the imaginative worlds Pixar has crafted.

Guest Rooms: A Night with Pixar

The guest rooms at Pixar Place Hotel are designed spaces that reflect the whimsical heart and soul of Pixar’s universe. With an emphasis on bright colors, playful patterns, and artwork that’s been handpicked for the hotel, these spaces are crafted to offer a guest a peak into Pixar’s world.

The iconic Luxo Jr. lamp is central to each room’s charm, a nod to the Pixar short film that introduced audiences to Pixar’s storytelling prowess. Luxo Jr. serves as a functional light source and a warm welcome to guests, embodying the spirit of joy that Pixar films are known for.

Above the rooms’ headboards are a standout feature, presenting concept art from various Pixar films. These pieces are arranged by color temperature, showcasing colors’ nuanced role in evoking emotions and setting the scene for storytelling.

Beyond these eye-catching elements, the rooms are dotted with themed touches that pay homage to specific Pixar films. Guests might find bedding patterns featuring character silhouettes, artwork interwoven with iconic quotes, or color palettes that recall the mood of a particular movie scene.

Dining with a Pixar Twist

Pixar Place Hotel’s dining options, spearheaded by Southern California-based Great Maple, aim to transform meals into adventures by blending the art of cuisine with the magic of animation.

The Great Maple restaurant, a sprawling 6,500 square-foot space located just off the hotel lobby, serves as the cornerstone of the hotel’s culinary offerings. This modern diner takes a creative spin on upscale comfort food, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Signature dishes, such as buttermilk fried chicken paired with maple bacon doughnuts and Cajun shrimp atop a cheddar biscuit benedict, showcase the restaurant’s flair.

Just a step away from the lobby, The Sketch Pad Café offers a more casual, on-the-go dining experience without sacrificing the imaginative flair that defines Pixar Place Hotel. This cozy coffee shop serves a selection of artisan pastries, robust coffees, and soothing teas, perfect for starting the day or enjoying a relaxing afternoon break. The walls of The Sketch Pad Café are adorned with a timeline of Pixar films, depicted through character designs and early sketches, providing insight into the artistic journey behind some of the world’s most beloved characters.

Pixar Shorts Court and A Splash of Fun

The rooftop pool area is a colorful oasis featuring Crush’s Surfin’ Slide and Nemo’s Cove splash pad. By night, fire pits themed to Pixar’s fiery characters offer a cozy retreat, with a view of fireworks on select evenings.

Adjacent to the pool, the Pixar Shorts Court offers outdoor games inspired by Pixar short films, adding a layer of interactive fun to the stay. The STOR-E retail shop and various dining options, including the Great Maple restaurant, ensure guests’ culinary and shopping needs are enjoyed with a splash of Pixar magic.

Exclusive Pixar Place Hotel Guest Benefits

Like with other Disney hotels, staying at Pixar Place Hotel comes with several exclusive benefits, including:

  • 30-minute early entry to theme parks.
  • Exclusive entrance to Disney California Adventure Park.
  • Preferred access to hotel restaurants.
  • Select rooms with great Disney California Adventure Park views.

For More Pixar Magic, Visit Tokyo’s Toy Story Hotel

While Pixar Place Hotel marks a significant milestone in Disney’s themed accommodations, offering guests a delightful dive into the Pixar universe, it’s essential to cast an eye towards the Toy Story Hotel at Tokyo Disney Resort for a glimpse of the pinnacle in immersive hotel experiences. The Toy Story Hotel doesn’t just embrace its theme; it lives and breathes it in every detail, from the playful Etch-A-Sketch TVs that replace standard flat screens to the meticulously designed spaces that truly transport guests into the world of Andy’s room. The level of immersion throughout the entire hotel, where every element is a nod to the narrative, sets a high bar, showcasing what Disney can achieve when imagination and budget align perfectly.

The comparison serves not as a critique but as a beacon for what could be achieved at Pixar Place Hotel and beyond. While Pixar Place Hotel beautifully captures the essence of Pixar’s storytelling, the Toy Story Hotel in Tokyo is a testament to the transformative power of fully immersive environments. It’s a gentle reminder to Disney and its Imagineers that the magic of Disney lies not just in the stories they tell but in how deeply guests can be drawn into those stories, turning a stay into an unforgettable adventure. As Disney continues to expand its themed accommodations, the Toy Story Hotel stands as a shining example of the heights of creativity and immersion that can be reached, encouraging a future where every detail is an opportunity to enchant and amaze.

Pixar Place Hotel: Enhancing the Experience

At Pixar Place Hotel, each floor is dedicated to a different Pixar film. For instance, stepping out of the elevator on the 15th floor immerses you in the world of “The Incredibles,” with the decor reflecting the movie’s themes and color scheme. And Walt Disney Imagineering plans to continue enhancements, including a Creators Club concierge-level lounge.

The opening of Pixar Place Hotel marks a new chapter in the Disneyland Resort’s storied history. It’s a place where families can come together to celebrate the joy, creativity, and imagination of Pixar. Whether you’re a lifelong fan of Pixar films or experiencing them through fresh eyes, Pixar Place Hotel offers a unique blend of comfort, artistry, and magic that can only be found at the Disneyland Resort.

Explore More: Resources

Explore More: Videos

A look at the grand opening of the Pixar Place Hotel at Disneyland Resort

Disney Parks First Look and Tour of Pixar Place Hotel with a Walt Disney Imagineer

Note: This is a TOKYO Toy Story Hotel to show you how Pixar theming is done at an overseas hotel at the Tokyo Disneyland Resort.

About Joe Tracy

Joe Tracy, the creator, and editor of Theme Park Magazine, is a lifetime enthusiast of theme parks and immersive experiences. The publication was launched under his leadership on June 1, 2021, as a manifestation of his deep-seated love for all things themed. Joe has amassed over 20 years of expertise in both traditional print and online publishing.

Joe Tracy, editor of Theme Park Magazine
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