Pixar Pal-A-Round Pixar Pier Disney California Adventure
Located in the Pixar Promenade neighborhood of Pixar Pier is the Pixar Pal-A-Round, one of the most distinctive attractions around Paradise Bay. Each of the 24 gondola cars features a different Pixar character.
The Pixar Pal-A-Round may look like a traditional Ferris wheel, but it’s not. As the 150′ wheel turns, the attached gondolas revolve with it. While the cars on the outside are stationary, the inner cars cars hang on an interior track, allowing them to move in and out and swing as the wheel turns.
There’s no Fastpass for this attraction, and the queue is completely outdoors. There are two lines – one for the stationary cars, and the other for the swinging cars. The gondolas hold up to six people, three on each side.
The loading area can load three cars at a time – two swinging cars and one stationary car. Riders get to go around the wheel twice – it takes one revolution of the wheel (eight stops) to get all the cars loaded/unloaded, and then the wheel makes one complete revolution without stopping. Then the stop-and-go starts again as the cars are unloaded/loaded with the next set of passengers.
The gondolas are completely enclosed and there is no way to fall out, nor even to lose small items. There’s an excellent view of DCA, Disneyland and the surrounding area, though the wire mesh makes it difficult to take pictures.
This ride is not recommended for those who are afraid of heights. Those prone to motion sickness might want to consider riding the stationary cars only. And it can be a bit of a shock when the car starts sliding toward the outside of the wheel and swinging back and forth.
The complete load/unload cycle takes about 15 minutes. There will be a total of 8 stops – depending on your position in the load cycle, you might have 4 stops before the complete revolution and 4 after, or you might get on and immediately make one revolution, then experience 8 stops.
This is a slow-loading attraction, and it’s best to ride early in the day. When the line is long it can overflow the queue and spill out into the Pixar Pier area.
There is no height requirement.
Wheelchairs and ECVs enter the attraction through the regular queue then transfer into the car.
Restrooms are located behind Jessie’s Critter Carousel.
This attraction can be fun for the entire family, but those with younger children or those who might be bothered by the motion might want to choose the stationary cars.
Poultry Palace – chicken and turkey legs
Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta – pizza, pasta and salads
Midway Mercantile – Toy Story merchandise and souvenires.
Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff – Sweet treats such as candy apples and cake pops, saltwater taffy, frozen slushes, Pixar-themed apparel.
The Pixar Pal-A-Round opened June 23, 2018 as part of the re-imagining of Pixar Pier. When Disney California Adventure opened in 2001 the attraction was known as the Sun Wheel and featured a golden sun face in the center. In May, 2009 it was re-themed as Mickey’s Fun Wheel, with Mickey’s face replacing the sun.
The Pixar Pal-A-Round is modeled after Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel which opened in 1920.
On Mickey’s face, notice his eyes – they are the “pie-eyes” of the early Mickey Mouse cartoons.
There are 12 pairs of cars, each representing a different set of Pixar Pals: WALL-E and EVE, Miguel and Hector, Russell and Dug, etc.
Part of the loading area is actually below the water level of Paradise Bay.
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