Disney California Adventure 101 – Paradise Pier

Paradise-Pier1Walt Disney on creating an amusement park: “We believed in our idea – a family park where parents and children could have fun – together.”

Overview: Paradise Pier celebrates the lure of the Pacific Coast, which has welcomed countless visitors to its sandy shores. The pier pays tribute to the classic amusement parks that populated the California coast from the beginning of the 20th century through the 1940s. Paradise Pier features vintage-style rides and games, as well as many Victorian-inspired shops and restaurants and is located at Disney California Adventure Park.

What’s new: The nighttime spectacular “World of Color” debuted a new show for the holiday season, starting in 2013. “World of Color – Winter Dreams” features Olaf from Disney’s popular animated feature film “Frozen.” Guests put their gaming skills to the test with the Fun Wheel Challenge, a smart device, Wi-Fi-based game that lets guests compete against each other to control the lights on Mickey’s Fun Wheel for 30 seconds.

Toy Sotry ManiaDon’t miss: Paradise Pier features several exciting attractions, including California Screamin’, a FastPass attraction that recalls the style of classic wooden roller coasters of the coastal piers. Toy Story Mania!, located underneath the loop of California Screamin’, “shrinks” guests to the size of a toy and tests their skills in a series of 3D carnival games. It features many of the characters from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story” films. An icon of Disney California Adventure Park is Mickey’s Fun Wheel, an extraordinary Ferris wheel with 24 gondolas, some swinging as high as 150 feet in the sky. At night, “World of Color” turns the placid bay in front of Mickey’s Fun Wheel into an animated stage with memorable music and stunning visuals with water, lights and fire.


  • California Screamin’
  • The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • Silly Symphony Swings
  • Mickey’s Fun Wheel
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • King Triton’s Carousel
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  • Golden Zephyr
  • Games of the Boardwalk

World of Color at Disney's California AdventureEntertainment: “World of Color,” a dazzling nighttime spectacular, comes to life with more than 1,200 jets of water that spray, twirl, shoot and dance nightly on the waters of Paradise Pier. This show incorporates classic Disney animation, songs and stories with water, light, color and fire to create an unforgettable viewing experience. For live musical entertainment, guests can check out the culturally diverse acts that perform on selected days at the Paradise Garden Bandstand. During the day, “Phineas and Ferb’s Rockin’ Rollin’ Dance Party” invites guests to join the stars of the Disney Channel “Phineas and Ferb” along with their friends in a high-energy dance on the streets of Paradise Pier.

Dining: Guests may enjoy a variety of food and beverage locations in Paradise Pier. Ariel’s Grotto offers an “under-the-sea”-themed table service dining experience where guests meet their favorite princesses. The Cove Bar on the upper level offers light snacks and full bar service. Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company is a classic seaside stand with walk-up service windows. At Paradise Gardens, guests choose between Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta or Paradise Garden Grill, which features Mediterranean meals. At the north end of the boardwalk is Bayside Brews for pretzels and beer, and Corn Dog Castle, a converted trailer where “the corn dog is king”.

Did you know?

  • The wood deck that makes up the Paradise Pier Boardwalk is a hardwood called Curupay. Also known as Patagonian Rosewood, this durable wood comes from a sustainable forest in Paraguay.
  • Recycled water continuously circulates through Paradise Bay at a rate of 450,000 gallons per hour. That’s the equivalent of refilling a backyard swimming pool every two minutes.
  • King Triton’s Carousel features 56 uniquely sculptured creatures that represent California’s marine life, including sea otters, whales, dolphins, seahorses and other friendly fish.
  • California Screamin’ is the first and only attraction at the Disneyland Resort to feature an inverted loop.

Games of the BoardwalkImaginative décor and landscaping: Paradise Pier is styled with Victorian elements and influences that recall the “Golden Age” of amusement piers, at the turn of the 20th century. Details include an authentically crafted boardwalk along with classic shops and restaurants. The pier is decorated with blinking lights and festive awning canopies to contribute to the fun and energy of a magical, coastal amusement park. Paradise Park offers a large expanse of grassy knolls, pathways and shady areas.

Cast Member tips:

  • Be sure to get a FastPass (from the FastPass terminals at Grizzly River Run) for the “World of Color” viewing area when you enter the park because they typically run out early in the day. With a FastPass, you ensure getting a good spot to see the show.
  • Corn Dog Castle is a great place to grab a quick lunch and is the only place in the park to have a classic corn dog.
  • The outdoor seating area by Paradise Garden Grill is a perfect place to cool down, take a break and enjoy live music.
  • Mickey’s Fun Wheel offers swinging and non-swinging gondolas. If you want a more thrilling experience, hop in the swinging gondola queue.
  • Across from Ariel’s Grotto is Duffy’s Landing, the only place at the Disneyland Resort to meet Duffy the Disney Bear.
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