Are you starting to plan your Disneyland vacation and are wondering if Disneyland hotels are really extra magical? Get the scoop on the new Pixar Place Hotel (formerly the Paradise Pier Hotel).
This Disneyland Pixar Place Hotel review was written by Disneyland travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
My family LOVES Disneyland and we’ve stayed at all 3 of the Disneyland hotels (including Pixar Place Hotel as well as the former Paradise Pier Hotel).
When I realized that we’d be at Disneyland just a couple of weeks after the Pixar Place Hotel’s grand opening, I figured it would be worth staying there to check it out for ourselves.
So, I booked the hotel and our theme park tickets with a package through Get Away Today.
Keep scrolling for my honest Pixar Place Hotel review so you can decide if it’s the best place to stay at Disneyland for your upcoming trip!
Where is the New Pixar Place Hotel?
The Pixar Place Hotel is located at 1717 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, California 92802.
It’s close to the Disneyland Hotel and just steps from Downtown Disney. And it’s part of the Disneyland theme park.
What Was Check-In Like?
My check-in experience was pretty good. I was staying at another hotel for the first part of my trip so I came over to Pixar Place Hotel at 10 a.m. to drop off my bags and get the check-in process started.
I didn’t have a chance to check in on the app before I got there (which would have saved me time) so it took a bit longer to get everything set up. And of course, I forgot to connect my hotel reservation to my account in the app, so that was another step.
But, Donny (my helpful cast member) easily walked me through everything and then even showed me around the lobby and told me some cool stuff about the hotel.
Afterward, I was able to quickly drop off my bags and head right into the parks. Check Pixar Place Hotel rates and availability.
Honest Disney Pixar Place Hotel Review
What is the lobby like?
The lobby is adorable, especially for Pixar fans! The main attraction is the Pixar lamp. Lots of people took photos with it. And there are some colorful glass decorations above it.
There are also little models of Pixar characters in glass cases and lots of Pixar films wall art. They did a great job of featuring tons of Pixar films in creative ways. There’s even touches on the floor tiles!
The lobby music is connected to the lighting and it all references specific Pixar characters throughout the day.
Speaking of lobby music, they have live piano music from Joe Gardner from Soul who gives little words of wisdom as he plays. I think he mainly plays in the afternoon and we just didn’t happen to catch his show.
What was our room like?
Our room had a similar layout to when we stayed here before (when it was the Paradise Pier Hotel) but there were cute Pixar touches.
My favorite thing was the Pixar lamp in our room! It was super cute! It took a few minutes but we realized that the trick is to push the button at the top to turn it off (it’s super bright).
We had a standard two-queen bedroom and there was a large red couch that looked like it pulled out to become a bed. There were lots of drawers and a full wardrobe.
There was also a coffee machine and an empty mini-fridge with lots of room to store drinks or leftovers.
The bathroom was pretty standard. There’s a stand-alone shower (no tub), a toilet, and a sink. There were a few toiletries, but not enough to mention. Check room types and rates.
What did we think of the dining options?
The Sketch Pad Cafe
We grabbed a quick breakfast here one morning. The kids got chocolate croissants and a toasted bagel with cream cheese. They seemed to like them.
My husband got a shot of espresso plus a cappucinno and I was excited that they had a London Fog with almond milk.
Great Maple Modern American Eatery
This is a non-Disney company that is running this restaurant. I asked if it would become a character meal, but was told that it will probably never become a character dining because it’s run by a non-Disney company.
We grabbed some donuts on our way back up to the room one night, which were pretty good.
While they don’t have in-room dining, we were able to order food over the phone and pick it up at the restaurant another night and everything tasted good.
We also did a sit-down breakfast there on the last day. We tried a few items but the French toast was the big hit!
This is the pool bar area on the third floor. It wasn’t open when we were there but it’s supposed to have drinks and snacks.
This will be a great spot to grab lunch or an early dinner while the kids play in the pool.
Disney Pixar Place Pool Area
The brand-new Pixel Pool and Crush’s Surfin’ Slide are amazing! Themed after Nemo and his friends, the pool and massive 186-foot slide are perfect for both kids and adults.
The pool area on the third floor is super nice, with tons of seating options like poolside chairs, cabanas, fire pits, and more.
Had the weather been warmer, my kids wouldn’t get enough of Nemo’s Cove, where they could splash around for hours. And me? I’d find my happy place chilling in the whirlpool.
One thing to keep in mind is that the pool times and availability of lifeguards can change depending on the weather. So, it might be different each day.
But guess what? On some nights, you can catch Disneyland Park’s fireworks right from the pool deck and listen to the music live! It’s such a magical experience.
To get into the pool, you need a special wristband from the Pool Concierge, which is only for hotel guests. No need to worry about towels—they’ve got plenty ready at the pool.
They also offer free life jackets and swim diapers, which is super handy. Just remember to return the life jackets once you’re done.
Plus, there are cool lawn games for families. My kids spent a lot of time playing shuffleboard, and they loved it. They also have chess and a bag toss game, though we didn’t see it out during our visit.
Unfortunately, it was too cold for us to enjoy the water play area this time around, which was a bit of a bummer. But overall, our time at the pool was a blast!
Meet and Greet with Bing Bong
I seriously geeked out when I did my photo op with Bing Bong! He had a few sessions in the lobby with the Pixar lamp and then a few sessions up on the rooftop pool deck each day we were there.
I got a cute photo with Bing Bong outside on the Pixar Ball grassy area with a cute rainbow and wagon backdrop.
The lines were pretty short each time we saw him. I think it’s supposed to be reserved for hotel guests only, but each photo location is accessible without a hotel key card.
Private Entrance to Disney California Adventure
One of the coolest perks of staying at Disney’s Pixar Place Hotel is that you get access to their special entrance to DCA.
You walk over to the Grand Californian and instead of going through their gate, you turn right and there’s a special gate that is marked for Pixar Place Hotel guests only where you can swipe your card and go through a special security and ticket entry.
After you scan your tickets, you’ll end up next to the Corn Dog Castle. There’s a small Pixar Place Hotel guest sign on some wooden walls so you’ll know how to get back to the hotel.
We used this a lot to enter or exit DCA and it was really slick!
Early Entry Access
When you stay at the Pixar Place Hotel (or any Disney hotel), you’ll get Early Entry Access to the theme parks 30 minutes before the park opening.
This is the Pixar Place Hotel gift shop that sells lots of Disneyland souvenirs, snacks, drinks, and sundries.
They did have some Pixar-themed items in addition to general Disney gifts. Plus, there’s a small coloring table in the back.
Normally I wouldn’t even mention elevators in a hotel review, but these are the new ones where you punch in your floor on a keypad outside of the elevator and it directs you to which elevator to go to and it will send you to your floor.
There are little Pixar characters on a metal plate in the floor of the elevator that are fun to check out.
Are there any things we didn’t like?
Our hotel room was LOUD. There was a little girl next door who shrieked all night and morning and it sounded like she was in our room. I’m not sure if it was because there was a connecting door, but we could hear the parents talking and the girl screaming clear as day.
We didn’t like how long it took to get into Disneyland Park or even Downtown Disney. It feels like a bit of a trek, even though it’s only about 10 minutes to walk.
I was a bit bummed that there wasn’t any character dining. We like to do character breakfasts on our departure day so it would have been nice to have one on-site.
Our shower also didn’t drain, like at all. It had one of those metal bars on the edge of the floor but the water pooled up iike 2 inches high.
This is a little nit-picky, but I noticed that there weren’t any step stools in the bathroom, which is always nice for families with little kids.
Is the Pixar Place Hotel Ideal for Families?
If you want to stay at a Disneyland theme park hotel, the Pixar Place Hotel is the most affordable Disney hotel.
Families will also love the special meet and greet with Bing Bong, seeing the Pixar lamp in the lobby, enjoying the spacious rooms, and hanging on the pool deck. The special entrance into DCA is also pretty slick!
But, the rooms don’t have much soundproofing (I’ve seriously never experienced a Disney hotel with such paper-thin walls), there isn’t an on-site character meal, and our shower wouldn’t drain.
Where to Stay at Disneyland Resort FAQs
Does Pixar Place Hotel have access to Disneyland?
While there isn’t a direct entrance into Disneyland Park, guests can use a special entrance to get into Disney California Adventure. The entrance is really convenient.
Is there a Creators Club at Pixar Place Hotel?
Yes, there’s a Concierge Level Creators Club Lounge that will be opening later this year.
Does Pixar Place Hotel have a fitness center?
Yes there is a fitness center and you can even sign up for fitness classes.
What types of rooms does Pixar Place Hotel offer for families?
Pixar Place Hotel offers standard rooms with 2 queens or 1 king, club level rooms, 1 and 2-bedroom suites, 1-3 bedroom Pixel Signature suites, and 1-2 bedroom Sketch Signature Suites.
What are the dining options at Pixar Place Hotel?
Pixar Place Hotel offers Sketch Pad Cafe for coffee, tea, and pastries in the morning, Great Maple Modern American Eatery for sit-down breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Small Bytes will be opening later this year for pool deck drinks and snacks.
Would We Recommend the Disney Pixar Place Hotel?
This is a hard call for me. Pixar Place Hotel has got a lot of great things going for it (like the special entrance to Disney California Adventure and Bing Bong) but we personally had a meh experience with the loud neighbors and shower that wouldn’t drain.
However, I asked my kids about it once we got home and they kept raving about the rooftop lawn games. Had the weather been warmer, we probably would have spent a lot more time up there playing games and enjoying the pool area.