Dining Review: The New Lamplight Lounge on Pixar Pier in California Adventure

Updated 9/16/18. Join us for dinner as we enjoy the newly designed Lamplight Lounge  on Pixar Pier in California Adventure.

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Although this space isn’t entirely new, it was once the Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto, it has been entirely redone into a fresh Pixar theme. Disney describes the theme of the Lamplight Lounge as:

Renovated from an old warehouse factory, this eclectic eatery boasts cool architectural elements like concrete and exposed brick walls that reveal its storied past—all while creating an airy, bright and organic-yet-sophisticated ambiance. Guests will be excited to see a trove of Pixar treasures sprinkled into the California casual décor, including concept art, napkin sketches, knick-knacks, collectible toys and other mementos “left behind” by the filmmakers.

Disney did not disappoint with their goal of bringing Pixar treasures into a bright and sophisticated warehouse factory setting. Come see for yourself!

The Artistic Atmosphere

Let’s start with the atmosphere and decor of this beautiful restaurant. The renovation has been a clear Disney success with touches of Pixar appearing everywhere from the entrance to the bathrooms to the floors. Come take a walk with us as we explore these hidden touches.

Right when you walk in you will see artistic touches decorating all of the walls by the check-in podium.

Such beautiful decor all throughout this restaurant.

Take your time admiring the artwork while you wait to check in- it’s breathtaking.

Look down on the floor as you walk in to see the famous Luxor Jr. and the Luxo Ball featured in the tile.

To the right of the check in desk, you will see stairs that take you downstairs to the lounge which offers the full restaurant menu.

Look up to see the beautiful Pixar sketch chandelier.

The wall behind the check-in desk for the downstairs lounge.

The t-shirt wall adorned with Pixar themed t-shirts.

Make sure you take the time to use the restroom while you’re there… We all know Disney’s restrooms have a tendency to be beautifully decorated and this one is no exception!

Find this cool wall (perhaps a new Instagram wall in the making?) at the end of the hallway by the restrooms.

The walk to the restrooms features these walls with Pixar quotes.

Each brick wall in the downstairs lounge features finished artwork (such as posters) and original sketch replicas.

These lamps are featured throughout the restaurant.

Even the chairs have Pixar touches.

We were seated by the Coco wall.

The Basics

The Lamplight Lounge features two areas for varying appetites: the upstairs lounge and the downstairs lounge. Both areas feature outdoor and indoor dining options. The outdoor dining areas are equipped with fans to help keep guests cool on hotter days.

The upstairs lounge features appetizers and drinks such as shareable appetizers including (the notorious) lobster nachos. This area is for lighter appetites as there is no full menu or desert served here.

The downstairs lounge features the full menu including entrées, appetizers, kids meals, and a full drink menu. You can also find their dessert option here- fluffy donuts served with dipping sauces.

I highly recommend making a reservation in advance. Each time we have passed the Lamplight Lounge, there has been a long line waiting for availability. They do take walk-ins but it’s likely there will be more space for their upstairs lounge than the downstairs. To ensure your spot, book a reservation. You can book up to 60 days in advance.

To book online, use the Check Availability tool to reserve a table for your specified date. You may also call (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463 between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM daily (Pacific Time).

The Menu

The drink menu is an entire book!

To see the full menu options for the Lamplight Lounge, check out Disney’s website here. 

The food menu itself is a piece of art with beautiful sketches throughout each page. We spent a considerable amount of time admiring the sketches before ordering!

The full food menu.

I ordered the Potato Skins and they were HEAVENLY.

Potato Skins

My son ordered the PB&J Roll which he enjoyed. That’s high praise from one of the pickiest eaters on the planet.

PB&J Roll

We also decided to order the donuts for dessert. These were absolutely delicious. Make room for dessert, I’d come back for these alone.

Donuts served with chocolate dipping sauce and strawberry sauce with Pop Rocks!

The drink menu is fantastic. There’s a large variety of mocktails, cocktails, and draft beers. Most of the cocktails and mocktails have Pixar themes. To see their entire list of drinks check out their online menu. 

Cocktail options.

More cocktail options!

My son got the Infinity Fizz with the Pixar Lamp and Ball Straw.

There is dry ice in the bottom of the drink- separated by the plastic-that makes the drink fizz and the cherries dance.

 

Here is more artwork from the drink menu that I found picture worthy.

I could stare at this menu all day. I might have done just that.

You will find artwork every other page alternating with the drink menu.

The coasters are cute and feature a variety of sketches on each side.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I adored the Lamplight Lounge. If you enjoy cocktails and love upscale pub food, this is a great place to dine. And if you’re a Pixar fan, this is an absolute MUST. We spent so much time enjoying the artwork and finding hidden Pixar elements everywhere we looked. It was such a bright and happy atmosphere.

The food was delicious and reasonably priced for the portions you got. I ordered an appetizer (the Potato Skins) and I felt reasonably full afterwards. But with still room for donuts! Which are a MUST. Get. the. donuts.

The only downside from the menu that I saw was being a vegetarian, I didn’t have too many options other than a salad, potato skins, or the deviled egg toast. I loved the potato skins so that was fine but I could see vegans having a hard time here. It’d be great if they eventually added a veggie burger- I was surprised not to see one.

The mocktails were cute and reasonably priced. I did end up ordering my son a second drink because he finished his mocktail in five minutes flat. So depending on the kid I wouldn’t expect their drink to last all through dinner. The Pixar Ball & Straw was a cute souvenir. The Pixar Ball comes off as a key chain.

I didn’t try a cocktail (I know, I’m so boring) but next time I will. It was hot and I was feeling dehydrated when we were there so I stuck to the super healthy/hydrating choice of Diet Coke. Let us know in the comments what you think of their cocktails! We saw many pass by our table and they looked delicious.

The service was outstanding but that is often my experience at most table service Disney restaurants. They didn’t rush you through dinner and the waiter had excellent recommendations.

Overall, I’d give the Lamplight Lounge five stars. Even if you stop in for just a drink, make the time to do so! The atmosphere alone is worth it.

Ready to Visit the Lamplight Lounge?

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