California Adventure’s Paradise Pier is home to the flagstaff Mickey Fun Wheel, recognized by Disney fans big and small. Because of Paradise Pier’s famous attractions like World of Color, Ariel’s Grotto Restaurant, and California Screamin’, the crowds can really pack in. Follow my tips for smooth sailing around the Pier!

Tip #1 Head to the Pier first thing in the morning

Crowds are lowest in the morning at the Pier, yet it has the most crowd-drawing attractions. Toy Story Midway Mania and Ariel’s Undersea Adventure are the newest attractions in the Pier, and you can’t get a FastPass for them. Most crowds head right for Carsland; avoid the masses and hop right on Toy Story at the beginning of the day!

Little Mermaid

Tip #2 Grab Your Radiator Springs FastPass on your way to Paradise Pier

The California Adventure ride with the longest wait time is Radiator Springs Racers in Carsland. Fortunately, the FastPass distribution for this ride is on the way to Paradise Pier from the park entrance. Grab your FastPasses on the way in – once you’ve made your way around the Pier it will be just in time to make your Fast Pass!


Tip #3 Finish Your Rounds Just in time for lunch

Ariel’s Grotto fills up quickly around lunchtime then crowds disperse to enjoy the Pier in the afternoon. Once you’ve made your way around the Pier it will be just in time for lunch, so you can make your lunch reservation and then head over to Radiator Springs Racers to use your FastPass!

Ariel's Grotto

If you’re not a fan of character dining, try the famous Lobster Nachos at the Cove Bar. Located just above Ariel’s Grotto, treat yourself with nachos, amazing views of the Pier, and yummy drinks.

Lobster Nachos

Paradise Pier Tips

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