Mickey's Fun Wheel during World of Color in 2010
|Disney California Adventure|
|Opening date||June 23, 2018|
|Attraction type||Eccentric wheel|
|Designer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
|Theme||Boardwalk; Victorian; Pixar|
|Height||160 ft (49 m)|
|Riders per vehicle||8|
Pixar Pal-A-Round is a 160-foot (48.8 m) tall eccentric wheel at Disney California Adventure, at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Inspired by Wonder Wheel at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, Coney Island, which also features both sliding and fixed gondolas, Pixar Pal-A-Round has a large Mickey Mouse face at its center.
The attraction opened as the Sun Wheel (February 8, 2001 – October 14, 2008). In 2009, the attraction was rethemed as Mickey’s Fun Wheel; it was expected to open on April 24, 2009, but this was delayed until opened May 4, 2009. On June 23, 2018, the attraction reopened as the Pixar Pal-A-Round. As part of this transformation, the attraction features characters from Pixar films on its gondolas.
Pixar Pal-A-Round is an eccentric wheel, differing from conventional Ferris wheels in that 16 of its 24 gondolas ride on interior rails so that they slide inward and outward as the wheel rotates. This results in a more intense experience, and motion sickness bags are provided in each gondola due to the disorienting nature of the ride. The other eight gondolas are fixed to the rim of the wheel and do not slide. Guests may choose to ride in sliding or fixed gondolas, each of which can carry eight people.
The attraction opened as the Sun Wheel on February 8, 2001, California Adventure Park's opening day. It was modeled after Coney Island's 1927 "Wonder Wheel," and featured a sun face on the front side, with a yellow and gold color scheme.
Mickey's Fun Wheel
One of the subprojects was to retheme the former Sun Wheel as the new Mickey's Fun Wheel. The ride experience has not been significantly changed, but the sun face has been replaced by a giant Mickey Mouse head, the color scheme was changed from mainly yellow to mainly red, and each gondola received an image of Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, or Goofy to be consistent with the introduction of Disney characters into Paradise Pier, the area where the attraction is located. In addition, new LED lighting effects now illuminate the attraction, and some Victorian theming echoes the elaborate architecture of the nearby Toy Story Midway Mania! attraction.
In 2013, additional lights were installed around the back of Mickey's Head on the Fun Wheel for World of Color: Winter Dreams along with an LED lighting package that was installed on the California Screamin' roller coaster behind the Wheel. Creative executive Steve Davison revealed during an interview after the premiere of Winter Dreams that the new lights installed on Fun Wheel and California Screamin' are a permanent addition and will be used in future World of Color updates.
On November 2, 2017, Disney announced that Mickey's Fun Wheel would be updated to include Pixar Characters on the gondolas with Mickey's face remaining on the side facing Paradise Bay. The attraction was closed on January 8, 2018 along side other Paradise Pier offerings, as the land transforms into Pixar Pier.
On April 25, 2018, Disney announced that Mickey's Fun Wheel would be renamed "Pixar Pal-A-Round", to be consistent with the attraction's new theme. The color scheme was changed yet again to light blue. The updated attraction features characters from Pixar films on its gondolas, including Joy and Sadness from Inside Out, Mr. and Mrs. Incredible from The Incredibles, and Miguel and Hector from Coco. Despite the Pixar re-theme, the Mickey Mouse head remained on the outside of the wheel. The re-themed attraction officially opened on June 23, 2018.
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Mickey's Fun Wheel, modeled after a Coney Island Ferris wheel,...
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- Ramirez, Michael. "Pixar Pal-A-Round to Debut at Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure Park". Disney Parks Blog. Disney. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- Krantz, Matt (June 14, 2012). "Disney revs its motor with revamped California Adventure". USA Today. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "World of Color - Winter Dreams" with Steve Davison (YouTube). 15 November 2013.
- Glover, Erin (November 2, 2017). "Pixar Pier to Bring New Incredicoaster and More to Disney California Adventure Park Summer 2018". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
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