“The Little Mermaid” may have already hit theaters, but a different sort of live-action remake is still taking shape at the Disneyland Resort — with officials this week releasing the latest details on their development of a Pixar-themed hotel next to California Adventure.
Renovations have been underway since last year to convert the 15-story Paradise Pier Hotel into Pixar Place Hotel, featuring designs inspired by the animation studio behind hits such as “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo” and “Coco.”
Renderings released Thursday showcased a new lobby, aquatics and games areas, revamped pool decks and a new restaurant.
“You may have already noticed the hotel’s exterior has a bright new look,” Valerie Lee, Disneyland public relations manager, wrote in a blog update.
Work will ramp up the next few months on the hotel’s lobby, which is being converted from its beach theme to one incorporating Pixar imagery and characters.
A large version of Pixar’s lamp mascot, Luxo Jr., is expected to greet visitors near the lobby entrance. A rendering shows the atrium decked out with scenes from films such as “Cars,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Inside Out.”
Construction is expected to be completed this summer on the hotel’s aquatics area. The water play zone will be themed after “Finding Nemo” and its sequel, and feature characters from the films — including Hank the octopus at a splash pad and Crush the sea turtle atop a 186-foot waterslide.
There will be an outdoor location for family games, such as croquet, and Disneyland’s nightly fireworks show will be visible from the nearby pool deck.
As for food, the hotel will introduce a new dining option: Great Maple, offering modern American cuisine.
The restaurant is expected to serve upscale breakfast, lunch and dinner options such as buttermilk fried chicken, maple bacon doughnuts and soda pop-braised baby back ribs.
Officials say Pixar Place is scheduled to open this winter. Paradise Pier will continue to take reservations amid the renovation.
The hotel change marks the latest transition in a long line for Paradise Pier.
According to Disney historian Keith Gluck, the property first opened as the Emerald of Anaheim Hotel in 1984. The hotel changed its name to the Pan Pacific Hotel in 1989 before Disney purchased the property in 1995 and renamed it Paradise Pier in 2000.
Paradise Pier has 481 rooms and 25 suites. Disneyland officials did not immediately say whether those figures will change with Pixar Place.
Andrew J. Campa