A Disneyland Restaurant Has A Secret Dining Room At Pixar Pier — Here's How You Can Get Inside
In case you weren’t aware, big changes are afoot at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. — and one of those changes involves the opening of a restaurant with a secret room at Disney’s California Adventure park. The newly-opened Lamplight Lounge offers not just tasty food and drink and stunning views of the area of the park now known as Pixar Pier; the two-level pub and eatery also has a hidden secret called "The Office" for guests to find. You might not be able to go inside; it'll only be an option if it's not already occupied when you arrive. But heck, even just knowing about the secret is fun enough on its own, right?
The Lamplight Lounge opened on June 23 as part of the Pixar Pier renovation at California Adventure that began earlier this year. Previously, this area of the park was known as Paradise Pier; designed to look like an old amusement pier from the turn of the 20th century, it featured a variety of midway-style games and rides inspired by early Disney works like the Silly Symphony shorts. During the Paradise Pier era, the restaurant space that now houses the Lamplight Lounge played host to Ariel’s Grotto — a character dining spot that featured the pantheon of Disney Princesses — and the Cove Bar.
With the pier being done over to bring more of Pixar’s films and characters to the park, however, both the pier and the restaurant got a makeover — and now, the brand-new Lamplight Lounge celebrates not only Pixar’s films, but also the animators who have worked on them over the years. The backstory for the building is that it was once an old animation warehouse; a such, there are “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,” according to the restaurant’s page on Disney’s website. The name of the dining spot even pays tribute to Pixar’s mascot, the sentient desk lamp known as Luxo Jr.
But although the cocktails, mocktails, and gastropub fare on the menu do sound pretty tasty (and hey, good news, Ariel’s Grotto fans: The Lobster Nachos are still available), the food isn’t the most enticing part of the Lounge. No, that honor goes to the fact that there’s a secret room hiding inside. The Disneyland Resort tells Bustle that it's located just off the main dining room — and from what we can see from Disney Blogger Twitter and the reports on their respective websites, there's plenty of fun to be had there. Here's what we know so far.
1. The Entrance Is Hidden In A “Secret Vault”
According to the Disney Food Blog, you not only have to find the vault to gain entrance to the secret room (hint: The O.C. Register reports that it’s through a service door and down an “industrial looking hallway”), but moreover, you also have to trigger the door to open. That's right: It's interactive. Apparently there’s a wheel you have to spin in a certain way in order to light up three panels on the door; once you’ve done that, the vault will swing open. Check out the video from WDW News Today here to see it in action.
2. It’s Themed Like An “Office”
Indeed, its official name is "The Office," the Disneyland Resort tells Bustle — but it's, like, the Disney/Pixar version of an office, not a regular office. The walls are a sort of rusty red and adorned with illustrations of Pixar animators which have actually been drawn by other animators, according to the Disneyland Resort; there are also a few game boards hanging up — checkers, backgammon, things like that. A large wooden table with leather-clad chairs and booth seating make up the dining area, but there’s also a little sitting area with a couple of leather armchairs and a side table.
3. You Can Take The Board Games Down From The Wall And Play Them.
The Disneyland Resort tells Bustle that the board games hanging on the walls are also fair game for guests: You can take 'em down and actually play them if you like. Gotta stay busy while you're waiting for your food, right?
4. The Menu Is The Same As It Is In The Main Restaurant
Although the room is secret, the menu is not; guests order off the same menu in the Office as they do in the rest of the Lamplight Lounge. Lobster Nachos for all!
5. It’s Good For Groups
The Office can accommodate groups of up to 10 people, according to the Disneyland Resort, although the Disney Food Blog also points out that the room has a maximum capacity of 13 people. There’s a little sign decorated with Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. on hand to make the maximum number of occupants clear.
6. Anyone Will Be Able To Book It
Both MouseInfo.com and The O.C. Register report that the Office will be open to the general public; additionally, the Disneyland Resort tells Bustle that the room is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have a reservation, you can request it when you check in in the event that the room is available. However, The O.C. Register brings up an additional point that’s worth noting: “Expect to see it book up fast since VIPs and celebrity guests will definitely covet the privacy.” Consider yourselves warned.
7. You Can See Part Of It From The Outside
If you look closely enough, that is. According to the Laughing Place, if you stand across Paradise Bay and look at the area of the Lamplight Lounge building that houses the lower level, you can see the little private patio that’s attached to the Office. The patio itself offers views of the bay and the Incredicoaster rollercoaster.
If you want to book a regular reservation in the main dining room, you can find information on how to do that here — and hey, you may as well inquire about the Office while you're at it. You might not be able to book it immediately over the phone, but again, you can ask when you check in for your meal if it's available. Maybe you'll luck out.