Inside Look at Pixar Hotel’s Extraordinary Special Touches

Inside Look at Pixar Hotel’s Extraordinary Special Touches blog header

With this week’s exciting opening of Pixar Place Hotel at Disneyland Resort, we thought it’d be the perfect time to share a look at some of the hotel’s “next-level” special touches – and the creative Disney cast members behind it all!

From never-before-seen Pixar artwork and head-turning pixelated costumes to unique outfit designs that highlight your favorite stories, Pixar Place Hotel has surprises for you that only Walt Disney Imagineering and our creative cast members could’ve created. 

Walt Disney Imagineering, Kirstin Makela, at the new Pixar Place Hotel at Disneyland Resort

From the moment you step inside Pixar Place Hotel, you’ll notice visually stunning designs and colorful art inspired by Pixar’s iconic and beloved characters. And one of the masterminds behind the creative vision of the property, Walt Disney Imagineering art director Kirstin Makela, used detailed graphics and textures to create special touches like animated plush carpets and magnificent murals. 

“We had so much fun working closely with our Pixar partners to bring all of this incredible artwork that our guests haven’t been able to see before into these vibrant new spaces,” Kirstin shared when discussing some of the new art featured in the hotel.

Bell service cast members in new costumes at the new Pixar Place Hotel at Disneyland Resort

The passion for the art of animation takes shape in a variety of ways, progressing from pixel to pigmentation throughout the hotel.

Yonit Olshan, costume designer at Disneyland Resort, used inspiration from Walt Disney Imagineering floor-to-ceiling art to give life to some amazing “pixelated” costumes. Yonit even collaborated with Pixar to ingeniously weave your favorite stories in the hotel into cast costumes. 

“It is the smallest inspiration point of the digital art process,” Yonit explained when describing the pixel design displayed on the cast member’s costume for bell service. Guests are greeted upon arrival with the spark of animation through the pixelated pattern.

Christine Donegan, front desk lead at the new Pixar Place Hotel at Disneyland Resort

In the lobby, guests are welcomed with unique art and iconic displays inspired by Pixar stories – including at the front desk, where the animation journey continues with cast members in costumes with strips of color.

“To see something that hasn’t been done before, especially at the Disneyland Resort is really magical,” Christine Donegan, front desk lead at Pixar Place Hotel, shared. “We are the first hotel in the United States to be fully dedicated to Pixar and the cast are so excited about that.”

Similar to Pixar’s iconic stories, the front desk costumes have a deeper message. The color strips used by animators to visualize the vibrant work of a film inspired the costume design and represent how a film comes to life from start to finish, similar to how guests interact with the front desk during the greeting and farewell of their stay.

“We are literally wearing a piece of Pixar,” said Christine. “When you know how much meaning and thought has gone into even just a shirt, it is incredible.”

Susanna, a room attendant at the new Pixar Place Hotel at Disneyland Resort

As guests head toward their rooms and onto the next part of their journey, cast members in housekeeping and custodial work to maintain a seamless and magical experience for guests.

“[These cast members are] managing a lot of the important responsibilities in the hotel, so their costumes have actual characters on them,” Yonit shared, regarding the housekeeping and custodial roles. “Like our heroes, they’re our kind of main characters.”

Susanna Mercado, room attendant at Pixar Place Hotel, is excited to debut the costumes that she and her fellow cast members will wear with the transformation.

“From the start of it all, ‘Toy Story’ to ‘Elemental’ – to bring those characters to life, across the property from the lobby to the guest rooms – and even to our costumes, to show the variety of characters from favorite Pixar films is incredible. It’s a huge privilege,” Susanna shared.

Honorary heroes of the hotel, room attendants like Susanna work above and beyond to create memories for guests by bringing the best of their characters to life through their role.

“We are honored to make magical moments for our guests, such as arranging their toys and creating a special moment for the kids. I love writing handwritten notes to leave in their rooms; it’s one of my favorite things,” Susanna shared.

The excitement continues behind the scenes for cast members like Luis Chavez, operations associate coordinator with housekeeping, who has seen the hotel transform more than once during his 28-year career with Disneyland Resort.

“It has been a thrilling experience to work here over the years because we felt that we were in the middle of everything,” Luis reflected on his experience. He began working at the property when it was the Disneyland Pacific Hotel, saw it transform into Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel in 2000, and is now part of the hotel’s latest reimagination.

“We are really excited about the arrival of Pixar Place Hotel,” Luis shared. “Being part of the stories of Pixar Animation Studios is a unique opportunity and we’re proud to add another touch of magic to Disneyland Resort.”

We look forward to welcoming you to Pixar Place Hotel!