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petrana stands in front of a golf cart stylized to look like the pizza planet delivery car Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

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Every hole at Pixar’s mini-golf experience, ranked by movie-worthiness

We rate the whole hole experience

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Movies aren’t just movies anymore — they’re experiences. Sometimes, that experience is mini-golf.

Earlier this month, Polygon staffers Petrana Radulovic and Austen Goslin journeyed to the west side of New York City to play through Pixar Putt, a Pixar-themed mini-golf “experience,” running through Oct. 1. The course, made up of 18 Pixar-themed holes, tested their putting skills (someone got a hole in one). But as Disney experts, they couldn’t help but evaluate the whole hole experience. There’s a difference between a themed hole and an immersive Pixar experience. Obviously.

Pixar Putt kicks off at a hole tied to this summer’s Luca, the Italy-set sea monster adventure about friendship, which is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. On hand for our putt-putt action was actress Emma Berman, who plays Giulia, the plucky fishmonger’s daughter who befriends sea monsters Alberto and Luca. Berman shared how she related to her character.

“We’re both very energetic and goofy and awkward sometimes,” Berman said. “But she also inspires me to be such a hard worker, and she’s a good friend and a loyal friend, a good daughter and everything. I do relate to her in the sense that we’re both very passionate about our dreams.” (Her favorite character besides Giulia, she also informed us, is Machiavelli the grumpy cat).

Berman doesn’t greet every guest at the Luca hole, but the tie-in designs for the rest of the course were up to par. As Pixar fans, here is our official Polygon Pixar Putt assessment.

18. The Good Dinosaur hole

a green circular golf hole with little gophers in it Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

Can you tell what movie this is from? Because we couldn’t at first. I had to look up a list of Pixar movies in order to figure out which one was missing and then I typed in “Good dinosaur gophers??” Sure enough, there is a gopher scene in Pixar’s somewhat maligned prehistoric adventure movie. In my defense, I think I fell asleep the one and only time I watched The Good Dinosaur. —Petrana Radulovic

17. The Cars hole

petrana standing in front of a lightning mcqueen themed mini golf course, with a big smile Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

As Polygon’s resident Cars Stan™, I obviously took a picture with the Lightning McQueen-themed hole. And while I was very happy to see it, I couldn’t help but think it had more potential. After all, this is Cars we’re talking about — the hole could be a racetrack! Or the stretch of desert road where Doc Hudson teaches Lightning McQueen to drift! Or even just… like tires on a road! The Cars hole gets points for being flashy, much like Mr. McQueen himself, but … immersive, it was not. —Petrana

16. The Wall-E hole

a circular minigolf course designed to look like Pixar’s WALL-E; Austen stands next to it Photo: Petrana Radulovic/Polygon

It was very cute, but that’s about it. I do love EVE’s lil’ smile. —Petrana

15. The creepy Toy Story 4 ventriloquist hole

austen faces off against a creepy ventriloquist dummy Photo: Petrana Radulovic/Polygon
petrana poses in front of the ventriloquist dummy, making the same face it is Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

In case you couldn’t tell, this is an homage to the Toy Story sequel from 2019. I do not like the lifeless eyes of this puppet man staring at me, but that did not stop me from taking a picture where I pretend to be it. —Petrana

14. The Monsters Inc. hole

a minigolf hole that has the same colors as sully Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

This hole is basically a first draft of a Monsters Inc. mini-golf hole. It isn’t bad, but it also isn’t exciting. There are doors and one part of the course is Sully-colored, so we knew right away that it was Monsters Inc., but the course is narrow and didn’t allow for much other than a straightforward trip to the flag. —Austen

13. A Bug’s Life hole

a minigolf hole that has a leaf on it Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

There’s a leaf. The leaf is curved and points directly to the hole … that’s it, that’s all there is. —Austen

12. The Onward hole

a minigolf hole that is a van that leads into a DnD style sorta situation on the bottom with a magical staff and dice Photo: Petrana Radulovic/Polygon

On the Onward hole, there’s a van with a ramp, and once you hit the ball inside, it rolls out the tailpipe. The only problem is that the ramp is a little slick and uneven, which means you have to hit it pretty hard — so sometimes, the ball’s spot gets weird after it exits the tailpipe. On the other hand, this hole had great thematic elements like fantasy-themed flags and decorations, so it wins back a few points there. —Austen

11. The Incredibles hole

austen putts near a giant robot Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

My favorite part of the Incredibles hole is that you get to choose which member of the Parr family your golf ball ends up in. Interactive! The bright colors really elevate this hole, even if the Omnidroid could be better integrated. As it stands, it’s just there for the balls to roll under. —Petrana

10. The Buzz Lightyear hole

petrana standing in front of the buzz lightyear hole Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

This hole is kind of boring and the one time I did it I missed the ramp entirely and still got a hole in one. That being said, I did get a hole-in-one, and that kind of flattery is rewarded here. —Austen

AUSTEN GOT A HOLE-IN-ONE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! —Petrana

9. The Toy Story alien hole

the toy story hole designed like the alien claw machine Photo: Disney

Toy Story is well represented on the Pixar Putt course, but this one is my personal favorite. It’d be cooler if the claw did something, but as it stands: cool concept, could be better in execution. —Petrana

8. The Inside Out hole

a brightly colored mini-golf hole Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

This is a pretty good hole to play, although it’s not really all that Inside Out-themed. If you painted this a little differently, I’m not sure I’d be able to guess it. Oh well, it’s still a pretty good putt-putt hole either way. —Austen

7. The Luca hole

austen, somehow wearing long sleeves and long pants in 95-degree weather, putts a golf ball in a course designed to look like an idyllic seaside town in Italy Photo: Petrana Radulovic/Polygon

I do really like the design of this one — in theory. It harkens back to the climatic moment of the movie, where the three kids need to bike down the hill for the Portorosso Cup. However, it is the first hole of the experience and absolutely way too hard! Or maybe I am just very bad at mini-golf! —Petrana

6. The Ratatouille hole

a mini-golf course that makes food look rat sized Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

A rat’s-eye view — nice. This hole is more complex than the Bug’s Life one, and the little details, like the writing on the milk carton, really make it (even if the chef’s hat is not to size, but OK we can forgive that). The only drawback is, I’m genuinely not sure where to step here without accidentally knocking into a knife. —Petrana

5. The Soul hole

a funky piano descends upon a city skyline, except it’s minigolf Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

This hole is so cool. The cityscape with the piano staircase is a great look, it’s tall and exciting, and it fits the movie perfectly. It’s pretty straightforward, which keeps it from the very top of our list, but it’s really excellent. —Austen

4. The Brave hole

austen crouches next to a hole that is shaped like an archery target Photo: Petrana Radulovic/Polygon

This was really a pass/fail kind of hole. The designers either put a functioning archery target for you to shoot your ball toward or they didn’t. Thankfully, they came through here and it instantly gains a top-5 spot on our list. —Austen

3. The Coco hole

a hole with a bridge over a guitar, austen stands over it Photo: Petrana Radulovic/Polygon

This hole involves putting the ball down the strings of a guitar. It’s a fantastic feature and feels exciting — even if it puts the ball on rails. The course also features a massive bridge that’s pretty challenging, as the ball can skip over the edge of the course if you go too fast over the bridge. Front to back, this totally captures the movie while also being a fun and unique mini-golf hole that probably would exist if it wasn’t Coco-themed. —Austen

2. The Up hole

a minigolf course where there is a little house with balloons attached, much like Pixar’s Up Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon

This is just cool! The little house is … supposed to go up!! Just like the name of the movie! The only reason this doesn’t completely sweep is that we were too intimidated to try it because we were afraid of breaking it, but judging by video footage of people who actually successfully golfed this hole ... it looks cool! —Petrana

1. The Finding Nemo hole, my beloved

petrana crouches next to a wide mouthed pelican Photo: Austen Goslin/Polygon
austen stands next to a course that looks like a well-worn dock Photo: Petrana Radulovic/Polygon

Now this is what I’m talking about. Not only does the Finding Nemo hole look like it was lifted from the movie set, it was also surprisingly tricky! It is not specifically ocean- or fish-themed, but it is clear what movie this is from. Also, while tricky (those slats!), it is still feasible for someone as horrible at mini-golf as I am. Am I biased because Nigel the Pelican is my Disneystrology counterpart? Perhaps. —Petrana

All these Pixar movies are available on Disney Plus, with Luca out on Blu-ray and DVD now.

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