When the amusement pier opened in Long Beach in 1902, a roller-coaster and other rides had already been operating at the location. By late 1954, the Long Beach Pike was the leading amusement attraction in the Los Angeles area and the fifth largest in the United States. The Pike drew tens of thousands of summer visitors to its roller coaster, merry-go-round, bathhouse, two pavilions, band shell, and many other smaller attractions. At its peak, it featured 218 concessions.
The year 1955 was a watershed for The Pike. That year, Disneyland opened. The Pike quickly began to lose to the popularity of the new theme park just 17 miles away in Anaheim, as well as to the new "summer-long county fair" amusements introduced at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. In fact, Walt Disney was said to have used The Pike as an example of the type of sleazy amusement zones that he meant for Disneyland to replace. Ironically, Disney's Paradise Pier (now Pixar Pier) in the California Adventure Park was an attempt to replicate the atmosphere of the Pike. By 1966, the Pike's famous Cyclone Racer Roller Coaster (larger than New York's Coney Island Cyclone) had closed. What was left of the original Pike finally closed in 1979.
In 2003, after decades of waterfront redevelopment, Long Beach reopened a new (although less exciting) version of The Pike called The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, featuring restaurants, shops, movie theaters, and a Ferris wheel.