Most anticipated new attraction in the history of Disney's California Adventure Park!
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of the long-awaited Cars Land themed area at Disney's California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California...that began thrilling guests on June 15, 2012!
Will you like Cars Land?
You'll fall in love as you immerse yourself in the charming town of Radiator Springs!
Will you like the new Cars Land themed area at the Disney California Adventure Park?
Actually, using the word "like" might be a bit of an understatement.
If you're a "Cars" movie fan, its more likely that you'll fall head-over-heels in love!
The centerpiece of Cars Land is the re-creation of the fictional town of Radiator Springs (from the Disney-Pixar animated movie "Cars.") Surrounding the town itself, you'll also enjoy an amazingly detailed re-creation of some of the Southwestern USA's most stunning red-rock scenery.
"Amazing" is one of the first terms which may come to your mind...unless, of course, you think of the phrase "absolutely jaw-dropping" first. You may quickly come to believe that Cars Land is your favorite area of Disney's California Adventure Park...and that's before you ever board a ride or step your foot inside one of the movie-themed stores or restaurants.
For those who have seen the original "Cars" movie many times, you'll KNOW this place...and feel right at-home instantly. (Heck, if you're like us, you'll want to settle down & move in...if it were only possible!) The town of Radiator Springs look like it just stepped out of the movie...and has come to life just as it might have been during the Route 66 heyday.
Will you enjoy Cars Land if you've never seen the "Cars" movie? If you've seen the movie, your emotional connection to Radiator Springs has already been developed long ago. And yet, you don't need to be familiar with either the movie or its characters to enjoy Cars Land. Anyone who is a fan of the Route 66 "Mother Road" is going to love Cars Land just as much as a movie fanatic. So will anyone with a love of vintage Americana, 50's music, stunning western scenery, or the subject of automobiles in general.
List of Cars Land Rides & Attractions
Cars Land Rides: Radiator Springs Racers
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of the Radiator Springs Racers ride at the Disneyland Resort's Disney California Adventure Park. If the slides have quit running by the time you reach this point, simply refresh the page to get them restarted.
Occupying 6 acres out of Radiator Spring's 12 acre plot is Cars Land's major "E Ticket" ride...the Radiator Springs Racers.
You don't have to even board this ride to love it. The picturesque Western red rock scenery which forms the backdrop for the racing action is so stunning that many guests will invariably spend time just gazing in silent appreciation of its loveliness.
Anyone who has spent time traveling throughout the major scenic areas of the Southwest USA will be surprised that such an authentic reproduction was possible; but yes, the Disney artists have certainly done it!
The one best way to enter Cars Land...to maximize its jaw-dropping effect...is through the entrance from Pacific Wharf, one of the park's major dining areas. From that vantage point, you'll glimpse a panoramic vista which showcases Cars Land's red rock formations in a way that seems like the Disney team has transported (and managed to fit) the entire Southwestern desert inside the theme park.
They say that Cars Land is only 12 acres in size...but as you enter from Pacific Wharf, you'll never believe it. The sheer amount of scenery they've effortlessly managed to fit into that space is nothing short of incredible.
To your left, you can see a faux rock formation shaped like a radiator cap. Just as the town of Radiator Springs is a blend of fact and fantasy, so is the Cars Land's rugged western scenery.
While some of the Cars Land mountains, cactus plants, yucca, ocotillo, etc. look just like they stepped out of nature, other park creations are whimsical. While the state of Utah has its famous Mexican Hat rock, well...Radiator Springs has its radiator cap-shaped rock. And, while Arizona's amazing Monument Valley rock formations are completely real...well, Cars Land has Ornament Valley (complete with its vintage "hood ornament" shaped rock.)
There are two times of day you'll want to visit Cars Land. One is in the afternoon...when the warm rays of the afternoon sun show off Radiator Springs' "red rock" in full light. And, the other is in the evening...both during twilight and after dark, when the Cars Land formations are vibrantly lit and take on a romantic hue. Nighttime is also the best time for enjoying the astounding Cars Land waterfall as it cascades down the mountainside, highlighted by a luminous shine, as you can see in the picture to your right.
Considering how amazing the scenery is that surrounds the Radiator Springs Racers, you might think that these must-stop-and-gawk views are the highlight of this attraction. But wait, there's more!
There's actually a fast-paced ride here...for which the scenery merely serves as a shock-and-awe backdrop!
What's the gist of the Radiator Springs Racers ride?
You'll board 6-passenger movie-themed cars, and embark upon a leisurely, scenic Route 66 Road Trip. Along the way, you'll enter a "dark ride" segment and meet some of the "Cars" movie's most popular characters.
Not enough excitement yet? Don't worry...you'll soon end up in a neck-and-neck race, enjoying zippy speeds & banking turns...and the "winner" turns out to be a different vehicle every time through!
Last but not least, you'll view the beautiful Tail Light Caverns...then meet Lightning McQueen and Mater, in what's expected to be most visitors' favorite ride in Cars Land.
Although Disneyland in Anaheim, California is several thousand miles from Orlando, a number of SoCal residents & visitors have been to the Florida Disney Parks. Many who have enjoyed Disney's Epcot theme park in Florida are reminded of Epcot's "Test Track" ride by the Radiator Springs Racers ride. After all, the Test Track cars provide guests with one of the fastest & most thrilling rides at Disney World. Are the Radiator Springs Racers similar?
Similar, yes...but not identical. Epcot's Test Track is quite a fun ride. And yet, it's not themed to any specific Disney experience.
In contrast, the Radiator Springs Racers area is uber-themed to the Disney/Pixar "Cars" movie both inside and out. You'll feel immersed in the feel of this fictional Route 66 town as you make your way through the ride queue. You'll enjoy scenery from the movie as you make your way around the track. And, you'll even encounter "Cars" movie characters as you complete the ride circuit. In other words, from the day this ride opened at Disney's California Adventure Park, it was destined to become an instant classic...and much beloved by a legion of fans.
The more generic Test Track may one day be replaced by something else at Epcot. Removing the instantly iconic Radiator Springs Racers would provoke too much of an uproar for the Disneyland Resort to handle. No...you can be assured that if you visit the theme park 50 years from now, Cars Land will still be there and will still be well-loved (and the Radiator Springs Racers right along with it, even if upgrades have been made by then.)
One thing the Radiator Springs Racers have in common with Epcot's Test Track ride is a HUGE line. In Orlando, it's not uncommon for the Test Track to have a 1 to 2 hour waiting time...and that same situation is already true in Cars Land, as well.
Thankfully, there IS a Fast Pass option for the Radiator Springs Racers. There is also a "single riders" line, so that those who travel alone (and groups who don't mind splitting up) can get a shorter wait by slipping into seats which would otherwise go empty.
There's a minimum height of 40 inches tall to ride the Radiator Springs Racers. This will mean that some of the "Cars" movie's greatest fans can't enjoy the action. For parents of young children, a "ride swap" feature will save you time in line; be sure to ask a ride attendant at this attraction's entrance for details.
Cars Land Rides: Luigi's Flying Tires
Luigi's Casa Della Tires is another major attraction in Cars Land. You'll head out back of Luigi's shop to his "tire yard" where you'll sit in Luigi's Fettuccine-brand tires floating on jets of compressed air.
Does this sound familiar? To Disneyphiles, this concept may sound startlingly similar to a different ride (which operated at Disneyland Park between 1961 and 1966.) It was the Flying Saucers in Tomorrowland!
The older members of our family were lucky enough to have ridden the original Flying Saucer ride as kids...and they think it's fun and nostalgic to see just how similar the new Luigi's Flying Tires are!
If you'd like to view a clip of the original Flying Saucers ride (posted to YouTube by DisneyParks,) you may watch it below:
There's something else similar about the new Luigi's Flying Tire ride and the old Flying Saucers: slow-moving lines! The Flying Tires are certainly fun...but the ride has a limited capacity for each session. Plus, it takes longer than you might think to get the tires unloaded, and then re-loaded with passengers once again. Make sure you find out how long the expected waiting time will be before you make a commitment!
The minimum height needed to ride Luigi's Flying Tires is 32" tall with supervision. You will probably want to ride along with your kids even once they get taller, because it can be tricky to maneuver the tires. Your weight and skill will help youngsters to have more fun here.
Cars Land Rides: Mater's Junk Yard Jamboree
If you ride Mater's Junkyard Jamboree; you can enjoy sitting in cute baby tractors that look as if they come right out of the "Cars" movie. To accompany the ride's visual movie-theming, your ears will be treated to an immersive experience as well: Mater sings songs throughout the length of the ride. Fans of the Tow Mater movie character aren't going to want to miss this attraction.
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree should be slow-loading...since it has to completely come to a halt to load & unload passengers. And yet, the line moves along fairly well...quite possibly because there's less interest in this ride than the other two Cars Land attractions.
But, those who board will be glad that they did. This ride packs more thrill than first meets the eye! And, you'll be entertained in the queue by Mater's corny jokes and patter. The ride-action along with the impeccably-detailed theming of Mater's Junk Yard Jamboree will surely turn the time you spend here into an experience to remember. 32" tall is the minimum height to ride.
Cars Land's beautiful neon lights
Take an evening stroll past Cars Land's other attractions while enjoying the colorful glow!
Cars Land reproduces the town of Radiator Springs...which all "Cars" movie fans know is the fictional Route 66 hamlet where most of the film's action takes place.
It is a supreme treat for movie fans to stroll through the iconic streets of Radiator Springs...even without going on any of the Cars Land rides. The picturesque stores & features of the movie town are all here for you & your family to see, walk through, touch, and make you feel like you're experiencing the "real" Radiator Springs. Once it only existed in fiction; but Radiator Springs certainly DOES exist now...and you won't be able to convince any true-blue fans otherwise---maybe including yourself!
Remember the Cozy Cone Motel from the original "Cars" movie? It is here...but, it isn't open for overnight visitors! Instead, it's a collection of snack shops...plus a character Meet 'n Greet area!
Throughout the day and evening, both Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater take turns meeting guests and posing for photos with them.
A Disney photographer stands ready to enshrine your visit with a special souvenir snapshot that you may purchase. Or, you may have him use your own camera to take your picture...free of charge with no fee involved.
The various "cones" at the Cozy Cone Motel are fast-food eateries...each with cone-themed snacks for sale.
(These treats feature whimsical cone-themed names such as pop cone, chili cone carne, and frozen cone-coctions.)
Timing your munch break is of the utmost importance. If you think that the Cozy Cone is just too adorable & want to give it a try...well, actually, that's just about what everyone else visiting Cars Land is thinking, as well!
During meal times, the Chili Cone-Carne window gets mighty busy, and the line snakes out of the queuing area and starts mingling with the lines for other windows. The Pop Cone line seems to stay busy on & off all day and evening, with its line hanging out into the walkways, too.
Timing your snack break for an odd hour...or whenever you see a short line...is a good idea.
Fillmore's Taste-In, themed for the "Cars" movie's colorful hippie character, Fillmore, is a health-food snack location. Health-minded cuisine doesn't seem to top the list of visitors' dining choices in Cars Land, so when the lines are long elsewhere, you can try Fillmore's for prompt service.
Are you looking for juice, tea, grapes, watermelon, bananas, apples, oranges, Craisins and the like? You'll find them here...along with a few selected types of chips & sodas for the members of your group who prefer other choices.
Next door to Fillmore's Taste In you'll find Sarge's Surplus Hut. Just like in the movie, Sarge's store is housed in a Quonset hut...but in Cars Land, this store is selling Cars-themed souvenirs. When other Cars Land shops are over-stuffed with visitors (which happens easily because they're so small,) you can give Sarge's store a try. It's a little bigger & roomier, so it can fit a larger number of customers.
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of Cars Land's romantic and colorful neon lights. Yes, you'll certainly want to visit Cars Land during the daytime to enjoy viewing its many little details...but a night visit is also something to put on your "must-do" list. If this slide show has stopped by the time you reach this point, then refreshing the page will get it going once again.
Flo's V8 Cafe serves tasty food at any time of the day...but at night, the restaurant becomes the gorgeous, neon-lit center of Radiator Springs. It's simply hard to take your eyes off of this creatively-themed, magnificent structure.
Flo's serves foods typically found in Route 66-era diners, eg. sliced beef or pork loin, along with a choice of side dishes like baked beans, mashed potatoes, vegetables or cole slaw.
Crowds get heavy at Flo's during traditional mealtimes. You may wish to enjoy a meal here during odd-hours so that you can breeze through without a crowd.
Ramon's House of Body Art is another special store, and sells Cars-themed merchandise...including "Low and slow" low-rider themed apparel and accessories.
Across the street from Ramone's and Flo's, you'll find The Radiator Springs Curio Shop. It's yet another movie-themed store (selling collectibles and other Disney merchandise.)
Radiator Springs at night is extra-special...thanks to vintage-style neon lights. Indeed, you really NEED to visit Cars Land both during the daytime AND at night...because they're two different experiences altogether. By day, you can get a good look at all the little details that add up to one fabulous re-creation of Radiator Springs. And by night, by the light of the neon's glow, you'll feel like you've been transported to a magical land of enchantment.
By day or by night, visiting Cars Land will truly be your dream come true if you're a faithful fan of the Disney-Pixar animated movie, "Cars."