What’s all the hype about Cars Land?
I just returned from the Grand Re-Opening of Disney California Adventure Park (DCA) and of course the Grand Opening of Cars Land!!! I have been anticipating this event for close to five years when it was first announced to our staff at Get Away Today. Since then, I’ve eagerly watched as new attractions have been added to DCA. One of my favorites was Toy Story Mania. I still love to try and get the highest score on this! World of Color is a sensation as well.
But now, Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, and all the additional entertainment have put DCA over the top!
Let’s start at Cars Land. Did I mention they re-created Radiator Springs from the popular Disney-Pixar movie Cars? Yes, if you and your kids love the movie, or even “like” the movie, you will be majorly impressed with how detailed and lifelike Cars Land feels. It plays tribute to the classic Route 66 and glorifies the American Road Trip.
Speaking of details, the backdrop is the Cadillac Mountains. They are spectacular. I couldn’t believe how real the rock formations looked. I had just returned from Lake Powell and the mountains in Cars Land looked identical to the beautiful red rock formations in Southern Utah. (As an FYI, John Lasseter, one of Disney’s head honchos and director of Cars and Cars 2, has a houseboat on Lake Powell and admits that Cars Land was heavily inspired by this area that he loves.) Housed in these mountains is the new blockbuster attraction Radiator Springs Racers! This high octane attraction starts off on a leisurely road trip through the hills when you then enter the attraction and encounter all your favorite pals from the movie, then your car gets ready for the race and before you know it, you’re off, racing another vehicle to the finish line. It is a blast!
There are two other family favorite attractions. Luigi’s Flying Tires is hilarious to watch. You’re in a large tire and it’s on a surface similar to an air hockey table. When the attraction begins you have to lean different directions to get the vehicle to move. It’s a balancing act, but a ton of fun! I wanted to keep riding it to get better at moving fast. By the end, we (my mom and I) were laughing hysterically and cruising quite well.
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree features Mater singing classic square dancing music to a wild whipping ride. (Not too wild, I didn’t even have any motion sickness on this ride. It’s much milder than the teacups. J) Again, it’s designed for families to be immersed in the Cars Land experience. For any Mater fan, this ride will be a major hit!
I’m all about the food and Cars Land featured plenty of delightful “road trip” fare. The Cozy Cone Motel features different “cone” items. Such as dipped ice cream cones, pop”cone,” drinks served in an orange traffic cone (which was probably one of the most affordable and popular souvenirs), and my favorite, the chicken verde and chile con queso cones. I had to sample everything (even the dill pickle popcorn, which was surprisingly delicious). Flo’s Diner was also a hit. They featured all kinds of pies (apple cheddar was pretty tasty) and different foods that you would find on a classic American road trip.
Some tips for Cars Land:
· DCA has extended hours now. So start your day off at Cars Land, go straight for a FASTPASS to Radiator Springs Racers (ask the employees where it’s located, currently it’s by Bugs Land but eventually it will be right by the entrance to the racers), then ride Radiator Springs Racers and use your FASTPASS for your next ride (believe me, you’ll want to ride this attraction again and again!!!) This is very important to start at Racers. It’s located at the end of Cars Land and your family will totally be distracted and want to stop and see everything, but the longest line will for sure be Racers and you’ll be so glad you started there and then worked your way back through the land.
· Besides shorter wait times, in the morning, the Cars drive through Route 66 to greet guests, get gassed up and to get ready for the day. I loved this!
· After Racers, ride Luigi’s Flying Tires, then end off with Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. This will maximize your time.
· Stay at a Hotel of the Disneyland Resort, you then can receive an early morning entry into Cars Land on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of your hotel stay. This is in addition to your early entries into Disneyland Tuesday, Thursday , Saturday and Sunday. These hotels are spectacular and worth every penny. Plus, Get Away Today will save you a pretty penny. We specialize in these hotels and guarantee the best rate on them.
· Stay awhile in Cars Land. Don’t “race” off. Enjoy the dining, shopping and just overall ambiance of this magically themed Land.
Moving on to Buena Vista Street, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into yesteryear. The imagineers have successfully re-created Los Angeles in the 1920s when Walt first came to Hollywood to reach for his dreams. I felt like the new entrance was as fun to walk through now as Main Street in Disneyland. I loved seeing the Red Trolleys and having the Red Car News Boys and Mickey Mouse perform “Seize the Day” on the street corner. They’ve added an amazing statue of Walt Disney and of course the crowning jewel is the Carthay Circle Theater. This is where Walt premiered his first motion feature sensation Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Guests were so excited for the Carthay Theater grand opening that many of them were dressed in 20s-style clothes and were dining at this amazing restaurant. Travel Tip: Reserve this dining experience 60 days before your vacation. You can make reservations later, but this way you’ll be guaranteed a reservation.
I loved all the enhancements to the entrance. I never realized how lack luster the previous entrance was, but now, you feel like you’re part of a story. Walt’s quote, “We are just getting started” is in the courtyard and is fitting of Disney’s dream of always reaching for the stars and challenging yourself to be that much better. If you want to visit the new Car’s Land, just stop by Get Away Today. I’ll make sure they take care of you!
For even more Disneyland tips and tricks, check out these posts:
Our Disneyland Family Vacation, Part 1
Our Disneyland Family Vacation, Part 2
Our Disneyland Family Vacation, Part 3
Guide to Disneyland and California Adventure
Our Favorite Disneyland Tips and Tricks
More Disneyland Tips and Tricks
Disneyland Thoughts & Tips from a Real Pro
Avoiding the “Gimmies” While Vacationing at Disneyland
Visiting Disneyland During the Busy Season
What’s New at Disneyland Besides a Price Increase?