It’s true–the “Happiest Place on Earth” just got happier!! If you’ve been needing an excuse to visit Disneyland Resort (especially for you East Coast Walt Disney World regulars), you really have one now! The Disney California Adventure Park debuted Cars Land on June 15th and is, as Bob Iger (Walt Disney Company Chairman & CEO) said, “the Crown Jewel of our Disney California Adventure expansion”. The 12-acre land, set along the iconic Route 66, is detailed in a way only Disney-Pixar can do and completely immerses you into all things “Cars”.
So, rev up your engines and come along for a little tour of Radiator Springs, “the cutest little town in Carburetor County”. Get ready to be floored!
As you enter Cars Land, you completely feel like you are stepping right into the “Cars” movie by way of old Route 66. With all the cactus, Palo Verde trees, and rocks, we felt right at home! The impressive 300,000 square foot Cadillac Mountain Range (which required 4,000 tons of steel to erect) of Ornament Valley provides an impressive & beautiful backdrop–and looks unbelievably real! It’s a total recreation of Radiator Springs down to the smallest details.
The “car-acters” of Cars Land welcome guests at three new attractions: Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi’s Flying Tires, and Radiator Springs Racers.
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (32-inch height requirement):
This is the first ride you’ll encounter, just as you enter Cars Land on your left. Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) has corralled a herd of 22 baby tractors (none of which are the same) who would love to take you on a spinning “tow-si-do” good time! Mater recorded seven original songs for the attraction and tells a good number of Mater-style jokes while you’re in line!
From the outside looking in, we thought the ride might be fairly “babyish” and low key. But, you can see from the video above, that it actually hauls along pretty well and has you sliding around in your seat a fair bit as you round some of the figure 8s (because of that, make sure you hang on to little ones well to keep them from slamming into the sides of the trailer). With the low minimum height requirement, this ride was something our whole family could do. And, it actually ended up being our family’s favorite! The boys LOVED the music & the ride itself provided enough movement and fun to keep everyone entertained without scaring the littlest ones! We rode it at least 6 times!!
Luigi’s Flying Tires (32-inch height requirement):
At Luigi’s Casa Della Tires, “Cars” characters Luigi and Guido play host to a “Festival of the Flying Tires.” When the music starts, tires float and dance in the grand tradition of a celebration that first started in Luigi’s hometown of Carsoli, Italy.
You’ll enter the line for the ride through Luigi’s Casa Della Tires, which has some really fun memorabilia and details inside. The ride itself is a really fun concept–think gliding on a giant air hockey table (it takes 6,714 air vents to keep the tires floating ever so slightly above the ground) in oversized Fettuccini-brand tires. But, it does take work to really get going (which can be tricky when riding with kiddos) and because of that, may leave a little something to be desired. Basically, you must shift your body weight (in unison)to guide the direction of the vehicle–much like self-propelled bumper tires! For a bit of added fun, there are giant inflatable beach balls scattered around, which you can bump into and try to catch.
This is definitely the key attraction–and I think it’s likely to become one of the all-time favorite Disney rides of any of the parks! The attraction covers nearly six acres (the largest attraction by acreage at the Disneyland Resort) and is unbelievably detailed (and beautiful).
After a leisurely, scenic tour of Ornament Valley, you’ll pull up beside another car on a parallel track and race side-by-side (reaching speeds of about 40mph) through the mountain range, around Willy’s Butte and past the plunging waterfall, Radiator Falls! Doesn’t that really look like Arizona and/or Utah?! SO pretty! The waterfall was stunning!
After winding around in line (the line itself features some GREAT details & sites, in true Disney form), you’ll board a six-passenger convertible car in one of eight colors. The beginning of the ride is very tame, with great characters and scenes from the movie. You basically just meander through the countryside and the town of Radiator Springs. Then, after a stop at either Luigi’s Casa Della Tires or Ramone’s House of Body Art (depending on which track you’re on), you’ll get some final racing tips from Doc Hudson.
Then, the ride gets fast as you race the other car through Ornament Valley–you never know which car is going to win! Big Brother (5 years old) was a little bit scared by this part, but still came off loving it and rode a second time later in the afternoon.
Looks like tons of fun, right?! It so is and will for sure have you busting out with an enthusiastic “Ka-Chow”!! Stay tuned tomorrow as we continue our Radiator Springs tour with all the other fun sights, eats, and curios!
Disclosure: In order to experience Cars Land & cover the events, I received complimentary items as a media member. However, I was not asked nor compensated to write this post. My love of Disney, excitement, and opinions are entirely my own.