Looking down Route 66 in Cars Land
|Location||Disney California Adventure|
|Opening date||June 15, 2012|
|Theme||Cars, Radiator Springs|
|Area||12 acres (4.9 ha)|
Cars Land is a themed area of Disney California Adventure, inspired by the 2006 Disney·Pixar film, Cars. The 12-acre (4.9 ha) area, built as part of Disney California Adventure Park's $1.1 billion expansion project, opened on June 15, 2012. It contains three rides as well as shops and restaurants, all situated in a replica of Radiator Springs, the fictional town in which most of the film's events take place. The area's main attraction is Radiator Springs Racers, a racing ride that uses the technology of Epcot's Test Track.
Most of the present-day site of Cars Land had been used as the "Timon" parking lot since 2001; the lot had been designated as future growth space for Disney California Adventure when it was originally designed in the 1990s, and was partially built over with The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Flik's Fun Fair section of A Bug's Land. A small portion of Cars Land was built over the site of the Bountiful Valley Farm, one of the park's original attractions.
Concept art for "Carland" appeared in the "Dreaming" section of the Walt Disney Company's 2006 Annual Report, released on December 12, 2006, 6 months after Cars was released in theaters. The concept art depicted a racing simulator ride but provided no specifics; Disney CEO Bob Iger stated at the time that the concept art depicted projects at various stages of development, and that some of the projects depicted "may never be built".
On October 17, 2007, Disney announced a 5-year, $1.1 billion renovation and expansion plan for Disney California Adventure. The plan included a major overhaul of several existing areas of the park and the addition of Cars Land, an area themed to the 2006 film; Cars Land would be anchored by Radiator Springs Racers, a Cars version of Test Track, a ride at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort. Cars Land along with the re-designed entrance plaza, Buena Vista Street, were the last features of the 5-year project to be completed, and opened on June 15, 2012.
- December 12, 2006: Concept art showing unofficial development.
- October 17, 2007: Cars Land was officially announced as part of Disney California Adventure's $1.1 billion renovation and expansion. It would be the last phase of the expansion.
- July 2009: Construction begins.
- September 12, 2009: At the D23 Expo, full concept art is shown and rides announced.
- June 11, 2010: Imagineer Kathy Mangum gave a brief rundown of the storyline of the star attraction, "Radiator Springs Racers" at the "What's Next?" presentation. She also gave a rundown of the lands two other attractions, Luigi's Flying Tires and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.
- Early 2012: Ride testing begins at Radiator Springs Racers.
- Spring 2012: Soft opening for Cars Land.
- June 15, 2012: Cars Land officially opens.
- February 17, 2015: Luigi's Flying Tires closes for modifications. The ride is expected to reopen in early 2016 with new vehicles and a new ride system.
- Radiator Springs Racers — a slot car dark ride. The attraction takes guests in six-person vehicles through the winding roads up the mountains outside Radiator Springs and by the waterfall scene in the movie. The cars then enter the mountain and take a semi-wild ride through the outskirts of town where they encounter a number of characters from the movie. Eventually they enter Radiator Springs at which point the track splits into two: one goes into Ramone's while the other into Luigi's. From here the cars enter a briefing room where Doc gives guests some advice for the upcoming race. The two tracks come back near one another and two cars stop side-by-side. The race begins as the vehicles accelerate out of the mountain and through hairpin turns and steep banks, ending with a randomized race result and then a brief trip through Tail Light Caverns. The technology used is similar to Test Track at Epcot in Walt Disney World in Florida.
- Mater's Junkyard Jamboree — an attraction in the style of a whip ride and the Mad Tea Party at Disneyland. Instead of being themed as Alice in Wonderland, the attraction is themed to Mater's Junkyard and the fields with baby tractors from the first film. Mater is the Master of Ceremonies of the Jamboree. The vehicles are tractors which pull trailers attached to them that move around with the music.
- Luigi's Flying Tires — an updated version of the original Disneyland attraction, Flying Saucers. This effect is achieved by large fan-like blowers shooting air up, like a giant air hockey table. Guests queue in the Casa Della Tires shop. On February 17, 2015, the attraction closed. It is scheduled to reopen in early 2016 with a new ride system and new ride vehicles.
- Cozy Cone Motel
- Flo's V8 Cafe
- Fillmore's Taste-in
- Ramone's House of Body Art
- Sarge's Surplus Hut
- Radiator Springs Curios
The layout of Cars Land from the guest's perspective is one of looking down the main street of Radiator Springs, U.S.A., as seen in the original Cars film. There are subtle references to the events of Cars 2 throughout the land, such as a billboard (seen when entering from A Bug's Land) referring to Mater as "Sir", and a signed photo of Finn McMissile with Luigi and Guido in Luigi's Casa Della Tires, in addition to displayed souvenirs from their World Grand Prix trip. The main street is Route 66 coming in from the Golden State area, across from the Golden Vine Winery and Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar. The other two entrances into the land are through a path in A Bug's Land between the entrance of Heimlich's Chew Chew Train and Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies, and through an archway as a part of the rockwork making up Ornament Valley from Pacific Wharf. The two other entrances are the same path crossing through the middle of Cars Land. The path's name is Cross Street. At the end of Route 66 is the courthouse/firehouse where the street splits. To the left of the split is still unknown, but it may be a backstage access gate. To the right of the split is the entrance to Radiator Springs Racers. In the distance, the Radiator Cap and Ornament Valley Range can be seen. The eastern edge of the Ornament Valley Range includes the Cadillac Mountain Range that consists of Cadillac tail fins that are 125 feet (38 m) high and 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) wide.
- Staggs, Tom (2012-03-07). "Taking a Tour of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and Carthay Circle Theatre – Opening June 15 at Disney California Adventure Park". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "2006 Annual Report". The Walt Disney Company. 2006. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- Los Angeles Business (17 October 2007). "Disney engages in mass renovation of California Adventure". BizJournals. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- MacDonald, Brady (November 17, 2007). "Disney’s tow truck ride: noise, nausea". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2011-02-27. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- MacDonald, Brady (14 November 2007). "Disney’s Luigi ride a beloved retread". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- Glover, Erin (February 6, 2015). "Luigi’s Flying Tires to Become All-New Experience at Disney California Adventure Park". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
- Vaugn, Mark (July 23, 2012). "Radiator Springs Comes To Life". Autoweek 62 (15): 24. ISSN 0192-9674.
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