Radiator Springs Racers is a simulated slot car type dark ride attraction in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure. The attraction features a third-generation version of transport technology originally developed for the Test Track attraction at Epcot in Walt Disney World. Radiator Springs Racers is themed to the fictional world in Disney·Pixar's Cars. At a cost of over $200 million, the attraction is the most expensive at Disneyland Resort and one of the most expensive theme park attractions in the world. It accounted for about 18% of the entire cost of the $1.1 billion expansion of Disney California Adventure Park. The attraction takes guests in a six-person vehicle through encounters with characters from the film Cars. Guests then race another vehicle through turns and hills, ending with a randomized race result.
The attraction, along with the rest of the Disney California Adventure multi-year expansion, was announced on October 17, 2007. However, the first indication of the attraction and the new land was some concept art published in the Dreaming section of The Walt Disney Company's 2006 annual report. By late 2009, construction on the attraction and the land within it began, and was finished two and a half years later. At the "What's Next?" presentation at Disney California Adventure on June 11, 2010, Imagineer Kathy Mangum gave a brief rundown of the attraction's storyline. Ride testing began in early 2012 with soft openings the following spring. The ride officially opened to the public on June 15, 2012 with wait times of up to six hours.
The attraction's marquee is mounted on a large archway near the Radiator Springs courthouse. The queue passes through the archway and beneath two bridges before entering the "oldest" part of the town, Stanley's Oasis, nestled between the cliffs of Ornament Valley. After winding through three of the town's earliest buildings, guests enter the Comfy Caverns Motor Court, where they board a convertible race car and the ride portion of the attraction begins.
Leaving the motor court, the vehicle takes an idyllic drive through Ornament Valley. It then enters the darkride portion of the attraction as guests nearly run into several Audio-animatronic vehicles. This starts with a near head-on collision with Mack (similar to a scene on the original Test Track), followed by near-misses with several other cars, and narrowly making it over a grade crossing ahead of a speeding train. As the vehicle swerves out of the way, Sheriff appears, warning the guests to slow down and to follow Mater into town for the big race. Along the way, Mater takes the ride vehicles "tractor tipping", but this awakens Frank the combine, who angrily chases the trespassers off of his farm. The vehicle then reenters the town to be greeted by Lightning McQueen and Sally. At this point, an automated switch on the track will lead to one of two ride experiences: If the vehicle makes a left turn, it receives a tire change at Luigi's Casa Della Tires, while if the vehicle makes a right turn, it gets a fresh coat of paint at Ramone's House of Body Art. Doc Hudson introduces himself as the guests' new crew chief as both vehicles pull up to the starting line. The car that goes through the Luigi's Casa Della Tires scene will line up on the left track and the car going through Ramone's House of Body Art lines up on the right hand track. An enthusiastic Luigi waves the flag to signal the start of the race.
Both ride vehicles then accelerate on parallel tracks out of the cave, into an outdoor segment containing bunny hills and high-banked turns around the rock formations of Ornament Valley, with the vehicles reaching a top speed of 40 mph (64 km/h). During a short drop down a sloped bank, an on-ride photo is taken. One of the two vehicles (selected at random) reaches the finish line slightly earlier, bringing the race to an end. The attraction concludes with a short drive through Taillight Caverns, where Lightning and Mater congratulate both vehicles on a great race.