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When I walk through the gates of Disneyland and into Disney California Adventure, I am no longer a 30-something mother of one. I’m a happy, bouncy, 10 year old that can be anything I want to be and do anything I can imagine. I can be a pioneer and blaze a trail through majestic evergreens, rugged mountains and roaring rapids because I am fearless. I can be a diva during the Golden Age of Hollywood and call everyone “Daahhhlllinng.” I can even be a fiery red head beneath the crashing waves on Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. There is something about walking through the gates of Disneyland that takes you back to a simpler time in life.
A time where you can jump up and down and race from place to place with excitement and no one frowns at you – but instead gives you a friendly nod and a smile :)
Speaking of racing place to place, Disneyland’s California Adventure Park just added a completely new land for me to investigate and discover - Cars Land. Walking through Radiator Springs was like stepping into the movie. If I didn’t know better, I would say Cars was actually shot here!
One look around and I was ready to get my kicks on Route 66. The amazing centerpiece, Ornament Valley shown above, is 30,000 sq ft of hand sculpted wonder. The development of this new park was actually based on research and site visits with inspiration from the book “Route 66, The Mother Road” by Michael Wallis.
Did you know it was dear Stanley who capitalized on a natural cold spring and built a series of ingenious attractions — like a “pull up and fill-up” coolant station, a building made entirely out of empty oil bottles and the Comfy Cavern Motor Court — that grew into the lovely Radiator Springs we see today?
Cars Land resides on 12 acres (about the size of Tomorrowland) in the heart of the park that was previously parking lot space. It features three rides with it’s most thrilling and popular attraction being the Radiator Springs Racers.
If you can believe it, on opening day (June 15, 2012), the wait for this ride was almost 6 hours! I sure do, because the day we went the queue listed the wait at 240 minutes! On this ride, you climb into a six passenger vehicle and travel at a fast pace throughout 6 acres of Radiator Springs (yes, through the beautiful Ornament Valley!) while meeting Cars characters, concluding with a side by side race across the finish line. This ride will definitely be a favorite of the adults in the family – but don’t worry – it’s tame enough for the little ones to ride it too! (provided they meet the 40″ height requirement!)
Although I didn’t get a chance to experience Luigi’s Flying Tires – supposedly its like gliding on air. Its design is based on the old Flying Saucers ride from the 1960′s Tomorrowland in Disneyland. It’s perfect for even the youngest members of your family with only a 32″ height requirement.
And don’t be fooled by Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree like I was – it may seem like a total “kiddie” ride, but I guarantee moms and dads will find themselves laughing on this one too. An unexpected sort of Mater square dance will have you holding on and smiling at every corner.
I even spotted Mater taking a stroll thru town…
In addition to cow tippin fun rides and more delicious food than your gas tank can hold, there is also some incredible shopping!
Sarge’s Surplus Hut will make even the smallest soldiers and racers say Kaaaa-Chow! Find “Cars”-themed kids apparel, toys, costumes and more to suit up with. Disney collectors will park themselves at Radiator Springs Curios where they may just get lost in all of the car accessories, license plate frames, Vinylmation, window clings, magnets and other items to build their trading collection. Ramone’s House of Body Art welcomes even the most intense car lovers. Here you can find designs inspired by the world renowned Chip Foose of Foose Design custom car works.
To me Disneyland is the one place where magic never ceases to exist, no matter how old you are. Cars Land continues the magic for every family to enjoy!
Thank you to Disneyland for making it possible for me to experience this wonderful new addition to the California Adventure Park. All opinions are mine.