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Disneyland’s Cars Land fuels family fun

Disneyland California celebrated the grand opening of new star attraction Cars Land, featuring three new attractions, iconic characters and interactive entertainment for pint-size movie fans and the young at heart. HAYLEY BEULLENS joined the fun.

THE DEBUT of Cars Land completes the final chapter of a five-year expansion at Disneyland California Adventure Park, with Route 66 leading the way to the recreation of Radiator Springs from the animated Disney-Pixar movie ‘Cars’. The world-class family destination is set to awe guests with three-dimensional versions of the movie’s familiar landmarks including the Ornament Valley mountain range, Luigi’s Casa Della Tires and Flo’s V8 Café.
Inspired by a research trip that Walt Disney imagineers took along California’s Route 66 highway, and in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios ?lmmakers and cast members, the 5ha attraction is considered the park’s “crown jewel”. “Cars Land immerses guests in the world of ‘Cars’ like never before, and combines the imagination of Pixar with the creativity, innovation and legendary storytelling that are hallmarks of a Disney Park experience,” said Disneyland’s chairman and CEO, Bob Iger.
“We want guests to think they are on this great road trip, and in a way, almost like they are going home,” said Kathy Mangum, Cars Land executive producer. “Cars Land will feel very familiar in so many dierent ways, although a lot of places you’ll only find inside Cars Land. We took the theming and storytelling all the way through, so that guests will really feel as if the shops, restaurants and attractions are being operated by that character.”
Taking the off-ramp from the park’s new Buena Vista Street into Radiator Springs, labelled “the cutest little town in Carburetor Country”, “car- actors” welcome guests at the 2.5ha Radiator Springs Racers ride, a six-passenger convertible able to seat the whole family. The high-octane cars take a scenic tour of Ornament Valley, that ramps up into an all-out race through Willy’s Butte, waterfalls and the famous Radiator Falls – all sights straight from the movie.
‘Cars’ characters Luigi and Guido host Luigi’s Casa Della Tires, oversized Fettucini-brand tyres that hover through Luigi’s hometown of Carsoli, Italy. Steering by sheer body weight with magical music echoing in the background, families race each other across Luigi’s Italian garden to catch giant inflatable balls.
With views of the 125-foot-tall Cadillac Mountain Range, quirky roadside restaurant Flo’s V8 Café oers families the opportunity to fuel up with home-style breakfast, lunch and dinner classics and California wines by the glass while taking in the speedster action at Radiator Spring Racers. For a ‘grab’n’run quick-stop, Fillmore’s Taste-in features healthy fresh fruits, bottled water and juices, while the character ‘Red the Fire Truck’ recruits littlies to help water the ?owers and clean up Radiator Springs town.
DJ, the mobile boom box and character from the movie, coasts down the boulevard, creating a spontaneous dance party revving up the crowd with his cheeky personality and built-in CD changer, helping adults find their groove, and kids get amongst it. Three-dimensional, animated neon signs inspired from the 1950s era of Route 66 come alive after dark, dotting the entertainment- filled boulevard, where guests can learn dance moves from DJ’s “Dance and Drive” ensemble, spinning classics such as “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Car Wash”.
Residents Lightning McQueen and Mater meanwhile meet and greet guests at Cozy Cone Motel for humorous photo poses with the family, a snack pit stop with chilli “cone” queso, churro cones covered in cinnamon- chocolate sauce, and other “cone-coctions”. Drawing inspiration from vintage boutiques along Route 66, themed merchandise shops give parents a chance for some retail therapy, while young fans banter with Mater, a citizen of Radiator Springs. Ramone’s House of Body Art, featuring Champions Custom Speed Shop work shirts, hats and accessories, is jam-packed with car lovers, while Sarge’s Surplus Hut oers kids clothing, licence plate frames and souvenirs.
The second largest expansion in Disneyland’s 57-year history, Disney California Adventure Park also premiered the richly detailed Buena Vista Street, a bustling interactive entertainment hub inspired by Walt Disney’s experience of California in the 1920s and 1930s. The development also includes premier dining outlets - Carthay Circle Theatre and Carthay Restaurant and Lounge - designed to enhance the period feel. It is brought to life by a fun- loving photographer character, a lost messenger and a dotty dog lover who roam the streets in red car trolleys playing period tunes.

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Published: 28 August 2012

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