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The Ultimate LA Family Guide ™
Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure
An incredible attraction based upon the remarkable Car Movie
One of the main highlights of California Adventure is Cars Land.
Adults and children alike are consistently impressed with how true to life the main street is and with the main ride, Radiator Springs. Cars Land is truly the Cars movie right in front of you at a grand scale and LAwithKids loves every single bit of it.
If your child or children are familiar with the Cars characters and story, either from the movies or the books, they will be delighted with seeing Lightning McQueen, Red the fire truck, Mater and more along the main street. In addition to seeing all of the cars, recreated life-size, here are the main attractions in Cars Land:
Flo’s V8 Cafe: This is a standout here and looks like a modernized 50s cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. I mention the indoor seating because I find that many of the restaurants at Disneyland and CA only have outdoor seating which can be a problem in cold weather. It looks like a great place to eat because you have a view of the other Cars Land attractions while you eat. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast you can try brioche french toast, eggs and turkey bacon, a chicken tamale meal and more. Lunch and dinner includes pork loin with barbecue sauce, mac and cheese, and turkey and mashed potatoes. The kids meal is served in a Cars shaped box of course!
Next on our list is Casa Della Tires, which is a fun place to look around and is right in front of Luigi’s Flying tires which is a bumper car type ride. Instead of cars, you’ll fly around on huge tires that have air pushing them in the direction that you lean into.
Then there’s Fillmore’s Taste In, a snack bar with juices and fruit,
Mater’s Junk Yard Jamboree, a tea-cup ride decorated with mini-Maters instead of tea-cups,
The Cozy Cone Motel is another snack area. There are tall buildings shaped like construction cones and each one offers a different kind of treat like ice cream and popcorn. I thought this area in particular was very attractive and inventive, like a small village within the much larger park.
There are also several gift shops to browse in for Cars related merchandise including a cute hat shaped like a tire.
The main attraction in Cars Land is of course Radiator Springs Racers. From what I have heard and what we saw, the line for the ride is averaging about 2 hours but you can get a fast pass. The line for the fast pass is actually right next to Bugs Land before you ever get to Cars Land. A very nice feature here is that you can get a fast pass for Radiator Springs but also continue to get another fast pass for another ride in Disneyland. So what I would recommend is that you make getting a fast pass for Radiator Springs the very first thing you do at the park so that you can minimize your wait time and get the most out of your day at the park. And if you are going to both parks in one day you can then rush over to Disneyland and get a fast pass for say Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain as well.
Now, more about Radiator Springs Racers. This ride was terrific and exceeded our expectations. You start off by climbing in a car....and at this point your child may either be disappointed that your car isn’t the one they were hoping for. But you’ll quickly get over that and be immediately delighted with the various rooms you travel through and the cool rock formations. The designers really spent time here making all of the images from the movie come to life and not with cheesy cardboard cutouts but real, 3D models that give a lot for the viewer to look at. Here’s something very interesting about this ride, depending on the lane you are in, you’ll either go through Luigi’s Casa Della Tires or Ramone’s House of Body Art. We went through Ramone’s and my kids LOVED when we were sprayed like we were getting new paint (it was a mist). So in order to see both rooms you’ll have to go on the ride at least twice.
About halfway through the ride you’ll pull up next to another car and then have a race to the finish line. Our kids favorite part was when we were zooming along the curves at an angle at a pretty good speed as we traversed the mountains that are made to look just like Ornament Valley. Lots of excitement, lots to look at and appreciate and if we could we would have of course ridden a few more times!
Cars Land, in total, was impressed and we can’t wait to go back again. It is great to see something new and have it be done so well with lots of attention to detail.