Disney and Pixar recently held a launch event for a new online virtual world from Disney Interactive called “World of Cars Online.” Based on the hit animated Disney/Pixar film Cars, the game gives kids the opportunity to customize their own car and interact and race with characters from the film.
The event itself had no shortage of entertainment and fun as Lightning McQueen, Mater, and Sally were posing for photos along with celebrity Guests Cheech Marin and Jenifer Lewis, voices of “Ramone” and “Flo” from the film. Also on hand were Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence, promoting their new ABC Family show cleverly titled Melissa & Joey. Tori Spelling and family were in attendance, along with a few other Hollywood families. An assortment of Disney Channel stars was there as well (none of whom I recognized, see the slideshow below – perhaps you can name them).
After playing around with the game, I spoke with actor Cheech Marin and Pixar’s Jay Ward about World of Cars Online. Ward is Pixar’s resident car guru and now in charge of all things Cars-related that the company puts out. He obviously loves his job and is proud of his work.
You can hear more of my interview with Cheech and Ward in episode 281 of the Inside the Magic podcast.
It all took place at a California historical landmark, Bob’s Big Boy restaurant in Burbank – a real-life example of the 1950s style “car hop” coffee shop, reminiscent of Radiator Springs’ Flo’s V-8 Café depicted in the “Cars” movie and virtual world. (If you’ve never been to Bob’s, you have to add it to your “must visit” list the next time you’re in Los Angeles. Try the Big Boy w/ fries and the Decadent Hot Fudge Cake with ice cream.)
But enough about the food and more about the game…
- Create a Car – create a custom car with loads of modifications and upgrades to choose from
- Meet “Cars” Movie Characters – engage with quirky “Cars” characters in offbeat adventures and more;
- Explore the Open Road – play fun games and activities in Radiator Springs and beyond;
- Make New Friends – meet, chat and play with thousands of other Cars or race against them on a variety of tracks;
- Start a Racing Career – race to become the new Piston Cup Champ. Cars can work their way up from local dirt tracks to the national circuit;
- Build a Yard – outfit a yard for friends to check out and visit, and eventually build custom race tracks.
There is no third-party advertising in World of Cars Online. It is a free-to-play browser-based game. For access to additional features globally, a sponsorship subscription of $5.95 a month is required.
Kids ages 6-12 will love it, especially boys 8-10, the game’s target audience. Tractor tipping was a hoot. World of Cars Online is definitely something I’ll encourage my son to play once he’s old enough to manage a mouse. It’s a great way to introduce your children to gaming, especially if they’re into the Cars franchise.