Disneyland Resort held its annual “What’s Next” presentation on June 3, 2011, this time in a special location. As the last of such presentations before the years (and $1+ billion) of upgrades at Disney California Adventure are completed next year, this year’s information- and entertainment-filled show took place within the Carsland construction site.
The backdrop was what will become one of the impressive main entranceways to the roughly 12-acre expansion to Disney California Adventure themed to Disney/Pixar’s hit movie Cars. Contained within Carsland will be a new high-speed, E-ticket attraction called Radiator Springs Racers, a few other smaller rides, as well as several restaurants, stores, and plenty of scenic detail.
Stepping into the area, guests will no doubt marvel at what Disney’s Imagineers have achieved in bringing the computer generated world of Cars to life. Even non-fans of the film will be in awe of the spectacle of this new area.
While Carsland is very much still under construction, scheduled to be open around this time in 2012, invited press and special guests had a chance to “tour” the site courtesy of live video shot from several stories in the air on the side of the Tower of Terror nearby.
Standing on the cusp of Carsland, coupled with seeing concept art and hearing Imagineers’ descriptions, it’s the closest anyone outside of The Walt Disney Company has come to experiencing all of the Cars fun so far.
Watch as Walt Disney Imagineers Kathy Mangum and Kevin Rafferty take you on a construction site tour of Carsland in this video:
While the details explained by the Imagineers had been discussed many times before, the most eye-opening moment came when they pointed out the size of the “tiny” construction workers seen sculpting the rock work in the distance.
That frame of reference certainly offered a sense of just how huge this California Adventure expansion is.
Earlier in the presentation, Disneyland Resort president George Kalogridis walked the audience through the changes currently in progress at the front of the Disney California Adventure theme park, not by live video, but by way of a virtual fly-through and concept art.
The area will be transformed from the kitsch postcard theme it’s had since the park opened to a 1920s Los Angeles theme, representing the time that Walt Disney first arrived to the west coast. It won’t all be Hollywood glitz and glamor, but it will be all Disney.
In the video below, watch as Kalogridis narrates a virtual fly-through of Buena Vista Street and the new Disney California Adventure entrance:
The expansion and upgrade to Disney California Adventure will be completed in mid-2012, concluding several years of improvements that will ultimately leave the park as a must-visit for Disneyland Resort guests.