Two weeks after its grand opening, there’s seemingly little left to wonder about Cars Land, unveiled to thousands of excited Disneyland fans in person and splashed across uncountable worldwide headlines. The new expansion to the Disney California Adventure theme park continues to draw massive crowds, with Radiator Springs Racers, the land’s biggest attraction, still filling its queue within minutes of park opening – and then some, posting wait times of several hours.
But Cars Land is about more than the high-speed excitement of Radiator Springs Racers. It’s more than the simple thrills of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Flying Tires. And it’s more than the delicious food served at Flo’s V8 Cafe and the Cozy Cone Motel. Cars Land is about the sleepy little town called Radiator Springs, which Disney’s Imagineers have carefully crafted in real life, pulled from the pixels of Pixar’s pictures. This town now exists. While it may not actually be located along the fabled Route 66, once guests step inside, there’s no doubt that’s exactly where it is – or at least where it feels like it is. A vast mountain range completely separates Cars Land from the nearby hustle of Harbor Boulevard and even the bustle of Disney California Adventure’s own streets, placing visitors into the world of “Cars” and never letting go of the fantasy.
So it is in tribute to this extraordinarily well-crafted fantasy world that we take a closer look at the details of the environment that is Cars Land – not the rides, merchandise, or food – but the perfect place making that Disney’s Imagineers have created. And just as there are no narrations or captions to lead guests through Cars Land, the photos and videos below are presented without any guidance, allowing readers of this article to wander down the main street of Radiator Springs and take in the sights in the same way that Disneyland guests now do daily while walking through Cars Land, experiencing what can only be described as classic Imagineering.
Cars Land creative director, Imagineer Kevin Rafferty summarized that feeling best when recently repeating what he’d heard a guest say when first setting their sights on the stunning Radiator Springs Racers queue: “This is so Disney!”
Welcome to Cars Land.
Videos from Opening Day – June 15, 2012
Video: Cars Land details and highlights
Video: Cars Land unedited daytime walkthrough
Video: Cars Land nighttime lighting moment
Video: Cars Land unedited nighttime walkthrough
Cars Land Photo Tour
More photos from throughout Cars Land: