This Disney California Adventure Guide presents information following the park’s 5-year, $1.5+ billion expansion, which finished June 15, 2012 when Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort opened Cars Land and Buena Vista Street as part of the park’s grand reopening celebration. Here’s some information to help you plan your visit to Disney California Adventure.
Read my review of Disney California Adventure “2.0.”
Between Cars Land and Buena Vista Street, there ar four new attractions (Radiator Springs Racers, Luigi’s Flying Tires, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and the Red Car Trolley), new dining (Flo’s V8 Café, Carthay Circle Restaurant, Cozy Cones, etc.) and shopping locations (Ramone’s House of Body Art, Radiator Springs Curios, Elias and Co.) in two new incredibly detailed lands for guests to explore, making Disney California Adventure a bona fide companion park to Disneyland. Other recent additions like The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Goofy’s Sky School, World of Color, Silly Symphony Swings, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Pixar Play Parade, have truly reinvented Disney California Adventure.
Of these, Radiator Springs Racers should be your priority when visiting. You will want to arrive BEFORE park opening and immediately get a FastPass for this ride when the park opens (there will be a line for the FastPass distribution) and then immediately get in the standby line. It’s worth riding twice. After that, do Luigi’s Flying Tires, which is low capacity, meaning that its line builds up. Other popular attractions in the Disney California Adventure include Toy Story Mania, Grizzly River Run, California Screamin’, and Soarin’ Over California (plus others–see that post for details). Of these, only Toy Story Mania does not have FastPass, so do it early in the day before lines build.
You’ll also want to grab a FastPass for World of Color seating, otherwise you risk not being able to see it. We recommend getting a FastPass for the last showing of World of Color if possible, as that is the least crowded showing. If FastPasses for earlier shows are being distributed when you go to get your FastPass, you can request later times from a Cast Member at the station.
Disney California Adventure can get busy during certain times of the day, especially in Cars Land. For tips on avoiding the crowds, check out this post.
Read our historical retrospective of the original Disney California Adventure.
Regardless of what you do, make sure you do devote enough time to seeing Disney California Adventure. It’s now a great park that some guests will even prefer to Disneyland. We were blown away by the new Disney California Adventure. Cars Land is one of the most detailed and immersive lands that Walt Disney Imagineering has ever created, rivaling areas of Tokyo DisneySea, and Buena Vista Street is a beautiful tribute to the Los Angeles that Walt Disney arrived to in the 1920s. These two lands, plus a variety of improvements to other lands, including the opening of the first Disney Starbucks and the Mad T Party, make Summer 2012 an exciting time to visit Disneyland!
Make sure you check out our Disneyland trip planning tips & tricks when planning your trip to see Cars Land and the rest of “new” Disney California Adventure!
“New” Disney California Adventure Photos
To get an idea of what some of the more popular attractions and areas at Disney California Adventure are like, check out these photo galleries:
Radiator Springs Racers Photos (78 photos)
Luigi’s Flying Tires Photos (41 photos)
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree Photos (18 photos)
Buena Vista Street Photos (90 photos)
Cars Land Photos (86 photos)
World of Color “Glow with the Show” and Brave Photos (40 photos)
Instant Concert – Just Add Water! Photos (10 photos)
The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure Dark Ride Photo Tour (20+ photos)
World of Color Photo Gallery (20+ photos)
Beautiful Disney California Adventure Photos (50 photos)
Here are some of our other best Disney California Adventure posts from our archives that might help you plan your trip:
Disney California Adventure Facebook Covers
World of Color Guide & Photos
Disneyland Christmas Time Lapse Video
Disneyland Resort Christmas 2011 Report
Disneyland Resort Spring 2011 Report
Disneyland Resort Summer 2010 Report
Disneyland Bar Crawl Guide
To plan your trip to Disneyland Resort, read our “10 Steps for Planning a Disneyland Trip” post!
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What do you think of Disney California Adventure “2.0”? Does it live up to the hype for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!