Welcome to Cars Land
I was really excited to see Cars Land prior to our recent trip to Disney California Adventure, and it exceeded even my wildest expectations. I literally had chills when I first walked down Route 66 towards Radiator Springs Racers. Every positive word you’ve heard about Cars Land is true–it’s a land that will anchor Disney California Adventure (and Disneyland Resort as a whole) for years to come, and its flagship attraction, Radiator Springs Racers, is absolutely amazing. Easily the best US Disney attraction built since Walt Disney World added the Tower of Terror, and probably better than that, too. Possibly better than Splash Mountain before that. The only attractions that I’ve experienced that I wouldn’t place above Radiator Springs Racers are the sacred classics like Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean and Walt Disney World’s (or Disneyland’s) Haunted Mansion.
If Cars Land isn’t enough to convince Walt Disney World regulars to finally visit Disneyland Resort, nothing will (and here’s hoping it stays exclusive to Disneyland Resort for that very reason). Cars Land and Buena Vista Street, along with other small–but significant–changes at Disney California Adventure since our last trip have catapulted Disney California Adventure to near the top of our Disney theme park rankings. If someone would have told me two years ago that I might prefer Disney California Adventure to Epcot or the Magic Kingdom (Disneyland is easily my favorite park–Disney California Adventure is good, but it still doesn’t challenge Disneyland for #1), I would have thought they were crazy. DCA still isn’t perfect, but what guests experience there today is a stark contrast to what opened in 2001.
I could–and will–gush over Disney California Adventure at great length, but for now, here’s a simple photo of the most jaw-dropping entrance to Cars Land, through Pacific Wharf.
Pretty sure I was right behind you in the Karl Strauss Beer Truck line on Saturday night at around 10 pm’ish buying a cold one. Only I wasn’t 100% sure it was you, so I didn’t say anything. Was it you?
Dude was wearing shorts, had a DSLR in one hand and obviously a beer in the other, and sped off into Carsland right away before I had the chance to finish paying for my beer and ask. I told my Girlfriend and we power walked it into Carsland to find out for sure, but by the time we got there, you (or the other quick and elusive blonde, beer-drinking photog) were no where in sight.
Girlfriend said it felt like we were chasing down a celebrity or something, which I guess in a way we were 🙂
I’m so glad to hear this! Since i agree with you on most things Disney attractions related i was anxiously awaiting your overall review. In April i grudgingly went to islands of adventure with my family. I say grudgingly bc even though i am a huge Harry potter fan i had a hard time being in Orlando and not being in a Disney park. Anyway i was completely blown away by the theming of the wizarding world. It made me sad when i decided that the Harry potter section of ioa was better than anything Disney has recently created. It sounds like they’ve really hit a home run with cars land so I’m hoping once i visit I’ll be able to say that my favorite theme park land and ride are once again back in a Disney park! Thanks for all of the twitter and Facebook updates…it was great to follow along and i know it requires a lot of extra attention when you’re busy having fun!!
Yes, Cars Land is amazing. More impressive than anything that has come to Disneyland or Walt Disney World in at least two decades. Anyone who has never been to Disneyland Resort really needs to plan that as their next trip.
As for the Facebook updates, while we’re in the parks, those are all Sarah. She does a great job with them!
Just worked southern California into next summer’s annual west coast road trip…Cars Land here I come….in about 350 days. You’ve convinced me.
I’ve been following the opening of the two new lands both on the various Disney sites and blogs and also in the mainstream news media, but yours is the opinion I’ve been most waiting for. With the exception of the more curmudgeonly blogs (you know, the ones where the people are still fuming over the loss of Nature’s Wonderland), which have either grudgingly acknowledged the existence of Cars Land and Buena Vista street or have ignored them altogether, the reviews have been one hundred percent glowing. From what I’ve seen in print, pictures, and video, it’s going to be hard even for the cranks to continue their claim that the parking lot was better than California Adventure (and in no way am I an apologist for the original DCA, believe me). I look forward to a detailed account from you and especially to your stunning photographs. “Cars” is, in my opinion, an underappreciated film, and Cars Land, with its recreation of Radiator Springs, will surely do much to change that fact. I’m just as interested in getting a detailed scoop (and especially pictures) concerning Buena Vista Street. It looks beautiful, and it’s a treat to see Disney create an immersive environment for a time period they haven’t fully explored before. Having grown up in a small city overflowing with 1920s/30s Art Deco architecture (Asheville, NC), I admit that Buena Vista street, through the pictures I’ve seen, has evoked a bit of nostalgia in me already, albeit not for Los Angeles. Please spare no detail in providing us with future reports of your experiences and impressions!
No detail will be spared! 🙂
I was there yesterday and despite all of the crowds, this place is amazing! I can’t wait to see how you captured it in your camera, because it’s absolutely gorgeous.
Looking forward to more gushing and fantastic photos! We’re anxiously awaiting our first DLR vacation, and after this past weekend I wish it would get here sooner.
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed yourself. We were in Disneyland the week before the grand re-opening and the few small peeks we got at Cars Land looked incredibly immersive. I’m personally more excited for Buena Vista street, but I can’t deny that the new land is more than I could have hoped for. As you said, I do hope it stays exclusive to California Adventure.
Amazing! I can’t wait to hear more.
What a view!