By now I know you’ve heard the news, Radiator Springs has arrived at Cars Land Disneyland California Adventure Park! They’ve brought all the vintage charm of Route 66 to Southern California for your family to enjoy this summer. I recently visited this new land and I’m pretty sure you’ll be getting your kicks when you visit for yourself!

Lightning McQueen and Mater fans will have their dreams come true as they’re able to come face to face with their favorite Cars characters. You’ll often see Mater and Lightning strolling down the street in exciting larger than life form. Everyone will also love that this land is truly designed to be enjoyed by the entire family together.

Probably the most exciting (and my personal favorite) attraction in Cars Land is Radiator Springs Racers. This six seated adventure starts off as a leisurely Sunday ride through breathtaking hand built Ornament Valley with your favorite Cars friends. Enjoy the sights and scenery, like gushing waterfalls, and keep your eye out for fun treats, like tractor tipping with Mater. You’ll end your journey with a side by side, heart pumping race to the finish! Ka-chow!!

While I’m sure the kids are revving to get into Cars Land and tow si tow in Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, if you take the word from a skeptic who wasn’t sure they wanted to wait in line for this “little kids ride” (ahem, that might have been me) – just *do* it. It was an enjoyable little square dance type ride that had all of us smiling and laughing out loud – whether or not we expected to.

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Although I didn’t get a chance to experience Luigi’s Flying Tires – supposedly its like gliding on air. Its design is based on the old beloved Flying Saucers ride from the 1960’s Tomorrowland in Disneyland. It’s perfect for even the youngest members of your family with only a 32″ height requirement. Seemingly similar to bumper cars, from what I hear, it’s actually the story behind the ride that is told during your wait in the queue that is most interesting. As the story goes, Luigi’s uncle Topolino discovered the mysterious floating capabilities of Cuscino D’ Aria (cushion of air) tires and his Italian village responded by hosting the first Festival of the Flying Tires. (PSST – did you know that Topolino is the italian name for Mickey Mouse?).

As usual, Disney has done their homework and created an area that will appeal to not only your children, but also the car enthusiast or any vintage Route 66 fan. And if you consider yourself a foodie or just love good food in general, you won’t be disappointed. How does Churro bites with cinnamon-chocolate sauce sound? At the Cozy Cone Motel you can enjoy them with a regular or cinnamon-spiced hot cocoa or wash them down with Ramone’s Pear of Dice Soda (desert pear and mojito flavorings topped with Sprite).

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Oh, and rumor has it you may find more than food at the Cozy Cone Motel because Mater and Lightning McQueen have been known to hang out nearby. You might also want to be on the lookout for Red the Firetruck while you’re at it – he likes to keep Radiator Springs clean and you might just get wet if you get in the way!

When creating Cars Land it was important to the concept team (the Disney Imagineers) to incorporate the charm and heritage from “Route 66” into the park, so they took a field trip just like the one John Lasseter’s team took when working on the movie, “Cars.” In true Disney fashion, everything in the Cars Land has a story – right on down to the food. As such, you’ll find lots of good old American comfort food on the menu at Flo’s V-8 Cafe, including a Route 66 road trip favorite, pie.

Whether you’re one of the first visitors this summer or don’t make it until months after the Grand Opening, you’re going want some souvenirs for yourself, the kids and gifts for your friends and family that couldn’t make the trip and there are plenty of options available.

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If you’re shopping for the kids there’s Sarge’s Surplus Hut with “Cars”-themed kids apparel, costumes, hats, toys, stuffed animals, etc. For the collectors you’ll want to shop at Radiator Springs Curios where you’ll find “Cars” pins, Disney California Adventure park logo merchandise and car accessories, Vinylmation, window clings, license plate frames, magnets and other items suited for collector trading.

And for the car aficionados there’s Ramone’s House of Body Art. Even if you aren’t a shopper you’ll want to stop in here and check out some of the design inspired by Chip Foose of Foose Design in Huntington Beach, an auto designer known worldwide for his custom car works.

As you can see from the pictures, Cars Land takes on a who new life at night too! I love the neon signs and how the sky above Ornament Valley looks at dusk – just gorgeous!

Disney Cars Land Ornament Valley at Dusk

Photo courtesy of Disney

So tell me, what are you most excited about experiencing in Cars Land?

Thank you to Disneyland for making it possible for me to experience this wonderful new addition to the California Adventure Park. All opinions are mine.

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6 comments

  1. I definitely am looking forward to trying the food and Radiator Springs Racers. Maybe someday <3 It sounds amazing.

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