Two cars are tied heading into the final race of the season. Down the stretch they come! It’s too close to call! Too close! The most spectacular, amazing, unequivocally, unbelievable ending in the history of the world! And we don’t even know who won!
It’s a hot summer’s day in Ornament Valley and we’re packed into a forest green convertible. The red orange of the Cadillac Mountain Range is starkly beautiful against the blue sky and I feel a bit like Grace Kelly (minus the scarf) or Thelma and Louise (which ever one gets Brad Pitt).
We drive around Willy’s Butte, past the plunging Radiator Falls and into a tunnel. Here, we meet the locals of Radiator Springs: the friendly Luigi swaps our tires, Mater asks if we’d like to engage in the age-old tradition of tractor-tipping and Doc Hudson stops by with racing tips. Racing tips?!
In the sudden dark our engine revs. And we’re off. We rocket through the stunning landscape, careen into high-banked turns and zip past the competition. They nose ahead but we haven’t come this far to lose. We push with all we’ve got and – it’s a photo finish!
The ride is over.
Cars is made real in the 28,000 hours Walt Disney Imagineers devoted to RADIATOR SPRINGS RACERS, the 4,000 tons of steel used to erect Cadillac Mountain Range and in the amazing use of animatronics (Lightning McQueen and his friends feel as life-like as even the friendliest of Disney cast members).
MATER’S JUNKYARD JAMBOREE
Sally and Lightnin’parkin’ in a tree
So sings Tow Mater from his shed at Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. Guests jump in a trailer pulled by baby tractors (no two of which are the same) and quite literally dance (or tow-si-do) as the hilarious Mater belts out fiddle-friendly tunes.
Dubbed a Cars take on the classic Tea Cups ride (minus the spinning), guests get the impression of being gently thrown around the ‘dance floor’ as tractors twist and turn to the music. Be prepared to get intimate with your fellow-rider.
LUIGI’S FLYING TIRES
In Carsoli, Italy, a miracle occurred. An uncle of Cars’ Luigi opened a shipment of the Fettuccini Tire Company’s new Cuscino D’ Aria tires and they floated off the ground! Since then, villagers have gathered to celebrate the age-old ‘Festival of Flying Tires’. In tribute, Luigi brought the festival to Cars Land.
Ford be praised I had a Segway lesson before this ride. What may seem an easy, dodgem car-like ride, makes for a great workout post-theme park food. After climbing into a larger-than-life tire, 6,714 vents blow the tires ever-so-lightly off the ground (it’s like being on a life-size air hockey table).
To go right, you lean right, to go left, you lean left. It’s simple (and great for your core), but riders have to co-ordinate, or like us, end in a corner, getting beach balls thrown at our heads.
Fueling up at FILLMORE’S TASTE-IN, CRAZY CONE MOTEL AND FLO’S V8 CAFÉ
If, like me (and Cars’ 1960 Volkswagen bus, Fillmore), you’re a bit of a hippy, FILLMORE’S TASTE-IN is for you. Fruit (both fresh and dried) and healthy, all-natural snacks are on offer here. Fillmore’s Fuelin’ Groovy Ades (the pomegranate limeade in particular) are a must!
Who wouldn’t want to sip from a traffic cone, let alone eat popcorn from one? Stop by the CRAZY CONE MOTEL for ‘route’-beer floats or chilli-’cone’ queso. This is also home to some of the park’s greatest drinks: Cone 4 offers Red’s Apple Freeze (100% frozen apple juice – so, so good); while Cone 5 serves up Doc’s Wild Grape Tonic made from wild grape syrup, Sprite and wild berry foam topping.
Voted best dining on ’66′, FLO’S V8 CAFÉ brings a touch of 50s diner glam to The Mother Road. Literally fill up yer’ tank as you dine beside petrol bowsers for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or in-between.
SARGE’S SURPLUS HUT, RADIATOR SPRINGS CURIOS AND RAMONE’S HOUSE OF BODY ART
Fuel courses through his veins. He could say Lamborghini before he could say Aunty and he could advise how quickly a Porsche could get from 0-100 before he could count. His name is Luke and he’s obsessed. So where else but Cars Land could a proud aunt prepare for Christmas?
In a rusty corrugated military hut, SARGE’S SURPLUS HUT is great for specific Cars Land memorabilia (Luigi’s Flying Tires hat was an inevitable buy) and also a great place to stock up on Cars-themed playsets.
RADIATOR SPRINGS CURIOS is an attraction in itself. Adorned in hand-picked memorabilia, this is a great place to keep the kids amused while you figure out what to get whom.
Hit the road in style at RAMONE’S HOUSE OF BODY ART. This is where you can actually look the part in ‘Low ‘n’ Slow Car Club’ and ‘Champions Speed Shop’ brands.
Disney California Adventure Park has that new car smell.
Adding 12 acres to the park, Cars Land takes guests into the world imagined by the Disney|Pixar movie Cars, replete with an homage to Route 66, Radiator Springs landmarks, and the photogenic ‘car-acters’, Lightning McQueen and Mater, who are geared up to pose for photos with guests.
Walt Disney admitted "Disneyland will never be completed…as long as there is imagination left in the world," and on this, my third visit, I realize that Disneyland Resort is not a box to be ticked once.
All images courtesy of Disneyland Resort.
For more information about Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park, check out Disney’s interactive website (but if you’re at work, hit mute first).
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Gaya Avery