On June 15, a five year renovation at Disney California Adventure finished with the opening of the new CarsLand and Buena Vista Street projects. Announced in 2007 with a price tag of $1.1 billion, the project was undertaken to improve a park that did not live up to expectations when it opened in 2007.
The new Buena Vista Street entrance area at California Adventure is similar to the Main Street entrance area at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. It leads to the new Carthay Circle Restaurant, which was designed after the iconic Carthay Circle Theatre, which hosted the world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. The area, complete with Red Car trolleys that circulate areas of the park, reflects the spirit of opportunity that greeted Walt Disney in 1937 when he arrived in Los Angeles.
CarsLand, the highly anticipated new area, was built on twelve acres of what was the original Disneyland parking lot. The area is themed so that it looks like the town of Radiator Springs and guests walk down the Main Street. There are three Cars-themed rides.
Radiator Springs Racers is a race car ride built with third generation Test Track technology. Riders race through Ornament Valley and winners are randomly chosen.
At Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, the vehicles are tractors that spin similar to the Mad Tea Party ride. Luigi’s Flying Tires is similar to the original Flying Saucers ride at Disneyland. Riders sit in oversized tires and glide on air like pucks on an air hockey table. A play area including slide, kid sized cars and jungle gym made of tires, is nearby. All three rides in CarsLand are FastPass rides. Minimum height requirements range from 32” to 40.”
There are also three eateries in CarsLand. At the Cozy Cone Motel, everything from “chili cone queso” to popcorn is served in a cone. Fillmore’s Taste-In offers a variety of fresh fruits, juices, and healthy treats and Flo’s V8 Café serves up rotisserie favorites, chicken tamales, fruit pies, and other American favorites.
Shopping opportunities abound as well. Clothing and souvenirs are available at Sarge’s Surplus Hut. Ramone’s House of Body Art offers clothing and you can pick up vinylmations, pins, magnets and other souvenirs at Radiator Springs Curios.
Rachel is a Virginia native who now lives in Louisiana. She is married with two children, ages 5 and 3. After dreaming and wishing for several years, her family had their very first Disney vacations this year and are now addicted to researching and planning—whether for themselves or for others. They now plan to visit the parks at least once a year.