Radiator Springs Racers at Cars Land in Disney California Adventure is easily one of my favorite rides in the whole park and I am not the only one that think’s so. Despite being operational for nearly a year, Radiator Springs Racers regularly has one of the longest wait times of any other ride at Disneyland resort. That includes both parks!
Its a fun ride filled with strong acceleration, elevation changes, and banked turns. One of the coolest parts about the ride is that it looks like a giant real-life slot car track. As it turns out, that is not far from the truth. In the video series “Every Role A Starring Role” we go behind the scenes of Radiator Springs racers with Disneyland electrician Joe Shanahan as he explains just how the biggest slot-car track on earth works. Check it out below.
One of the “must-do” activities for those who live in the Southern California area is to visit the Disneyland resort. Being based in so-cal myself I have been to Disneyland many times and I love it. One of my favorite things to do at Disneyland is visit the “Innoventions” pavilion. The Innoventions pavilion is full of all kinds of cool tech that, well used to be from the not so distant future. However today most of the tech on display are products that are out now but just a bit out of financial reach for most people. Although one very futuristic piece of tech still lives in Innoventions and that is Honda’s ASIMO Robot which does live shows every day.
ASIMO stands for “Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility” and was developed by Honda to be an “assistant” to people and their families in their daily lives. I have seen the live show myself many times and I can tell you that watching the little bot in action is pretty awesome. For those who have not had a chance to see ASIMO, Honda has launched a Facebook contestto help a lucky person meet their assistant bot in person. The winner will receive a four-day, three night stay at the Disneyland resort for four people with Airfare, hotel, and tickets to the park all included. When the winner visits Disneyland they will get a chance to interact one-on-one with ASIMO after one of the live shows. That sounds like a pretty sweet deal!
To enter, contestants must “like” ASIMO on Facebook, print out a photo of ASIMO from Facebook gallery and take a picture of themselves with that printed photo enjoying a favorite activity, take another picture of themselves and a group of friends with the printed photo enjoying another fun activity, answer a set of triva questions, and finally write in 50-200 words why you love ASIMO and why you want to meet it at Disneyland.
That is definitely a bit extensive but for a practically all expense paid trip for four to the happiest place on earth to meet a full-on robot I would say it is worth it. At the very least contestants will come away with a few fun photos for their Facebook pages!
To enter, simply visit ASIMO’s Facebook page (click the bold red text) and follow the official rules and instructions. Good luck!
If you saw my “CARSmas” post a while back you already know that I am a Disney-nerd as well as a Cars/Cars Land fan boy so I got pretty excited when I heard that there is going to be a Cars Land themed float in this year’s Rose Parade. Today Disney released a behind the scenes video with senior designer Bradley Kaye as explains how the “Imagineers” will face the challenge of completely re-creating Cars Land on a chassis that is limited to a 18 foot wide by 50 foot long “box”. That might seem like a lot of space but when its considered that the actual Cars Land takes up several acres one can see that trying to re-create nearly the entire thing on a float that has to be able to move and turn will be quite a feat!
If you watch the video closely there are a few quick glimpses of what the final design will look like but the real thing won’t be seen until New Year’s Day as it rolls down the street in Pasadena, CA for the 124th Annual Rose Parade. I am looking forward to it!
I have a confession to make: I am a Disney-nerd. There, I said it. Although that is not much of a confession if you know me. Heck, even if you don’t know me your first clue should have been my constant postings about the progress of Cars Land before it opened! Anyway, now that the truth is out I have no problem telling you that I love to visit Cars Land. It is the only place on the planet that combines my fascination with Disney innovation, art, and attention to detail with my love of cars.
I mentioned detail because that is one of my favorite things about Cars Land and the Disney/Pixar philosophy. They can take something as fantastical about a world made up of talking cars but add a sense of real authenticity through details. If you ever visit Cars Land for the first time you will have to look at everything twice. What at first glance seems like a pillar for a building is actually a giant piston. What looks like a rock formation is actually a massive hood ornament. It is amazing how many little “car-ism” details the Disney imagineers slipped into everything. I notice something new every time I go.
Having said that, you can imagine that when I heard that the entire Cars Land area was decorated for the holidays I grabbed my camera and headed out to Anaheim to check it all out for myself. Believe me when I tell you the imagineers went all out! I thought it was so cool that I wanted to share it with you guys. Even if you are not a Disney fan I suspect that if you love cars you will really appreciate the little details put into the decorations.
As you can by clicking the thumbnail above, the first thing that was changed was the “Welcome” sign. The now snow capped “Cars Land” text now features Radiator Springs holiday scenes within each letter, complete with “Santa Cars” being lead by a team of reindeer snowmobiles. Of course, no Radiator Springs sign would be complete with out a car pun hence the “Seasons Speedings” salutation. If you think this is cool it only get’s better from here.
Right next to the Cars Land welcome sign is a genuine “SnowCar” complete with a cone for a nose! The line to take a picture with this guy was almost as long as a line for one of the rides!
One of the first rides guests come across in Cars Land is “Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree” a ride that takes guests for a “square dance” with baby tractors. For Christmas the imagineers adorned the ride’s sign with a giant Santa hat and garland around the wheels.
Just next to the entrance of the ride is the first of several “CARSmas” trees in Cars Land. Mater’s Carsmas tree is made up of old tires, starting with big truck and tractor tires at the bottom all the way up to small trailer tires and a spark plug as the tree topper.
A little further down guests will come across Sarge’s Surplus Hut which as been adorned with a Christmas light set up inspired by a 4th of July fireworks display. This place really stands out as it seems to have more Christmas lights on it than any other place in Cars Land.
A few paces further and guests will arrive at the Cozy Cone Motel. Here, everything (even the food) is cone themed, so it is only natural that their CARSmas tree is made completely of orange traffic cones! Minus the garland and the lights, everything on this tree is all cones! Even the ornaments!
Up next is Flo’s V8 Cafe. Besides the “Radiator Springs Racers” ride, Flo’s is probably the most visited place in Cars Land. Flo’s is decorated with garland, lights, and air filter holly! Nice touch isn’t it?
If guests glance up as they stroll down Route 66 they will notice white wall tire holiday wreaths flanked by more air filter holly and welded wrench snowflakes. I wonder what sizes they used?
Passing by the Radiator Springs “Curios” shop guests will find a CARSmas tree made up of various Route 66 signs. Part of the fun here is trying to find your state!
Luigi’s Casa De La Tires, which is also the home of the “Flying Tires” ride comes up next and Guests can see Luigi’s “leaning tower of tires” adored with Christmas lights with a star at the top.
Finally, just before hanging a right to visit the Radiator Springs Racers ride, guests will come upon Radiator Springs Town Hall featuring a bronze statue of the town’s founder Stanley the Steam Car. For the holidays Stanley has been given the “SantaCar” treatment with a Santa hat and a sack full of toys.
Next to Stanley is the largest Carsmas tree in Cars Land (also my favorite). This Carsmas tree is decorated with hundreds of genuine authentic vintage hubcaps.
Anyone who loves classic cars could literally spend an hour looking through all the hub caps, hunting for vintage logos from American OEM’s. I know this because I almost did the same thing!
That’s it for my little tour through holiday time at Cars Land but trust me when I say pictures do not do it justice. You really have to see it all for yourself to appreciate what the imagineers did. There are also a few surprises that I left out on purpose (Hint: Pay extra close attention to the music). If you are in the so cal area or if you plan on taking a trip out here I highly recommend paying a visit to Disney’s California Adventure and checking out Cars Land. It will be well worth it!
Four days ago both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure celebrated a grand re-opening, debuting a slew of new attractions and features. Most of the buzz was surrounded around “Cars Land” obviously, but the “imagineers” at Disney also recreated the entry way of California Adventure into 1930s-era “Buena Vista Street” to illustrate what southern California looked like when Walt Disney first came here to start his career. Even though great lengths were taken to make sure the architecture matched the era, the imagineers still wanted to add one more touch of authenticity; so they found a genuine 1937 Packard Coupe and parked it right by the entrance to the park. By crazy coincidence it also so happens that the year of the car (1937) is also the same year that Snow White debuted, which is the movie that made Disney world famous. If you happen to visit Disney California Adventure and you have an appreciation for classic cars you will definitely want to stop for a few minutes and take a walk around of the Packard. The video below is cool but this car has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated!
Cars Landopens this Friday and it took thousands of man hours to complete; but you wouldn’t know it from this latest time laps video which compresses the over two years of construction time into just about 30 seconds. It is pretty cool to watch it all come together! When you are done there is another video with Disney “Imagineer” insight on what it took to bring Cars Land to life. Watch it all below!
The coolest thing about the world of Pixar’s Cars is that despite being “characters” they really set out to add just the right amount of realism and detail to make things believable. Disney tends to use the same process when it comes to designing the rides and attractions at their theme parks. For example at “Ramone’s House Of Body Art” in the soon to open Cars Land; Disney hired none other thanChip Foose and his crew to personally paint pinstripe designs and flames for the decor of the gift shop and in elements of the “Radiator Springs Racers” ride. Knowing that when I check out the gift shop that the pinstripe designs on the walls and other areas of the shop were hand painted by Chip Foose himself makes me giddy! Don’t judge me! Anyhow check out the behind the scenes video of Chip and his crew adding their signature touch to Cars Land in the video below. Remember Cars Land opens June 15th!
It is a little more than a month before Cars Land opens at Disneyland’s California Adventure and to get everyone acclaimated to whats in store Disney launched a Cars Land microsite today. On the site you can take a virtual cruise through “Radiator Springs” and learn more about the new rides, attractions, and stores that guests will get to visit once the gates open on June 15th! Hit the red text to check out the site for yourself and scroll below to see the first official commercial for Cars Land!
The official opening of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is only a few months away (June 15th) but if you just can’t wait that long to see their E-ticket ride Radiator Springs Racers then you will want to check out the video below. Some Disney Imagineers stuck a camera on one of the cars from the ride and gave it a run through then posted it to YouTube for our viewing pleasure. Now, we don’t get to see everything in the video but we do get a quick peek at what is inside of the mountain range of Radiator Springs. Check it out!
Yesterday it was announced on the Disney Parks Blog that Cars Land (along with other new attractions) will officially (and finally) open to the public on June 15th 2012! On June 14th California Adventure will be closed to the public as they get things ready for the big open and give the media a preview. So there you have it! If you are like me and have been waiting impatiently for Cars Land to finally open, now you have a date to mark on your calandar. Although if you are going to visit on opening day I would reccomend bringing several books, a spare battery for your cell phone, and various hand held video game systems as you will probably spend a LOT of time in line! I am already hearing rumors of hardcore fans making plans to camp out the night before!