Anyone who's been to Disney's California Adventure theme park is well aware that the place has long been in need of a little help. Since opening in 2001, the park has never been able to attract the kind of massive crowds its next door neighbor, a little place called Disneyland, is able to get even on a slow day. So over the last few years, Disney has been giving the park a massive overhaul - essentially making it less of a tribute to the state of California and more of a place where you and yours can chill with Mickey and Goofy. After all, why else would you go to Disneyland?
The biggest addition is Cars Land, a new 12-acre 'land' themed after Pixar's Cars. Now, whether you love or hate the ongoing saga of Lightning McQueen and Mater, (I loved the first movie, not so much the second)...the Cars franchise is a huge moneymaker for the Mouse, so devoting an entire section is a smart move. In addition to the obligatory resturants and shops to buy your kids lots and lots of new Cars toys, this new section, which appears to be an almost freakish replica of the film's hometown of Radiator Springs, includes three new rides: Mater's Junkyard Jamboree - a Cars edition of the spinning teacups, Luigi's Flying Tires - a throwback to the Disneyland's original Flying Saucers attraction, and the big e-ticket ride, Radiator Springs Racers - which gives guests the opportunity to ride a racecar through Radiator Springs while being cheered on by some friends from the Cars movies.
You can see a full video of the ride here. It basically looks like the GM Test Track ride at Disney World's Epcot park, only with more Cars stuff and fewer lectures about the value of anti-lock brakes. For a quicker look at how the characters look, check out this video, courtesy of Inside the Magic:
We have really come a long way since those animatronic pirates, haven't we? If this ride breaks down, hopefully they won't eat the tourists either.
Cars Land is set to officially open this weekend.