Theme Parks

Big News: Cars Land and Buena Vista Street Have Arrived!

At long last, Disney California Adventure Park is finally its own destination. Long seen by Disneyland visitors as a pit stop on their Disneyland vacation, it’s now a full fledged member of the Disney Parks family.  After five years of planning and construction, the new Cars Land and Buena Vista Street are here!

My take? These new attractions will wow Disney visitors. The new and improved California Adventure includes heathy and interesting food options too. The attention to detail in all respects is unbelievable.


Most popular and anticipated ride in Cars Land, Radiator Springs Racers

Cars Land at Disney California Adventure

Sitting on twelve acres, Cars Land is designed to feel like Radiator Springs, Arizona, the setting of the Pixar movie Cars. In typical Disney style it transports guests to another time and place – Route 66 in the American Southwest circa the 1950’s, minus the dust and grit.

Cars Land Radiator Springs Racers

The race is on!  You never know which car will win

The Scoop on the Rides

Radiator Springs Racers

The most popular and anticipated ride in Cars Land (and most likely the one that will have the longest wait time) is Radiator Springs Racers.  It’s a race with a Disney storytelling mixed in. Six-person cars race one another through the Cadillac Mountain Range in Ornament Valley.  Disney imagineers spent more than 28,000 hours designing the rock work for this four-minute ride. The story is interesting and the ride is thrilling. This attraction gets a big thumbs up.

Cars Land Maters Junkyard Jamboree

The cute and cuddly tractors will have you screaming in your seats

Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree

Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is the sleeper surprise fun ride.  It’s the one that doesn’t look exciting and then you ride it and are taken back to your childhood days of riding the scrambler.  This has adults and kids laughing as they slide in their seats as Mater makes hairpin turns.

Cars Land Luigis Casa Della Tires

Beach balls fly through the air as you glide around in your “tire”

Luigi’s Flying Tires

The verdict is out on Luigi’s Flying Tires. It’s akin to a hovercraft and requires participation from the rider as you shift your weight to make it move all while you are throwing humongous beach balls at the other riders.  It’s entertaining but doesn’t have the same thrill as the previous two rides.

Food at Cars Land

My big complaint about Disneyland Park food is that it isn’t as good as it could be.  They’ve made huge strides in Cars Land by adding healthy and interesting options.

Flo’s V8 Café is billed as comfort food, not always synonymous with healthy however healthy options are exactly what is on the menu.  Favorites here are the roast pork and the chicken salad with citrus dressing.  The cheddar apple pie gets high marks too.

The Cozy Cone Motel is a set of cone-shaped food bars.  All the food is served in a cone and is a “cone-coction”.  The dill pickle popcorn, the pretzel bites and Red’s Apple Freeze (frozen apple juice, toasted marshmallow syrup and passion fruit foam) top my list!

Fillmore Taste In has fresh fruits and drinks served in clever surroundings.

Cars Land Buena Vista Street

Even the sides of the buildings are intricately designed

Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure

One thing I appreciate about Disney is that they have history and they celebrate it and make it come alive so visitors feel it too.  There is no better place to see this than Buena Vista Street, the new entry way into California Adventure.

Visitors see and feel what Walt Disney experienced when he left Kansas City and came to California in 1923.  Guests can ride the Red Car Trolleys up Buena Vista Street to the Carthay Circle Theater, a recreation of the original theater where “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” premiered in 1937.

There is a casual restaurant here but the star of the new California Adventure is Carthay Circle Restaurant with an adjacent lounge that serves lighter fare and drinks.  Even if you don’t eat here, take a walk upstairs to the see the beautiful décor.

Cars Land Luigis Tire Hat

Luigi’s Tires is the most popular souvenir in Cars Land

And the shopping … I’m not shopper but it’s fun to do a little “sticky beak” in the stores here just to see the 1920’s décor.  Be warned that Trolley Treats is all about the candy and kids will be lured in by the window display of Rock Mountain Candy – an attraction designed but never built in Disneyland.

Don’t leave California Adventure without checking out the most talked about merchandise item in the park, Luigi’s Tires hat.  Yours for just $24.99.

If you want to see more photos of Cars Land, check out the Route 66 photo montage of California Adventure Park on Delicious Baby.

Disney California Adventure Park hosted Ciao Bambino as part of their media preview event.  As usual, all opinions expressed on the blog are our own. Photos by Kristi Marcelle

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