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A Visit To Cars Land At Disney's California Adventure
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A Visit To Cars Land At Disney\'s California Adventure

It's been a couple of weeks since Cars Land opened at Disney's California Adventure so last weekend I decided to brave the crowds and check it out - much fun was had! Radiator Springs really comes to life in the newest addition to the park and it's obvious that a lot of time, thought and money was invested to make that happen. It gives a much needed boost to California Adventure too, which has had trouble attracting the big crowds in the past.

Three new rides highlight the list of attractions in Cars Land - Radiator Springs Racers, Luigi's Flying Tires and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. There are also a couple of new places to eat and plenty of places to shop! Kudos to the designers and developers, as everything looks just like it does in the movie!

Radiator Springs Racers reminds me of a mix between the old soapbox racers at Knottsberry Farm and autopia at Disneyland - it's a fun and speedy race against another car though beautiful Ornament Valley. Luigi's Flying Tires puts a unique spin on bumper cars - you "float" in a tire, on a cushion of air. I didn't ride that one, but it looked like a lot of fun because there are beachballs floating around the rink and you can catch them and throw them to other ride-goers, or play a kind of volleyball. Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is a good one for the younger kids - you get pulled around by baby tractors that spin and whirl to Mater's music.

Wait times were miserable, as could be expected - all three rides had a wait time of at least an hour, though the racers actually had a three hour wait! I'm sure those times will lessen significantly towards the end of summer though. One bonus to the long lines at California Adventure was that the wait times at Disneyland were short - we didn't wait more than 20 minutes for any ride and didn't need a fast pass for anything!

Cars Land also features a couple of new options for dining, and though I've had better food the atmosphere was great and more than made up for the mediocre fare. My dining expectations are quite low when it comes to theme park dining anyway so I wasn't the least bit disappointed! Flo's V8 Cafe serves rotisserie meats, home-style sides and pies for dessert, while the Cozy Cone Motel has mostly snacks like flavored popcorn and soft-serve ice cream, but one stand that serves chili con queso in bread "cones" and frozen alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages.

I probably enjoyed Filmore's Taste-In the most, but they just sell fresh fruit and icy cold bottled beverages - the stand itself is super cute though, complete with "hippie" beads and all! All three restaurants look just like the originals in the movie - the designers did an amazing job! I think my very favorite thing in Cars Land is the safety cone water feature out front at the Cozy Cone Motel - very cool!

Shopping abounds in Cars Land, as one would expect! Radiator Spring's Curios, Ramone's House of Body Art and Sarge's Surplus have all the souvenirs and Radiator Springs gear you'll ever need, including Mater's teeth (c'mon, you know you want some!!). The stores were all quite packed though, so I'm looking forward to checking them out in greater detail once the summer crowds have abated! Radiator Spring's Curios is pretty cool looking from the outside though - lots of neon signs and old licence plates hanging on the wall etc... really did remind me of a roadtrip I took a few years back along route 66!

Overall, I'd have to rate my trip to Radiator Springs as pretty enjoyable and well worth the visit! I'm a Disneyland junkie, but have never really been a fan of California Adventure so it was nice to spend some time over there and actually like it, crowds and all! The new rides are fun, the new stores are fun and even the new restaurants aren't too bad! They've spruced up the main street of the park a little too, and even added a starbucks - something for everyone!


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