The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

June 13, 2012

Reinventing Disney California Adventure: An Early Look at Cars Land

Filed under: travel, Wanderings — Tags: , , — Brian Lutz @ 10:38 pm

Since it opened in 2001, the Disney Californa Adventure park located next door to Disneyland has been widely considered to be a disappointment.  Although the park was the 11th most visited theme park in the world in 2011 and does have a number of notable rides (particularly Soarin’ Over Californa and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror,) it has never quite been able to shake a longstanding reputation of being little more than a place to retreat to when Disneyland is too crowded.  Since 2007, a $1.1 billion expansion of the park has been underway, which so far has added such attractions to the park as Toy Story Midway Mania, the Little Mermaid Ariel’s Undersea Adventure dark ride and the World of Color nighttime show, and has resulted in major retheming efforts on a number of areas and rides (as well as some removals, most notably the Maliboomer drop tower in Paradise Pier), particularly in the Paradise Pier area.  This Friday, the five-year project to reinvent Disney California Adventure finally comes to an end as the two biggest pieces of the expansion open to the public:  The new Buena Vista Street entrance plaza and Cars Land, an event significant enough that it is being celebrated with a rededication of the entire park. 

When the walls come down and Cars Land opens to the public, it is widely expected that record crowds will converge on Cars Land, but thanks to a bit of luck in a random drawing of Disneyland Annual Passholders, I was able to get the opportunity to preview Cars Land and Buena Vista Street a few days early.  This was a good thing, because I had already made my travel arrangements roughly a month in advance, not knowing whether or not I was going to make it into this (although I had planned to take this trip whether I got into the preview or not, so mostly it ended up being a nice little bonus. ) Naturally I took my camera along with me, and after the jump, you will find a tour of Cars Land.

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