Radiator Springs Springs to Life in Disneyland


DisneylandDisneylandBeing a GeekDad who grew up in the South, Walt Disney World has always been near and dear. Family vacations, anniversaries and birthdays have been enjoyed there since we had kids – heck even when I was a kid. We always heard that the Disneyland Resort in California was just a smaller version that did not have as much fun stuff. Disneyland was the park that Walt Disney began with and gave up on to build in Florida, was what I thought…

Now that I have been there, I must say that I have seen the light – the truth was out there, and I just needed to get to Anaheim to see it. True, it is much smaller than the Disney World property, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. We actually rode all the major rides in one day. That is a feat that would be Guinness-worthy to accomplish at the Florida properties. In fact, at the end of the day, the official pedometer reading was only eight miles.

The best new attraction, which is also a California-only feature, is Cars Land (a.k.a. Radiator Springs). Nearly the entire town from the Cars movies has been recreated in our world, with details that only Imagineers could create. From Flo’s V8 Cafe to Luigi’s leaning tires in front of his tire shop, all the major buildings and landmarks are there. Of course, the insides of these buildings are not the same – they are gift shops, restaurants and restrooms, which lead the traveler to the fantastic new Cars ride.

What a ride this is! The rider is seated in a sports car which may be very reminiscent of a car in the movie. Then they are treated to a driving tour of a few sites and scenes that are as life-like in the Cars universe. That may seem like a weird statement, but if you could step into the movies – that’s what it would be like. The ride reaches a grand finale when you pull up to another group of riders in their car and battle it out in a race for the finish line. Like many newer rides in all of Disney’s parks, this ride has a randomizer. This means that you may not get the same ride twice. The tour may take you down a different street than previously seen and the race is always random. I talked with a few fans there and many had ridden it several times and never had the same experience twice.

From Radiator Springs to Space Mountain, from the Matterhorn to the California Screamin’ Rollercoaster – Disneyland proved to be a thrilling change of pace to this GeekDad and I would highly recommend it to the casual rider and the extreme daredevil alike.

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All photos are courtesy of GeekDad Tony Sims

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