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The Amazing & Very Accurate Cars Land - California Adventure's Ode to Pixar's Cars (Photos)

Cars Land

An interesting thing happens when a child steps foot into California Adventure’s brand new Cars Land. Their eyes get large, their jaw drops and they are suddenly transported from Anaheim, California to Radiator Springs, the setting of Pixar’s beloved film Cars. They as well as the adults by their side find themselves completely stunned and for good reason, the folks at Disneyland’s California Adventure created an amazing immersive environment that takes the two dimensional animated world of Lightening McQueen and Mater into a 3D land that is freakishly accurate to the version that you’ve seen on your TV screen oodles of time.

Cars Land is a perfect example of the strength of the characters, the images and the stories of Pixar/Disney films. In an interview at the opening of Cars Land, John Lasseter (Pixar’s head honcho and director of Cars) said that when they were working on their first feature Toy Story, Steve Jobs said of good storytelling…“In five years, my Apple computer will be a doorstop. If you do your job right with this film, it could last forever.” And Cars Lands is an example of the power of good storytelling with the transformation from the screen to a imagineered reality.

But back to the kids. Cars Land is for them.  “To a 7-year-old kid, no one built this,” John Lasseter said of Cars Lands and all the details). “It just is. When I walk into this place, I see happy faces. That’s why we built it.”

The artistry, the imagination involved, the exact execution of Cars Land isn’t just for those kids. It’s for all of us. Even if you are more of a Monsters Inc fan than a Cars fan, you can’t help but get carried away when you immerse yourself and step into Radiator Springs.

Check out some of the stunning details of the newly opened Cars Land. Yes, you are welcome.


  • Cone-coctions 1 of 25
    The Cozy Cone Motel area is a food court that just sells food in cone shapes or cone containers. There is the Chili Cone Queso (served in a cone shaped bread bowl), cone-coctions such as round pretzels served in a cone, as well as ice cream cones (‘natch).
  • The Cozy Cone Motel 2 of 25
    The Cozy Cone Motel
    The motel area is complete with orange cone planters, orange cone lights, and of course an orange cone filled motel office.
  • Radiator Springs Curios 3 of 25
    Radiator Springs Curios
    The Route 66 themed gift shop is pretty much as authentic as you can get without actually hitting the road.
  • Route 66 Signage 4 of 25
    Route 66 Signage
    The signage was collected by the Cars Land crew to give an air of realism to the storefront.
  • The Stanley Statue 5 of 25
    The Stanley Statue
    At the end of the main street of Radiator Springs is a statue of Stanley, the car that founded the town. The statue is like the Walt statue of Cars Land and a perfect photo op.
  • Added Flair 6 of 25
    Added Flair
    There are no reasons for these piles of cans on main street, but they give an added boost of style giving the street a more small time retro feel.
  • Gas Tanks 7 of 25
    Gas Tanks
    The California Adventure crew must have the best faux rust creators in the world on retainer. The aging on such things like these vintage style gas tanks (that sit in one of the dining area) have a well worn - and very natural looking aged patina.
  • Cars Land Flowers 8 of 25
    Cars Land Flowers
    There are just like the flowers that surround Stanley's statue in Radiator Springs. Perfectly done.
  • Radiator Springs 9 of 25
    Radiator Springs
    Each of the signs found in Cars Land is unique, and seeing that they have many a return visitor, the designers (aka the imagineers) made sure that their guests would find something new each time they go to Cars Land. Keeping the senses busy.
  • The Radiator Racers Line 10 of 25
    The Radiator Racers Line
    As of now, the lines for the Cars Land E ticket ride are ridiculously long, but there is plenty to look at while you wait in the queue.

    This is a covered area decorated with replicas of vintage oil bottles, yet again working the car theme into every step.

    Also sprinkled around Cars Land are 450+ kinds of trees, plants and cactus.

  • Radiator Springs Fountain 11 of 25
    Radiator Springs Fountain
    Along the way, in the Radiator Racer's line, are gems like this hand carved fountain.
  • The 8 3/4th Wonder of the World 12 of 25
    The 8 3/4th Wonder of the World
    Cars Land, with its' beautiful design and execution, rightly could be a world wonder.
  • Gas Sign 13 of 25
    Gas Sign
    "Stanley Always Has Gas"
  • Luigi’s Leaning Tower of Tires 14 of 25
    Luigi's Leaning Tower of Tires
    Outside of the ride Luigi's Flying Tires, there is an entry way that is identical to Luigi's store in the movie.
  • Tire Foliage 15 of 25
    Tire Foliage
    The Disney gardening crew got into the act too, creating towering tire topiaries for Luigi's Flying Tires.
  • Fillmore’s 16 of 25
    The "Taste-In" is a '60's inspired snack area that pays homage to Radiator Spring's resident hippy Fillmore.
  • The Oil Pan 17 of 25
    The Oil Pan
    Every spare area has a little something to pay homage to the film, like this Oil Pan mural on a random wall.
  • Flo’s Past Life 18 of 25
    Flo's Past Life
    Flo's V8 Cafe is chalk full of remnants of her past singing career as part of the Motorama Girls complete with posters and her old gold records.
  • Flo’s Gold Records 19 of 25
    Flo's Gold Records
    Flo's gold records line the walls with such hits like "Back to My Routes" and "Ain't No Highway Long Enough."
  • Car Details Everywhere 20 of 25
    Car Details Everywhere
    We never got a good look inside of Flo's V8 Cafe, but the details are not just spot on but what you'd expect complete with car part lighting fixtures and giant rear view mirrors.
  • Radiator Springs Racers 21 of 25
    Radiator Springs Racers
    The entry way to Radiator Springs Racers has a rustic charm that is a perfect fit for the rest of the land.
  • Taillght Caverns 22 of 25
    Taillght Caverns
    Taillght Caverns is part of the Radiator Racers ride which is a stunning example of how they incorporated new elements into the Cars Land world.
  • The Mountains of Ornament Valley 23 of 25
    The Mountains of Ornament Valley
    While all the little details of Cars Land are inspired touches, the most stunning part are the hand carved, amazing gorgeous and majestic mountains of Ornament Valley and Cadillac Mountain Range (which features an homage to Cadillac Tail Fins from 1957- 1962.)
  • Main Street By Day 24 of 25
    Main Street By Day
    The 12 acres of Cars Land looks amazing by day...
  • Main Street By Night 25 of 25
    Main Street By Night
    But at night, when all the neon is turned on, it's a whole 'nother kind of stunning.


Images: Sunny Chanel & Disneyland’s California Adventure

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