When we travelled to Disneyland earlier this month, I knew that Cars Land would be a hit with my car-loving toddler. I wasn’t expecting it to be such a hit with the entire family. When we arrived to California Adventure, we went straight to Cars Land (as did everyone else entering the park). Since we first visited California Adventure almost a decade ago, I always felt that the park was lacking something. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it felt like something was missing. As our family walked into Cars Land, I instantly knew that this expansion completed California Adventure.
We followed the crowd into the line for Radiator Springs Racers. With my toddler too short to ride (there is 40″ height requirement), we grabbed a Rider Switch Pass from a cast member. My husband and toddler then went to ride the other two rides in Cars Land (Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Flying Tires) four times each while the rest of our party waited in line for Radiator Springs Racers. My toddler was in seventh heaven. And my husband, a man who seems to be allergic to long lines, couldn’t have been happier to walk on to the rides so many times. Towards the top of the first hour, lines did form.
TIP: Make sure that one person in your party immediately heads to the FastPass line for Radiator Springs Racers located outside of Cars Land, near the opening of A Bug’s Land. On the day we visited, FastPasses were “sold out” within the first 45 minutes of the park’s opening.
Radiator Springs Racers combines classic Disney attractions (think Snow White and Peter Pan) with McQueen’s need for speed. You first stroll through Radiator Springs, getting to met all the Cars characters before you head out onto the open track to race another car. The cars race getting up to high speeds. It was thrilling. Each race will have a winner, determined at random. My son was lucky to get to ride the attraction three times (once in the Stand-by line, once with his dad on the Rider Switch Pass, and once more with our FastPasses). Sadly, he lost every race.
TIP: If you are unable to secure FastPasses, head to Radiator Springs Racers in the late evening. The ride seemed to have the shortest line after 7pm with a 45 minute wait compared to a 90+ minute wait during the day. If you are travelling with older children or teens, take advantage of the Single Rider Line. But beware… at one point of the day, the Single Rider Line had a longer wait than the Stand-by line.
It may have just been my pregnancy cravings getting out of control, but my favorite part of Cars Land was the Cozy Cone Motel. There you can get all sorts of cone-coctions. There’s pop-CONE, drinks in a special cone cup, ice cream-CONEs, and more. My favorite was the soft preztel bites in a cone. Warm and salty and absolutely perfect. If you prefer a healthier snack, head to Fillmore’s where you can get fresh fruit, juices, and bottled water.
TIP: Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater take turns with photo ops at the Cozy Cone Motel. The cast members in charge will totally not mind if your toddler hugs Lightning McQueen and licks him. I’ve learned from experience.
When in California Adventure, don’t forget to head to Cars Land in the evening when the neon signs light up the night. The feeling of Cars Land completely changes. Overall, my family was completely in love with Cars Land. It made our experience at California Adventure all that more special. We loved every minute that we spent there. From the cars driving down Route 66 to breakfast at Flo’s V8 Cafe to saying goodnight amongst the neon lights, Cars Land completes California Adventure. I can’t wait to visit again.
Disclosure: Disney provided select accommodations in exchange for a series of posts. The opinions expressed above are mine. For tips on vacationing at Disneyland with families, check out my personal blog Who’s the Boss?
Photo Credit: disneylandnews.com