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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cars Land is Great...BUT...

I still remember a co-worker a few weeks ago telling me how amazed she was at Cars Land. "They really did create the town of Radiator Springs" she said. Yes they did as I gazed upon the new star of Disney California Adventure for the first time. Cars Land is amazing, exquisitely detailed in the daytime, jaw dropping gorgeous lit up in neon at night. And you can see why everyone says that the Cars Land signature attraction, Radiator Springs Racers, is Walt Disney Imagineering's greatest attraction since the Indiana Jones Adventure in the early 90's.

Radiator Springs Racers is a great ride, about 4 minutes of pure fun and amazing sights. And it's fun for all ages proving that great ride enjoyment isn't dependent on a roller coaster as is the route for most theme parks. The only disappointing part of Radiator Springs Racers is the fun seems to end much too quickly. It whips through the amazing show building at a pretty good clip, then really takes off when the ride gets out on the track. The ride gets an A+ in my book though if you were to push me up against a wall, I would say Toy Story Midway Mania is still my favorite ride in DCA.

We ate at Flo's V8 Cafe twice during our stay. They serve a fine meal at a good price considering it's Disney. And they serve the Racer 5 IPA to boot, a fine beer on a warm day. We also visited most of the "Cozy Cones" for their snack food concoctions and drinks and found them to be very good for the most part. If you want to eat in DCA, you could do worse that what is served up in the town of Radiator Springs in Cars Land.

Of the six days we spent at the Disneyland Resort, about 3 days were spent in Disneyland, about two and a half days in Disney California Adventure, and about a half a day in Downtown Disney. That seems about right. By the time we left DCA last Wednesday for the last time, I had seen enough of Cars Land. Too much of a good thing perhaps? I don't know, I just know that I had spent enough time there and knew I was done with the place even though we still had two more days left on our trip. Here is the problem. You can build themes for park areas around Paradise Pier or Adventureland, building area themes that are actually based on movies is a bit more trickier as is the example over in ToonTown or A Bug's Land - these are park areas based on movies that are now quite old and mostly forgotten. What will Cars Land be like in 10, 15, 20, years from now? Cars remains a hot property for Disney and Pixar despite the fact that Cars 2 was Pixar's worst movie by far, but will it always remain that way?

There are other problems with Cars Land. One, there is little shade there. With the place still pulling in large numbers of people, a hot day in there can be stifling. Two, the Luigi's Flying Tires attraction is silly and a bad idea (Mater's Junkyard Jamboree on the other hand is far more delightful). And finally my main reason for why Cars Land grew tiresome - the voice of Larry the Cable Guy as Tow Mater seems to be heard constantly almost everywhere. To me, that voice is like fingernails across a blackboard.

Now that I have experienced Cars Land, as an adult, I can only think of two reasons to spend any amount of time there - I like Flo's as a counter service dining restarurant and Radiator Springs Racers is great and a must do on every trip. The rest of it - well I can mostly leave it.

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