I witnessed a milestone in the multi-year expansion of Disney California Adventure park today. I joined some media and watched the “topping out” ceremony for the Cadillac Mountain Range’s tallest peak. At 125 feet, it’s the most visible part of the new 12-acre Cars Land, which is scheduled to open in 2012.
At the base of this mountain range will be the entrance to Radiator Springs Racers, the E-ticket thrill ride which will headline Cars Land along with other attractions, food and merchandise shops all based on the Disney-Pixar blockbuster, “Cars.”
“Topping out” is a traditional construction event among construction workers and engineers that takes place when the highest piece of steel is installed on the frame of a building. Today, we were privileged to observe this ceremony, which marked a major milestone in the construction of this new and exciting land.
As part of the tradition, the final beam is painted white and signed by the ironworkers, steel design engineer and construction management. This piece of steel will be part of the Pinnacle of the Cadillac Range, representing a 1959 Cadillac, whose tail fin was also known as the Pinnacle.
Several key people were on hand to explain the significance of this milestone, including Vice President of Disney California Adventure park, Mary Niven, Walt Disney Imagineer Kathy Mangum, and Walt Disney Imagineer Jim Kearns.
Mary Niven described the event as a huge milestone for Disney California Adventure park. “Literally and metaphorically, we’ve reached the other side of the mountain,” she said.
And there’s more exciting news about Disney California Adventure. World of Color, the nighttime spectacular which opened this past June, has now been seen by more than 1 million guests! And for those of you who have been in the park recently, you’ve seen Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure rising along the parade route. When Little Mermaid opens in 2011, along with Goofy’s Sky School and some brand new restaurants, we will have completed our work in the Paradise Pier section of the park. Whew – time flies!
Check the link for the video!
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Here is a sweet map of Carsland!
This was on micechat a few weeks ago. I thought I had posted it but there's a few interesting details according to Al Lutz:
Q. I know all of the great attractions that will be in Cars Land (Radiator Spring Racers, Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi's Roamin' Tires), but I'm afraid that's all I know about it. Any talk about restaurants, eateries, shops? I know there was talk about a restaurant similar to WDW's Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, but I seem to recall that plan was axed. So besides the rides, what else will Cars Land have? -- Hayden
A. While Cars Land may have a name that still feels temporary and clunky to many Disney fans online, the basics of this big expansion area have all been locked in for the grand opening planned for early June, 2012. As this 12 acre expansion is taking up nearly half the 1.2 Billion dollar budget for DCA's extreme makeover, there will be quite a bit more than just the big E Ticket Radiator Springs Racers and the two rather lavishly themed C Ticket spinner and flying saucer rides nearby. When Cars Land opens it will have three dining locations, two shops, and a few empty facades and expansion areas prepped for future growth.
Barring any last minute or sudden changes, the roster of Cars Land shops and restaurants in June, 2012 is currently planned to be as follows -- listed in the same order below as you would find them while walking in to Cars Land along the Radiator Springs main street;
1. Fillmore's Taste-In: A psychedelic geodesic dome structure themed perfectly to the hippy VW Minibus from the movie. This will be a basic snack bar serving up themed fruit smoothies and healthy snacks.
2. Sarge's Surplus Hut: This is planned to be a gift shop owned by Sarge and set up in an old quonset hut. While it will be fully themed and dressed up on its exterior, the interior will remain vacant on opening day, for reasons explained below. Both Fillmore's and Sarge's sit across the street from Tow Mater's Junkyard Jamboree spinner ride.
3. Cozy Cone Motel: Set up caddy-corner from Sarge's Surplus Hut, this will be a faithful recreation of Sally's kitschy motel from the movie. Inside each cone will be a different snack bar of sorts, setting up a food court style facility offering quick snacks, light meals, and drinks. Nearly every food item for sale will be a play on words using "cone" in the title; Chili Cone Carne, Cone On The Cob, Popcone, etc.
4. Flo's V8 Cafe: With the decision to hold off on building the drive-in movie restaurant back in '08, Flo's has moved to the forefront as the largest food facility in Cars Land for opening day. Consider this the Tomorrowland Terrace of DCA, with a sprawling outdoor dining area and a large kitchen with heavy-duty capacity to pump out thousands of hamburgers and standard fast food offerings. The menu will also offer traditional American drive-in desserts like milkshakes, root beer floats and malteds. The heavy duty use of neon on this icon restaurant taking up a prime corner in Cars Land should be quite impressive at night. A corner bandstand is on the wish list from TDA's Entertainment department, to offer a spot for bands and nightly dancing under the neon.
5. Radiator Springs Curios: On the opposite corner from Flo's, Lizzy's store will be the main gift shop for Cars Land, and Disneyland's merchandising department has been tasked by John Lasseter to come up with some truly eclectic and funky offerings for sale in this funky roadside store. You must remember that John Lasseter, is a huge Disneyland fan and he remembers well the genteel and unique collections for sale in the old One-Of-A-Kind shop in New Orleans Square. The Curios shop should have a similar vibe, but themed to roadside Americana. The wild success of the elaborately themed and unique merchandise in the new Harry Potter area of Universal's Islands of Adventure has not been lost on the Disneyland merchandise planners, and John Lasseter wants this shop to be an attraction in itself.
6. Ramone's House of Body Art: This is the second merchandise location for Cars Land, but this one will actually act as the exit gift shop for the Radiator Springs Racers ride. You can expect generic Cars merchandise here, as well as Cars Land and Radiator Springs Racers attraction-specific souvenirs on sale here. The obligatory on-ride photo stand will take up residence here as well.
7. The Courthouse: This is the structure that sits at the very end of the street, and while it won't have a shop or restaurant inside, it will act as the marquee and entrance of sorts for Radiator Springs Racers.
When you look at that list, it's actually quite impressive that they've balanced Cars Land as well as they have with three major attractions and not even a half dozen shops or restaurants.
I can't wait for this to open. I wish it was sooner.
I love how the best look you can really get of Cars Land is from the top of the hill on California Screamin'... Not a very long look! But you can see it start to take shape a bit.
(I guess you can see it from the Ferris Wheel, too ... I didn't go on that, though.)
I do think Cars Land is going to be amazing.
The mixture a Test Track-like ride with audio-animatronics in Radiator Springs Racers sounds like a blast!
Plus, the design of the whole place just looks so great! I can't wait!
I can't wait for Cars Land. Disney imagineering is amazing!!! Thanks for posting this!!!
The car looks nice, I am guessing the main characters will be apart of the story that's why your not riding in them?
2012 is so long from now! they need to open it now!!! so anoxious!
- Vinylmation is a serious addiction
2012 can't come soon enough! I have not been to Disneyland since 2007 and have been waiting patiently for the extreme makeover theme park edition to be complete before spending all the cash to fly back out again!
Im just looking forward to the return of the flying saucers, even though it wont be the original theming.
I swear if Disney keeps moving at this pace Carsland might open before 2012!
I am excited for this to open but I wish they wouldn't call it cars land. I wish they would just call it radiator springs. To me I think it makes more sense but thats just my opinion. =)
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