A week ago, the all new Disney California Adventure opened its gates to the public!
We decided to make our way down to the park around 1am to get in line for the opening. Along with many others, we slept all night in between Disneyland and DCA. What fun is that! A Disneyland sleep over! There was a huge screen which displayed promos for the upcoming Buena Vista Street and Cars Land.
Around 8am, they finally let us in! Upon entering its gates on an overcast morning, we were treated to an incredible sight. The all new Buena Vista Street!
Buena Vista Street is a beautiful addition to Disney California Adventure with details around every corner. Whether it’s the Five & Dime store, Elias & Company, or the Chamber of Commerce building, you will be in awe.
Of course, motion is in effect in the new DCA. The Red Car Trolley made its way down the street complete with newsies singing their song. It was so fun to finally see the trolleys in action.
Near the end of Buena Vista Street, the new Storytellers statue featuring a young Walt and Mickey was finally unveiled. It’s an incredible work of art. Make sure you look all the way around the statue for the subtile details, especially on the suitcase!
Buena Vista Street ends with the new Carthay Circle Theatre which is a restaurant and lounge. Inside, I was shocked to see the amount of elegance and history. It was as if I had gone back in time to the 1930s and I was in high society, dining with the Hollywood elite. Entering Carthay Circle Theatre is one of the best examples of time travel Disney has ever given.
After walking down Buena Vista Street, we headed for Cars Land. Wow. I can’t believe the amount of detail the imagineers put into this place. It’s incredible. The best part about the new land is the mountain range. It’s shocking to believe you are in the middle of Anaheim, California with this beautiful huge mountain range. I was so surprised by the shear size and beauty of the range. I must admit that I was a bit worried that it was looking a bit flat from the areas that you could see while under construction. But boy was I wrong. I really can’t wait to go back and just look at everything.
Walking down the main street in Radiator Springs brings back memories from Disney/Pixar’s Cars. Every detail is here. Ramone’s is here. Luigi’s is here. Flo’s Cafe is here. It looks exactly like the movie and not one detail is missing.
At the end of the land is the grand new attraction, Radiator Springs Racers. This ride has the same vehicle as the cars in Epcot’s Test Track, but that’s the only similarity. You begin your journey by taking a cruise through the incredible mountain range and coming right up along side a beautiful waterfall. Soon you are in doors and parts of your favorite “Cars” moments are brought to life through the wonders of audio-animatronics. These are some of the best animatronics to date. The way they move is so fluent and natural. I couldn’t believe it. I never would have thought that bringing an animated film to life could be accomplished this well. Near the end of the interior section, you line up with another car and get ready to race. After a countdown, you are off! You are zooming through that great mountain range, making your way to the finish line. It’s awfully fun to see who is going to win. You never know who it will be. Finally, you enter Taillight Caverns and you exit your vehicle.
Radiator Springs Racers is a great E Ticket attraction. It combines thrill with detail only Disney knows how to do. The only thing that didn’t meet my expectations was Taillight Caverns. I had hoped that there would be lots of detailed caves with waterfalls that we would see on our journey. Unfortunately, the caves are only at the ride’s exit. Still, it’s a wonderful ride.
At night, a new sort of magic is in the air in Cars Land. Just like in the movie, 1950s music plays and each building’s lights come on, one at a time. It’s a special moment and the neon is remarkable. They do this every night, so be sure to be in Cars Land at dusk, right before they turn the lights on!
This is just the beginning of what’s new at Disney California Adventure. In part two, we will discuss the other new Cars Land Attractions, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Flying Tires, we will discuss a sit down dining experience at Carthay Circle Theatre, and we will also talk about the interiors of all the Buena Vista Street buildings, among other things.
Disney California Adventure has always been a great park to me. It did have its problems, but now those problems have been fixed. It is an excellent park that Disney should be proud of. Just think of the great things you can do there now. Walk down Buena Vista Street and see what Los Angeles was like to a young Walt Disney. Enjoy a delicious meal at Carthay Circle Theatre. Take flight on Luigi’s Flying Tires. Zoom through the mountains of Radiator Springs. These are just some of the things you can do at the all new DCA. I can’t wait to go back and experience it for years to come.
Remember: Keep an eye open for Part Two of our DCA Grand Re-Opening Coverage!