I finally made it to see Cars Land. I've had an annual pass this entire year and just days before it expired, Dan and I snuck in a weekend trip to the parks to check everything out. I had not used my pass since last February, when I went to the parks with Dan's father.
We woke up at five am, so that we could be to the parks by opening. I had heard horror tales of how crowded Cars Land gets and I didn't want to take any chances with our enjoyment. We were among the first fifty or so cars in the Mickey and Friends lot.
We were let into California Adventures half an hour before the official opening time. Upon entering, we realized that we had a big decision to make, we could wait at the rope drop and head straight to the Radiator Springs Racers or wait in the fast pass line for the RSR. The fast pass line was already super long, so we decided to take our chances with the first option and try the fast pass on Sunday.
I do make use of Fast Pass, but I'm not a fan. I feel like ever since it was introduced, it just makes the wait times longer. I see Disney's side, it keeps people happy and hopefully spending more time in the shops and restaurants, spending money. I feel like I have been on many trips, especially with fellow pass holders, who have become spoiled by the system and will not wait in line anymore and get whiny about it. It diminishes the experience for me. i would rather they do away with Fast Pass, if you want to ride, you can wait. Ok, rant over.
In the end, I'm not sure which was the better way to go. On the first day, we walked straight over to the queue and waited about 20-25 minutes. I think this was the right move, as there are many wonderful things in the queue and the Fast Pass line bypasses much of it.
On the second day, we were in the middle of the Fast Pass line, which started moving when the rope drop happened. It took us about 10-15 minutes to get the passes and included a really pushy guy blatantly cutting in line behind us. We had a return time of nine-thirty, which we used to go on many other rides. It then took about 10 minutes in the Fast Pass queue. So in the end, whether you go directly there or opt to get a FB, the wait for us was about the same. The only advantage to the FP is the flexibility in return time and it's a reserved spot if the ride breaks down, which apparently it frequently does.
Either way, it is essential to arrive early and do this first, as the popularity is huge and it's still new. The FP's run out very fast. We were told usually within an hour of park opening.
Regardless of how you get on the ride, it's worth it. RSR has many similarities to Test Track at EPCOT, but is unique enough that it is a completely new attraction. I was surprised with how much of the ride takes place indoors. They really made it as much about encounters with the characters and places from the movie, as they did about the race segment of the ride. The race portion is thrilling enough to be fun for adults, but much more mild than the track segment in TT. Most adventurous kids could probably handle this ride. The height requirement is only 40 inches.
Speaking of children and restrictions. The age to ride unaccompanied is seven and we saw a family using the single rider line with a child that was obviously younger than seven. When the attendant asked the kid how old he was, he fumbled and has was not allowed to ride. The father had to exit the single rider queue with the child. Having worked at a theme park, I can verify that parents lie and get their kids involved in the lie all of the time, whether is be regarding height or stuffing their shoes to make them taller. The great thing is, the kids usually fumble when asked directly. It's just not worth it. Plus, who lets their little kid ride alone, just to squeeze in more rides in the day?
Here is a video that Dan took of cars crossing the finish line. On our first ride, we lost, but we won on the second day!
Cars Land had so many creative touches, that it's impossible to take pictures of everything. Plus, if at all possible, it's really something that you need to experience yourself. Here are some pictures that we took of the land.
The Radiator Springs Racers is not the only attraction in Cars Land. It felt really silly at the time, but we loved Luigi's Flying Tires. This is a ride that has a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of how to make your tire fly, it's a lot of fun. The best way to describe it, is a gentle version of bumper cars.
The first time we rode it, we were so anxious to get on, that we didn't notice signs giving tips in the queue. We sort of figured it out on our own and by the second trip, we flew all over the place. We took pictures of the tips, to hopefully pass on to anyone planning a trip. it's definitely a better ride when you know what to do.
Dan took a video of the Flying Tire ride. It looks so ridiculous, but is actually a lot of fun. Warning, entering the queue will make you crave Italian food!
The third Cars Land attraction is Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. It whips you around faster than it looks. The queue moves fast too, as it loads on two sides and is very organized. it's an update of a carnival attraction, but like everything else at Disney, it has a unique twist and an overload of creativity.
Cars Land was the main thing that we were both excited to see, but we also had two days to see the rest of DCA and all of Disneyland. This was Dan's first time at DCA and he had not been on many of the attractions at Disneyland. It was almost like taking someone for the first time and I love playing tour guide!