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60 Days to 60 Years | June 15, 2012 | The Opening of Cars Land

Welcome to 60 Days to 60 Years, a magical countdown all leading up to the Diamond Anniversary of Disneyland Park. We’re thrilled to be a part of a group of Disney Bloggers and fans lending their talents to honor the original Disney Park.

While actually visiting Disneyland is still a dream of ours, we have been making a list of all the attractions we can’t wait to experience. If and when we do get there, we know that we will be in awe of all the history, magic and wonder that makes up Disneyland. However, the one thing that keeps calling to our family is a very special section of Disney California Adventure. As big fans of the Cars franchise, we can’t wait to see Cars Land in real life.

Photo Credit:
Rev up your engines! Welcome to June 15, 2012, the opening of Cars Land!


For Disney Imagineers, the dream of Cars Land began in 2006, just 6 months after the release of the first Cars movie. The plan was a part of the Walt Disney Company’s 2006 annual report, though it didn’t include any specifics.  It wasn’t until October 17, 2007 that Disney announced a 5-year, $1.1 billion overhaul of Disney California Adventure. Part of the plan was the 12 acre addition of Cars Land. The area was to be themed after the movie and include a Test Track inspired ride.

On June 15, 2012, Cars Land officially opened to the public. A grand opening ceremony was held a few nights earlier at Disney California Adventure. Disney CEO Bog Eiger and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs were on hand to celebrate this major improvement project. Additional guests included Cars creator John Lasseter, voice of Mater Larry the Cable Guy and other stars of the film. The ceremony was topped off with Lightning McQueen and Mater strolling to the podium as Lasseter and Staggs illuminated the neon for the very first time. You can watch the entire Cars Land Opening Ceremony in the video below.

Cars Land Today

Photo Credit Thomas Mottola – What’s the Point?
Today, Cars Land is a top destination for families visiting Disney California Adventure Park. Guests are magically whisked to Radiator Springs and will feel like they just stepped into the movie. There’s plenty of attractions, food and shopping to keep everyone in the family occupied.
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Two of Cars Land’s main attractions are Radiator Springs Racers and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. Luigi’s Flying Tires recently closed to make way for a new attraction set to open in 2016.

Radiator Springs Racers is a Test Track-esque ride that takes passengers on a wild ride. During your journey you’ll encounter many familiar scenes from the movie and some of your favorite Radiator Springs residents as well.
On Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, guests step aboard a tractor-pulled trailer as they whip around Mater’s Junkyard. This attraction pays homage to the field of baby tractors seen in the first film.
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Should hunger hit, there are plenty of places in Cars Land to fuel up. Choose from Flo’s V8 Cafe, Fillmore’s Taste-in or the Cozy Cone Motel.


For shopping, you can visit Ramone’s House of Body Art (car themed art work and clothes), Sarge’s Surplus Hut (Cars brand toys and games) and Radiator Springs Curios (collectible pins and post cards) .
Thomas Mottola – What’s the Point?


Photo Credit: Capturing Magical Memories


You can find various characters from the movie strolling the streets of Radiator Springs. Nightly, there is a sunset neon-lighting ceremony set to the music of “Life Could Be a Dream” and it’s definitely a must see.

Our family is so enamored with Cars Land that our son’s 3rd birthday party was themed after it. We only hope that someday we’ll be able to see it in real life.


Please take a look at the other fabulous posts on the 60 Days to 60 Years countdown.

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Casey K

Wednesday 15th of July 2015

IT's hard to believe how long it has already been open and that some changes are being made. It feels like yesterday I was listening to podcast talk about what was coming up with Carsland


Wednesday 15th of July 2015

Rivaled only by (maybe) New Fantasyland, I believe Cars Land is the most successful Disney Parks "land" to date. We coincidentally visited Disneyland a mere two weeks after its opening on June 15th, 2012 and our extended family ended up spending most of our 5 days cruising Route 66! Knowing that your son is Lightning McQueen's number one fan, I hope a trip to Disney California Adventure is in your future. (I thought his party post was a real winner!) Thank you so much for sharing your family's "Cars" passion with us!!

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