June 2012 – present
When California Adventure was first built, Imagineers left space for future expansions and new lands. Over time, parts of Hollywood Land and A Bug’s Land grew into this area, but the majority of it was used as a parking lot for the resort. But in 2006, after the release of Cars, Disney decided to fully convert the space into a new land, and Cars Land finally opened to the public in 2012. Along with Buena Vista Street, Cars Land was one of the last lands to be reopened after California Adventure’s major expansion and refurbishment.
Upon entering Cars Land, guests leave California Adventure and step into Radiator Springs. The main drag of Cars Land is identical to the town from the movie Cars, with extraordinary detail and beautiful scenery. Country music and the smell of barbeque give guests an interactive experience with an environment once available only through the screen. Cars Land is full of cute little shops, restaurants, and walkways that offer fantastic views of the mountains and racetrack. Adventurous guests can participate in a race across Radiator Springs, join Mater in a junkyard jamboree, or take a spin with Luigi. Cars Land has something for everyone, and guests can’t resist visiting Radiator Springs time and time again.
CHARACTERS YOU MAY ENCOUNTER
- Lightning McQueen
- Strip “The King” (rare)
- Radiator Springs Curios
- Ramone’s House of Body Art
- Sarge’s Surplus Hut
There are more than 70 species of plants within Cars Land’s 12 acres.
The peak of the mountain range stands at 125 feet. For a comparison, the Matterhorn peak reaches 146 feet.
Before Cars Land, this area was the Timon parking lot.
If you want to get off your feet or take a snack break, grab food from any of the restaurants and bring it to the back of Flo’s V8 Café. This restaurant has a hidden patio that overlooks the racetrack. You can enjoy your view of the mountains and watch riders fly by!
Cars Land is enormously popular with park guests, particularly in the rear area where the racetrack is. With that in mind, you have to think ahead for your visit to Radiator Springs. If you want to ride the Racers (which I highly recommend!), grab a fast pass the second you get in the park. Otherwise, make use of the single rider line either early in the morning or from late afternoon to evening. If you’re interested in the smaller rides or just checking out the scenery, visit Cars Land in the evening. When the sun sets over California Adventure, Cars Land is absolutely beautiful, and the lighting will be perfect for some panoramic photos.
If you can, make sure to at least walk through Cars Land after dark as well. The neon signs and dimly lit mountains are very cool, and the rides are all the more fun at night!