June 2012 – present
Cars Land – Follow the main street all the way to the end, and you’ll see the entrance to Radiator Springs Racers around the corner, on your right.
Radiator Springs Racers was one of the first announced rides for Cars Land. Construction began on both the land and the ride itself in 2009, and took nearly three years to complete. In 2012, Imagineers began ride testing and soon had “soft opens” (limited guest rides before the official opening date) throughout the year. Radiator Springs Racers finally had its official opening in June 2012, and visitors have been lining up to ride in overwhelming numbers ever since.
- Single Rider Line – yes
- Fast Pass – yes
- Height Requirement – 40″ (102 cm)
- Duration – 4:20
When guests first load into the cars, they take off on a beautiful tour of the mountains, around a waterfall, and into a cavern, where the dark ride portion begins. The cars lead guests through a nighttime in Radiator Springs, where they encounter a number of characters from Cars. Next, guests enter one of two body shops: either Luigi’s Casa Della Tires or Ramone’s House of Body Art. After some primping and preparation, it’s race time! The cars line up at the start, two at a time, for a race through Ornament Valley. The racetrack has a number of dips, turns, and mini hills (but no major drops), until the cars finally zoom through the misty finish line and conclude their adventure through Radiator Springs.
MY RATING: ★★★★★
Radiator Springs Racers is, in my opinion, the best ride in California Adventure, and one of the best rides in the entire resort. I absolutely love that it combines three different ride experiences in one place; you start with a scenic tour of Ornament Valley, then enter a dark ride, and end with a coaster race. The ride is really fun during the day, and absolutely beautiful at night. Whether it’s your first visit to California Adventure or your thousandth, you HAVE to go on the racers at least once!
This ride is ridiculously popular among park guests, and wait times when it first opened passed six hours. If you’re visiting the park on a weekday, offseason, or right at park opening, grab a fast pass as soon as you possibly can. Otherwise, you are in for wait times of up to two hours.
That being said, I always prefer to use single rider over fast pass with this ride. On days when the line is 90 minutes or more, I’ve boarded in less than 20. In my experience, the single rider line moves much quicker than the fast pass line, especially during crowded park days. If you’re going to visit the racers, you should absolutely use the single rider line. Otherwise, you’re in for a very, very long wait.
Radiator Springs Racers is the largest ride at the resort, having both the most surface area and the longest track.
The racecars reach a maximum speed of 40 mph!
The waiting area for the Racers has tons of references to the movie Cars, from the buildings guests weave through to the signs along the walls.
During peak seasons, vendors offer guests refreshments as they wait in line. This is the only ride in the resort to offer in-line snack and beverage purchases. The vendors aren’t around unless the park is crowded, so if you see vendors, you know you’ll be in for a very long wait.