June 2012 – February 2015
Cars Land – Guests following the main path in Cars Land found Luigi’s Flying Tires on the left, across from Ramone’s House of Body Art. Luigi’s was also easily accessible by cutting through A Bug’s Land; the side road leading to Cars Land passes right by the ride and lead to the entrance.
When Disney first announced plans for Cars Land in 2007, one of the proposed rides was “Luigi’s Roamin’ Tires”. This ride was to be an update of the Flying Saucers, a beloved Tomorrowland ride that closed in the 1960’s. Like with the Flying Saucers, the ride vehicles move across the track thanks to air blasting from the ground, much like an air hockey puck and table. When Cars Land finally opened in 2012, Luigi’s Flying Tires welcomed visitors as one of the headliners in the new land.
Guests loaded into 2-3 person tire vehicles and lifted a few inches off the ground. By leaning and turning, riders steered their vehicles and can bump other cars or slide across the track. For two minutes, the cars traveled around the Italian gardens, before coming to a stop beside Luigi’s shop.
During its brief tenure in Cars Land, Luigi’s Flying Tires had few logistical problems compared to its predecessor, the Flying Saucers, so the ride initially seemed to be a major success. But this attraction loaded quite slowly, making wait times lengthy for a very short spin around the track, and servicing far fewer guests than the other Cars Land rides. In late 2014, rumors swirled that the Flying Tires were leaving when the ride showed up on the park’s refurbishment list, with a scheduled closure of over a year. Those suspicions were confirmed in late January 2015, when the Disneyland Resort announced that a new Luigi-themed ride would take its place. Luigi’s Flying Tires finally closed in February 2015, becoming the first ride installed after the major refurbishment to close permanently.
My original rating: I’ve been really disappointed with the Flying Tires, especially compared to the other rides in Cars Land. The premise is so cool…flying bumper cars?! But this ride just doesn’t deliver. I have two big issues with the Flying Tires. First, the cars are pretty difficult to steer; you have to lean, but if you lean too much, nothing happens. Instead of flying around the arena, most of the tires stick to one small area and don’t really move. My other issue is that the edges of the tires are incredibly soft, so when you do bump another car, nothing happens. There’s no bounce back or impact like with standard bumper cars, so when two tires hit, they both just come to a stop. So to me, hitting other tires is pretty pointless, and with the difficulty of actually moving the tires, the ride is fairly boring for older visitors. That being said, this is a great ride for families with little kids. The ride’s décor is really cute and little ones love steering the tires! If you’re looking for a fast-paced bumper car experience, Luigi’s Flying Tires is not for you, but if you want a low-key fun spin around the gardens, you’ll enjoy this ride. (★★☆☆☆)
When Luigi’s Flying Tires opened, the ride featured giant beach balls bouncing around the track. But the giant balls kept hitting visitors, so they were removed after about two months.
The floor used 6,714 air vents to lift the tires.