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Transplanted to Miami, FL, from Iowa City, IA. Trying to find a balance between reading, knitting, playing mom taxi, and enjoying the sun and sand in Miami.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Carsland at California Adventure

I don't have a new book to post about yet, so instead I thought I would do a quick write up of our trip to Disneyland, and especially California Adventure's new Carsland.

We spent four days at the park. Normally I wouldn't think we would need to spend that long at Disneyland, but this time it did take us those days to get through everything we wanted to do.

Carsland is amazing! It feels like you're walking into the movie. It only opened in June 2012, so it had only been opened about a month and a half when we went. The lines for the rides were long, but that was to be expected.

We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel so we could get in an hour early to improve our chances of going on Radiator Springs Racers without a 2 hour + wait. It worked, we only waited about 90 minutes. The ride was really amazing though. It takes you through several scenes featuring characters from the movie. I think there is a split where you either go to Luigi's Tires or Ramone's paint shop. We went to Luigi's tires, it was really cute. Then you do a race with another car on the outside part of the track. It goes fast enough to feel like you're racing, but my boys, who aren't the biggest fans of roller coasters still really liked it.

I didn't ride Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, but my husband and youngest son said it was fun. Xander said it was better than the teacups, which is high praise from him.

I did ride Luigi's Flying Tires. I was probably the most excited about that ride. I have been going to Disneyland for 20 years, but my first trip was long after the Flying Saucers were removed. I have always wished I could have ridden that hover car ride. Now I was able to! Luigi's tires are each a little hover car that can seat two or three people (maybe four if three of them are small). You steer just by leaning in the direction you want to go. The more larger kids or adults you have in the car, the more difficult it is to steer effectively. They have giant beach balls out on the field with you, although I have to wonder how long they'll keep those. We had a good time throwing beach balls at each other and then trying in vain to catch another one.

One of the best and the worst things about Carsland is the lines. The length of the lines and wait times was the worst, but to be expected for a new part of the park and new rides in the middle of the summer. But, the queues themselves were some of the best parts. Luigi's Tires was probably my favorite, walking through the showroom, and then back where you can peek into Luigi's office. The Radiator Springs Racers line was also fun, you get to see the Radiator Spring that Stanley discovered and built the town around, and you walk through some old buildings that have a lot of things on the walls to look at. The lines were long, but they move pretty well. Luigi's is a little slower since they have a fixed number of cars, and then the line has to basically wait while the ride runs. Kind of like Dumbo. In fact, they apply a similar system of handing out boarding passes to the on deck group to make sure they don't have more people than vehicles.

Let's see, there were 3 shops and 3 food service places in Carsland.

The shops are Sarge's Surplus hut, Ramone's and Lizzie's curiosity shop. Sarge's has the Cars toys and other Carsland themed stuff, a lot of stuff for kids. Lizzie's has vinylmations and pins and other gifty items like mugs, keychains, and Route 66 themed shirts. Ramone's has a lot of clothing, a lot for adults. Ramone's was also the only place that I saw the Carsland soundtrack.

The food service places are Flo's V8 cafe, Cozy Cone, and Filmore's. Flo's is an order at the counter and then take your food to the table kind of place. They serve breakfast (Cars waffles!), lunch and dinner. There is some indoor and outdoor seating. They have tables out by the antique gas pumps and some nice inside seating with great views of Radiator Springs Racers. Cozy Cone has four different food offerings, I think. I know they had pop cone, ice cream cones, and some special cone sandwiches, and churros. They had the special Cozy Cone cups from the picture. Filmore's looked really cool, especially at night, and had fresh fruit and bottled drinks.

Carsland at night, is awesome. As cool as it is during the day, it's even better at night.

Oh, Mater and Lightning McQueen take turns doing photo ops at the Cozy Cone. The best part is when they switch, they actually drive down the street. Red the Firetruck also does some meet and greets. Then there's DJ, who plays music and does a little street performing, and he looks especially great at night too.

I guess the bottom line is, don't miss Carsland! I would try to go when school's in or something so the lines aren't so long, but definitely go.