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Disney – DCA New Buena Vista Street and Carsland Review

We had the awesome opportunity to preview the new Buena Vista Street and Carsland at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim last Monday (before the Media preview, by the way). Colleen submitted herself in a drawing for a special Annual Passholder preview, and she won. We also invited some local friends (that had AP’s) to come along on our invite, and that was so awesome.

Buena Vista Street

It was a magical moment to see the blue door that had kept up out for so long…

but today, we got to go in the door.

The first thing it reminded me of was Hollywood studios in Florida. The detail was so incredible and the characters that walk around and interact with you made it so much fun.

The Red Car wasn’t running that day, because the walls were still up. I can’t wait to ride it. After our quick trip down Buena Vista street, we walked out of the other door and made our way to CarsLand. I was not prepared for what I was about to see.

As I walked through the rock tunnel I said “Wow,” and I would imagine many other people did and will. I felt like I was transported to another place. To me, Disney never captured the the distinctness of the different lands, because you could always see other portions of other lands sticking up, but with the canyon wall, they have blocked the rest of the outside world and you feel like you are in CarsLand. There are so many touches from the movie, it really feels like you are in the movie.

I rewatched Cars last night, and I kept getting the feeling like I had been there. Disney has outdone themselves this time. It is really an amazing new land.

Such detail, down to the products in the window show that they had thought through the entire experience.

We rode Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and it was a variation on the Tea Cups. A sort of ‘whip the tail’ kind of ride. Lots of fun.

Luigi’s Flying Tires was a tip of the hat to the old Disneyland Flying Saucers. (Remember to lean in the direction you want the tire to go in). Also, on a hot day the air jets on the ride floor will be a welcome surprise.

The more you explore CarsLand the more cool things you see, like the curio shop. If you have ever been on a driving trip/vacation along Route 66, many memories will come back to you.

Then, we rode the Radiator Springs Racers:

That is the best ride Disney has done to date. All the best elements of Test Track and great dark rides over the years, including the enhancements perfected in rides like the Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, as well as cool touches from the movie, Cars.


Disney has saved DCA. This is the DCA we wanted when it opened in 2001. Now, we have it. Kudos to Disney.

Buena Vista Street

Rating – 8

I enjoyed the style and design of the area and the character interaction.

Carsland Overall

Rating – 8

Love it, but they need more tables for those eating or drinking (Cozy Cone area tables fill up FAST) and more shaded areas overall.

Lugi’s Flying Tires

Rating – 5

It’s okay. A bit of a novelty that I don’t know how long will last. My advice, get a Fastpass.

Tom Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree

Rating – 7

Fun ride. If you like Tea Cups-ish rides with Larry the Cable Guy singing at you, this it for you.

Radiator Springs Racers

Rating – 10

This is the crown jewel of rides right now. Get a FastPass as soon as you can to save yourself time waiting in line, which will be long all summer long. There is a single rider line, that seems to move fast. Note: I would give this ride some time to settle in. I have seen may reports of break downs in the last few days, so since this ride is mostly computers, they will tweak this and get it settled in over the next few weeks (months?). Anyway, just sayin’.