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Making Mountains in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

Kathy Mangum

by , Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

Some people think that mountains are formed by plate tectonics, a process that usually takes millions of years. When it came to building Ornament Valley – the mountain range that serves as the backdrop to Radiator Springs in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park – we just didn’t have that kind of time! So, we did what comes naturally to us at Disney and we hired the best rockwork artisans in the business.

Led by Zsolt Hormay, our rockwork art director, this incredible team of artisans from around the world have spent approximately two years growing, sculpting and painting our mountain. It’s been fascinating to watch it grow.

We’re getting ready to say goodbye to this talented team of folks as the mountain nears completion. Click on this video and take a look at Zsolt explaining the process and what it takes to speed up Mother Nature. I think you’ll agree that our finished product is spectacular!


  • As far as I know, the date has still not “officially” been announced by Disney.

  • Yes it has, June 15th is opening day. June 14th is a media day and not open to the public. There will be some passholder preview days most likely but dates haven’t been announced yet 😀

  • Bob Iger’s last email said mid June, but the date has not been officially announced yet.

  • When is Cars Land supposed to open? Any idea?

  • Otto, I wouldn’t worry about repaints very soon. Big Thunder at Disneyland has never had a full repaint in 32 years. Matterhorn is finally getting one after all these years. Splash Mountain just got one after 25 years. Maybe paint makeup was better quality back then in speaking with people in that field.

  • Zsolt Hormay also lead the team that sculpted the Tree of Life at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. I’m sure the Cars Land mountain range will have just as much detail!

  • Absolutely amazing the work that they do. It will truly be enjoyed for generations to come.

  • Wow, this looks amazing!
    One thing is bothering me, how long will the attraction be down when it needs a repaint? It must close for a year every few years. How to maintain this beauty?

  • Hi,when is Cars Land supposed to be open? We are heading there July 1st hopefully.

  • It looks phenomenal!

    I am so excited that WDI was able to recreate the town of Radiator Springs. I cannot wait to explore the town and go on the rides!

  • “To be able to create a rock, you have to first think like a rock.”
    Disney Legend Fred Joerger
    Go Zsolt!

  • That’s amazing!

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