In one of my previous “Disney Parks After Dark” posts, I promised to share photos from my favorite place at the Disneyland Resort after dark, Cars Land in Disney California Adventure park. This one requires little backstory on Radiator Springs: Stanley, the town’s founder, sold radiator caps in Ornament Valley along Route 66. After he discovered an oasis of water (later named Stanley’s Oasis) the little town of Radiator Springs sprung up around that spring in the middle of the desert. A statue of Stanley was built outside the town courthouse in his honor.
He’s donning a Santa suit now during the holidays, but at night, Stanley’s statue always takes on a special glow from the neon along Route 66.
By taking a long exposure, the water around Stanley’s Oasis reflects the light off of the surrounding rocks, and the water flowing from the radiator cap on the Original Radiator Spring becomes more noticeable. The starbursts from the lights on the water tower bring a unique drama to the scene.
What are your favorite Cars Land spots after dark?
Today, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced the winners of the 19th Thea Awards, recognizing excellence in the creation of extraordinary visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places. It’s been a big year for Disneyland Resort and Aulani in Ko Olina, Hawai`i, and we’re happy to report that the following projects were all honored:
Cars Land received the award for New Theme Park Land, with the citation noting, among many other details, “…the overwhelming scale of the rockwork panorama…”
Radiator Springs Racers was honored in the Attraction category for “…true excellence in design, technical innovation and execution.”
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai`i, received the award for Themed Hotel Resort – “The Aulani resort experience is one-of-a-kind.”
In addition, Frank Stanek, former Corporate Vice President of Research and Planning for the Walt Disney Company, will receive The Buzz Price Award – Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements. During his years with Disney, Stanek provided background and analysis in the original development of Walt Disney World Resort and the expansion of Disneyland Resort, as well as Epcot, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. His wide-ranging professional career also includes developments for the City of Osaka and Universal.
Each of the winning projects will be recognized at the Thea Awards ceremony, a black-tie gala to be held April 6, 2013, at the Disneyland Hotel.
“Arrested Development” star Jason Bateman visited Cars Land recently with his daughter, Francesca. Jason and his family are regular visitors to the Disneyland Resort – you may remember that they stopped by for a visit this March. This time, they were here to celebrate Francesca’s sixth birthday. They wanted “to get the year started right, with a trip to the happiest place on Earth,” he said, adding that she was looking forward to being able to ride more attractions now that she is a bit taller. But, he told me, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror “still scares daddy.”
We’re bringing the excitement of the newly expanded Disney California Adventure park to Pasadena, Calif., with a Cars Land-inspired float in the 124th Rose Parade on January 1, 2013! This year’s parade theme is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” – which is perfect for a story like “Cars,” in which the journey is as much a part of the experience as the destination.
My favorite thing about Tournament of Roses Parade floats are all the moving pieces, and this float will have plenty! Our Cars Land float will come to life with a bouncing tire from Luigi’s Flying Tires, a bubbling “Original Radiator Spring,” real waterfalls and smoke-puffing baby tractors – you have to tune in to the parade to see all the amazing features for yourself!
The first Rose Parade was held on January 1, 1890, as a way for the city of Pasadena to show off its abundance of fresh flowers; parade entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of blooms. Today, the Rose Parade floats feature high-tech animation and natural materials from around the world.
Be sure to watch the 124th Rose Parade – either in person on January 1, 2013, in Pasadena or live on ABC-TV.
Read on for more news from Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park:
Cruising down Route 66 in Cars Land and need a quick refuel? You should CONEsider the Cozy Cone Motel. As Pam told us a while back, there is a CONE-ucopia of unique snacks and drinks for hungry travelers – check out all the options in her post here. My fellow Disneyland Resort cast member, Kelly George, and I have become a couple of CONE-ivores lately – we can’t get enough of those culinary CONEcoctions. Come along with us for a tour of the Cozy Cone Motel!
As you can see, I’m a huge fan of Red’s Apple Freeze. What’s your favorite Cozy Cone Motel treat? Let us know in the comments!
Have you had a chance yet to get out to the new Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park? It’s really incredible how fully immersive the entire place is. From Route 66 to Ornament Valley, you really feel like you’re in Radiator Springs! Of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without getting to meet some of the town’s automotive residents. In this video, Sr. Show Director Glenn Kelman introduces us to Red, DJ, Mater and Lightning McQueen.
I’m already looking forward to my next chance to “motor west” and visit the gang in Cars Land!
Read on for more news from Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park:
I guess it’s not a big surprise that my favorite place after dark would be Cars Land in Disney California Adventure park. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the moment when the neon signs on Route 66 turn on, you’re going to want to. It’s very cool.
The neon signs also make for some very interesting photos, and who knows – you may even see a full moon in one of the tires on the roof of Luigi’s Casa Della Tires.
While you’re checking out the neon signs – or photographing them – if you time it right, you might see a little bit of the fireworks at Disneyland park behind the Flo’s V8 Café sign.
In June, I visited Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park during a short vacation to the Golden State. Wow! I was beyond impressed with this new land (and equally as impressed with Buena Vista Street, where I enjoyed dancing to the music of Five & Dime!). One thing I loved in Cars Land was the details, such as the car hoods found at Ramone’s House of Body Art. The hoods were designed by legendary custom car builder and designer Chip Foose. He enlisted the help of Swedish artist Ray Hill to create the 11 hoods (which, according to Chip, each have a hidden Mickey in their designs). You may recall my fellow Disney Parks Blog author Kathy Mangum discussed the work that Chip and his team did for Cars Land. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one impressed with his work. Julie Young, Product Developer for pins, told me that one car hood in particular served as inspiration for a new limited edition pin set arriving August 2.
“I first saw an image of the ‘Ramone’s’ car hood during a meeting about Cars Land construction,” explained Julie. “As soon as I saw the image, I thought it would make a great pin. For many pins I develop, I like adding characters to the artwork. These 11 car hoods, however, don’t feature characters, as I think they are iconic enough to be their own characters.”
Julie worked with artist John Henselmeier to create the pin artwork inspired by car hoods. You may recall John from recent discussions about the merchandise he designed for the 30th Anniversary of Epcot. I think my favorite hood is the one pictured in the top row, third from the left. The colors used for that one are beautiful!
The set will be released at Ramone’s House of Body Art, Radiator Springs Curios and Elias & Co. in Disney California Adventure park, and at Disney’s Pin Traders in the Downtown Disney District. The set has an edition size of 500 and a retail of $165.00.
Check out these posts for more news about Disney pins: