More Behind the Scenes Stories

Cars Land Concept Team Gets Its Kicks on Route 66 Research Trip

“Get your kicks on Route 66” is more than just a refrain to a popular song – it’s what we did when the concept team for Cars Land traveled this fabled road in 2008, during the early design stages of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park. We followed in the same footsteps that John Lasseter and the Pixar team took during the development of “Cars.” In fact, we were led by the same expert guide – Michael Wallis. You know him as the voice of Sheriff in the “Cars” movies, but he’s also a well-known writer, historian and author of Route 66: The Mother Road.

Our team grew to love and respect the people, the sights, the kitsch, the charm, the warmth and the heritage of Route 66. So much so that we’ve taken a couple of smaller trips since then just to stay in touch. In this video, you’ll see some of the people and places we came across while Emily O’Brien, Principal Interior Designer, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Greg Wilzbach, Art Director, Walt Disney Imagineering, give you a little more insight about the trip.

Soon, we’ll be able to share our version of Route 66 with the world when Cars Land opens June 15. We think it reflects the spirit and charm of the people and places of the real Route 66 that we found so inspiring, and we can’t wait to show it off!

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and follow @Disneyland on Twitter for the latest on the expansion of Disney California Adventure park. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtags #CarsLand, #BuenaVistaStreet and #JustGotHappier.

Read more about Cars Land in the posts below:


  • This is so cool because I used to live on Route 66, and Cars Land is a perfect nod to my hometown’s downtown area! Great work Imagineering depot!

  • Super COOL !! We did the same thing when we drove from Chicago to California! Loved all of the stops too !! Can’t wait to see Cars in Disneyland.

  • Hi kathy me and my mom just cant wait for june 15 for carsland to open. i have two questions my frist question is will it be playing the songs from the movie as we walk down route 66 like sha boom and get your kicks in route 66 and and my other question is in the movie the traffic light is only blinking yellow in the day time and in the night time when they fix eveything up the traffic light goes crazy with red yellow and green will it be like that in carsland.

    • Hi Brett,

      I’m so glad you are looking forward to the Cars Land opening! Our traffic light at the intersection of Route 66 and Cross Street is blinking yellow all the time. As you remember, Fillmore was convinced that every third blink stays on a little longer than the others – check it out closely to see if he is right or not!

  • Great video. The Imagineers did a fantastic job with their research!

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