Monday, November 12, 2012

first Christmas in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure

When Cars Land opened in Disney California Adventure this past June, many of us were also looking forward to seeing how it might be decorated for various holidays.  There were no special decorations for Halloween, but they really went all out for Christmas.  It actually reminds me a lot of all the little details that used to decorate Toontown in Disneyland.  While Toontown is still decorated for Christmas, it doesn't have all the subtleties that it used to, but the details are in full force in Cars Land.

First, though, we did notice some holiday merchandise specifically themed to Disney California Adventure, and not just the entire Disneyland Resort, as is usually the case.

This design with the characters on and around a red trolley and the Carthay Circle building in the background adorns a nice hooded sweatshirt.

This design more prominently features the Carthay Circle building and can be found on a t-shirt, a mug, a throw blanket and many other items.

The display windows of Elias and Company are decorated with various holiday vignettes.  One window has a very long wish list to Santa, which we had fun reading, but we had trouble making out one item.  On the fold in the middle, a walrus is listed, but what's the next item listed after that?  It looks like "haring" to us, but we figure that can't be it because it doesn't mean anything.

On a tangent, a CD was recently released of some of the music heard in the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge.  It's available in the "men's department" of Elias and Company.

After looking at the Christmas decorations on Buena Vista Street, we headed over to Cars Land to take a look.  The postcard at the front of the land had been changed to reflect the coming season.

Christmas comes to Radiator Springs.

There are lots of details in each part of the sign - the "C" has Santa and his reindeer!

Next to the sign is a Snowman (Snowcar?).  It's a great photo op, and there was a Photopass photographer at the location.

Looking down the main street of Radiator Springs.

A Santa hat and decorations adorn Mater at his Junkyard Jamboree ride.

This isn't Christmas related (at least I don't think it is), and I don't know how long this has been up, but Sarge's is adorned with an array of patriotic colors and lights.  The sparkles at the top are actually bursting fireworks.

I love these decorations over the middle of the street, which are an echo of the Mickey wreaths which hang over Main Street in Disneyland.  The "wreath" is made of a tire and a bow.

The Cozy Cone Motel has stars made of cone shapes.

And of course, the Cozy Cone has a Christmas tree made of stacked cones!

And if you look on the other side, you can see that the Christmas tree gets electricity from jumper cables being attached to a battery.  :)

Each of the Cozy Cones is decorated as well.

The office of the Cozy Cone Motel has a Christmas tree as well.

But the best gem is that inside the office, there's also a gingerbread re-creation of the Cozy Cone Motel!

A closer view of the amazing gingerbread Cozy Cone Motel.

A different angle of the gingerbread Cozy Cone Motel.  It's really incredible.

The Christmas tree outside the Curios store.

City Hall in Radiator Springs is nicely decorated as well.

Of course, there's a beautiful Christmas tree.

The statue of Stanley in front now includes a Santa hat and a bag of toys.

A different look at Santa Stanley.

Christmas in Radiator Springs isn't just visible in the decorations on the buildings outside.  When we ventured into the Curios store, we were thrilled to find that Santa had brought many merchandise items related to Radiator Springs.  Deservedly or not, we are completely taking credit for that!  On opening day of Cars Land, we were surveyed extensively by some cast members, and one of the things we adamantly told them was that as much as we liked the Cars Land merchandise, we were disappointed that there was no Radiator Springs merchandise.  We were visitors to the town of Radiator Springs, and we wanted a souvenir of our visit to this little town, but none existed.  And now, it does!

A selection of mugs are available, showing landmarks of Radiator Springs.

Toothpick holders (or whatever these are) are available as well.

How about postcards to remember your visit?  There are four different sets, and some of the postcards can be purchased individually as well.

The design of the front sign is available on a t-shirt and a mug.  We looked for a postcard with the design but didn't find one - can we hope that's still forthcoming?

This kid's shirt is absolutely adorable.

Love, love, LOVE this ladies' cut t-shirt, which I bought, especially since I'm a fan of the restaurant.  Note, though, that the color didn't come out correctly in the picture - the shirt is actually a pale yellow.  While I love having the shirt in a ladies' cut, it's too bad it's not in a regular cut t-shirt as well, because the husband would have bought one too.

Again, love the ladies' cut.  Yep, I bought this too.  Yep, make this in a regular cut too so everyone can wear it!

A few of the other establishments in Radiator Springs are represented in merchandise as well, including t-shirts and signs.

Since we've talked about a wish list, I also thought it would be so cute to have a little plush of the baby tractor pulling the carts in Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.  There's a die cast of it, but die cast is a little hard to cuddle.  :)

If you get a chance to come out and see Cars Land (and Buena Vista Street) for the holiday season, I highly recommend it.  The pictures above are only a fraction of the amazing decorations and details that you'll see.

Race interrupted

Disney California Adventure opened a new land this past June which recreates the town of Radiator Springs from the Disney/Pixar film "Cars".  The new land has three attractions, and the big E-ticket is called Radiator Springs Racers, in which guests sit in a car that initially takes a leisurely drive through the mountains, and then you embark on a race with another car full of guests.  It's really an amazing ride.

A couple of weeks ago, we went on the ride with a group of friends, enough that we filled up two successive cars.  We were in the second car, and we had just gotten to the thresher machine just on the outskirts of Radiator Springs when our car stalled.  Hmmm, ok, a few months previously, we'd been delayed at the very same spot, but after a few minutes, we'd started up again, so we waited to see if that happened again.  When our "engine" turned off and the lights went on around us, we knew there was going to be no further ride.  The ride probably needed to be re-set, but that meant everyone currently on the ride would need to be taken off.  We waited a while, and eventually, cast members came by and were letting our friends out from the car in front of us.  They then came by and released our seat belts so we could get out, and we proceeded to the next car, as each subsequent car was unloaded.  We were then taken to a side exit door, where we were offered passes for a visit later in the day.  As frequent visitors to the parks, we're always interested in seeing what an attraction looks like when it's not operational.

The rest of our group is in the car in front of us as the ride stopped.

Our car was stopped right in front of the thresher.

More guests are walking the path as each successive car is evacuated.

The next car to be evacuated.

A good look at what the inside building looks like with the lights on.

Guests behind us are waiting to leave the building.

We didn't get to walk through much of the ride, but it was still pretty interesting, even if we ultimately didn't end up going on the ride that day.