The Happiest Place on Earth got even happier as the Disneyland Resort celebrated a VIP premiere of Cars Land that featured Lightning McQueen and Mater from the Disney●Pixar movie “Cars,” voice actors from the movie that inspired the land and a grand finale with fireworks that lit up the expansive mountain range in Cars Land.
The largest piece of the five-year expansion at Disney California Adventure Park, Cars Land adds 12 acres of immersive excitement to the park and offers freewheeling fun for everyone as it brings the town of Radiator Springs to life, just as guests remember it from the blockbuster movie.
The evening’s festivities opened with red carpet VIP arrivals including Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, John Lasseter, chief creative officer, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and voice actors from the “Cars” movie. As celebrities walked the carpet, the Goodyear blimp “Spirit of America” flew overhead, providing aerial coverage of the celebration.
Grand opening ceremonies began with an onscreen remote broadcast of “Cars” stars Lightning McQueen and Mater racing across the highways of America on their way to welcome guests at the premiere. Staggs and Lasseter welcomed voice talent from the movie on the stage leading up to a spectacular grand finale – the arrival of Lightning and Mater in Cars Land, a chorus of roller-skaters and dancing mechanics, the electrifying light-up of the neon signs that line Route 66, and a stunning fireworks display over the mountain range of Ornament Valley.
“The crown jewel of our Disney California Adventure expansion, Cars Land is the extraordinary result of a close collaboration between the gifted filmmakers at Pixar Animation Studios and our talented Imagineers and cast members,” Iger said “It’s also a spectacular example of our ability to take our characters and stories and bring them to life in new and unexpected ways.”
“More than five years ago, we embarked on a journey to realize Bob Iger’s vision of transforming Disney California Adventure with new attractions featuring our most iconic characters, including Mater, Lightning McQueen and the residents of Radiator Springs,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Cars Land immerses guests in the world of ‘Cars’ like never before and combines the imagination of Pixar with the creativity, innovation and legendary storytelling that are the hallmarks of a Disney Parks experience.”
“While I love all of the movies we’ve made at Pixar, the ‘Cars’ films are particularly close to my heart, so seeing Radiator Springs come to life at Disney California Adventure is a dream come true,” Lasseter said. “The artistry and attention to detail throughout Cars Land is absolutely incredible, and I couldn’t be more proud of the teams at Pixar and Walt Disney Imagineering who worked side-by-side to make this project a reality.”
The thrilling additions of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge at Disney California Adventure add to the storytelling magic of the Disneyland Resort, a world-class, family vacation destination in Southern California with two theme parks, three hotels and the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district.