As a mom, Disney/Pixar fan, and a huge advocate for family road trips Cars Land has been eagerly anticipated in my house. I was very fortunate to win the sweepstakes for an Annual Passholder Preview of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street. We put on our best 50‚??s clothing and headed out for an adventure that was better than we had dreamed it could be. As with any theme park, Cars Land is not without its little quirks but I hope to give you some information that can help keep the magic and the smiles in your trip to The Happiest Place on Earth.
Let‚??s start with food‚?¶
There are many snacks available at the Cozy Cones but if your kids are anything like mine they will need a more balanced meal to avoid the meltdowns that come with heat and long lines so I suggest Flo‚??s V-8 Caf√© for those with kids.
Flo‚??s offers 3 kids meals ¬†a Turkey Sandwich, a Roast Beef ¬†sandwich and the old stand by Mac & Cheese each of these comes with apple rings, grapes and peas and carrots not one of those sides, but ALL of those sides and your choice of a small water bottle, juice or milk. The kids meal is $6.99 and they do give an AP discount.
Flo‚??s also has indoor air conditioned seating that is inside Doc Hudson‚??s place with lots of memorabilia to enjoy. You can sit and enjoy your meal, cool down and re-group to help stave off those grown up meltdowns that we have all had.
If you just want to grab a water bottle or a piece of fruit for yourself or the kids head over to Fillmore‚??s.
While we are on the subject of food let‚??s talk about the Cast Members walking through the lines selling drinks, popcorn, cotton candy etc. The lines are long, it is HOT and the kids are bored. While grabbing a water bottle and some popcorn from one of these venders to pass the time seems like a good idea in theory the thoughts running through my mommy head were‚?¶ if I buy it then the kids will have to go to the restroom and we will have to get out of line (I was potty training my daughter when I had to visit the DMV and as soon as I was 2 people away from the front of the line, she needed to go) so choose snacks from the in-line venders wisely and maybe make sure to take a trip to the rest stop before entering what is sure to be a long line.
Time for Attractions…
Mater‚??s Junkyard Jamboree (and bone bruiser) ~ This attraction is reminiscent of an old school carnival ride or teacups gone MAD. With a height requirement of only 32‚?Ě (82cm) children and adults will enjoy this ride as a cute baby tractor swings you from side to side while spinning and switching tracks. When you enter the queue you cannot see that there are multiple tracks of tractors with trailers so this line moves quicker than you might think at first glance and the queue is filled with lots of nods to some of Tow Mater‚??s most loved Tall Tales. That may not mean much to you, but if your kids are Mater fans they will certainly get their kicks from this one.
Warning: ¬†Your ride vehicle is a trailer with hard plastic sides so as you swing from side to side you may get bumped or bruised so hold onto the little ones and remember that you are a lot bigger than they are and could squish them.
Luigi‚??s Flying Tires (and skirts) ~ height requirement 32‚?Ě(82cm) The flying saucers at Disneyland were before my time so I can‚??t comment as to the similarities. However, if you‚??ve ever been to Belmont Park in San Diego and ridden the Hover Bumper Cars, then you and I are in a very small privileged class. The Hover Bumper Cars are one of most favorite Boardwalk rides EVER, ANYWHERE!!! Luigi‚??s Flying Tires are nothing like them except that they are round and rubber and float on a bed of air. In the Hover Bumper cars, you have controls similar to 2 joysticks that allow you to navigate the area. Luigi‚??s Flying Tires have no controls except your own body. You must lean left, right, front or back to make them go. Lean too much and you do a nose dive and go nowhere. We found that it‚??s best to have one person control the tire by leaning as the other tries to get a giant beach ball (or takes photos as I was doing). ¬†This is a ride the kids will LOVE! ¬†If the adults can forget about the heat, the long lines and the pounding headache they have just long enough to see (and photograph) the smiles on their kids faces, they will LOVE it just as much!!
Warning: The entire floor of this attraction is made up of air jets so ladies unless you have been looking for an opportunity to recreate that famous Marilyn Monroe photo HOLD ON TO YOUR SKIRTS!
Radiator Springs Racers ~ Where do I begin?! This attraction is beautiful from beginning to end! ¬†The queue is full of scenery, nods to the Cars movies and characters, as well as breathtaking beauty that should make you want to drive down the Mother Road to see it all in person. The show portion of this attraction brings to life everything you love from the Cars franchise. The outdoor race portion is reminiscent of an old fashioned soap box derby race that the whole family will enjoy. With the height requirement of only¬†40″ (102 cm), this is sure to be the first coaster of many children for years to come… and a great choice it will be.
Warning: Not much to warn about here so I will tell you the one thing that annoyed me just a little. Each racer seats 6 guests 2 rows of 3 each the 4 guests on the outsides have a seat belt that is a lap/shoulder combination I found the shoulder portion of the belt locked in weird uncomfortable positions. The guests in the middle seats in both rows have a lap belt only.
Growing up in the 70‚??s, road trips were definitely a part of my childhood… along with long summer days, hand churned ice cream and fireflies. Route 66 was one of my most favorite road trips. So in 2007, we loaded the kids and the luggage into the SUV (the modern day Station Wagon) and set out to drive cross country via Route 66. I can assure you that those are some of my kid‚??s fondest memories. As a mom, it is sometimes difficult to get your kids to slow down and unplug (or ourselves for that matter). Make it happen. In the world we live in today, everyone is in a hurry. We fly to locations for family vacations, bypassing the beauty and the wonder that lies before us in our own country because it‚??s faster than driving. We run around in a blur to accomplish the ridiculous lists that we have made for ourselves, trying to accomplish 36 hours worth of errands in an 8 hour period. Slow down. Childhood is short and gone in the blink of an eye. I issue you a challenge this summer‚?¶ Build a Soap Box Derby Car with your kids. Take a road trip. Go to a drive-in movie or set one up in the yard. Make the kids turn the handle on a hand churn ice cream maker (it will taste better that way). Pack a picnic and go somewhere you never been. Find someplace that has lightning bugs and show your kids the fine art of catching them in a jar. In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, ‚??Life moves pretty fast. If you don‚??t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.‚?Ě ¬†¬†
Now, put on your poodle skirt, dust off those saddle shoes, slick back that hair, bring plenty of patience and enjoy a stroll down Route 66.