It was a star-studded opening at Disney’s recent Cars Land located at California Adventure theme park. A five-year revamp and more than $1 billion later, the new theme park looks on the way to joining the ranks of sister park, Disneyland.
California Adventure’s re-haul includes the inclusion of key Disney characters from the company’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar Animation Studio. Along with Toy Story, Monsters Inc, and A Bug’s Life, the theme park will also feature a brand new 12-acre Cars Land. Cars Land adds another feather to the ‘Cars’ franchise, and is expected to be a key attraction of California Adventure.
Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said the addition of Cars Land at California Adventure represents ”a great example of why Pixar and Disney are together.”
According to Mr Iger, Cars Land ”represents a wonderful physical embodiment” of the franchise’s films and also serves as ”an example of our ability to take our characters and stories and bring them to life in new and unexpected ways”.
There was no dearth of celebrity presence at the opening of Cars Land as TV and Disney stars thronged the red carpet. Modern Family stars Ariel Winter and Sarah Hyland sizzled on the red carpet in sophisticated outfits far beyond their years. Ginnifer Goodwin, of He’s Just Not that Into You and Once Upon a Time fame, looked striking as she made her entrance in a white blouse, black skirt and pink striped wedges.
Other stars to attend the Cars Land opening included American singer Jessica Sanchez, Disney star Bella Thorne, celebrity dancer Derek Hough, and Two and a Half Men star Jon Cryer.
Cars Land features three rides – the Radiator Springs Racers, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi’s Flying Tires and has plenty of automotive references to boot. The park, modelled after the fictitious desert town of Radiator Springs, also boasts a string of themed shops and restaurants to replicate the feel of the films.
Kathy Mangum, executive producer of Cars Land, said: ”We want guests to think they are on this great road trip and, in a way, almost like they are going home. Cars Land will feel very familiar in so many different ways. I can’t tell you how many people have seen it and said ‘I can’t believe I am in Anaheim.”
Cars Land opens to the public today, 15 June 2012.