Disney unveils theme park redo with Cars Land

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California Adventure visitors will now enter through a mini version of Buena Vista Street, where Disney set up an animation studio after arriving in 1923. It bears clues to the company founder’s roots. A market named “Mortimer’s,” for instance, bears what might have been the name of Disney’s mouse before his wife Lillian came up with “Mickey.”

The new Carthay Circle Theatre restaurant pays tribute to the movie premiere of Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937. It has an upscale decor and high-end dishes like “Cavatelli pasta with a Tuscan-styled braised lamb.”

Slightly raised roofs on the street now hide jarring views of the Anaheim skyline.

In Cars Land, the Cadillac Mountain Range with its tail-fin peaks covers up what once were exposed power lines. Other attractions from the movie like Flo’s V8 Cafe and the Cozy Cone Motel round out the fantasy.

“They’re trying to impress upon you the environment and the immersion,” said Lutz. “That’s the key.”

The land adds three new rides, although that still means California Adventure has around 35 attractions and rides compared to 60 at Disneyland.

Radiator Springs Racers pits riders in a side-by-side race through the mountain range. Luigi’s Flying Tires lifts riders off the ground on an air-hockey-like arena, and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree swings riders side to side in a salvage yard “tow-si-do.”

Jalynne Tapia, a 32-year-old baker from Modesto, Calif., is one of the many who weren’t persuaded to spend a full day in the park before the final makeover. She said her family was a little turned off by the outdoor drinking and cigarette smoke, which is prevalent in a beer garden area by the Pacific Wharf at California Adventure.

By the second day of a three-day trip, her family had only spent a couple hours in the park, compared to more than a full day at Disneyland. She hoped the new Cars Land area would give her 5-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy more to do next time.

“We’re willing to try it again next year to see what happens,” she said. “They’re both `Cars’ freaks.”

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