Yesterday marked a major milestone for Disneyland, as Disney California Adventure finally completed its five-year expansion and renovation project. The major expansion, which included such exciting additions as World of Color, Toy Story Mania, and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, was finally completed upon the grand opening of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street.
The exciting occasion was celebrated with a special opening ceremony, which took place in front of the Carthay Circle Theatre, the brand-new restaurant and exclusive lounge that serves as the park’s new centerpiece. Thousands of guests eagerly waited for hours for a chance to be among the first into the new areas on its first official day of opening, with some dedicated Disney fans even getting in line the night before. Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger was on hand with Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs to rededicate the park and celebrate the completion of this major expansion.
“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.”
“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,” Bob 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.”
The new Buena Vista Street, which serves as Disney California Adventure’s version of Main Street USA, transports guests to Los Angeles in the 1920’s, the world that Walt Disney knew when he first arrived in Hollywood to begin his filmmaking career. In addition to the Carthay Circle Theatre, shops and restaurants themed to the period line the street, and guests can embark on the new Red Car Trolley to take them from Buena Vista Street to Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood Tower Hotel, home to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The new street is also filled with brand-new entertainment, including favorite Disney characters dressed in period garb and new musical and performance acts such as the “Red Car News Boys.”
However, perhaps the biggest feature of the new Disney California Adventure is Cars Land, the new themed land that transports guests to the world of Radiator Springs from the Disney/Pixar film Cars. Featuring three new attractions, including the exciting Radiator Springs Racers, this hotly-anticipated land opened to the public yesterday, but celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday in an exclusive ceremony. On hand to celebrate this exciting new addition to the park were Bob Iger, Tom Staggs, chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios John Lasseter, and a host of celebrities from the Cars films.
“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.”
With so many new things to see, eat, and enjoy in Disney California Adventure added over the past five years, we’ve certainly enjoyed tracking this expansion’s progress over the past few years, and we’re so excited to finally see the park in its new, completed state. What’s your favorite part of the Disney California Adventure expansion? Leave a comment and let us know!