Disney California Adventure wraps up Cars Land as Disneyland celebrates its 58th anniversary

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Cars Land, Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on July 15, 2013 at 5:05 am with 36 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • Susan Hughes

    Are you aware that Luigi’s Flying Tires is now part of New Fantasyland in Orlando? At least operationally speaking. Luigi’s must call in regularly during the day to Orlando to update it’s operations from wait times, when the ride goes down, the number of tires, the number of belt checkers, etc.
    Why Orlando needs this information and not the Disneyland Resort is a mystery to me. But several rides at the resort are now under the umbrella of New Fantasyland…at least when it comes to reporting their current operational status.

  • Love the Addictometer! I think a lot of folks will find it interesting that weekends in the middle of summer are now the best times to visit the parks. A complete change from conventional wisdom.

    We’ll see how that Cars Land wrap looks when complete. But so far, it looks half-assed.

    Queuing up that Tony Baxter podcast right now. His presence is already missed at the resort and I really fear some of the decisions which the company may make without Tony around to provide reason.

    Great update Andy!

  • pbrsaau

    Frequently when the DL wait time board is shown each week, Indiana Jones is temporarily closed. Why is that? The caption says the wait times are at noon… why would a major attraction like that be closed so frequently? Does it have daily mechanical issues?

  • eicarr

    For me, Paradise Gardens is right up there with New Orleans Square as the most beautiful and immersive places to eat. I feel bad when I skip splitting a pizza and salad over there, but its often inconvenient to get over to that dead corner of the park. All the new central cars land and buena vista st. locations aren’t helping its popularity either. Glad they have an item I’d finally try at the Medeterranian place.

    Love the Matternorn show!!!!!

    • Happiestcruiser


      You are echoing my own sentiments regarding Paradise Gardens! I frequently go there and just sit — taking in the atmosphere. Because, make no mistake, with the bandstand area and trees it is right-on-par with New Orleans Square French Market for a relaxing atmosphere. I am thrilled they added the palm trees (magnolias? — sorry — not good with tree types). The shade cools off the area and gives a much-needed buffer-zone to all the park noise in the Pier.

  • Tinkbelle

    Yay, you included video of the Matterhorn musicians! Thanks, Andy. It’s too bad this is just a Limited Time Magic offering. It would be neat if they had an alphorn player there sometimes, too.

    Thanks also for the music from Paradise Garden. We always stop to watch the bands play there on our visits. I love live music at DLR.

    That gyro looks very skimpy for $12. I can get one at my local mall for @ $8 that is stacked mile high.

    I don’t know what to think of that scrim for Cars Land. It was a nice idea but it just doesn’t look right.


    I don’t think the scrim looks very great. It’s fine when they do it in the park during construction, that is actually going beyond the call of duty, but doing this and having it be permanent is pretty tacky.

    I actually think the metal zig-zag thing looks better.

    Honestly I’m surprised they don’t use that space for advertisements, like they do on the side of studio buildings in LA, or maybe some abstract art or something.

    • Internitty

      I like your idea of advertising like on the sides of the studio buildings too, it would be a much cooler idea than the scrims

  • jcruise86

    We enjoyed DCA yesterday, partly because the crowds weren’t bad. When I worked at Disneyland as a teen in the summer of 1983 I remember miserable, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds in Tomorrowland.

    My daughter, her friend and I all had a nice, air-conditioned hour at Dancin’ With Disney in Hollywood Land. I like all of the decorations, misshapen plastic chairs, and effects at this party. The many characters and other dancers there seemed like the most high-energy CMs at the Disneyland resort and seemed to be having by far more fun than any entertainers dancing out in the heat. And thanks to the middle-aged vendor in the back of the room who danced so enthusiastically while working. The four-hour afternoon time frame for this seems perfect. I know I Dancin’ With Disney this more than some Micechat leaders.

    And speaking of them, we saw some celebrities in front of the Carthay Circle!

    Dusty and Fishbulb themselves were there apparently for a meet and greet,
    and as we walked away my daughter was genuinely was thrilled to learn that Dusty was a co-founder of Micechat, which has been so central in guiding our fun since she can remember.

    • It was great to see you and your fearless daughter (who was proud to tell us about her trip through Universal’s House of Horrors). Sounds like she is training for Haunt in a few years.

  • Country Bear

    Amazing pictures Andy! Your talent shines through every time I read your articles. Thank you for sharing your gift with us, weekly!

  • disneylandanddcafa

    Jeesh… who gives a rats a$$ how it looks from the OUTSIDE!!!

    • LoveStallion

      I do. Others do. It’s better advertising for the park to show what’s going on on the inside.

    • The Matterhorn acts as a beacon to draw people into the Disneyland Resort. You can see it from the freeway and it looks magnificent. Cars Land looks like a blight from the outside and not an exciting draw at all . . . . until you see it from inside the park. It’s a total missed opportunity.

      • Marko50

        I can barely see the Matterhorn anymore from the freeway (coming up from the south). And since I’m driving, if I try too hard…

        But that’s OK. I *know* where I’m going. 🙂

  • dizneydomenic

    I say Disneyland still needs a new Marquee.. we lost the old one with California Adventure going in…the BIG one that used to be on Katella. Well, now that They are done with Cars land…a great spot for a new Marquee would be right there behind the Cadillac range.. just high enough and low enough not to be seen from inside carsland.

  • Norman Gidney

    Andy this is some great work. Thanks for the article!

  • ScottOlsen

    I would think lots of big trees on the back side of the mountain range would be a good fix.

    • LoveStallion

      Given the present state of the back end of Rivers of America, I’m not sure that installing trees is management’s top priority.

  • LoveStallion

    Seriously, in this day and age, you haven’t concurrently developed the app for Android? Come on, folks. Not all of us use iOS.

    • evergreen

      More people use Android than iOS.

    • My friend, when you are willing to pony up the $$$ to develop the Android version, give me a call. Until then, enjoy what we give you for FREE. Which at this moment is an iPhone version 😉

      • LoveStallion

        A totally fair point, Dusty. It’s hard to find developers. I feel that pain; but you’re still alienating over half of the market by not providing Android apps. We’re not in 2010 anymore.

  • Gregg Condon

    Wow, that wrap looks terrible. Almost as bad as the one on Indy.

  • Haven

    Whatever happened to “green out” paint for show buildings? Dark colors always minimize the appearance of larger objects and green makes it “go away” easier. Add trees in front of the building too and now you’ve got something, Although the mountain scrims will be even better, for a while at least, the original backside scaffolding should have been green IMO. Especially that view of the Alpine Inn could have benefited from a darker backdrop color behind it. No more light colored backsides!

    • Internitty

      If they planted trees in front of the scrims it would look pretty nice I think but then as someone pointed out given the back of Rivers of America trees don’t seem to interest management at the moment, maybe in 3 years they will plant some…

  • WaltWaltWalt

    Great memories of the Matterhorn musicians from the 70’s…and the time the ride shut down while I had just reached the top of the mountain. I got to take the exposed elevator down the center of the mountain. They gave me a free ticket to ride again (yes they used tickets still).

  • DisWedWay

    Great picture of the ugly 1930 gas station down lights on the Big Thunder main gate sign. It used to have Dietz inspector lights as Golden Horseshoe still has. Please bring back the themed original lights Greg. The Big Thunder sign on the load building had a darker background maybe hunter green, which made it more readable. I have to check Daves photo’s.

  • SpacemanSpiff

    I attended a conference at the Anaheim Convention Center at the end of June 2012, and the exposed metal structure was very obvious as you drive onto Katella from the convention center parking lot near the Alpine Inn. At the same time, I don’t think I would have thought it was the back of Cars Land, except that I had been following the re-opening of DCA in the news, and I had seen graphics of the mountain range and how it was built.

    I agree with what someone posted earlier– that adding the scrims might be because the D23 Expo is coming to the convention center in August, and since it’s held only every two years, they didn’t have to worry about people seeing the unfinished backside of Cars Land last summer. From the photos posted in the report, my feeling is that the scrims don’t really look very good at all.

    Disney isn’t in the habit of putting up scrims to cover something for more than a few months, is it? I’m thinking about the scrims on the Main Street train station, the buildings on Main Street, the Mark Twain when it was in drydock. It’s possible that they Disney is getting ready to complete the mountain range on the backside.

    (Someone suggested in the discussion forum that Disney might be getting ready to expand with new attractions behind the mountain range, but there really isn’t any room on the side directly facing Katella Avenue.) I think it’s more likely that they want to make the visible parts of the park more attractive from the outside, like the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, the Twilight Zone Tower, or Paradise Pier.

  • DisWedWay

    Great interview with Disney Legend to be Tony Baxter. His recollections of life at WED in the early 70’s when First String WED Imagineers hired by Walt, some in their 60’s approaching 70, worked and mentored the new Second String WED Imagineers like Tony, was such a great period in WED Enterprises history, not duplicated today at WDI Imagineering. His mention of musical chairs after a big project was more true with today’s WDI Imagineering. In the WED days there was always something to keep the staff busy in refurbs, arcade games, updating models. The first Black Friday layoff during the Space Mountain design and the energy crisis, cut WED’s staff from less than 500 to just over 150, when management realized they had made a mistake and people would still go to Disneyland even if getting gas was hampered by odd and even days. Maybe Tony will talk about that strange time at WED.

  • WDWorldly

    DLR needs to improve the way the resort looks outside of the theme parks overall When first driving there years ago, someone traveling with us wondered why DCA looked like a cheap carnival from the outside…then again, 2006-era DCA, maybe that wasn’t so far off. It matters because it gives a poor impression sometimes. They need to address: the ugly backside of the Tower of Terror and Hyperion, the tacky and inadequate “Disneyland Resort” signs that greet people driving into and around the resort.

  • Larry Parker

    Thanks Andy for the updates and pictures. I am worried about what the interior of the Main Street Starbucks will look like. Will it be devoid of Main Street character, as apparently is the case with the WDW Main Street Starbucks? As much interior space as it will occupy, that would be a major downgrade of the Disneyland Main Street experience. Well, should that be the case, I intend to voice my complaint to Guest Services(as I hope others also would)with the hope that alterations would follow. Hopefully this won’t be necessary. But, for example, given the treatment of the Buena Vista Street window displays, it wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Marko50

    I hadn’t seen the Dapper Dan video till now, so I want to thank you for featuring all five Dan’s. Yes, I’m the one in the ‘chair. Unfortunately, I misplaced my mike, so had to lipsync that performance. 😉

    So, who did I miss meeting behind the camera?

    • Marko50

      PS – Thanks for a great report, Andy!

  • TodAZ1

    The comment about the ‘cashier’ signs may be correct if the Emporium was always as uncrowded as when those pics are taken. But it’s THE most crowded place every night when the park closes and I’m positive the ‘cashier’ signs have been helpful.

    And I’m not really seeing the “desperate” angle of simply putting up a ‘Cashier’ sign above the registers.

  • paratka

    Great to see the Ellis Island Boys mentioned. They have a Facebook page w/ showtimes and days they play DCA. Always a must-see act on DCA visits!