Last night the Disneyland Resort rolled out the red carpet for the grand opening of Cars Land. The new 12-acre land brought out a cavalcade of Hollywood stars, including talents from the “Cars” films including Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt and Cheech Marin. The new land opened with a ceremony that included Disney executives discussing the challenges in re-imagining Disney California Adventure and the collaboartion between Pixar and Walt Disney Imagineering on Cars Land. A blast of fireworks, a shower of confetti and the flipping of a switch to turn on Radiator Springs‘ neon signs marked the land’s grand opening and a fantastic celebration for all in attendance.

You may notice our format here at Dateline Disneyland and MiceChat has changed. You’ll continue to see changes over the next few weeks as we adjust our format as we transition to our new home. Thank you for reading and your patience as we change to bring you a better MiceChat!

Get a closer look at today’s update! Click on any photo in today’s column for a large, high-quality version of the image.

[center]Inside Dateline Disneyland[/center]

  • Cars Land lights up with Hollywood stars, neon, fireworks
    Stars and Disney executives come out for Cars Land debut
    • Red Carpet arrivals
    • Cars Land Grand Opening Ceremony
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[center]CARS LAND GRAND OPENING[/center]

Last night Hollywood stars and Disney-Pixar executives turned out for the big Cars Land grand opening, making the completion of Disney California Adventure’s major five-year remodel and expansion project. Below, stars from ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”

Edie McClurg, voice of Minny from Cars 2

Nolan Gould from ABC’s “Modern Family”

Also from “Modern Family,” Ariel Winter.

Rico Rodriguez from “Modern Family”

Various Disney Channel stars

Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs

Disneyland Resort President George Kalogridis

And of course the voice of Mater, Larry the Cable Guy

In front of Cars Land, the stage was set for the grand opening festivities

A live band warmed up the crowd

Disney CEO Bob Iger took the stage, discussing the challenges of fixing Disney California Adventure and the opportunity to collaborate on a larger level with Pixar following Disney’s acquisition of the animation studio.

Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs followed Iger, calling Cars Land a “defining moment” in the history of Disney California Adventure.

And finally, John Lesseter came up to discuss creating Cars Land and working with the Imagineers

Lasseter continued in a sort of roast of his colleagues, asking what Bob Iger and Tom Staggs would be like if they were Cars characters. Below, Bob Iger as a sports car.

Or, as a semi-truck since he runs the massive, multi-faceted Disney Company.

Below, Tom Staggs as a “muscle car”

Or, since he’s such a smart guy – a smart car.

And finally, as a fun ice cream truck since he runs Disney’s fun theme parks

John and Tom went on to introduce key talents in the Cars films to the audience.

Randy Newman, composer for “Cars”

Brad Paisley, who wrote songs for the films

Edie McClurg, voice of Minny in Cars 2

Richard Kind, voice of Van in Cars 2

Thomas Kretschmann, voice of Professor Z in Cars 2

Michael Wallace, voice of Sherriff in Cars.

Jennifer Lewis, voice of Flo

Cheech Marin, voice of Ramone

Bonnie Hunt, voice of Sally Carrera

Finally, Larry the Cable Guy took the stage, saying that we couldn’t open Cars Land without Lightning McQueen and Mater who were still on their way

Then, the festivities began

The stage pulled apart and Lightning and Mater drove up Cars Land’s Route 66

An EZ Charge battery was brought out to power the Cars Land neon…

John Lasseter flipped the switch, the neon flickered on and the fireworks lit up the Cadillac Range

Fun neon signs for the grand opening party

Open bars and buffets down Route 66

And dancing in the street to celebrate the Cars Land grand opening!

For more on Cars Land, including photos, video, reviews and more from the new land, see our Cars Land overview:

Also, for discussion and more information and more see our Guide to Cars Land on the MiceChat forums!

That wraps up our coverage of the Cars Land Grand Opening festivities. Stay tuned for more Disney California Adventure grand re-opening throughout the weekend!

Thank you for reading and please be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below! Don’t forget to visit our great sponsors over at Touring Plans when planning your next visit to Disneyland!

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For even more Disneyland news, photos and information check out the In the Parks column on Fridays. And [b]MiceChat’s[/b] Weekend Update tours the world of Disney theme parks and other worldly sights and landmarks! See you at Disneyland!

[B]- Andy[/B]

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Promotional consideration for the June 14, 2012 edition of [I]Dateline Disneyland[/I] was provided by:
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  • Emily Baker

    Awww, Bella Thorne (the red head) and Zendaya (the brunette) are just nameless “Disney Channel Stars”? Shake It Up is one of the only shows worth watching on the Disney Channel! Besides, even as a 26 year old, I am 100% jealous of Bella’s wardrobe!

  • Tiny Mermaid

    Really enjoying these daily mini-updates. Will they continue after this week?

    • Absolutely. We are doing our best to cover all the events for our readers so you don’t miss out on anything important! In fact, one of the goals of our redesign was to create room for breaking news on our front page. From now on, you can expect a Dateline article on Monday, but also periodic updates from Dateline and In The Parks throughout the week and at any time of day.

      • Tiny Mermaid

        Great!

  • inferno032

    Since when did DeAndre Brackensick from American Idol season 11 become a Disney channel star as listed in the pictures of “Various Disney Channel stars”???

  • Disneyaholik

    It’s Mini not Minny, Mini like a MiniVan…..

  • scarymouse

    I would like to see the lighting ceremony every night maybe Mickey and friends could take turns turning on the Neon of Cars land and with a shot of fireworks was very impressive and would help draw to DCA.

  • bakhuizen

    Guests have already started lining up for tomorrow’s opening!

  • Timekeeper

    Woah, I predict longs lines and popularity in DCA to sky rocket!

    Timekeeper

  • Timekeeper

    Also, is it just me or are we getting Dateline Disneyland mini-updates more and more? I’m missing and longing the old, long article format already.

    Timekeeper

    • kirbilicious

      I’m with you on that, I sorely miss the long article format. I appreciate that we’re getting breaking news coverage, but those being lumped in under “Dateline Disney” or “In the Parks” in addition to the mini articles is just leaving me confused and overwhlemed. It leaves me with the feeling that I must be missing something.

  • smathur

    Anybody know if we’ll be able to see or attend the Grand Reopening of California Adventure tomorrow morning? We’re planning on camping out tonight but just curious if we’ll be able to actually see anything either inside or outside the park in the morning. Any input helps, thanks!!

  • mratigan

    I was going to camp but not anymore
    Yes nameless Disney channel stars 🙂

  • Explicit

    Looks good, but how does a land have a grand opening and only celebrities can enjoy it? At least they had fun. Great update of the event last night

  • trueBruin86

    getting goosebumps just looking at the pics! So excited to set foot on Cars Land real soon!!

  • KENfromOC

    I’ve come to realize that despite your great coverage, you guys also get it wrong quite often. Case in point were your dire warnings of Luigi’s Flying Tires. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! I been there for all the media events, and yesterday (June14) I was with my family and we all LOVED Luigi’s Flying Tires ! AND I AM HERE TO TELL YOU THE TIRES ARE VERY EASY TO MANEUVER!
    In fact my wife, my 5-year old girl and myself were in one tire while my other daughter and her boyfriend were in another and we all had a blast! Not to mention EVERYONE I talked to who had been on the ride LOVED IT! Yes, it is slow loading and the lines will be long and yes you need to step over the inflatable tire to the seating deck. But they have a cast member who gathers the next group of riders and humorously and in a fun way explains how to operate the tires.
    So don’t believe everything MiceChat writes. (And contrary to another thing they said about the opening, Racal Flats was not there to sing “Life is a Highway”!)
    And PS: This site has gotten more confusing… not better!

  • Tinkbelle

    Aww, Snow White and Prince Charming from Once Upon a Time were there.

    As for the new format, while I enjoy getting news more often, it does seem more complicated, cluttered, and harder to navigate. I do sometimes find that I missed an article from a couple of days ago that I would have been interested in reading. I have to do more hunting now. I’m not adverse to change but this doesn’t feel user friendly yet.

  • Barbossa

    Looks like it was a fun time! Now lets get Phase 2 going!

  • firedude932

    Looks awesome! I can’t wait to see it in person the next time I can make it back home to So-Cal!

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