On Saturday night they offered CM test rides on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, and thanks to a heads up from management a bunch of us knew to stick around after work (or come in on a day off) and head over to DCA to try this little ride out.
WARNING: CARS LAND SPOILERS AHEAD!
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is, of course, the other small attraction in Cars Land besides Luigi's Flyin' Tires. Mater's is the whip ride up at the front of the land, and I rode it twice on Saturday while the CM's were signed off to complete their training. Here's my thoughts on the thing;
The Queue - Hey, they spent some money here! There's a TON of junk in the queue, which makes sense since it's a junkyard. The back wall of the shaded queue area is filled with props and signs from Mater's adventures in his Tall Tales cartoons. The queue buildings are the old shade structures from when this area was Bountiful Valley Farm, but they have been thoroughly reworked into this new theme. The overall facility is nicely landscaped and heavily propped out. This sure as heck isn't DCA 1.0 any more, it's like a real Disney theme park that got a big fat budget even for little spinner rides.
The Show - There are a bunch of songs written just for this ride, and they were all really clever. If you are a country-western fan, you'll love this ride. If your musical tastes run more urban or classical, the music may drive you insane while you wait in the long switchback queue. You need to be really comfortable with the Mater character to enjoy this. The pre-show and unload spiels are also done by Larry The Cable Guy and are pretty funny. Someone put a lot of thought into this, and it shows. But if you can't stand watching old reruns of Hee-Haw, this isn't the ride for you.
The Ride - Oh, man, this little thing has a kick to it! It really whips you around once you get going, and it seems a bit wilder than the Teacups or Roger Rabbit. It doesn't look like much when you see it running from the queue, but when you are in those little trailers being whipped around you get a wild ride. I think little kids especially will love it, as it's kind of a big kid thrill but with a low 32 inch height requirement.
The Setting - Dude, does Cars Land look cool! We got to walk up part of Route 66 to get to the ride, and the land looks really good as the final details and props get put in place. It's really hard to believe this is actually DCA. There are lots of places around Disneyland that don't look half as good as Cars Land looks. Even if there weren't any rides, this would be a fun place to hang out in for an hour or two.
Overall - I think Mater's is a nice little addition to DCA's ride roster. This is nothing like Francis' Lady Bug Boogie, any more than Pirates is like Small World because they both use boats in a flume. Mater's is a whipping, whirling dervish that should satisfy anyone who doesn't mind country music and country humor. Nice job WDI!