The Disney Parks Blog Cars Land Meet Up was one surprise after another, though none of them matched the jaw-dropping "holy crap!" breath-taking view of Radiator Springs Racers/Cadillac Range through the Ornament Valley archway. Our evening began at the Blue Sky Cellar, where 66 lucky guests turned in their electronic devices (so no photos from within Cars Land here) in exchange for a headset. Upon entering Cars Land, we were greeted by Imagineers Kevin Rafferty, Sr. and Kathy Mangum. Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer took a group photo of us, and then Kevin took half of the group, and Kathy the other, for our exclusive peek at Cars Land.
Most of the information shared by Kevin and Kathy is similar to what has been reported on the Disney Parks Blog and in the Cars Land press release, so I'll only mention the things that amused me:
Of the walk-throughs we did (Luigi's Flying Tires, the Cozy Cone area), my favorite was Flo's V8 Cafe.
The chandelier-type lighting fixtures change color in time to the music, and Flo's Motorama Girls gold records (you'll have to check out each one to see the clever album and song titles) line the walls of the showroom section of the restaurant; this indoor and outdoor seating area provide great views of Radiator Springs Racers. On the opposite side of the restaurant, the dining area is themed to Doc Hudson's former work space.
When you're in the inside queue for Luigi's Flying Tires, see if you can find a tire that still reads "Alfreado" instead of "Alfredo" on its wall. That was what some Imagineers spent their day doing: fixing the misspellings.
In the heart of Cars Land hangs a blinking yellow traffic light. As per Fillmore's belief that every third blink is slower, you can see for yourself if he is correct.
Route 66 is paved, to show that Radiator Springs is a town back on the map, but at Cross St., the old, cracked concrete streets remain, as a reminder of what Radiator Springs once was.
When we returned our headset, we got to ride Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.
The tractors are small, but they sure do whip you around good. If you don't like being slammed into the side of the vehicle by the person you're riding with, you'll want to hold onto the bar in front of you! Mater's square dance songs are cute, and listening to him do the safety spiel in "Spanish" is hilarious. I'm glad we got to walk right onto Mater's, because it's not an attraction worth waiting in a long line to experience (though the queue has terrific signs and memorabilia from "Mater's Tall Tales").
We didn't get to visit Radiator Spring Racers, so that will have to wait for a future update.
Upon returning to the Blue Sky Cellar, we were each handed a Disney Parks Blog pin, and a Cars Land drawstring backpack. For the final surprise of the night, each person was given a dated, commemorative framed tin poster of Mater's Junkyard Jamboree!
For those who wanted to stay, an admission ticket was given, and your event wristband got you into a reserved viewing area for World of Color. Erin and the Disney Parks Blog team did an amazing job treating us to this special sneak peek of Cars Land.