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  1. #1

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    In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    OK, I didn't DISLIKE Cars Land. I thought it was cute and charming. I didn't think it was worth $600 million. Combined with the shops along Buena Vista Street, I certainly didn't think the whole thing was worth $1 billion or all the fuss. Why?

    Because I've been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

    That ruined it for me. The Wizarding World is so ridiculously well-done, so intricately themed, so beautifully realized from top to bottom and side to side, so true to the spirit of the films AND the books, so remarkably created, that Cars Land was just ... lackluster by comparison.

    Taken on its own, my big problem is, I saw "Cars" once and "Cars 2" not at all. The movies don't resonate with me in the slightest. Visually, I found the mountain range to be absolutely, jaw-droppingly gorgeous. The way they use light and color, the way the tallest mountains look farthest away, the way the area looks coming around the corner from the Monterey Bay area (particularly), this part of it was stunning. The reality is, it's out of place to a large degree, it is so massively large that, looking out from the top of the Paradise Pier hotel, where we stayed, it looks completely wrong within the entire resort, this giant wall of rockwork ... but that said, it certainly is stunning and incredibly well created, there is no doubt about that. It does make me feel like I'm in another place completely, and to that end, it has met its goal and far surprassed it. It's SO beautiful and stunning, that seeing the cars with eyes and smiles come along the road looks ... odd. No, I know -- for people who know the movies well, it is just terrific and no doubt gives you a little thrill. It's just ... I DON'T know the moves well, and neither did anyone I was with, so it looked kind of cartoony in the midst of the beauty of the area.

    The ride itself is grand and elaborate, it's a beauty, for sure. Again, as someone who doesn't know Cars other than seeing the first film once, the story meant very little to me, but I didn't really need to know the characters. It was cute, mostly incoherent, and colorful, and the outside sections were terrific. From a ride system standpoint, it is better than Test Track, but not nearly as good from a story or experience standpoint as "Journey to the Center of the Earth" at Tokyo DisneySea.

    The rest of Cars Land has two other very, VERY minor rides that, in the old Disneyland parlance, would charitably be a C-ticket, maybe a B-ticket. (It seems pretty accurate to lump them in with Alice in Wonderland or the Motor Boat Cruise, both B-tickets.)

    Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is sweet and a cute ride that makes you go "wheee." It was not worth the 35-minute wait we had. But we certainly had a good time.

    Luigi's Flying Tires was a big bust for us, a carnival ride (KCC Entertainment Design: World Class Indoor Family Entertainment Center, FUNTURA, opens its doors in Donetsk, Ukraine) that felt half-thought-out. The beach balls were an irritating distraction, all I kept thinking was, "How many kids have punched these with slobbery, germ-filled hands?" Without the beach balls, would the ride have been cute? I kind of doubt it ... it would have seemed like not much at all.

    So, there are three rides, one terrific, two minor at best. All of them are outside, which makes me wonder what guests are going to think of this area the five or six months out of the year when it's cool (sometimes downright COLD) and even raining in Southern California. I kept imagining myself wearing a poncho over three layers of clothing and thinking that none of this would be fun at all -- it would be more or less torture to do this in nasty winter weather!

    The rest of the Cars Land area is shops and restaurants, and to be fair, after its one WHOPPER of a ride, so is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The restaurants in Cars Land feel like kitschy attractions unto themselves, and the food was pretty so-so. (We had breakfast at Flos, which would have been a 99-cent breakfast anywhere else but was $8 at DCA.) If you're not in the mood to eat, they are fun to look at for a few minutes.

    The shops follow the same model of shops all around the Disneyland Resort -- the SAME merchandise, the same stuff you can buy everywhere, though with an emphasis on Cars, of course. If you're not a 7-year-old boy, there's not a lot here, and that may be why even when Radiator Springs Racers had a 2-hour wait the shops were mostly empty.

    The look and feel of Cars Land is great ... if you know the movies. Otherwise, it's cute to see but mostly meaningless, and it left me pretty disappointed overall. Nice, but SO specific to ONE movie that it shuts out anyone who doesn't know or doesn't like it.

  2. #2

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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    well harry is a real movie and cars is a cartoon so they are going to be different. I think cars could of been a little bigger but the details are awesome IMO
    Im here for fun and info not be a bully! Carsland here I come

  3. #3

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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    Well, first and foremost: I'm sorry you were disappointed.

    But, I think the big problem that you had is you were too busy comparing Cars Land to this and that and worrying about "slobbery" beach balls, that you weren't able to enjoy the true marvel that comes with Cars Land and Buena Vista Street. Take CL and BVS as it is or leave it, but please don't compare it to WWOHP. They're on two different scales. I'd also like to disagree with you and say that Cars Land is definitely for everybody, regardless of age or sex, and regardless of whether or not you've seen any of the films. It's an experience for one and all, and it's not just targeting to a specific group and CERTAINLY not for people who have seen the movie.

    So I highly suggest going back if possible with a fresh mind. I guarantee you'll be astounded.


  4. #4

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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by EC82 View Post
    Because I've been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
    I was agreeing with everything you said, up until this point. For me the Wizarding World is the most over hyped theme expansion since DCA.1, but thats another discussion entirely. But I do think Cars Land is good, just not that good. To me, Luigis Flying Tires and Maters Junkyard come across as cheaply done, especially compared with the rest of Cars Land. Not saying I hate it, just that it could have been done better.
    Last edited by ssaamm; 07-08-2012 at 10:37 AM.

  5. #5

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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    Haven't been yet (going in September) so I'll with hold judgement on the place till then but I wanted to comment on the cost aspect of the place.

    Dreaming and designing is only a small cost of a structure. When you consider the costs of all the hidden things that go into building a structure the sheer size of radiator springs racers, the individual structures in the rest of cars land and the rebuild (which required a lot of tearing out and down) of the main entrance area of DCA it quickly adds up and accounts for the price tag.

    All the steel involved for example. You don't see most of it but without it none of the DCA expansion would have even been possible. Steel can be very expensive. Then there is the cost of labor.

    It is hard to judge if the area is worth the price tag when you consider that it's not just what you can see that determines the cost it's everything from conceptualizing it to the end result and everything in between.

    I'm not an expert on these things by any means but I've spent hundreds of hours on construction sites of all shapes and sizes so I have some idea of what goes into it that many people don't stop to consider in their day to day dealings with the buildings we use.

    Based on what I've seen on-line so far I'm actually surprised it didn't cost Disney more than what they've publicly stated they have spent.

    That said, I'm looking forward to seeing for myself. I'll let you know in my trip report in late September what I think.
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  6. #6

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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    I went to visit the Wizarding World last year. It was amazing. Just visited Carsland last weekend. Just as amazing. I'm not seeing your point in comparing the two.
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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    I haven't been to either but judging by videos and pictures they're about equal.
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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    I think it is OK to offer a differing opinion on the new land. After all, everyone is entitled to their opinion and not everything is to everyone's taste. I have not see the WWOHP. But I found that the new Carsland had some parts that were detailed and interesting, others I could do without. Same with the new BVS. It seems to be increasingly harder to express a less than popular opinion on these boards as the OP did. I think suggesting that someone rethink their opinion because you do not like why they formed it shows intolerance. Simply put, you do not have to like their opinion or agree with it, but do not make it seem like theirs is any less valid then your own. Even if they may be in a minority with their thinking.
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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    The thing about Carsland to me is that the street is really just boring. It's way to long, and nothing catches my interest. Hogsmead at WWOHP is curvy and dynamic, and really immerses you. I'm just not a fan of the design of Carsland, it's not as inspired.

    I had fun in Cars Land. I wouldn't call anything "cheap." It's just that the overall design has alot to be desired.

    It comes down to a whimsical magical village with lots of eye candy \/



    vs a dull street populated with cartoon versions of gas stations and motels. \/

    Last edited by MactheMan; 07-08-2012 at 10:55 AM.

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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    I went into Carsland with a positive attitude.
    I think the two smaller rides are cheaply made and not as impressive, but I don't let them at all ruin the experience of Cars Land for me.

    To me, what's done is done, as far as major attractions go, and after spending all that money I'd feel bad complaining about them, and would rather try and enjoy what they made.

    RSR makes up for the other two rides, in my opinion.

    Maybe someday they'll come up with something better for the other two ride spots.

    And IMO Harry Potter is incomparable to Disneyland. No matter what they did there, Disneyland would always be a hundred times better. This is personal bias, but that's the way it is for me.

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  11. #11

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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by MactheMan View Post
    The thing about Carsland to me is that the street is really just boring. It's way to long, and nothing catches my interest. Hogsmead at WWOHP is curvy and dynamic, and really immerses you. I'm just not a fan of the design of Carsland, it's not as inspired.
    The thing is though, they didn't have a say in that - it's based on the movie, and in the movie it's one long street. I promise you if they deviated from that you would be hearing all about it from fans of the movie who were upset that they changed such an important aspect of the design of the strip.
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  12. #12

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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    All takes on the parks are welcome here, and not everyone likes the same things. I appreciate your review, EC, so thank you for sharing. My opinion is similar. The scale of the area is beautiful and some fantastic detailing work, but I don't find it 'captivating' and don't care much about the Cars characters. I can see the effort and quality of work put into things like the rockwork and small detailing, but I'm not charmed or engrossed.

    If other folks are charmed where I am not or you may not have been, more power to them, of course. Glad it seems to be a very well-loved and successful addition for the majority of guests (and members of this forum as well, to judge by reviews). Merely the habit of saying "you don't understand it" in response to any critical review or downplaying how a person feels about something personally when you love it isn't quite fair or conducive to friendly discourse, or stating how someone chooses to view something is 'incorrect' or they should think about it differently. Different tastes and all that
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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by greeeneyes17 View Post
    And IMO Harry Potter is incomparable to Disneyland. No matter what they did there, Disneyland would always be a hundred times better. This is personal bias, but that's the way it is for me.

    Nobody can create Disney magic except Disney.
    Although I have not been to WWOHP, I have to agree. And I am a big Harry Potter fan! I watched a walkthrough video on YouTube (again, I know not the same as being there but take it with a grain of salt!) and although I definitely was very impressed by the theming of the village, it was like a slap in the face when camera turns and behind what you now realize is unmistakeably the facade of a building, is an open steel-frame rollercoaster. Sure, DCA has an open rollercoaster too, but it's themed purposefully in the area it's a part of.

    You would never dream of walking around the jungled canopies and carefully themed walkways of Adventureland, seeing the front of a very authentic looking tiki-style hut, and then looking up above its roofline and seeing.... a steel-frame rollercoaster. Whomp whomp! It just seems such a shame that after all the incredibly gorgeous theming detail that they put into WWOHP, they would put something like that right in the middle of it and ruin a lot of the illusion. The great thing is, Disney doesn't do that. And for me, that theming and attention to detail and immersiveness is just as important as how thrilling the rides are.

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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    I think a lot of people here feel they have to grade CL and/or any its rides A's or F's. There is nothing wrong with just giving CL a "C."

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    Re: In the minority on Cars Land: Disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by kayleigh83 View Post
    The thing is though, they didn't have a say in that - it's based on the movie, and in the movie it's one long street. I promise you if they deviated from that you would be hearing all about it from fans of the movie who were upset that they changed such an important aspect of the design of the strip.
    The thing is though, Hogsmeade in the movies is just a straight line too.



    However, design limitations forced Universal Creative to BE creative. They had to work with a narrow space, so ended up building something innovative and unique. Also, in the Harry Potter books, JK describes certain shops as being next to each other, when they are not in the land. This is fine, it's an interpretation.

    While for Carsland, Imagineers had too much space, so they could recreate the street (which was a poor design decision IMO). If Carsland had more limited space, Imagineers would have to come up with a better design that works in a theme park setting, not as a movie setting.

    If it were up to me, I would have had the follow the curving path that has gathered lots of praise. The reason people praise the path is simply because its interesting. It doesn't just dead end into a brick building. The path is kinetic, with Cars racing by, a waterfall in the distance, and guests eating at the restaurants.

    And I don't think the Cars movies have the fanbase that would be angry over the town not being identical. You don't just copy and paste movie settings into a theme park, you interpret them to keep them interesting.

    ---------- Post added 07-08-2012 at 12:25 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by kayleigh83 View Post

    You would never dream of walking around the jungled canopies and carefully themed walkways of Adventureland, seeing the front of a very authentic looking tiki-style hut, and then looking up above its roofline and seeing.... a steel-frame rollercoaster. Whomp whomp! It just seems such a shame that after all the incredibly gorgeous theming detail that they put into WWOHP, they would put something like that right in the middle of it and ruin a lot of the illusion. The great thing is, Disney doesn't do that. And for me, that theming and attention to detail and immersiveness is just as important as how thrilling the rides are.
    And to adress this criticism, let me just say that I'd prefer something that really makes an attempt to be amazing, than play it safe. Carsland plays it safe. It may not have an execution flaws, but the design wasn't well done. The WWOHP was designed very well, the steel roller coaster is a mere design quirk if anything.

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