So, I finally got to experience Cars Land. That major expansion that was primarily responsible for the massive increases in AP cost. And I must say, I was quite disappointed with it.
First, the massive E-Ticket attraction, Radiator Springs Racers. I have to give them credit for how well they handled single rider on that ride, having actually put a designated queue for it is a drastic improvement over single rider on other rides. The queue overall was nothing so impressive as Indiana Jones, but was certainly not a boring and detail-less queue like Nemo. No problems there.
Boarding the ride, I was struck by how high quality the seats were. Very soft. Not sure the seat belt across the chest was necessary, it feels as if just across the waist would do, but safety takes priority. I am not sure about the design for 3 people across, with an average (in my experience) group size of four. The inclusion of brake lights on the vehicles was a nice added detail. The cars were quite good overall.
For the first section, the ride seems quite nice. Then we reach the waterfall. A grand musical build up leas to a failure of forced perspective. They attempted to make a bridge a short distance away seem to be a massive bridge, and it just flopped. And, rather than try to hide it, they make it seem like some grand imposing structure. From a distance the effect is almost passable, but up close it doesn't work in the slightest.
Onward into the show building. I feel like the shock of the truck could have been timed later to make it more of a surprise and up close. The two cars "swerving" around you just sort of sit there, and the effect really doesn't work at all. Car animtronics for the sheriff and Mater were smoothly done, no complaints there.
As we move into town, it's obvious that the far end of the town is just a painting. EFFECTS LIKE THAT DO NOT WORK CLOSE UP. Overall the town was a nice simple enough little show scene, nothing exciting but not horrendous.
Both the paint scene and the tire scene were quite cool little effects, but I felt like they were added just as "oh look at this cool effect we can do" more so than because it added to the story as a whole. The paitnt scene would have been better with actual animatronics and not just CG models of them.
On to the scene with Doc Hudson, it felt kind of weird. "It takes more than new tires to win a race. I'm your new crew chief." The wording felt awkward to me, not the way a person would normally talk.
Starting countdown, how exactly did Guido and Luigi get into position? Weren't they just giving me tires like two seconds ago? Slight nitpick there (as is the rest of this thread mostly).
On to the race. I could get a similar, perhaps even better, experience driving in a convertible on the highway. The ride felt as if it was being held back, and needed to be toned down for the younger target audience. Frankly, the race portion of the ride bored me. Having never been to any kind of race I'm not sure how realistic the sounds were, but they didn't sound, or to be more precise feel correct to me. Something just felt wrong about the sounds.
So, yeah, general nitpicks. Gonna post my thoughts about the rest of the area later.