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Category Archives: Cars Land

The Disney Parks Experience is Always Evolving Just Like Walt Disney Wanted

Magic Bands at Walt Disney Parks

(Kent Phillips, photographer)

If you have visited any of the amazing Disney Theme Parks over the last few years, you would have noticed that they always seem to be in a state of change.  Here is just a partial list of recent changes to the Disney Parks:

And the list could easily go on.

For some, all this change brings anxiety and to others it brings excitement.  Many people don’t ever want the parks to change while at the same time, many want the parks to always be bringing new experiences to Disney Guests.

But if we go back to the beginning with Walt and Disneyland, he always wanted the parks to be adding new experiences.  He felt that the parks HAD to use new technologies to create even more magic.

Walt Disney said Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.

Disney Fans can always debate the pros and cons of the loss of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Walt Disney World (a loss that I still feel to this day) but in light of Walt’s desire for the parks to always change, fans have to understand the need to keep moving forward.

That change has brought us amazing experiences like Space Mountain, The Tower of Terror, and Disney’s California Adventure Park.  The theme park experience is constantly evolving.  Disney is always looking to make the Park Guest experience even better by adding Magic Bands at Walt Disney World or the My Disney Mobile App at Disneyland, Imagineers are always looking to leverage technology to help create even more magic for all of us!

And that’s what makes the Disney Park Experience so special; it’s never the same way twice!   DisneyMagic must change and can never be the same way twice.  As much as we all love the attractions and experiences from the past, we must continue to follow Uncle Walt and keep moving to that “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!”

The My Disney Experience mobile app delivers pertinent parks information, maps and simple navigation to guests on the fly - via their smart phone or other portable device.

(Kent Phillips, photographer)

I would love to know what you think.  Leave me a comment and let us know how you feel about all the changes happening at the Disney Parks.

‘Destination: Cars Land’ Makes its Rose Parade Debut

Did you see our float, “Destination: Cars Land” in the 124th Rose Parade from Pasadena, Calif., on New Years Day? If not, you’re in luck because we have a video recap for you! The 125-foot-long float was a floral replica of Cars Land, the new land at Disney California Adventure park here at the Disneyland Resort, and it floated down Colorado Boulevard to the classic tune, “Get Your Kicks On Route 66.” From the thousands of volunteers to the thousands of flowers, seeds and foliage, everything seemed to go off without a hitch — until it broke down! Check it out.


Rose Parade Fans Floored by ‘Destination: Cars Land’ Float

Happy New Year! If you, like many across the country, like to start your new year watching the annual Rose Parade from Pasadena, Calif., you probably saw the Disneyland Resort “Destination: Cars Land” float New Years Day. I had the privilege to watch the parade myself from the stands along the parade route, and seeing our float in person was incredible. If you missed it, or if you just want a closer look, I’ve got photos to share with you from chief photographer, Paul Hiffmeyer.

 Disneyland Resort “Destination: Cars Land” float

The float got off to a good start as it stepped off onto Orange Grove Blvd., but then …

Cars Land Float Breaks Down

… it broke down! In a flash of sparks and smoke, it looked like the fun would be over. But Mater, who you can see following close behind in the photo above, was there to save the day! With a quick jump-start, Radiator Springs’ favorite tow truck had the float running good as new and on its way down the parade route!

On board the float was Disney Channel “Shake It Up” star, Zendaya and DJ Ernie D from Radio Disney

On board the float was Disney Channel “Shake It Up” star, Zendaya and DJ Ernie D from Radio Disney, who broadcast live from the float during the parade.

Shot of the entire Cars Land float

Finally, I’ll leave you with a shot of the entire float. You can see Lightning McQueen and Sally racing in the front, on top of a floral “Welcome to Cars Land” sign; Flo’s V8 Cafe and Cozy Cone Motel signs (along with a mini Cozy Cone Motel underneath); floral representations of ride vehicles from Luigi’s Flying Tires and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree; Luigi and Guido cheering on miniature Radiator Springs Racers vehicles racing through a floral replica of Ornament Valley – with a real waterfall!

Check back tomorrow for one more behind-the-scenes video from the float construction!



Disneyland Resort to Feature Cars Land-Inspired Float in the 124th Rose Parade

We’re bringing the excitement of the newly expanded Disney California Adventure park to Pasadena, Calif., with a Cars Land-inspired float in the 124th Rose Parade on January 1, 2013! This year’s parade theme is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” – which is perfect for a story like “Cars,” in which the journey is as much a part of the experience as the destination.

Disneyland Resort to Feature Cars Land-Inspired Float in the 124th Rose Parade

The float will feature floral representations of the stars of “Cars” – like Lightning McQueen, Sally, Luigi and Guido – along with familiar sights from the new Cars Land, including Ornament Valley, Radiator Springs Racers, the Cozy Cone Motel and more.

My favorite thing about Tournament of Roses Parade floats are all the moving pieces, and this float will have plenty! Our Cars Land float will come to life with a bouncing tire from Luigi’s Flying Tires, a bubbling “Original Radiator Spring,” real waterfalls and smoke-puffing baby tractors – you have to tune in to the parade to see all the amazing features for yourself!

The first Rose Parade was held on January 1, 1890, as a way for the city of Pasadena to show off its abundance of fresh flowers; parade entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of blooms. Today, the Rose Parade floats feature high-tech animation and natural materials from around the world.

Be sure to watch the 124th Rose Parade – either in person on January 1, 2013, in Pasadena or live on ABC-TV.

Dylan McDermott Visits Disney California Adventure Park

Dylan McDermott Visits Disney California Adventure Park

Last Friday, Dylan McDermott visited Disney California Adventure park with his daughters Charlotte and Collette, to celebrate Charlotte’s seventh birthday. He made a quick stop on Buena Vista Street to check out the new Red Car Trolley, and made quite a fashion statement in his Conductor Mickey hat.

“We’ve been coming [to Disneyland Resort] for years – the girls get so excited,” he told me. “They know it’s the happiest place on Earth.”


Finding the Perfect Prop for Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure Park: Part Two

Recently I posted part one of this video series with Brandon Kleyla, set decorator for Walt Disney Imagineering, revealing some of the ways he created the window displays on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure park. In part two we go inside the shops to learn more about the backstories of the shop owners. Brandon told me he and his team spent a year shopping, wheeling and dealing to find just the right items to bring these stories to life. He also told me to keep coming back because guests often discover new treasures with each visit to Buena Vista Street.


Celebrity Sighting! Emily Blunt and John Krasinski Visit Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

John Krasinski and Emily Blunt went for a race on Radiator Springs Racers at Cars Land recently. Looking closely at this photo, can you guess what other Disney California Adventure park attraction they “dropped in” on?

John Krasinski and Emily Blunt

Meet Disneyland Resort ‘Pie Man,’ Chef Jean-Marc Viallet

“Eat dessert first” is our mantra, especially when we’re at the Disneyland Resort and we have the opportunity to dig into any sweet created by Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Marc Viallet.

mini-pies served at Flo’s V-8 Café

His latest creations are the fabulous mini-pies served at Flo’s V-8 Café in Cars Land – we love the strawberry-rhubarb, but won’t pass up the apple-cheddar or chocolate mud pies. Chef Jean-Marc confesses that creamy chocolate desserts are his favorite to prepare, and that his mom’s gooey chocolate cake is one of his favorite childhood memories. He says he remembers helping her in the kitchen in Paris, France, when he was just eight years old, and he started culinary school and working in a pastry shop by age 16.

His sweet career has taken him around the globe and he landed at Disneyland Resort in 1999 as executive pastry chef. His very first sweet for the parks was a Mickey cookie – and the rest is history, as that cookie was the springboard to a job that includes design, development and production of 90 percent of the desserts and baked goods at the Disneyland Resort (except for Napa Rose Restaurant and some catered events).

‘Pie Man,’ Chef Jean-Marc Viallet

Now he and his team (of 100!) at the Disneyland Resort Central Bakery use more than 90,000 pounds of flour, 80,000 pounds of sugar, 80,000 pounds of chocolate, 165,000 fresh eggs and 66,000 pounds of fresh butter each year to create everything from those bite-size pies at Flo’s V-8 Cafe to elaborate wedding cakes.

By the way, Chef Jean-Marc tells us if he wasn’t a chef he’d be an actor or singer – but for now he lets his delicious sweets play the starring role.

What’s your favorite sweet at Disneyland Resort?

Designing a Desert Landscape in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

Cars Land at Disney California Adventure in the Disneyland Resort in California has been open for just over a month now and many of our you have commented on our beautiful landscaping. It’s almost its own attraction! Our landscape architects really outdid themselves as they researched and designed just the right planting palette to add beauty and detail to Radiator Springs. And of course they also were concerned with providing appropriate trees to provide shade and comfort for our guests.

What you probably aren’t aware of is the amount of research that went into designing a desert-looking landscape for the middle of Anaheim and the numbers of trees, shrubs, plants and cactus that were used in the making of Cars Land.

Check out the video below, where two of our talented landscape architects, Russell Larsen and Jennifer Mok, talk about the beautiful plants in Cars Land!


Disney 365 Reports from Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

Cars Land is now open at Disney California Adventure park, and Disney 365 is bringing you an inside look at all the new attractions and experiences – with the help of Disney Channel star Jake Short from “A.N.T. Farm” and Disney XD star Alex Christian Jones from “Kickin’ It.” What did they like best about Cars Land? Find out in the video below!

And keep an eye on Disney 365 on Disney Channel for more news on all things Disney!

Mickey Mouse, the Red Car News Boys and ‘A Suitcase and a Dream’ at Disney California Adventure Park

Buena Vista Street is now open at Disney California Adventure park, and one of my favorite things about this brand-new area is the Red Car Trolley. Not only is it a stylish way to get around town, it’s also the stage for theRed Car News Boys, who are joined in Carthay Circle by the original dreamer himself, Mickey Mouse. Watch below to see them perform “A Suitcase and a Dream” and catch them yourself on Buena Vista Street.

And “Newsies” fans – be sure to stop by and “Seize the Day” with them, too.

Blue Sky Cellar: Imagineering Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure Park

We’ve previously featured short clips of the films that have been shown in Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar at Disney California Adventure park, and each time you asked for more. Last week, we showed you a complete video from Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar that showed Imagineers sharing their experiences while creating Cars Land. Now we’re bringing you the complete video that showed while Buena Vista Street was featured at Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar. Hear from the Imagineers themselves about the inspiration and history behind this immersive, new main entrance at Disney California Adventure park.

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