In 1955 my favorite uncle, Walt Disney, built the first theme park all around the stories he grew up with as a child and focused on the cartoon character he had started drawing years before. When Disneyland (DL) opened it was out in the middle of the suburbs. Within 5 few years it was surrounded by motels and tourist traps and drawing in it's 20 millionth guest. In 2011 the park was smack dab in the middle of the city, and there were 16.11 million guests to see the mouse and his friends.
|I know we went the second day,|
Nine years later, in 2010, it was changed to Disney California Adventure (DCA).
|The closest we could get to the sign with all the people.|
Two years later, in 2012, the largest expansion DCA had ever seen was opened... Cars Land. And I had 1.5 days to explore both parks. How ever would I get this done?
Well, we (that would be Mrs. T and I) headed into DL and spent most of the day and night wandering around streaming video on the Internet (I am a member of EyesOnEars, remember?) for all the other fans to see as well. It was a great time and much fun was had. More on that another time though.
|Soarin' Over California is just around the corner to the right|
After that we wandered around and rode several other favorite rides over the next several hours. To be honest we really wanted to go check out the brand new Cars Land but the crowd was incredible so we were waiting for it to thin out a bit before we headed over there. Finally we decided it was time for a break. We bought a ice cold (no really, it was ICE cold) soft drink and take a seat on a bench not far from the entrance to Cars Land.
As we sat there we relaxed and enjoyed the view. We watched all kinds of people wander by. The Asian family of 6 trying to read a map and figure out where they are going, the Caucasian family of 4 that were arguing about there to go next, the Hispanic family of 3 that are smiling and laughing. So many people so many different attitudes.
|TT and Sam, the best Cast Member ever!|
After talking with her for a while we started to say our goodbyes and head on when she asked where we were headed. When we said we were going into Cars Land we heard the most amazing question: "Would you like a guided tour?" Hmmm, let me think about that for a minute.
Of course we took her up on that offer. I did ask if she minded if I streamed the tour. She had no problem with that and actually Sam did a great job not only talking with the Mrs and I but also talking with the viewers on EyesOnEars as well.
|Wonder if there is room in the inn?|
I don't know how they do it, and I didn't ask, but there were no handlers carrying controllers, and Lightning was actually talking to people as he drove out and back.
The other purpose for the Cozy Cone was the Meet and Greet location for the Cars characters and as you can see there were more than just Lightning McQueen showing up for pictures. Tow Mater also made an appearance at the Cozy Cone.
Sam mentioned that the vehicles moving to and from the Cozy Cone was something new to her as well and she had never seen this before. How fun!
All the stores and locations you see in the movie including Luigi's Casa Della Tires. Luigi's has an attraction called Luigi's Flying Tires. The legend is that in Luigi's homeland they have a holiday every year that celebrates a day that tires actually will fly. On this ride you will get onto tractor tire size ride cars and play bumper cars with others who are also on the ride.
If you look closely you can also see that there are beach balls in there as well. the story behind this is that the Imagineers (the geniuses that design and build everything Disney) had originally had installed joysticks on the tires to control the direction of the tires movement, but there were issues with this approach so they removed them and made it so that the riders leaned the car to make it go in any direction.
|What beautiful flowers!|
Once again, attention to detail.
And now for the best moment of all. As we are talking with Sam and learning a great deal about this amazing area she looks at me and calmly asks, "Have you seen the Hidden Mickey yet?"
|Yep, a perfect Mickey.|
Sam smiles and calmly says, "Look above you."
And there it was. A Hidden Mickey. Those Imagineers are some sneaky people. Will I tell you where? No. But I will give you a picture and you can see it for yourself.
As it turns out the video is still available and you can view all what I have told you about and a lot that I didn't.
Click here for the video.
Sam, if you ever read this...
Thank you very much for one of the greatest moments in all my Disney visits. You are awesome. I hope you have a long a prosperous career with Disney and all your dreams come true.