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Disney's Cars Land Debut Draws Big Turnout

Thousands line up overnight to see the 12-acre expansion of California Adventure.

About 4,000 Disney fans lined up overnight for Friday's official debut of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure.

By 9 a.m., an estimated 7,000 people were waiting at the gates to explore the results of a five-year expansion of the Disneyland Resort, according to park spokeswoman Suzi Brown.

"We allowed people to begin lining up the evening before, and then we let about 2,400 of those folks into the park and held them on Buena Vista Street" for the official opening ceremony led by Disney chief executive Bob Iger, Brown said.

The ceremony included a band playing California, Here I Come, fireworks, and, of course, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

"Today, as we celebrate the reopening of Disney California Adventure, we mark a defining moment in the history of the Disneyland Resort," Iger said. "Cars Land and Buena Vista Street are the spectacular finale to our five-year transformation of this park, which now stands proudly on its own as a worthy neighbor to Disneyland."

Cars Land re-creates Radiator Springs, the setting of the 2006 animated film Cars. It features all the familiar landmarks of the fictional town, including its restaurants, shops and neon signs.

Cars Land includes three rides -- Radiator Springs Racers, billed as one of the largest and most elaborate attractions ever created for a Disney park, Luigi's Flying Tires, which sends riders gliding on air aboard special tires, and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, which whips riders around behind a baby tractor while music plays from a giant jukebox.

Cars Land expands Disney California Adventure by 12 acres.

Buena Vista Street is reminiscent of Los Angeles in the 1920s, when Walt Disney arrived in the city. The Carthay Circle Theatre will anchor the newly designed plaza. The home of the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge recalls in name and architectural style the site of the 1937 world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The actual Carthay Circle Theatre was at 6316 San Vicente Blvd., two blocks west of Fairfax Avenue, and demolished in 1969.

Buena Vista Street features Red Car Trolleys, inspired by the Pacific Electric Red Car Line that once served Southern California. Guests can take the Red Car Trolley from Buena Vista Street along Hollywood Boulevard to the Hollywood Tower Hotel, which will have the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror as its neighbor.

"From the thrills of Cars Land to the romance of Buena Vista Street, the work that's been done throughout this entire expansion is extraordinary," said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "Disney California Adventure is a testament to what we at Disney Parks do best -- connecting our guests to the iconic stories, characters and music they love, helping them make shared memories to last a lifetime."

To see Patch's sneak preview of Cars Land, .

-- City News Service

KC June 16, 2012 at 04:44 AM
According to the online wait times, Radiators Springs Racers had a 6 1/2 hour wait today.

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