Radiator Springs Racers is the newest attraction to be opened in Disney’s California Adventure. It is an amazing thrilling but not scary ride throughout the world of Disney Cars. Something for everyone Radiator Springs Racers is one of the best new Disney parks attractions in years.
It is thought that it cost around $200 million to create the Radiator Springs Racers ride. That was a huge chunk of change out of the $1.1 billion budget Disney allocated to revitalize California Adventure. But it certainly seems to be money very well spent as Radiator Springs Racers is one of the best Disney theme park attractions in the world. It really takes you into the world of Disney Cars with Lightning McQueen and friends.
The theming is breathtaking. We had watched the attraction being built since 2009 but nothing had quite prepared us for our first sight of the completed Ornament Valley. It is huge. And spectacular. It really does feel as though you have stepped right into Radiator Springs.
There may be some disappointed younger guests as the height requirement is 40″.
With a popular attraction comes the inevitable line. Thankfully Disney have immediately put in the Fast Pass System. The Fast Pass kiosk is located close to the entrance to Bugs Land. Ride either first thing in the morning (get to the park very early and walk very very quickly to the line) or go straight to the Fast Pass Kiosk.
The Radiator Springs line design certainly got something right. A lot of it is shaded. Very important however long you are going to be standing in line but absolutely crucial for an attraction where lines of 2 hours are the norm in the baking hot California sun. The line design was meant to evoke feelings of the old Route 66. Whilst we can see that this obviously fits in perfectly with the theme, we did want just a little bit more Disney Cars theming in the line. Maybe even just the music would have helped instead of the rather dull soundtrack which plays.
Once you make your way to the front of the line you will be directed to your 6 passenger vehicle. They design is exactly the same as those for Test Track but of course with the Disney Cars theming. We have been on the ride many times and our preference is for the front row, but every seat is good. Our of the 2 tracks we really can’t decide as they do give a different experience – we probably would choose the outside lane if we could pick!
Your journey starts at a slow pace with a scenic drive through Ornament Valley. You will drive past the spectacular bridge and water fall just like on the Disney Cars movie. Then you head inside and meet a variety of characters from the movie. Once again the attention to detail is amazing.
Depending upon which side of the track you are on you will then go Ramone’s House of Body Art or Luigi’s Casa della Tires. Both are fun but we think we prefer Ramones.
You then pause for a moment and realize that this must be the part where you are about to start to race! Another car lines up along side you and then before you know it you are racing around the track!
One tip for those of you with long hair. Tie it back! It gets windy out there and the first time I rode Radiator Springs Racers I spend most of it with my hair all over my face blocking my view. The ride gets to speeds of up to 40 mph (so no where near the speed of Test Track). It is thrilling, not scary, so most people really should enjoy it. The element of a race is a lot of fun too. We think that one side wins more often than the other – but we guess it is meant to be random.
The Radiator Springs Racers rides is one of the very best attractions in any of the Disney parks. Truly Disney at it’s very best.
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Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.