Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California celebrates its one year anniversary this month. The new section of the park has a lot to offer kids of all ages and adults. That means lines as everyone fills up this section of the park (of course, that means less lines in other parts of the park too!) But you can beat the long lines if you strategically approach visiting Cars Land. Here are some tips that my family and I discovered when we visited two weeks ago…
Get up early and go to Magic Morning (aka the extra magic hour) – which is Monday, Wednesday and Friday at California Adventure. If you’re staying at any of the Disneyland Resort hotels, use the “secret” entrance in the Grand Californian hotel. It’s next to White Water snacks (which is the perfect place to grab a good breakfast – much cheaper than character meals). The line generally starts 45 minutes before the early entrance time. It’s pretty short and moves pretty fast. They start letting people into the park from that entrance about 15-20 minutes before Magic Morning officially starts. Head left to get to the waiting area for Cars Land. This lets you be at the front of the ropes to wait for Magic Morning to start. Be at the right side of the ropes for quickest route. Plus being up front lets the kids see Mater and Lightning McQueen that come out to say hi before the park opens.
Go directly to Cars Land when the ropes come down. First stop – Radiator Springs Racers. This ride is awesome! The cars look so real that you start to wonder if they really were in the movies ;) Kids 40″ and up can ride this ride. If one of your party is smaller, the family members going in should get a Rider Exchange pass. This lets two people go on the ride via the Fast Pass line, which has very little wait.
The line for Fast Passes for Radiator Springs sad starts during Magic Morning but they don’t give out fast passes until the park’s regular opening, so I’d recommend skipping that line, as it will be shorter to just stand in line for the ride, even during peak points. The longest wait we saw was 75 minutes for the ride during the peak of the day. But during Magic Morning, you can pretty much walk on. Our wait was pretty much 10-15ish minutes. Be warned, this ride sometimes has delayed openings, but doing leave the park. Just ride Luigi’s tires, then go back wait around for it to open.
Why the long line? Besides it being new, Radiator Springs Racers has everything – the classic animatronics with storyline plus a high speed race at the end. It’s really fun and totally worth any wait. I’d say go on it first right at the start of Magic Morning, then just get on it again right afterwards. The mornings are the shortest lines.
Then head to Luigi’s Flying Tires. This is a pretty slow moving ride but little kids will really enjoy it. The tires glide around over air shooting out of the ground, so it’s really cool in this area, which is a nice break from the sun.
Next head up to Mater’s JunkYard Jamboree. This has small seats perfect for one kid and one adult. It spins and whips around, which is a thrill for kids who like to go fast, but not too fast. It’s in in the spirit of Fantasyland’s Tea Cups ride, sans the ability to control your own spinning speed.
Then head to the Cozy Cone Motel if you want to get your photo with any of the character cars. There’s usually a pretty short line there.
You should be able to do all of this in about an hour of Magic Morning, give or take.
After Magic Morning, go back to the Fast Pass line for Radiator Springs Racers (at the very front of Cars Land near the front of Bugs Land) and get a Fast Pass. The line should move pretty quickly. Do note that because of the popularity, Fast Passes for the entire day are usually gone by 10:30-11am.
There’s lots of food options and stores and good experiences to wonder around and do in Cars Land too, so be sure to browse around there while you’re at it. Check out the Cars Land interactive map from Disneyland to see the layout and get even more excited for your trip.