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How "Carland" became "Disney's Cars Land" / LA Times


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  • How "Carland" became "Disney's Cars Land" / LA Times

    How Disney's imagineers transformed Carland into Cars Land

    The idea for a themed land at Disney California Adventure celebrating California's car culture had been kicking around at Walt Disney Imagineering for years.

    The working premise focused on the classic cars, tourist attractions, auto-centric restaurants, roadside architecture and cross-country road trips popular during the 1950s and '60s when vehicles became less about transportation and more about personal expression.

    The Carland concept, like many other lands and attractions at Disney California Adventure, lacked one key ingredient: Disney characters.

    Then in the summer of 2006, "Cars" became a big box office hit for Pixar and the light bulb went off: Why not turn Carland into Cars Land?

    "Let's build Radiator Springs," said John Lasseter, Pixar chief and Imagineering advisor.

    A year later, Cars Land was unveiled as part of a $1 billion expansion of Disney California Adventure.

  • #2
    Re: How "Carland" became "Disney's Cars Land" / LA Times

    Yea I read that it was interesting to see how ideas evolved. While it is based on a franchise it also represents a very much well loved era in California history. Those glorious years of mid-century Route 66 back when cars did not have any fancy attachments, it was you and your machine with nothing but the wide open road ahead of you and Elvis was on the radio.

    See ya walkin' right down the middle of o'l Main Street USA

    "THAT'S R


    • #3
      Re: How "Carland" became "Disney's Cars Land" / LA Times

      There is something very wrong about this story. The author talks about Ornament Valley as being part of Carland, and then Lasseter said, "Let's make Radiator Springs".

      Uh. Ornament Valley, the Cadillac Mountain range in the concept art is not generic Carland work, but from a little Pixar film I like to call Cars.

      This is, IMHO, actually concept art work for two attractions.

      1. RSR, the cars for this ride aren't the older cars for the road trip ride. Look closely.
      2. The road trip ride, (or something similar) would have been built where Luigi's is, and/or using the small expansion pad behind Luigi's.
      3. There are rumors that such a small Autopia like ride might be added to Carsland in the future, and it would be, more or less, where it is depicted as being in the picture, sans the Mount Rushmore, and could be based on almost anything Cars related.

      Such as a road trip, but past famous road-side attractions from a Cars point of view.

      Horrible story that doesn't realize that Radiator Springs was made for a film, not for Carland.

      Look at this quote,

      Ah . . . not at all. Flo's is based exactly off of Flo's in Cars, plus additional dining rooms.


      "Key elements of what would become Cars Land could already be seen in the drawing, particularly the butte that recalls the grill, headlights and hood ornament of an iconic 1950s Chevy.

      Over time, the main drag of Carland would eventually evolve into downtown Radiator Springs, the centerpiece of Cars Land."

      Wrong. The "main drag" of Carland did not evolve . . . they built Radiator Springs to generally, and in a lot of small detailts, to be Radiator Springs.
      Last edited by chesirecat; 10-26-2012, 10:19 PM.


      • #4
        Re: How "Carland" became "Disney's Cars Land" / LA Times

        Interesting read. It's funny, I think. When I first heard about Cars Land, based on the movie Cars, I was one who thought it shouldn't be based on a single movie, and I'm basically sick of Pixar stuff. But as I think about it, I think this is one case where they needed the guest to have an association with the theme already, such as from a familiar movie. I'm not sure I understand why, but I think it's helped with the relation to the movie Cars.

        No matter where you go, there you are.


        • #5
          Re: How "Carland" became "Disney's Cars Land" / LA Times

          the test track style attraction went thru several different phases during the design stage.
          At one point they had considered building a testrack type ride with a show building that would have resembled the California race track.
          it was going to be a massive looking structure that would have at one point a long stretch of track that ran above ground level so that WDI was able to use land bit more efficiently.

          the idea was to build a drag with several themed buildings that would allow the testrack to be built on top of them very similar to how Screamin track is over the boardwalk structures.

          At the end of the street would have been the very large showbuilding themed to the outside of the California speedway. The problem with this was the location and how it would overpower and loom over most of DCA.

          then from what i understand the idea evolved into having a fun and whimsical drive thu several route 66 icons with some rockwork and no need for a large showbuilding. Problem with that was that it would have been another ride that would simulate the original idea of DCA that included the unliked route 66 area of Paradise Pier. The solution was to turn it into a goofy cartoon short so that it had a Disney connection. although fun it was not really marketable and again would require oversized landmarks that would eventually remind people of a cross connection of the old Paradise Pier meets superstar limo.

          eventually this evolved to a testrack style ride again that would be themed to CARS with a show building that just had a portion of the rockwork as seen in the first art in the article. the car shaped rockwork would have been built at the end of a street with several buildings and shops styled to the 50's.

          it was this idea that evolved into Radiator Springs. The cars attraction grew in size and the shops and street evolved to the town of radiator springs


          • #6
            Re: How "Carland" became "Disney's Cars Land" / LA Times

            It was nice to see a bad idea shot down. I cannot believe that they even considered a drive on Route 66 when no child would be excited by that and most adults couldn't care less.

            The current Radiator Springs has charm and heart, something the rest of DCA lacks. (I not inspired by generic corrugated tin, rust and weathered wood as the wharf district or the fake facades of Hollywood Back lot)


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