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A Test Drive In Carsland

Video leaked today of a presentation during which Imagineer Kevin Rafferty shows a pre-visualization video detailing a full, computer-generated ridethrough of the upcoming Radiator Springs Racers attraction for California Adventure.

Obviously, spoilers await…

It looks fun. And that just underscores what we’ve recently discussed – it’s a lengthy, detailed, elaborate, technically challenging and fun-looking ride… based on Cars. In a giant land based on Cars. Taking up a huge portion of a park that is called “California Adventure.” And so, no matter how much money, talent and effort was expended… it’s still Cars.

But hey, no poop jokes! At least the franchise is taking a turn for the classy.

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14 comments to A Test Drive In Carsland

  • Whit

    Rafferty seems like a really nice guy… but he has been a disaster for people like me who loved the more sophisticated, timeless theme park experience that didn’t insult our intelligence. Even as a young kid, my earliest and fondest memories had very little to do with any of the animated/character stuff and aimed-at-children rides.

    Rafferty seems to specialize in taking more grown-up experiences and dumbing/numbing them down for todays tweens(Finding Nemo rides, New Imagination, etc.). When I heard the line “Best. Race. Ever!” near the end of that video, a little vomit welled up in my throat. That line (a grown-up trying to imitate tween-speak) has Rafferty written all over it and will immediately date the attraction. I hate to talk garbage anonymously on the internet, but you see Rafferty everywhere, one of the big faces of WDI, but as a show-writer, his negative contributions seem to have far outweighed his positive ones. And it looks to be continuing with RSR. That video has lowered my expectations.

    • I am the same way, in that my early memories also were not tied to the character stuff or kiddie rides. In fact, my FAVORITE stuff was at EPCOT Center, which is as far from Fantasyland as you can get. In the MK, it was all about Adventureland and Tomorrowland. Of course, not Tomorrowland is Toontown of the Future.

      The “Best. Race. Ever.” line bugged me too, and you’re so right in that it will date the ride as time passes. All these attempts to incorporate “hip” slang, “like the kids use these days,” always reads as desperate and always makes attractions age prematurely. It’s like “wacky record scratch” and all those tropes that get put into trailers for animated films, and makes them look horrible.

  • Matt

    Great, so next time I go to Disneyland, I can drive there in my car, go to an attraction where I get into another car, then go back home in my car…at two miles per hour behind tons of other cars. Sounds like fun.

    FYI: Driving a car in California is an adventure. ;)

    Seriously, where’s WestCOT? Where have all the visionaries gone?

  • Interesting. I do like the fact that there will be multiple experiences on the ride. Also, and I have not researched this much, but is this based on the Test Track ride vehicle?

    And…with a little stretch of the imagination, I could theoretically see how this could tie into California. The Piston Cup tie breaker race in the movie was held in California, and…according to the video…you race the race at the end of the ride, so one could (if you ignore the fact that they are not racing on a race track) argue that you end up California at the end?

    Well…maybe not :)

    • Haha maybe they could load you in Radiator Springs, and have the unload somewhere else in the park! “Look! You made it to California!”

      Yeah this is like the fancy, next generation version of the Test Track system. Hopefully it’ll work better! At least in California they don’t have to worry about shutting down every day when it rains…

  • Opps.. the video has been pulled! I wonder why?

  • Brian

    I agree with Matt, waiting in line to ride in a car that goes 35mph? I guess the freeway is a EEE Ticket. Saw the video before it was pulled and was honestly bored. The whole story is you’re being prepped for a race, seriously? Where’s the “Wow” factor of the attraction all the cement rock? Another “Little Mermaid” hyped up attraction, which now has no lines after being open less than a year. No thanks, I’ll stick with Disneyland.

  • RO93461

    Matterhorn goes 25mph at times and Space Mountain is close to 35 tops, the difference is that the twists and sudden drops make it more thrilling. I didn’t see the video so it’s hard to know if it feels like you’re in a GoKart or a Car or how unpredictable the track layout is.

    • True. And I don’t actually mind a long, smooth ride as long as there’s stuff to see. I love Casey, Jr, and that’s not exactly a thrill attraction. Sometimes it’s just nice to cruise around and see things. But that might not be what they’re aiming for with their zillion-dollar E-ticket haha…

      I do like the way it mixes indoor and outdoor segments. Overall, I have no doubt it’ll be fun, and not herky-jerky like Test Track. The Cars theming is just a hangup I can’t overcome…

  • Brian

    The only part of the attraction that goes 35mph is the exterior track, all of which we have seen in the numerous photos on the web. There are no surprises in the layout as there are in the Matterhorn or Space Mountain.

  • Brian


    Would anyone have happened to save the video file before the video got taken down?

    I had hit save, but the download failed.


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