June 16, 2012
California Adventure's new addition now has guests racing through, floating over, and being pulled behind the various locations and characters from Pixar's Cars. It's a major investment in the attempted revitalization of the "second gate" and, by most accounts, a nice piece of work.
I just wish that Burbank had put Radiator Springs and the rest of DCA somewhere else. In keeping with the principle that inspired the Park's original layout ("You've got to have a weenie at the end of every street"), the Main Gate once beckoned from the end of a parking lot that was as much a simple frame as an efficient means of crowd management. It let yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy draw you in from the family car and the outside world from which it came.
Wide-eyed in anticipation, you'd take mom or dad's hand and try to hurry them toward the railroad station off in the distance. Jack Wagner's voice would welcome you to the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland. Passing under the berm, your separation would be complete, if temporary. Later, you might look back out at the outside world from a monorail window, trying to spot your car among 15,000 others as you cruised over the futuristic highway in the sky.
If I could, I'd leave today's overpriced and complex complex of garages, amusement parks, hotels, shopping centers, and, now, desert landscapes behind. It would be like escaping a traffic jam to the relative quiet of the surface streets. I think that the revisions made to DCA are fine by themselves. But I liked Disneyland better with the original cars land.