Cars Land Test Drive: Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
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We continue the Cars Land Test Drive with Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, the surprise hit of the preview days. Many who rode this new attraction seemed shocked by how much they enjoyed what appears to be a fairly simple ride


Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is one of three new rides in Cars Land. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Even if you're not a big Mater / Larry the Cable Guy fan, set aside your feelings about Cars 2 and come square dance with the baby tractors.

The ride's story is that while the residents of Cars Land were getting ready for the big race depicted in the Radiator Springs Racers ride, Mater set up a square dance in his junkyard, building a giant makeshift jukebox out of spare parts like car radios and horns. The music attracted a herd of baby tractors (not seen in the Cars movies, but invented for Cars Land), and Mater taught them to square dance.

The queue takes riders through Mater's junkyard, filled with souvenirs from Mater's Tall Tales, including the drum kit from "Heavy Metal Mater," oil cans from "Unidentified Flying Mater," and an office window from "Mater Private Eye." Rusting Radiator Springs license plates are nailed all around the queue, and even the stanchion poles are decorated with spare parts.

Happily, it appears that plans to include interactive noise making props (oil barrel drums, wind chimes, honking horns) in the queue were scrapped, because the last thing this ride needs is more noise.

Mater's has two ride platforms on either side of the loading area. Riders board trailers towed by each of the 22 baby tractors, each with a single bench seat that can accommodate up to three passengers; two adults and a child or one adult and two children. Each bench has a single seatbelt. The ride has an official capacity of 600 riders per hour, and a height requirement of 32 inches.


Each of the 22 baby tractors is unique, with a different combination of spots and eye color. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The queue is fully accessible to wheelchairs and ECVs, but riders must be able to transfer from their chair to the ride vehicle. You can roll right up to your vehicle to board; a cast member will move your wheelchair to a holding area until the ride ends, then return it to you. One car has a swing-out door to help riders transfer from a wheelchair, but the attraction does not offer transfer boards—if you need to use one, bring your own.

As the ride begins, Larry the Cable Guy, the voice of Mater, calls one of seven different square dance songs written for the attraction, accompanied by music recorded by Disneyland's Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. Outtakes from one of the recording sessions were used to create an eighth "blooper" song, which plays about once an hour. Mater also has a collection of jokes that he tells between ride cycles.


The trailer swings freely as the tractor changes directions, making this ride surprisingly fast. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Described by a Los Angeles Times reporter as a "whip ride on a tea cup base," Mater's is deceptively fast. Like the Francis' Lady Bug Boogie attraction in Bug's Land, the tractors move in circles around turntables, jumping to the next turntable at each intersection. However, whereas Francis' Lady Bug Boogie has just two turntables and ride vehicles that move in a figure-eight configuration, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree uses four turntables on each of the dual ride platforms. And then there's the trailer. Pivoting behind each tractor, the trailer swings freely from side to side each time the tractor changes direction, the trailer sends riders sliding back and forth across the seat bench—you definitely want to hold onto any loose articles.


Larry the Cable Guy recorded seven songs for Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, which play from this makeshift jukebox. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The result is a ride that provides a real thrill for adults, but is not too intense for younger riders. The dual ride platforms and variety of songs make this attraction surprisingly repeatable—you'll want to come back and try the other side, or see if you can catch the blooper song.

The only real complaint I can raise is that the ride is really loud. During testing without music, we noticed that the ride platform is fairly noisy, and it seems that the attraction's music has been turned up to mask that sound. The ride is located right at the entrance to Cars Land, so you can hear the music from a good distance away, which may prove distracting whenever there's a performance on the adjacent parade route.


Little humans can meet baby tractors in Mater's Petting Zoo. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Outside the attraction to the ride, a baby tractor (without trailer) is on display in Mater's Petting Zoo. This is a great photo opportunity, and lets kids under 32 inches tall see the tractors up close, and lets adults appreciate the detailing the little tractors—you probably won't notice their spot patterns and thin little lips while you're whipping around the track.

While some dismiss this as a minor Cars Land attraction, the Junkyard Jamboree provides what one rider described as a "stupid good time"—which is exactly what you expect from Mater.

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree facts at a glance

  • Number of ride units – 22 tractors
  • Vehicle capacity – two or three riders per tractor
  • Official ride capacity – 600 riders per hour.
  • Ride length – 90 seconds
  • Number of songs Mater sings – seven, plus an eighth "blooper" song
  • Number of jokes Mater tells between ride cycles – 18
  • Height requirement – 32 inches
  • Fastpass – No
  • Single Rider line – No
  • Baby Swap – Yes
  • Ride photo – No

Comments

  1. By Goodnplenty

    Thanks for the great article. I've been eagerly awaiting a review of MJJ. I've been hoping that it might be the same experience DH and I had with Francis' Ladybug Boogie. DH and I decided on a whim to try every ride in Bugsland even though they seemed rather tame for us. While on FLB, we heard the CM say that you could make Francis spin by leaning towards the door. Well, we gave that a try and wow! It's just like you quoted in your article, "a stupid good time". Now we always ride FLB and it's one of our favorites.
    Is MJJ the same? It seems so. Should we lean to make it swerve faster? Did you try that when you rode it?

    GnP

  2. By Bassfo

    I was surprised by how much fun this ride is! A total blast! My wife and I rode it and we both felt like little kids. Dare I say it is more fun than Luigi's with a much shorter line? I think I just did.

    My teenage son however, made a disturbing point about this ride. If all the cars are alive in Cars Land, and Mater has a yard full of "body" parts, doesn't that call his character and mental state into doubt? Teenagers!

  3. By carolinakid

    I'm glad to hear adults have been riding this sans children. I thought it was only for kids like the Bug's Life attractions. Now my boyfriend and I won't feel like weirdos/pervs.

  4. By MammaSilva

    Believe me when I say you will see adults with and without kids on this attraction. We went with a group of 10, of those only 4 were kids and every one of us went again and again. I think people underestimate the fun level of this ride and that works for me since it means the lines won't be crazy long!

  5. By bennette

    There was a lot of hysterical laughter for us. Loved this ride!

  6. By gdanie

    I'm glad I rode this ride. I was really surprised how fun it was. I didn't realize at first that we would be progressing throughout the whole platform. It was surprisingly fun.

  7. By Pammer

    Will the movement be bad for someone prone to motion sickness and won't ride the tea cups?

  8. By MammaSilva

    I won't ride tea cups and I rode this attraction a total of 3 times on our first visit and 2x on our second. It does have a swing motion and goes in a circular motion but not spinning motion like the tea cups. I get motion sickness on the tea cups and Star tours and rode this with no problem at all. I know someone else that got a bit of motion sickness from Lugis flying tires tho so heads up on that one.

  9. By bennette

    Quote Originally Posted by Pammer View Post
    Will the movement be bad for someone prone to motion sickness and won't ride the tea cups?

    I don't get terribly nauseous on the teacups but enough so that it isn't a fun ride for me. I also occasionally get a moment of nausea from the Tower of Terror (?).

    This ride was no problem for me; the motion was very different. There is a bit of sliding from side to side that's like jostling. You might get a bump (worth it!) but I don't think I saw or heard of anyone who had a problem with nausea.

  10. By Pammer

    Quote Originally Posted by bennette View Post
    I don't get terribly nauseous on the teacups but enough so that it isn't a fun ride for me. I also occasionally get a moment of nausea from the Tower of Terror (?).

    This ride was no problem for me; the motion was very different. There is a bit of sliding from side to side that's like jostling. You might get a bump (worth it!) but I don't think I saw or heard of anyone who had a problem with nausea.

    Thanks Bennette! Neither my hubby or me can handle tea cups, so I was hoping we could tolerate this ride...looking forward to it!

  11. By Pammer

    Quote Originally Posted by MammaSilva View Post
    I won't ride tea cups and I rode this attraction a total of 3 times on our first visit and 2x on our second. It does have a swing motion and goes in a circular motion but not spinning motion like the tea cups. I get motion sickness on the tea cups and Star tours and rode this with no problem at all. I know someone else that got a bit of motion sickness from Lugis flying tires tho so heads up on that one.

    Thanks...I think I will just suggest that hubby take his ginger pills to be on the safe side!

  12. By bennette

    Quote Originally Posted by Pammer View Post
    Thanks...I think I will just suggest that hubby take his ginger pills to be on the safe side!

    If my husband had been there, I would have had him take something to be prepared for Luigi's but as my ride vehicle never actually went anywhere, I can't say if that ride could be problematic! But theoretically you'd be riding one close to another so you might as well be prepared for issues on either.

  13. By bennette

    Quote Originally Posted by Pammer View Post
    Will the movement be bad for someone prone to motion sickness and won't ride the tea cups?

    Pammer, I took my husband tonight and popped him onto the ride with no warning and no dramamine.

    He reported zero problems. I did have some difficulty tearing him away from the queue; he has an eye for large equipment.

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