Cars Land Grand Opening Celebrationby Tony Phoenix, staff writer
Over one billion dollars and five years of planning, designing, demolishing, and constructing all came together Wednesday evening, when, with a little sprinkling of pixie dust, Imagineers brought the little town of Radiator Springs to life, as Disney California Adventure park celebrated its grand opening of Cars Land.
The evening began with the obligatory red carpet as a mix of Disney and Pixar executives, Disney Channel stars and invited celebrities made their way through DCA to the opening ceremony.
Actor Cheech Marin (voice of Ramone) takes his own photos of the red carpet festivities. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Actor John Ratzenberger (voice of Mack) has appeared in every Pixar feature film. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Actress Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White from Once Upon a Time) was one of the many ABC celebrities present.. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Robert Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, walks the red carpet during the Cars Land grand opening celebration. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, walks the red carpet during the Cars Land grand opening celebration. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
George Kalogridis, President, Disneyland Resort, walks the red carpet during the Cars Land grand opening celebration. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Larry the Cable Guy (voice of Mater) gives two big thumbs-up as he walks on the red carpet. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Edie McClurg (voice of Minny) wears a Mickey and Minnie hoodie on the red carpet. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Jenifer Lewis (voice of Flo) walks the red carpet during the Cars Land grand opening celebration. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Bonnie Hunt (voice of Sally) answers some interview questions while on the red carpet. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
At the end of the carpet, guests gathered in front of a stage, which was set up at the Route 66 entrance to Cars Land. A band entertained the crowd, though the rumored performance by the popular country band Rascal Flatts did not occur. Here is video from the ceremony:
A band entertains the crowd. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Bob Iger speaks, saying "CarsLand was a great oppoprtunity for our Imagineers and Animators to work together." Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Tom Staggs says,"This is a defining momemnt for DIsney Parks. Disney California Adventure has been transformed into a place where guests can connect with the Disney stories." Photo by Frank Anzalone.
John Lasseter shows off how select Disney executives would appear as a car. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Larry the Cable Guy (Mater) declares, "Time to light this place up!" Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Center Stage disappears as Lightning McQueen and Mater join Tom Staggs (left) and John Lasseter. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Tom Staggs (left) takes his negative cable to a car battery while John Lasseter keeps his firm grip on the positive cable, completing the circuit to jumpstart the party. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
With the circuit complete on the battery, Cars Land officially opens to great fanfare. Photo by Frank Anzalone.
Nightly at Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, the neon along Route 66 while Sh-boom plays in the background. We showcase some of the neon and other night lighting effects around Cars Land. This is the actual music that plays on Route 66 during the nightly lighting "moment." We've synched the video to exactly match the theme park audio through :40. Notice how the "Z"s in the Cozy Cone sign blink exactly in time to the music. After :40, we added additional angles of the neon and other lighting effects around Cars Land.
John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering and the director and writer of Cars) and his wife Nancy take a spin on Luigi's Flying Tires at the party following the opening ceremony of Cars Land.
Thanks for the coverage and the video clips. Looks like the Lasseters got their flying tire to move pretty well. Course, I'm sure by now he's had a few rides to practice . . .