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Photo Credits ©Disney
Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort
(Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort
California Adventure Park
You'll leave the people world behind when you enter the world of Mater and Lightning McQueen. Cars Land is themed after the hit Disney•Pixar films “Cars,” Covering twelve acres in Disney California Adventure Park, Cars Land is truly a sight to behold and is the home to Radiator Springs Racers, one of the largest and most complex structures ever built for a Disney park. The extensive rockwork of Ornament Valley and Cadillac Range highest peak stands approximately 125 feet tall while spanning more than a mind-boggling 300,000 square feet. A staggering 4,000 tons of steel were used to erect the Cadillac Mountain Range and Radiator Springs Racers ride attraction.
Cars Land is an exact replica of Route 66 from the movie, Cars complete with Flos V8 Cafe, the Cozy Cone Motel and the crown jewel, Radiator Springs Racers, a thrilling two car race along the open highways through majestic canyons Ornament Valley.
Crowning a multi-year expansion that was completed in 2012, Cars Land was inspired by the blockbuster animated movie "Cars." Cars Land features three family attractions showcasing characters and settings from the movie, including one of the largest and most elaborate attractions ever created for a Disney park: Ornament Valley, home of Radiator Springs Racers.
Cars was the seventh Disney®Pixar feature film and Pixar's final independently produced motion picture before its purchase by Disney.
The idea for the movie Cars was born after John Lasseter, Cars producer took a cross-country road trip with his wife and five sons in 2000. Upon returning home, John contacted Michale Wallis, a well-known Route 66 historian for some historical perspective. To research the film, Wallis was asked to lead a group of eleven Pixar animators on two separate road trips across Route 66. The group traveled down Route 66 in rented white Cadillac's studying the small towns and meeting with the locals who dotted the desert landscape. Seeing a fleet of white Cadillac's caravanning down the highway certainly must have been a sight to behold by the local residents.
The "Cars" movie was in fact almost called "Route 66." However, there was concern that people would relate the movie more to Route 66, the popular weekly television show that aired from 1960 through 1964. To avoid any possible confusion with the movies branding and marketing, the name was changed to simply "Cars." In addition, Lightning McQueen's number was originally going to be 57, John Lasseter's birth year of 1957. It was however ultimately changed to 95 to highlight the 1995 release of the movie that forever changed how full-length animated movies would be produced - Toy Story.
John wanted his cars to look as much as real cars as possible, even though the Cars in the movie would, of course, be characters. This created daunting new technological challenges for Pixar technicians. Creating different metallic characters, each with different shapes and sizes, meant writing powerful new software from scratch that would accurately show reflections off of brightly polished metal. Cars was the very first animated movie to utilize a new technique called "ray tracing." This new technology allowed the cars characters to credibly reflect light. As a result of the increased time to render each scene, Cars took an average of 17 hours to render a single frame. Incredibly, this equated to several days to render just one second of film. Lasseter also insisted on "truth to materials," which meant the animation team was not permitted to stretch or distort the characters which would make them look inconsistent with the heavy metal frames of real cars. To achieve this effect, Pixar animators employed innovative techniques that added bends and gestures so they remained true to the car's construction.
The Cars movie premiered on May 26, 2006, at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Cars was nominated for two Acadamy Awards, including Best Animated Feature.