Lightning McQueen and Sally Carrera Riding In Front of Red and Rocks at Sunset

Cars Land Guide – Everything You Need To See, Do and Eat

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Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park takes guests on a road trip down Route 66 and through the quaint town of Radiator Springs from Pixar’s Cars. Featuring whimsical nods to the Cars world, all-American fare the whole family will love, and one of the best rides at Disneyland, Cars Land is well worth a pit stop during your day at California Adventure Park

Whether you’re a Pixar lover, an adrenaline junkie, a family with kids or a diner food fan, Cars Land is sure to get your motor running. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride as we cruise through this animated corner of Disneyland. 

Cars Land, Disneyland’s Ode to Route 66 & Radiator Springs

Racers attraction signage with Lightning McQueen

Disneyland Resort’s Cars Land opened its doors to guests more than a decade ago on June 13, 2012, taking over what was once the Timon parking lot and part of the former Bountiful Valley Farm, one of California Adventure Park’s original rides. 

Upon its opening, Cars Land transformed Disney California Adventure Park from an afterthought into a vacation power player when visiting the Happiest Place on Earth. 

Design of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park

Cars Land transports guests to the high-octane world of Cars, specifically the sleepy hamlet of Radiator Springs, the town Lightning McQueen gets stranded in during the series’ first entry. The land opened with three attractions alongside restaurants inspired by the diners you’d find cruising down Route 66 and a couple of shops.

In fact, not only are most elements in Radiator Springs directly inspired by actual landmarks located along Route 66, a few of the buildings in the land are even exact replicas. But, it wasn’t just the real and fictional buildings Imagineers wanted to faithfully recreate. It was the atmosphere, too. 

One thing is certain, from the neon-lit streets of the desert town of Radiator Springs to the tailfin ridgeline of the Cadillac Mountain Range towering dramatically in the background, Cars Land is an Instagrammer’s dream in an already photogenic park. 

Cars Land with road and buildings at night

As you can probably imagine, this charming section of Disney California Adventure Park is fun to visit any time of year. However, if possible, try to plan your trip for during the holidays. 

Around Halloween (or Haul-O-Ween as it’s known in Cars Land), the land receives a ghoulish glow-up, like the Cozy Cone Motel being turned into a quintet of cone-like jack-o-lanterns. During the winter holidays, meanwhile, a flurry of festive details are added, such as Christmas ornaments made from car parts and white-wall tire wreaths. 

What to See, Do and Eat at Cars Land

Disneyland Resort’s Cars Land at California Adventure Park has a slew of attractions, restaurants and shopping opportunities that are sure to shift your vacation into overdrive. Get your motor running and read on for a breakdown of everything that’s available in this high-octane part of Disneyland.

Cars Land Disneyland Rides

Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park is fully loaded, offering a family-friendly thrill ride and two quirky, Cars-inspired attractions your kiddos will love. From a thrilling drag race through Ornament Valley with Lightning McQueen and Sally to lively joyrides alongside Mater and Luigi, these Cars Land rides are not to be missed. 

Radiator Springs Racers

Radiator Springs dressed up for the Holidays

Motor on over to Radiator Springs Racers for a road trip you won’t soon forget. This rollicking ride takes guests past majestic desert vistas, through the cutest little community in Carburetor County, Radiator Springs, and face-to-face with friends from Cars, like Lightning McQueen, Mater, Sally, Doc Hudson and more.  

Then, it’s off to the drag races for a thrilling sprint to the finish line.  As you cruise along, be sure to keep an eye out for the dramatic peaks of the Cadillac Range. Not only is each summit designed to resemble the tail fin of a classic Cadillac circa 1957 to 1962, but this revved-up rockwork is also an homage to one of Route 66’s most iconic landmarks, the Cadillac Ranch art installation by Amarillo, Texas.  

Radiator Springs Racers Ride Cars Land - Full POV

Like Test Track, the ride’s predecessor in Epcot, Radiator Springs Racers is one of the most popular rides in the park and can get busy. To save time waiting in line, consider upgrading to Lightning Lane access with an Individual Attraction Selection. 

Lightning Lane Availability: Individual Lightning Lane

Height Restriction: At least 40” or taller

Best for: Kids, Tweens, Teens, Adults

Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree

Attraction signage at night with lights

Starring everyone’s favorite tow truck, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree puts guests in the driver’s seat of a tiny, square-dancing tractor. Groove to the Mater-provided tunes and hold on tight as your rusty chariot whips and twirls across the dancefloor. 

This adorable attraction isn’t just inspired by the stampede of cow-like tractors from the first Cars movie. It’s also a reference to Oatman, Arizona, a town along Route 66 overrun by a herd of wild burros. 

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree Disneyland 4K

For a seasonal surprise, plan your visit during Halloween for Mater’s Graveyard JamBOORee or Christmas for Mater’s Jingle Jamboree, when the ride receives a holiday-inspired glow-up complete with festive music and décor. 

Lightning Lane Availability: None

Height Restriction: At least 32” or taller

Best for: All ages

Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters

Tire shop with red rock backdrop

Go for a spin around another Cars-sized dancefloor at Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters – this time from behind the wheel of an Italian import. As the story goes, Luigi has invited his cousins from Carsoli, Italy to visit his little piece of Italy in Radiator Springs. And what better way to celebrate the old country than with some traditional dancing in the tire yard? 

During the ride, you’ll kick up your wheels with “car-eographed” dancing to lively Italian music, all from the seat of a zippy roadster styled after an Italian rear-engine micro-car from the 1950s. Each of these cavorting convertibles is unique, including signature dance moves. Like Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters also gets a temporary facelift during the holidays, including Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween and Luigi’s Joy to the Whirl.

Before you put the pedal to the metal, be sure to pose for a picture in front of the attraction’s tilting tire tower. Not only does that precarious pillar of tires hint at the Leaning Tower of Pisa from Luigi’s Italian homeland, but it also nods to the town of Groom near the Texas panhandle, which boasts an intentionally jaunty water tower. 

Lightning Lane Availability: None

Height Restriction: At least 32” or taller

Best for: All ages

Cars Land Restaurants

Cars Land isn’t just home to one of the best rides at Disneyland Resort. With fun restaurants cooking up accessible eats inspired by the diners and greasy spoons of Route 66, it’s also the perfect place for a pit stop. If your tank is running on empty, refuel for more theme park adventures at one of these quick-service locations

Cozy Cone Motel

Big Cone buildings serving food

Cars Land’s cutest spot for a bite to eat is the Cozy Cone Motel. Made up of five massive, bright orange traffic cones, the “i-cone-ic” Cozy Cone Motel is a cheeky nod to Wigwam Village, a teepee-style motel along Route 66 in Holbrook, Arizona.

At Cars Land, this real-life version of the kitschy motor inn from the movie is your snack destination. Each cone has a counter-service window selling different eats and sweets, such as macaroni & cheese and chili “cone” queso in a cone-shaped bread bowl, ice cream cones, churros, “popcone,” and chimichangas and icy “cone-coctions” like lemonade. 

Cost: Snacks – $14.99 and under per adult

Cuisine: American

What to Get: Bread Cones (Chili Cone Queso and Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese), Churros

Reservations: None, Mobile Order available

Flo’s V8 Café 

No joyride down Route 66 would be complete without a meal at a drive-in restaurant, and Flo’s V8 Café is about as quintessential as it gets. The retro eatery is made to resemble a Ford V-8 engine, complete with architectural details referencing car parts like spark plugs and pistons. Gearheads will especially appreciate the many automotive touches throughout, like tailpipe light fixtures, vintage gas pumps and much more. 

Dining restaurant and gas station

Its shining chrome, stainless steel and neon also echo the Streamline Moderne style of mainstay Route 66 restaurants like the 66 Diner in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or the 5 & Diner in Tulsa, Oklahoma, along with their menus of comfort food favorites. After greasing your gears with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, spend some time checking out the many mementos from Flo and Doc Hudson. 

Cost: Lunch and Dinner – $14.99 and under per adult

Cuisine: American

What to Get: Flo’s Famous Fried Chicken, Ka-Cheeseburger, Flo’s Classic Shakes

Reservations: None, Mobile Order available

Fillmore’s Taste-In

Unlike Flo’s V8 Café or even the Cozy Cone Motel, Fillmore’s Taste-In doesn’t offer anything too substantial when it comes to food. Instead, this psychedelic snack cart serves up an assortment of healthy, road trip-worthy snacks like whole fruit, bags of chips and Babybel cheese. 

Signage made from mufflers

However, the highlight of Fillmore’s Taste-In is its eye-catching design. This service station shaped like a geodesic dome takes its style cues from the former Ortega’s Indian Market located in Lupton, Arizona. Cruise by at night for a groovy light show. 

Cost: Snacks – $14.99 and under per adult

Cuisine: American, Vegetarian

Reservations: None

Cars Land Entertainment

When you aren’t racing through Radiator Springs, fueling up on all-American comfort food or posing for pictures in front of the land’s many social media-ready scenes, we recommend you put on the brakes and take some time to meet the vehicles that call Cars Land home.  

Meet the Residents of Radiator Springs

It wouldn’t be a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth without meeting some Disneyland characters. A few of your favorite four-wheeled friends from Cars greet guests in front of the Cozy Cone Motel throughout the day, including Lightning McQueen, Mater and even Cruz. 

Mater Driving Inside Cars Land in the Evening

For Halloween (or Haul-O-Ween), the cars even get into the spooky spirit and don special “car-stumes.” Meanwhile, during Christmas, Mater channels Santa Claus. 

Keep in mind that meeting the characters from Cars isn’t like a regular meet-and-greet with Mickey Mouse or Cinderella. So, while you can take tons of pictures, don’t expect a hug or a signature for your autograph book. 

Availability: 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Cars Land Shops

Looking for a memento of your cruise through Cars Land? Every good road trip needs a proper souvenir, whether that’s a cheesy magnet, keychain or shot glass. To commemorate your time on this animated stretch of Route 66, stop by one of these Cars Land merchandise locations for a little shopping. 

Radiator Springs Curios Shop

If you’re on the hunt for a Cars-inspired souvenir worthy of the film’s Route 66 heritage, then swing by the Radiator Springs Curios Shop. This adorable store is your one-stop shop for Cars swag with a more retro aesthetic. 

Building with neon signage at night

Like many souvenir stands along Route 66, the outside of the Radiator Springs Curios Shop is also plastered with signs pleading with passersby to make a pit stop before it’s too late and all sorts of other Route 66 knickknacks. 

Sarge’s Surplus Hut

Sarge is a retired army jeep who is known for using his military experience to keep Radiator Springs running in mint condition. While Sarge’s Surplus Hut from the films typically sells military supplies to aspiring preppers, the Cars Land version swaps survival gear for souvenirs. The shop is located in an authentic Quonset hut similar to those dotted throughout the Mojave Desert not too far from Barstow along Route 66. 

Ramone’s House of Body Art

While you can’t get a decal, wax or new paint job from Ramone’s House of Body Art, you can get something else to cover your body, like a Cars-themed shirt or something from auto-centric clothing lines like Champions Custom Speed Shop or Low ‘n’ Slow. 

 You’ll also find other nods to car culture and Route 66 around the shop, including custom artwork by famed car designer Chip Foose. Even the building itself is an exact replica of an Art Deco beauty in Shamrock, Texas, a former gas station and restaurant called the U-Drop Inn. 

Well, road warriors, that brings our trip to Cars Land to an end. Have you explored this animated corner of California Adventure Park? Which Cars Land restaurant or ride is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! Then, find out how to make your travel budget stretch with our discount Disneyland tickets.