Our Rating: 3 stars
Tom Bricker says:
“My second favorite ride in Cars Land was Luigi’s Flying Tires. You’ll want to ride this alone and pay attention to your balance, or you won’t move much. I flew around the area while others barely moved.”
- What it is: Bumper cars meets human air hockey.
- Scope and scale: Minor attraction.
- When to go: The first 30 minutes the park is open.
- Special Comments: Must be 32″ tall to ride.
- Duration of ride: About 2 1/2 minutes.
- Average wait time per 100 people ahead of you: 12 minutes.
- Loading speed: Very Slow
Description And Comments
Unless you are over the age of 50, you’re unlikely to remember Disneyland Park’s Flying Saucers, a long-lost Tomorrowland attraction that only lasted 5 years in the early 1960s. But Imagineers have long memories, and have retreaded the concept of hovercraft bumper cars as the basis for a tribute to the Radiator Springs resident Ferrari fanatic. You first queue inside the Casa Della Tires shop (where memorabilia from Luigi and Guido’s career is on display), then pass through a garden of automotive-inspired topiaries, before boarding your own supersize tire. Using a system similar to an air hockey table, your two-passenger vehicle (up to 3 with a child) lifts up on a thin cushion of air. You then get about two minutes to scoot around the arena, trying to bump against other riders. Tri-colored beach balls bouncing around and a soundtrack of actor Tony Shalhoub singing Italian-American standards add to the festa italia fun.
Luigi’s Flying Tires may be an example of nostalgia being better than than reality; the tires accelerate gradually, and can be tricky for first-time riders to control (see our tips below). With the epic wait times this glacially-loading attraction is expected to attract, riding enough times to become an expert driver appears an unrealistic prospect for all but the most avid annual passholders.
Luigi’s is a slow-loading cycle ride under the best circumstances, and its forefather, Flying Saucers, was notoriously unreliable. Even if this new version isn’t a maintenance nightmare, expect long lines all day.
To steer, first shift your body weight to find your tire’s center point of balance, so that it sits evenly on the air cushion. Then gradually lean your body weight in the direction you want to move, without going so far that the tires’s leading edge drags on the floor. Single riders may initially find it easier to get the feel of balancing and steering.
All eyes in the theme park industry turn this week to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, where the grand re-opening of Disney California Adventure is being celebrated in the high style befitting the finish line of a billion-dollar makeover marathon. Before this massive expansion officially opens to the public on June 15, invited media and paying sneak-preview participants will have already had an opportunity to experience the new attractions of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street, and naturally the TouringPlans.com team is there on the scene. Touring Plans’ official photographer Tom Bricker, Unofficial Guide to Disneyland co-author Seth Kubersky, and new Touring Plans researcher Guy Selga, Jr. will all be on-property this week, documenting every detail to your touring advantage. Over the next few days, please check back on the blog for our hot-off-the-press first reviews direct from DCA, edited versions of which will appear in the 2013 edition of the Unofficial Guide.
All photos by Tom Bricker.