Description And Comments
To the right of the Radiator Springs Courthouse at the end of Route 66 lies the entrance to the most ambitious attraction built at Disneyland Resort in more than a decade. Disney's Imagineers have wedded an enhanced version of the high-speed slot-car vehicles developed for Epcot's Test Track with immersive sets and elaborate animatronics. The ride, which covers nearly 6 of Cars Land's 12 acres, mixes slow indoor sections with thrilling open-air acceleration in a way that will appeal to every end of the demographic spectrum.
You begin your road trip by walking through Stanley's Oasis, the town's original 1909 settlement, and end up in a cavernous loading station. There you board a six-passenger convertible, each with a smiling face on its front grill, and you're off on a scenic tour of stunning Ornament Valley, on your way to compete in today's big race.
After a leisurely drive past massive rock formations and a majestic waterfall, you enter the show building for a series of indoor scenes depicting the residents of Radiator Springs. These environments don't quite match the awe-inspiring scale of scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean or Indiana Jones, but they are a big step up from the old-fashioned Fantasyland dark rides and feature movie-accurate animatronics with impressively expressive eyes and mouths (achieved through a combination of digital projections and practical effects).
Along your tour, you'll be sidetracked by a tractor-tipping expedition with Mater, which leads to a run-in with an angry harvester. Before reaching the starting line, you'll need some new tires or a fresh coat of paint. Then it's time to line up alongside another carload of guests as you await Luigi's countdown.
The last third of the ride is a flat-out race over camelback hills, under outcrops, and around banked curves, with a randomly chosen car crossing the finish line first. Radiator Springs Racers's top speed of 40 miles per hour falls short of Test Track's 60-plus peak, but the winding turns and airtime-inducing humps supply an exhilarating rush. After a final swing past the glowing stalactites of Tail Light Cavern and some parting praise from Lightning McQueen and Mater, you'll exit your vehicle and inspect your obligatory on-ride photo.
As the $200 million, 800-pound gorilla of DCA's makeover, Radiator Springs Racers is a massive draw from the minute the park opens every day. With a carrying capacity of about 1,500 riders per hour, the attraction regularly sees standby waits of 60 to 90 minutes, and FASTPASSes may all be claimed for the day within a couple of hours of opening on busy days; even the single-rider queue can run 45 minutes or more. Your best options are to arrive at least 20 minutes before the park officially opens and position yourself to hustle for a FASTPASS, or step into the standby queue shortly before closing. If time permits, try to ride once by day and again after dark; evening illumination makes the outdoor portions especially enchanting.
Note that FASTPASS tickets for Radiator Springs Racers are distributed outside of Cars Land proper, near It's Tough to Be Bug!, with a queue for tickets forming from Carthay Circle before the park officially opens. The ride also shuts down for long periods after any substantial rainstorm. Hotel guests using Early Entry privileges should look for a private FASTPASS queue outside the kiosk corral, and step into shortly before regular park hours start. Day guests are currently only allowed into the FASTPASS queue after official park opening, with guests gathering in a disorganized blob to the right of Carthay Circle before rope drop. This can cause quite a traffic jam as hundreds of people rush to get in line. Send one member of your party with all the ticket to get FASTPASSes, and keep your kids clear of the mob.
This chart shows you roughly how long you'll wait for Radiator Springs Racers when you visit on a day with a given Disney California Adventure Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average "peak" wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it's the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Radiator Springs Racers Wait Times.
- We rate this attraction as Not To Be Missed.
- This attraction has a minimum-height requirement of 40 inches.
- This attraction offers rider swap.
Other Attractions in Cars Land
Touring Plans with Radiator Springs Racers
- Disney California Adventure One-Day Plan for Adults
- Disney California Adventure One-Day Plan for Parents with Small Children
- One-Day, Two-Parks Plan: Part 1 of 2
- Disney California Adventure Late Arrival One-Day Plan for Parents with Small Children
- One Day Plan for the Whole Family