Disney California Adventure Roars To Life

Pixar chief John Lasseter literally jump-started Disney California Adventure last night when he connected a cable to a battery and lit up Cars Land, part of the $1 billion expansion of the Anaheim theme park. The new land is filled with Route 66-style attractions inspired by the Pixar Cars movies. Lasseter, who grew up in Whittier where his father worked at an auto dealership, sent his team on a road trip down the “Main Street of America” and incorporated elements like the Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino (here interpreted as a series of traffic cone-shaped snack stands serving “popcone” and “cone queso”) into the movies and now the land. When the neon-laced highway crackled to life last night it was as emotional and dramatic as any Pixar movie. Voice talent from the movies came up and hugged Lasseter on stage, but the crowd came to its feet when life-size animatronic cars from the movie roared into the town of Radiator Springs. Today, another new section of the park called “Buena Vista Street” opens with rebuilt Los Angeles landmarks from the 1920s and ’30s. A replica of the Carthay Circle theater, where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937, houses a restaurant and private club, and a Red Car trolley ties it all together.  Is that a Helms bakery truck selling churros?! This is exactly what I would do with a billion dollars. Get out of my brain, Disney!