This past weekend (June 9 & 10), The Disneyland Resort offered D23 Members and Disneyland Annual Passholders (APs) the opportunity to purchase tickets for morning and afternoon previews of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land at the newly redesigned Disney’s California Adventure (DCA).
While many people won sweepstakes tickets to see the redesigned areas before the grand opening on June 15, I opted to purchase two preview tickets (before results of the sweepstakes were revealed). The proceeds from my purchase will be donated as part of a $500,000 donation to CHOC Children’s Hospital and Anaheim Community Foundation. With the amount of buzz behind the grand re-opening of DCA, these exclusive AP events provide Disney fans a unique sneak peek into the magic that awaits all Disneyland Resort guests, surrounded by fellow Disney fans and – as a bonus perk – without the wait.
Disney offered three packages that D23 members and APs could choose from. The first, priced at $50, offered a 4-hour preview of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land. The second, priced at $75, offered the aforementioned previews plus a private viewing of DCA’s World of Color show. The final package, priced at $500, included both of the previews, the private viewing of World of Color, and an exclusive 3-course meal at the new premiere dining restaurant, The Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant. With a relatively simple registration process online in the Annual Passholder site, I opted for the first option for the morning of June 10 – I was really looking forward to getting an intimate look of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land.
On my event day, I went to a Main Entrance Ticket Booth and claimed admission tickets for my companion and myself. We were given green wristbands to wear on our left wrists, and we entered DCA through the turnstiles slightly before 8 a.m., as our allotted preview time was 8 a.m. – 12 noon. DCA wasn’t set to open until 10 a.m. that day, so the only people allowed into the parks at that time were D23 members and APs – it was such a special feeling!
|Red Trolley on Buena Vista Street|
As we entered DCA, we were immediately ushered through a set of doors that led us through the construction walls and smack dab in the middle of Buena Vista Street. I was in complete awe as I immediately felt transported back to 1920’s Los Angeles, evoking that nostalgic feeling I experience when I walk down Main Street USA in Disneyland. The red car trolley sat squarely to the right, awaiting passengers. With AP events, these previews afford you the ability to enjoy the attractions and storefronts without the usual crowds, and there was a peaceful quiet on Buena Vista Street – it truly was magical.
After meandering through Buena Vista Street, we passed through another set of doors that led us back into DCA. We then followed the crowds through Pacific Wharf and passed through the side construction walls that revealed Cars Land and Radiator Springs. Having recently returned from red rock country in Arizona, I was astounded by the realism of the red rocks of Radiator Springs as it came to life before my eyes. Stepping into Cars Land made me feel like a child experiencing Disneyland for the first time. Wide-eyed and mouth-gaping, I found myself inside the “Cars” movie!
|Route 66 to Radiator Springs|
|Realistic Red Rock Country!|
We decided to make our first stop the much buzzed-about “Radiator Springs Racers”, which had a wait time of approximately 65 minutes. For a brand-new attraction, wait times can go up to 3 hours, so I took advantage of this AP event and went on the ride not once, but twice! This ride is a must-do for every “Cars” movie fan. There are two other Cars Land rides that you can experience – Luigi’s Flying Tires and Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.
|Waiting in line at the AP event|
Attendees had photo opportunities with Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater, the new “car-acters” of the park, and each restaurant and shop in Cars Land was meticulously crafted to resemble a shop from the “Cars” movies. I don’t believe there were any APs at the park that day that didn’t exclaim at one point or another that they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. This truly was a one-of-a-kind experience that reminded me of why I enjoy the AP events.
As an AP, it’s always nice to preview these wonderful Disney entities that are sure to create new and exciting memories for everyone. While things are subject to change from the way I saw them, I am excited to use my Annual Pass this year and really see what else Buena Vista Street and Cars Land has in store.
See you at the parks!
**Vy attended an Annual Passholder Buena Vista Street and Cars Land preview event for which she purchased tickets. She attended as a guest and not a member of the media. Full media coverage will begin on Babes In Disneyland at 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, June 13.**