Radiator Springs Racers Receives THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement

Posted by Elizabeth Alton on Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Track at Radiator Springs Racers

This year’s THEA Awards have been announced by the Themed Entertainment Association, and we’ll be taking a closer look at several of these exciting projects in the weeks to come. One of the coveted awards for Outstanding Achievement was given to the Radiator Springs Racers attraction, part of Cars Land which opened earlier this year at Disney California.

Radiator Springs Racers at Cars Land

This exciting ride comes to us straight from Disney’s Imagineers. Radiator Springs Racers is a slot car dark ride within Cars Land, that uses third generation Test Track technology to create a spectacular experience. The story for the ride is set in the world of the popular animated kids’ film Cars. During the ride, guests pile into a six person car. After receiving a briefing from popular Cars characters Doc and Lightening McQueen, you’ll race against another car in an exciting, fast-paced car race to the finish.

Radiator Springs Racers is one of the most expensive attractions in Disney history. When it opened in June 2012, patrons faced lines with up to six hours wait. A tour through the ride quickly reveals why.

Disney's Cars Land

A captivating story that’s familiar to Cars fans will keep you busy. While waiting in lines, the queue goes through some of the original buildings of Radiator Springs where Stanley first opened the now famous Stanley’s Oasis business. Familiar landmarks include the naturally occurring Radiator Springs the town is named after, and eventually guests enter the old hotel Stanley built at Taillight Caverns.Radiator Springs Racers at Cars Land, Disney California Adventure Park

Guests board their car and take a peaceful drive through Ornament Valley Range. The vehicle then goes into the dark ride portion of Radiator Springs Racers. A number of audio-animatronic characters appear, and as the host vehicle swerves guests encounter the Sheriff. Initially it seems he’s intent on giving a speeding ticket, but instead invites the car to the town’s big race.

Before the race begins, the car goes for a round of tractor tipping. Frank the Tractor wakes up and chases the car off his farm, creating a fun bit of zippy tension.

Heading back to the race, the vehicle goes into either Luigi’s Casa Della Tires to change its tires or to Ramone’s House of Body Art for a new coat of paint. Then the racing begins! The cars go through the remaining outdoor section, eventually reaching the ride’s top speed of 40 mph and finishing with a drop down a sloped bank.Cars Land Radiator Springs Racers

The technology behind the ride randomly programs a different winner each time, so guests have a 50% chance of winning any given time that they ride. The cars get a lot of use – current estimates are that each of the eight vehicles runs the equivalent of 36,000 miles per year. The attraction’s score was composed by Jonathan Sacks, who also composed the score for the film Cars.

The combination of world creation from the film, advanced technology and the loving attention to detail that Disney embodies quickly clarifies why this this attraction is so popular with guests and is receiving critical acclaim!Radiator Springs Racers

Image sources: latimes.com, wikia.com, about.com, insidethemagic.com, touringplans.com

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