Disney Cars Theme Park Opens to Enthusiastic Crowd, High Expectations

Disney’s Cars theme park at Disneyland’s California Adventure has opened to a lot of hype, and analysts are waiting to see if the attraction boosts flagging theme park revenues.

Disney’s Cars theme park, Cars Land, is part of a $1.1-billion, four-year renovation to the slightly lackluster Disney California Adventure, which opened in early 2001. As word theme park entrance tickets hit an all-time high this year of $87 per person, the brand could use a shot in the arm.

Disney’s Cars theme park opened on June 15th, and the company has been uncharacteristically straightforward about not only its hopes for the park’s success, but its importance in the grand scheme of Disney California Adventure’s success.

Walt Disney Company Imagineer Kathy Magnum told the Los Angeles Times regarding the importance of Disney’s Cars theme park:

“We knew that this was going to be an important attraction… because it was going to have to make the park.”

An analyst from Bernstein was upbeat, explaining that Disney’s Cars theme park reflected a cohesive tale for park-goers:

“We were impressed by the totality of the renovation… The park has been fully transformed from a random collection of a couple of great rides to a true Disney-worthy themed world of connected storytelling.”

disney cars theme park opens

Theme park consultant John Gerner of Leisure Business Advisors explained to the paper that Disney’s Cars theme park creates a “more immersive experience,” and said:

“It gives you a three-dimensional re-creation of what was in the films, allowing people to essentially step into the movie. It is, in the end, about stories, and Disney theme park operators tell stories as well as anyone.”

And media reports indicate that Disney’s Cars theme park had a very good turnout on the first day, with a large crowd of hardcore Disney and Cars fans swarming the attraction for its opening. However, many attendees are so dedicated to the brand or the films that the first day is likely to be an inaccurate gauge of interest in the attraction.