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The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 (Unofficial Guides) Paperback – September 13, 2016
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"If you're looking for a reliable guidebook, the leader is the Unofficial series."
--The Mail (London)
"A Tourist's Best Friend!"
--The New York Times
From the Inside Flap
What's NEW in the 2017 The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland?
- Sneak peak at Star Wars Land, the largest expansion in the history of Disneyland Park
- How the current construction and closures around Disneyland's Frontierland impact touring the park, and how you should navigate the detours
- Details on Season of the Force and the Force Awakens-inspired additions to Tomorrowland, featuring Hyperspace Mountain and new Star Tours destinations
- Coverage of new attractions at Disney California Adventure like Luigi's Rolickin' Roadsters, Soarin' - Over the Horizon, and the Frozen stage musical
- Updated versions of our famous Touring Plans, plus a new 1-Day Disneyland plan for parents with small children
- Full review of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, including details on all the food, entertainment, and attractions
- Refreshed restaurant information, and reviews of new and recently refurbished hotels in the Disneyland Resort area
- Expanded information on transportation options into and around the Anaheim area, including advice on using ride-sharing services like Uber
Part 6 - Disney California Adventure - Cars Land
Cars land is the crowning capst one on DCA's transformation, and the first major "land" in an American Disney theme park devoted solely to a single film franchise. Tucked in the park's southeast corner on 12 acres of repurposed parking lot, Cars Land's main entrance is across from the Golden Vine Winery, though there are secondary gateways in A Bug's Land and in Pacific Wharf (the vista through the latter's stone archway entrance is especially scenic). A massive mountainous backdrop topped with 125-foot high peaks patterned after 1950s Cadillac Pinnacle tail fins, known as the Cadillac Range, cradles Ornament Valley, home to a screen-accurate re-creation of Radiator Springs. That's the sleepy single-stoplight town along Route 66 populated by Pixar's anthropomorphized automobiles. Along its main drag, in addition to three rides, you'll find eateries themed to the film's minor characters and souvenir shops selling Cars-themed and Route 66 merchandise.
Cars Land represents a considerable investment in capital and creativity for the Disney company, resulting in a rare example of complete entertainment immersion. Walking through the aesthetically astounding area is uncannily like stepping into the cinematic universe, and well worth the wait even if you weren't particularly enamored of the merchandise-moving movies. Since opening, the area has attracted massive crowds all day and has dramatically increased DCA's overall attendance. As striking as Cars Land is by daylight, it is even more stunning after sunset; the nightly neon-lighting ceremony set to the doo-wop classic "Life Could Be a Dream" is a magical must-see (showtimes are not publicized but occur promptly at sundown, so ask a Cars Land cast member and arrive early). Finally, a word to the wise from a Dallas, Texas, family:
Tip: Cars Land has NO shade. Literally none. Wear a hat.
World of Color--Celebrate!
The Wonderful World of Walt Disney
DESCRIPTION AND COMMENTS
The 1,200 high-pressure water nozzles installed under the surface of DCA's Paradise Bay are the infrastructure for Disney's $75-million attempt to keep guests in the park (and spending money) until closing time. If you've seen or heard about the spectacular fountain show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, World of Color--Celebrate! is similar but larger, with more special effects and themed to Disney movies.
Though the original version of World of Color was still wildly popular, in honor of Disneyland's Diamond Anniversary, it was completely overhauled and given the new subtitle Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney. This new special edition of World of Color is explicitly a tribute to Walt Disney, the man and his "dreams of Disneyland," and incorporates classic animated images with live-action footage of Uncle Walt and a new musical score, along with clips from dozens of Disney films, attractions, and character
in its 22-minute performance.
The show's backdrop includes Mickey's Fun Wheel, fitted with special lighting effects for use in the show. Giant projection surfaces sculpted by sprayed water--even larger than those used in Fantasmic!--display custom-made animations, and flamethrowers spew almost enough heat to dry off guests standing in the splash zones. What's most remarkable about the show is how the flashing colored lights and pulsating fountains combine to look like low-level fireworks. The effects are astounding, and the colors are
vibrant and deep.
World of Color--Celebrate! is hosted by stage and screen star Neil Patrick Harris, and boy, did Disney get their money's worth with him. NPH (as he's known to his fans) is in almost every scene of the show. If we had to rank the top four things you'll see and hear in the show, it's 1) water, 2) color, 3) Neil Patrick Harris, and 4) the word celebrate. Unfortunately, even if you're a huge fan of his work as Doogie Howser, Barney Stinson, and/or Hedwig, Harris's presence crosses the line from conducive host to obtrusive interloper, as he's awkwardly inserted into stiffly animated sequences and made to sing a mediocre new theme song that isn't nearly as catchy as the old "Wonderful World of Color" tune.
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