August 6, 2012

The Amazing Alternate Entrance to Cars Land

It's officially called Lost Wheel Arch, and visitors often describe this scene with one word: "Wow." Photos don't do justice to this alternate Cars Land entrance; the view is an absolute jaw-dropper in person. You feel as if you're about to enter an amazing  painted illustration -- but it's all really there, full of life and sound. The racers keep roaring over the hill in the distance. Real birds are making nests in the cliff faces.

The funny thing is, a lot of  people miss this view because of the archway's out-of-the-way location.

There are three entries to Cars Land. Nearly everyone arrives for the first time via the main Route 66 entrance leading guests straight through the heart of Radiator Springs.
The other two entries sit at each end of Cross Street, the road that intersects Route 66 underneath the famous blinking yellow light (and Filmore was right; every third blink is slower).

The hike from Bugs Land will lead you past a funny billboard from the finale of Cars 2 (yes, he's now Sir Tow Mater), but the Pacific Wharf entry offers the incredible view.

In a leftover design problem from DCA's quirky original layout, this spectacular entry to Cars Land is hidden from most guests. To find it once you've reached the Pacific Wharf area, you have to wind your way through the forest of outdoor dining tables between the Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill and the Lucky Fortune Cookery. Many folks, just yards away from discovering the stone archway, turn left and head back out to the Cars Land Main Entry, never knowing they're missing the greatest sight in all of Disney California Adventure.

If you arrive early in the morning to ride Radiator Springs Racers (highly recommended) you have to use the Main Entry, and that's a fantastic sight in itself. If, however, you arrive in DCA later in the day, I suggest heading down to the lesser-known Lost Wheel Arch path. Day or night, the view is one of the best thing's Disney's ever created.

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