August 1, 2012

Why You Need to Arrive at Cars Land Early

Radiator Springs Racers, entrance, early, morning
Some folks hate to get out of bed early on vacation, and when we advise them to get to the park gate by 6:30 A.M., they'll stare at us like we've lost our mouse-ear-wearing minds. As a public service, we present this photo comparison to show the difference between early arrival at the parks and late arrival -- and by "late," we mean 8:30 in the morning.

Above, you see a lovely, welcome sight; this is Radiator Springs Racers in the early morning -- about 7:15 a.m.. We've just taken two trips on the ride (the second go-round using the single rider line, which is a walk-on at this hour). Other early-birds are in the ride's sheltered queue area, which now holds about a thirty minute wait. Needless to say, this serene situation won't last.

The photos below (four shots clumsily stitched into a two-part panorama, but we think they get the point across), show the line for Radiator Springs Racers at 8:30 A.M. The now three-hour line snakes all the way through the ride's main queue and down Cross Street...
Radiator Springs Racers line queue
...toward the Pacific Wharf entry point and back again.
Radiator Springs Racers line queue
Fortunately for these late-arrivals who don't heed good travel advice, Radiator Springs Racers is the most entertaining ride to watch on Earth, and this extended stretch of queue provides a great view. Note that we're also enjoying the view, but we're sitting at Flo's having breakfast, because we arrived early and rode the Racers with minimal wait.

The moral? Have your clothes picked out, set the alarm, determine the earliest entry time your ticket/hotel package grants and get to the gate a half-hour earlier than that. Seriously, the object is to be one of the first few hundred people through the park turnstyle. Getting your family onto Radiator Springs Racers early and then relaxing together over breakfast at Flo's, with a whole day of fun ahead -- well, there's no better way to start a day at the resort.

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