So we got off of Luigi's Flying Tires and headed over to Radiator Springs Racers, where they have three lines: the regular line, the Fast Pass line, and the Single Rider line. (I think there's also a line for people with disabilities, but that didn't figure into our calculations, because no one on our party was disabled.) The regular line was three and a half hours long; people started lining up for Fast Passes before California Adventure even opened, so we assumed that by the time we got any, we wouldn't be able to use them until after we wanted to leave the park (this assumption turned out to be not necessarily correct, but it did result in us not having Fast Passes); and we didn't really care about keeping our party together, because when you're on the ride, you're not really wanting to chat or anything. So Single Rider was it!
The Single Rider line was 65 minutes long, which we expected and were okay with, but apparently the park people weren't, because when the line gets that long, they close it. One cast member was kind enough to tell us the criteria for opening it up again (wait until the end of the line is under that bridge in the mid-distance), so it was time to wait to wait in line. Then the line stopped moving, so we decided to get breakfast instead. The menu at Flo's cafe wasn't very appealing, so Athena and I went over to the Cozy Cone Motel (which is actually a series of concessions stands) to get some pretzel bites. When the guy handed us our food, he said, "Enjoy and drive safely," which we thought was adorable.
After breakfast, we waited to wait in line again, and eventually! we actually got in line! The queue area was pretty much as unappealing as we expected. It was kind of like the line to Big Thunder Mountain, but without the old-timey Western feel to it. Instead, it had brand new handrails that were already deliberately covered in rust. Yay road trips. Still, the rock formations were pretty fun.
Before long, we heard a cast member announce that the ride had broken down! Woohoo! But I don't think anybody in that line would have been willing to ever give up their place in a million years (especially the people who had already been in the standby line for three hours), so we all waited. Fortunately, they had it back up in probably less than ten minutes. And before long, it was time for us to get on the ride!
I think there may have been a few factors that negatively impacted my opinion of the ride, and none of them had to do with the line. First, I banged my leg on the side of the car when I was getting in, and it hurt like the dickens! (That means it hurt a lot, right?) The excruciating pain made it a little more difficult to enjoy the scenery. Then we started off driving to some nice, soothing...country music. (Reminder: we hate country music with a passion.)
But the scenery really was lovely. Athena says when it started she thought, "Oh, so it's like Autopia." Then, after enjoying the view, we went inside where we (almost literally) ran into Mack (or is it Mac? You know, the truck), and she was like, "Oh, so it's Mr. Toad?" This opinion was reinforced when the Sheriff came along and told us to slow down, it wasn't time for the race yet. I didn't think we were going that fast, but whatever. Then Mater showed up, and suddenly the ride felt like the ET ride from Universal Studios, which we haven't even been on since sixth grade and don't know if they even really still have it, but it really had a similar feel. It helped that Mater flew past the moon, just like...is it Eliot? In ET. (We haven't really seen ET. Eheh.)
So after tractor tipping with Mater (which I have to say, I know it probably makes me a not fun person, but I don't like the idea of it; we were told when we were little that cow tipping is a very cruel thing to do, and we've never really liked laughing at the misfortunes of people or animals (or tractors) who didn't have it coming), it was time to get ready for the race. McQueen told us if we wanted to be fast, we had to look fast (or something), so we got a paint job from Ramone, complete with car paint smell. It was kind of a cool effect, but we never really liked the smell of potentially brain-damaging chemicals, so I would totally have been okay with them leaving that element out of it. (Like how they don't use their special smell effect in Soarin' Over California when you're soarin' over LA traffic.)
Gaston tells us that sometimes you get new tires instead of a paint job, and when that happens, they open some curtains to show you your new tires in the mirror, but they didn't show us our new paint job, which we think is either related to the breakdown from earlier, or just hard to pull off with all the different colored cars.
Anyway, we pulled up next to the car with the new tires and then...it was a race! Whoosh!!!
And that was fun. They take your picture at the finish line, and we won! Yay!
But maybe it was the pain in my leg talking, but I was just kind of meh about the whole thing. The animatronics on the cars were really cool looking. Athena says her reaction is, "Why can't they have a ride like that for a movie I like?" But it was really good, because it made you a part of the action, unlike the Little Mermaid ride, which is pretty much like, "You just sit back and watch us be the center of attention." Anyway, it was a pretty fun ride, but when we go on it again, it will be when the line is much, much shorter.
Now that we'd seen everything in Cars Land, it was time to...take a Little Mermaid detour, and then it was time to explore Buena Vista Street a little bit more. It's mostly just shops (like Main Street, and in fact Buena Vista Street is like if Main Street had a more Spanish motif), so there's not a whole lot to report except that it looks really nice. I admit that I was not really inspired to take a lot of pictures. Athena says it reminds her of one of the few things she didn't like about the Japanese Disney parks, which is that you can get really close to the park exit without noticing it.
Gaston's a big foodie, so he wanted to take a look inside the Carthay Circle Restaurant lounge, which is a beautiful place, but makes me unhappy because of all the alcohol served there. Disneyland is a place where families can go to have fun, and I think that alcohol shouldn't be a necessity in parents having fun with their kids. We sat for a little while until I noticed something going on outside. The Red Car Trolley had stopped, and the people on it were clearly dressed as cast members and not guests. So Athena and I went outside to watch while Gaston stayed in and ordered a (non-alcoholic) drink.
The people getting off the trolley were the news boys, and they started singing a song about "extra! extra! read all about it" stuff, and it was fun and exciting...until they had sound issues and stopped the show. They tried real hard to keep going, though. They sang a capella for a while, but then they just loaded up the trolley and left. Later we found out (from a video on the Disney Parks Blog) that Mickey Mouse was supposed to join them, and we were sad we missed it until we watched the video and really disliked the song they sang. It was just kind of bland and repetitive, and misrepresents Mickey's origins. (To be fair, the Walt Disney biography I read said that Walt himself embellished the story of Mickey's origins, but now they're saying Walt met Mickey on his way to California...which kind of goes along with Walt's story, but not really.)
Instead of going home, for convenience to Gaston (who needed to help his sister teach a dance class), we stayed at his house. We were worried that we would be bored, but Gaston is good about making sure people are fed, so we stopped by Target to get some frozen pizzas. While we were there, we also bought a copy of Mirror, Mirror, and so we had a lovely time watching the movie to pass the time. The next morning, we came home, and here we are.
Today I'm thankful for getting to see all the Cars Land attractions, getting to buy some kettle corn before we left, having our own copy of Mirror Mirror, Mom paying for our groceries (I accidentally left my card at home; we wrote her a check as soon as we got home), and it being time to play more Deltora Quest.