BACKSTORY (JUNE 15, 2012—PRESENT): From the Disney website:
Start your engines! The ride of your life is about to begin! Rocket through the desert landscape of Ornament Valley in a thrilling auto racing competition that includes some of your favorite locations and characters from the Disney·Pixar movie Cars.
Stanley's Oasis Before you hit the open road, you'll stroll through the original settlement of Radiator Springs. See how Stanley capitalized on a natural cold spring and built a series of ingenious attractions — like a "pull up and fill-up" coolant station, a building made entirely out of empty oil bottles and the Comfy Cavern Motor Court — that grew into the lovely town we know today.
Ornament Valley and Radiator Springs The journey begins peacefully enough, as you board a 6-person car for a scenic road trip through Ornament Valley, including a drive by the valley's famous plunging waterfall, Radiator Falls.
Next, you'll head towards the town of Radiator Springs and along the way you'll encounter some familiar faces — including Lightning McQueen, Mater, Sally, Luigi, Guido, Mack, Ramone and Doc Hudson — who will welcome you to the big race and help you along the way. Well, they'll mostly help you; Mater is known to recruit newcomers to participate in one of his favorite activities, tractor tipping.
To get you ready for the race, you'll fine-tune your car at either Luigi's Casa Della Tires or Ramone's House of Body Art. You'll want to ride multiple times to see both!
The Race For the thrilling conclusion of the attraction, you'll be pitted against another car filled with Guests for a friendly competition to see who can get to the checkered flag first. Zip over hills, zoom around high-banked turns, and cruise down camelback straightaways past spectacular red-rock formations. While there is only one winner, everyone is sure to have a great time — just like in the movie Cars, it's about the journey, not the finish line!
Cadillac Range Mountains The towering Cadillac Range mountains serve as a majestic backdrop for Radiator Springs Racers. Car aficionados will notice that the 6 mountain peaks resemble the tail fins of classic Cadillac models from 1957 to 1962. The mountains are inspired by the iconic Cadillac Ranch public art installation located along Route 66 near Amarillo, Texas. Cadillac Ranch features 10 vintage Cadillac automobiles with their front halves buried in the ground. The installation was created in 1974 by artists Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, Doug Michel — known collectively as Ant Farm.