Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 2012

Get Your Kicks at Cars Land's Route 66

By Barbara Palmer, Senior Editor

Walking into a media and meeting planner preview of Cars Land, in the reimagined Disney California Adventure Park at Disney- land, triggered flashbacks to a family trip along Route 66 when I was seven. That’s how well the 12-acre attraction recreates the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs from the movie “Cars,” complete with a wigwam-themed motel, and pastel-hued Southwestern panoramas.

Cars Land is part of a $1.1-billion reinvention of the California Adventure Park. It tells the story of “Cars,” but it’s about more than the movie “it’s really about immersive storytelling,” said Robert Donohue, director of resort sales and services for Disneyland resort. “And when you think about it, every conference has its story to tell.” The preview party, where guests enjoyed “roadside” food-and-beverage stations, entertainment, and rides like Radiator Spring Racers, illustrated the possibilities for private events at the new attraction. Planners can leverage Disneyland’s assets, Donohue said, to “tell your story the way you want.”

During the preview, we stayed at the 1,019-room Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and had an al fresco breakfast at the recently renovated, 973-room Disneyland Hotel, whose new amenities include the interactive Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar. Back at the California Adventure Park, there’s also a new Mad T Party nighttime dance party, inspired by Tim Burton’s film version of “Alice in Wonderland.”

“Disney,” said corporate planner Beth Cooper-Zobott, “makes a meeting planner look like a star.”

For more information: carsland.com

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