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I never wanted to go to  Disneyland. Sure, I’d heard all about how it was “Walt’s park” and how you could walk in Walt’s footsteps, but to be honest, I’m not very sentimental about those things. I love Disney World, all four parks, the dining options, and the resorts. It didn’t seem necessary to go all the way out to the West Coast (where I was raised, incidentally) when I had everything I needed just a few hundred miles from my front door. But circumstances change and an opportunity arose. I went to Disneyland.

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Here’s what I found, in a nutshell: Disneyland is both the same and different.  Disneyland feels like a “family” park, with a million pass holders for whom it’s like a second home; Disney World is everyone’s park, a destination for people from all over the world. Their castle is “cute,” not grand like “ours,” their quick-service food is better and the table-service food is spotty in places.Their Haunted Mansion has nothing on ours, except during the fall and Christmas, when they do a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay that is not to be missed.

DOC HUDSON IN RADIATOR SPRINGS RACER

Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders were among the first to be allowed behind the wall and into the world of Pixar’s Cars and the town of Radiator Springs. The E-Ticket attraction of this new Cars Land is Radiator Springs Racers and, as you might expect, a few passholders rushed home and put some excellent on ride video up on youtube.

Obviously, there are spoilers from here on out. So proceed at your own risk if you want to remain unspoiled.

Hang on Disneyland fans, the much anticipated grand opening of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and the Carthay Circle Theatre at Disney California Adventure has been announced for June 15th with the park being closed on the 14th “to prepare” (aka to hold a media event). The new additions will serve as a capstone in the five year plan to revive the Disneyland resort and recover from some of the bad choices made when DCA originally opened. It’s still less than a perfect park, but these changes should go along way to closing the distance. I mean just look at that mountain range in Cars Land.

The great folks at Disney have shared this video with some behind the scenes glimpses of final details being added to DCA.

I know I’m ready, how about you? Okay then… more details below the jump:

A nice move by the Disney Parks Blog for sharing this mockup photo-realistic of Radiator Springs Racers created by Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Groups. The picture is meant to be used in in advertisements or other promotional material as Cars’ Land zooms closer to reality. The mockup is a composite of images intended to give you a glimpse of what the attraction will look like when it opens this summer. It should provide a big jolt for California Adventure when it does.

Yes, it looks a lot like Test Track with eyes, but the pre-viz video that leaked last month show the attraction to be a lot more than that. Are you looking forward to the attraction or does the idea of an attraction based on Pixar’s ‘Cars’ not do it for you?

Below the jump is full video from the D23 Expo presentation focused on Radiator Springs Racers: