How Does Cars Land Stand Up to the Real Route 66?

Disney California Adventures strives to show its guests the very best of California, but how accurately do the lands inside the park portray their visions of California? First up: Cars Land and its similarities to the real Route 66. Cars Land is a triumphant feat of Imagineering — there is no other way to put it. Once you enter this land you are instantly transported back to the heyday of the Route 66 that never was and always will be. Cars Land matches up to the movie 100%. But how does it match up to the real Route 66? IMG_20170718_082456 Let's take a look at Sally's Cozy Cone Motel. It's a near perfect match for the Cozy Cone of the Cars movie. Sally's office is here and there are several cones. Instead of hotel rooms, these cones serve up snacks like churros and ice cream. The Cozy Cone is based on the Wigwam Motel on Route 66 in Holbrook, Arizona. The Wigwam Motel was actually a chain and had as many as seven motels across the country. Only three remain today, the one in Holbrook, another in California and one far away from Route 66 in Kentucky. The following are pictures that I took on a Route 66 road trip of the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook. 20130602_075030 20130602_070805 20130602_074946 20130602_075040 20130602_075236 20130602_075250 All the old cars are parked in the lot just for show, but it sure does remind you of some of the older models of cars in Cars Land, doesn't it? Here is another photo from a motel that is right across the street from the Wigwam Motel. I think the pool area looks a lot like the front yard of the Cozy Cone. 20130601_192835 20140609_132530 20140609_210359 20140609_210423 20150111_174849 DSC_0045 Flo's Diner was engineered to resemble a Ford V-8 engine. The restaurant is not modeled after one particular restaurant along Route 66. The 5 & Diner in Oklahoma and the 66 Diner in New Mexico may be the closest to Flo's. The Midpoint Cafe in Texas was also an inspiration for Pixar. The former cafe owner, Fran Houser, is said to be the inspiration for Flo. IMG_20170718_082610 20140609_210558 DSC_0034 DSC_0044 I'm going to show you a few pictures from another very important restaurant, Joe and Aggie's Cafe located in Holbrook Arizona. John Lasseter stopped here when he was on a road trip with his family. He later returned and spent hours speaking with the elderly owner of the restaurant about the bygone era of Route 66. In an interview, the owner's son claimed that Lasseter first heard the phrase "the town got bypassed just to save ten minutes of driving" from his mother at this restaurant. 20130601_205435 20130601_205556 DSC_0630 Fillmore's unique looking shop is based off Ortega's Indian Market in Arizona. DSC_0648 IMG_20170718_082505 Sarge's Surplus Hut could be based on any number of roadside Army surplus stores built from Quonset huts. IMG_20170718_082527 One of my favorite details in Cars Land is the difference between Sarge's lawn and Fillmore's. IMG_20170718_082524 Roadside signs, tourist trap shops and curiosities were and are a big part of Route 66. DSC_0236 DSC_0273 DSC_0278 DSC_0612 DSC_0616 A lot of these crazy roadside signs and dinosaurs remind me of Mater's Junkyard and the queue for Radiator Springs Racers. IMG_20170713_084427 20140609_142030 IMG_20170713_084656 IMG_20170718_082658 IMG_20170718_082759 Cars Land's Curio Shop is said to be based off Sandhill's Curiosity shop in Oklahoma. 20140609_132319 20140609_210445 Sandhill's: dsc06156-e1458444415382 If you've ever wondered about the tractors that wander through Radiator Springs in the movie, they were most likely inspired by the town of Oatman, Arizona. Wild burros roam the streets. 20140609_142815 IMG_20170713_084350 The Cars Land "Here It Is" billboard is based off the Jackrabbit Trading Post billboard from Arizona. DSC_0641 IMG_20170713_084254 If you've ever used the secondary entrance to Cars Land, the one that leads to Pacific Wharf, you'll have been treated to some great views. IMG_20170718_084638_1 IMG_20170718_084900 IMG_20170718_084922 I love this area because it is exactly like driving along Route 66 and coming upon some roadside markers that tell you about the history and geographical features of the area around you.DSC_0280 DSC_0504   DSC_0516 DSC_0534 DSC_0520 So there you have it. How do you think the Imagineers did? Does Cars Land live up to the real Route 66?

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