Cars Land in Disney's California Adventure is approaching the halfway mark of completion. Set to open in 2012, Radiator Springs will open in the 12 acres right next to Bugs Land and the Tower of Terror. "We are literally brining Radiator Springs to Life," said Mary Niven, Vice President of Disney's California Adventure, at the "topping out" ceremony for Radiator Springs Ridge.
Topping out is a tradition in the steel industry where the highest point on a new structure is christened by placing a special white beam, signed by members of the construction crew–and in this case at Cars Land, a live tree and American Flag as well–right at the very tippy top of the tallest peak of the steel frame. The highest point of Radiator Springs Ridge is 125 feet up at what will be Cadillac Range. The Ridge will be the home of Radiator Springs Racers the "E" ticket ride in Cars Land.
The whole ceremony, from the lifting of the beam to the placement of it on the Ridge, took about 20 minutes and as soon as it was secured the 250 or so construction workers who have worked on the Ridge since March let out a "Hooray!" It felt like a monumental moment in what is becoming a chain of monumental moments at California Adventure. Starting with the debut of World of Color this summer and now the construction of Cars Land, Ariel's Underwater Adventure and the redesign of the entrance it feels like California Adventure's transformation is happening right before our eyes.
Here are my exclusive photos of the Cars Land construction site from today's ceremony. I was only allowed to photograph Radiator Springs Ridge.
At 430 feet across, Radiator Springs' Ridge will take up almost half of Cars Land.
It will be the largest rock work structure in all of Disneyland and Disney World.
More than 250 construction workers took part in the ceremony today.
They've worked since March on The Ridge.
The signed white beam and little tree were mounted at the most visible part of Cars Land.
Once the Peak is completed make a note the beam, tree and flag will be part of the tail fin of the 1959 Cadillac.
Marcy and me after the topping off Ceremony.
Model of Cars Land courtesy of Disneyland.