The Topping Out Ceremony at Cars Land today celebrates the achievement of the construction team that is bringing the new land to life. It also marks a milestone in the overall expansion of Disney California Adventure park.
Topping Out is a long-standing tradition among construction workers and engineers. It customarily takes place when the highest piece of steel is installed on the frame of building. The final beam is painted white and signed by the ironworkers, steel design engineer and construction management. It’s said that the tradition dates back to an ancient Viking custom in which, upon completion of a construction, they would hoist an evergreen to the top in celebration. The evergreen, which is still part of the tradition, is said to signify growth and bring good luck. Today’s ceremony takes place in “Ornament Valley,” under development in Cars Land.
Opening to Disney California Adventure guests in 2012 and inspired by the Disney•Pixar blockbuster “Cars,” the 12-acre Cars Land will invite guests to “take the off-ramp” and literally step into the movie’s Radiator Springs setting. It will feature three new attractions, including the E-ticket thrill ride Radiator Springs Racers – taking guests zooming through the Cars Land landscape. Other Cars Land attractions will include Luigi’s Flying Tires (striking a chord with anyone who remembers the Flying Saucers in Tomorrowland) and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, a swinging square dance featuring baby tractors pulling Mater’s junkyard trailers.
The expansion of Disney California Adventure park is creating even more fun and adventure for families planning multi-day visits to Disneyland Resort. Additional Disney California Adventure milestones in 2010-2011 include the after-dark spectacular “World of Color,” which opened this summer and recently surpassed 1 million guests. An encore inspired by the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures “TRON: Legacy,” debuting in theaters Dec. 17, will join the “World of Color” show beginning Sunday evening, Oct. 31. The premiere of a new attraction, The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, is set for 2011, and that voyage through the Little Mermaid’s underwater world, will open in a refreshed Paradise Pier area, with new and enhanced shops and food locations, plus Goofy’s Sky School, a wacky variation on the classic boardwalk “wild mouse” attraction.
Some interesting facts about Cars Land and the Cadillac Mountain Range under construction:
- From both a creative and a structural standpoint, the Cadillac Range is one-of-a-kind, built to an unusual level of complexity with very few 90-degree angles.
- Walt Disney Imagineers devoted more than 28,000 hours to designing the structural steel system for the rockwork and Radiator Springs Racers show building.
- When topped out, the range will reach approximately 125 feet at its peak.
- Because of the unique shape of the Cadillac Range, this Topping Out will not be the last piece of steel to go up, but it is the highest and most prominent. It will be part of the Pinnacle of the Cadillac Range, representing a 1959 Cadillac, whose tail fin was also known as the Pinnacle.
- Cars Land construction began in July 2009. Steel installation started in March 2010.
- At 280,000 square feet, the Cadillac Range is the largest rockwork job in any domestic Disney theme park – larger that the Matterhorn, Splash Mountain or, in Florida, Expedition Everest.
- More than 4,000 tons of steel will be erected by the time the rockwork and Radiator Springs Racers are completed.
- In addition to the attractions, Cars Land will be home to food and merchandise locations inspired by the Radiator Springs landmarks in the movie: Flo’s V8 Café, Radiator Springs Curios, Cozy Cone Motel, etc.