Theme Parks Need Tentpoles, Too
Disney's Cars Land features the most expensive ride ever made as the industry rebounds big by borrowing -- heavily -- from the studios' blockbusters.
On June 15, after a five-year effort that cost more than $1.1 billion, a huge overhaul of Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim will be unveiled. The reboot includes the opening of a two-acre Cars Land, based on the popular Pixar Cars movies, where the main attraction alone, Radiator Springs Racers, cost more than $200 million, the most expensive ride ever made. It's all designed to revitalize a theme park that had been a disappointment since it opened in 2001. Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger, speaking May 30 during a Wall Street investor conference, called California Adventure "a park that was not up to standards" and "a bit of a brand eyesore." But now, he said, "Cars Land is the culmination of the expansion we started in 2007 with attractions Toy Story Mania!, Little Mermaid and the spectacular World of Color."
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