Culminating a 5-year expansion projected, Disneyland Resort held the grand reopening of the “new” Disney California Adventure theme park this morning as a huge crowd guests eagerly camped out overnight to be among the first to experience Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, and all of the park’s enhancements.
The reopening ceremony took place in the new Carthay Circle with Disney president and CEO Bob Iger referencing Walt Disney, represented by the nearby Storytellers statue, as the inspiration behind all that Disney California Adventure has now become. The celebration concluded with a character-filled dance number before Mickey and Minnie Mouse along with Iger officially reopened the park.
Video: Disney California Adventure grand reopening
UPDATE (6/19/12): Video of the full reopening / rededication ceremony
Following the ceremony, Bob Iger made a point to pose with the new statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse on this historic day.
Immediately after the reopening ceremony, at around 8:15 a.m., the rope was dropped and Disney began letting large groups of thrilled guests in, all of whom headed straight for Cars Land, with most bypassing its shops, restaurants, and smaller attractions on the fast track to Radiator Springs Racers, greeted by smiling Cast Members along Route 66.
By 8:30 a.m., the standby line for the new E-ticket attraction was already at a 40 minute wait and Fastpasses were disappearing quickly. Within an hour, the line had reached 3 hours, though technical difficulties temporarily put the race into a pit stop. And Fastpasses ultimately were gone for the day just before 10 a.m. as the line for Radiator Springs Racers began winding through the park, seemingly with no end in sight.
UPDATE: Take a walk down the massive Radiator Springs Racers line on grand opening day:
But excitement was still seen on every guest’s face, as well as across the faces of Disney Parks’ executive team who took a stroll through Cars Land to mark the momentous occasion. Bob Iger, Tom Staggs, Meg Crofton, and George Kalogridis all proudly look to the mountain range Disney’s Imagineers created as the final piece of the new Disney California Adventure.
This article will be updated later today as the lines get longer and the crowds get bigger for the grand reopening of Disneyland Resort’s second theme park. Then our coverage of all the new attractions of Disney California Adventure will continue in the coming days including in-depth looks inside around all the new rides, shops, restaurants, parties, and more.