Literally rounding out our coverage of the rides of Cars Land is Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, a simple attraction that offers a surprisingly good time for visitors to the Disney California Adventure theme park. Like the classic Disneyland tea cups, this sends guests spinning - but with a few new twists.
It’s impossible to miss the sights and particularly the sounds of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree when entering the new Cars Land. Audible from the main street of Radiator Springs (and close-by areas of the park) are the vocal stylings of Tow Mater, the hillbilly tow truck whose junkyard is home to this ride. The assortment of amusing songs Mater sings and a unique swinging trailer-hitched ride system combine to create a few unexpected thrills and plenty of laughs.
Video: Ride on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in Cars Land
Of the three rides in Cars Land, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree has the least interesting queue, decorated with a few pieces of “junk” that fit the theme. Some of the tin signs and other items lying around are amusing, but they’re largely ignored with the focus almost exclusively on the ride itself taking up the majority of the area within the circular queue.
As guests load in groups awaiting the next “jamboree,” Mater’s monstrous junkyard jukebox takes center stage, alternating through seven different songs created for the ride - plus one “secret” song that plays roughly once per hour, in which Mater forgets the lyrics. The songs include “Junkyard Jamboree,” the ride’s main theme, and other toe-tapping numbers like “Big Bull Dozer” and “Mater’s Square Dance.” They’re all catchy, instantly getting stuck in guests’ heads - until the next one is played.
The ride itself allows up to three guests to squeeze into trailers pulled by those famous tractors from “Cars,” not tipping this time but instead awake and ready for to do-si-do. Though similar, close inspection reveals each tractor is unique in expression, eye color, and other details.
Tractors rotate around a series of circle patterns on the ground, not spinning in place or even in one large circle, but almost forming open-ended figure eights, like being passed between dance partners. Their movement isn’t terribly fast and never nauseating (unlike the aforementioned tea cups), as it’s more of a twirl than a spin. But the excitement of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree occurs when tractors are passed from one section to the next, rapidly changing riders’ direction from one to the other, twisting momentum and causing guests to go sliding around. Passengers should be prepared to get cozy with one another while riding together. It’s a brief but exciting sensation that separates this attraction from all other spinning rides, whipping guests in one direction, then another, rather than simply sending them in circles.
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is all about the simple thrills of being gently thrown around while “dancing” to the tunes of the junkyard jukebox. It’s no accident that this music-filled, high-energy ride is placed on the outskirts of Cars Land, drawing attention inward but never encroaching on the ambiance created within the area.
Radiator Springs Racers is clearly the big, E-ticket attraction of Cars Land while Luigi’s Flying Tires is the low-key, do-it-yourself brand of fun, leaving Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree somewhere in the middle, offering easy laughs and quick thrills in an all-ages attraction.
More photos from Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree: