Cars ROAD TRIP: landscaping at the service of immersion

Topics) : Walt Disney Studios

In Cars ROAD TRIP, which will soon open at Disneyland Paris, landscaping occupies a key place in order to immerse visitors in the atmosphere of the emblematic roads of the American West. Meeting with the landscape architects of Walt Disney Imagineering, whose mission is to bring new immersive natural spaces to life.

A new attraction

The Cars ROAD TRIP attraction will take visitors to the heart of the Disney film universe.Pixar Cars, in an unusual journey along the mythical Route 66, to encounter natural and mechanical wonders. The transformation of the attraction represented a real challenge for the Walt Disney Imagineering teams, since it was necessary to completely rethink the landscaping of the attraction, in order to create a feeling of immersion in the heart of the American West. From the selection in the nursery, through the transport of the trees, to the care taken during their establishment and then their daily maintenance, the Walt Disney Imagineering teams pay constant attention to the plants of this attraction, which are an integral part of the visitor experience. 

Selected plant species

For this, a significant research work was necessary in order to identify plant species adapted to the climatic conditions of Seine-et-Marne, and thus guarantee a feeling of immersion and this in all seasons. The Walt Disney Imagineering teams at Disneyland Paris worked in close collaboration with the creative teams based in Glendale, California, in order to best transpose the universe of the films in the saga Cars by selecting plant species that are best suited to the soils of Seine-et-Marne. Julia Malichaud, landscape architect, explains that she was inspired by the great national parks and the landscapes that border the emblematic roads of the American West, and she naturally admits to having watched the films Cars endlessly !

Another component that the teams had to take into consideration: the presence of the Bois des Livrains on the existing site, around which the attraction revolves. It was necessary to ensure that the species chosen integrated harmoniously with those already present. Picea omorika (Serbian spruce), field maples, blood dogwoods or even Colorado spruces, easily identifiable by their bluish tint: the teams criss-crossed European nurseries to carefully select each tree, shrub or grove. Thus, there are more than 500 specimens planted as part of the transformation of the attraction! Among the most impressive: giant sequoias and above all 3 large trees, a Metasequoia glyptostroboides And two Quercus robur 'Fastigiata', including one measuring more than 14m high, which were transported to the site by exceptional convoy.

As explained by Marc Boulanger, Landscape Superintendent, in charge of the concrete realization of the landscaping imagined by Julia, the objective through the presence of these different species, is to obtain a contrast which makes it possible to mark the passage between the different scenes of the attraction, and thus avoid the linearity of the experience. “Nothing is done by chance,” adds Julia. “We chose each tree in the nursery, and each tree planted in a place has a role to play in terms of decoration but also in terms of utility”. Whether it is to direct the visitor's gaze, support an element of the story told throughout the course, these plant barriers will also serve to naturally hide behind the scenes of the attraction and immerse the visitor in the universe told by the Imagineers. .

Source(s): DisneylandParis News (official site)

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