Route 66 in the News

Can Disney Inspire Route 66 Travel?

2012-08-01 08:30:55

An unabashed love of the iconic Route 66 has the folk at Walt Disney Imagineering hoping Cars Land inspires travel along The Mother Road.

Relegated to history after being bypassed by interstate highways, Route 66, once America’s Main Street, has become the haunt of tourists (domestic and international) hoping to capture a bit of Americana heritage.

The release of Cars reawakened interest in Route 66, locals remembering visits from the film’s director John Lasseter, the Orange County Register reported.

"From that day back in 2006, with all those questions they were asking and all the research they did, to see the worldwide impact it's had -- it's just been amazing," then Midpoint Café owner Fran Houser (reputed inspiration behind Flo and her V8 Café) said.

As the Walt Disney Imagineers set their sights on a land inspired by the movie, they too visited Route 66.

“‘Get your kicks on Route 66’” is more than just a refrain to a popular song -- it’s what we did when the concept team for Cars Land traveled this fabled road in 2008, during the early design stages of Cars Land,” Walt Disney Imagineering executive producer and vice president Kathy Mangum said.

“Our team grew to love and respect the people, the sights, the kitsch, the charm, the warmth and the heritage of Route 66.”

Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard at the opening of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park, Ms Mangum, who admitted she “kind of fell in love” with Route 66, said she hoped that one of the spinoff benefits of Cars Land was a renewed interest in traveling the iconic road.


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