By: Michelle Hozey
It’s not always easy to find free family fun, but we hit the jackpot on May 12 when we zoomed over to the Cherry Hill Mall to check out the “Cars 3” Road to the Races Tour. We saw an exclusive trailer and got to see the Disney Pixar “Cars” stars up close and personal. We even got to sample and take home all sorts of free goodies.
The line was humming with excitement as hundreds of excited kids waited to see their favorite Disney characters in the flesh, or in the steel, I should say.
Even though I prepared her beforehand, my daughter was a little disappointed that they didn’t talk. She was thrilled, however, that they’re introducing a new female car for the new movie. Cruz Ramirez, voiced by Cristela Alonzo, will be Lightning McQueen’s new trainer, teaching him all the right moves to beat Jackson Storm, a sleek next-generation race car who’s giving our beloved red racer a run for his money.
Our first stop at the Road to the Races Tour was the Dole booth where we sampled the Lightning Berry Smoothie (you can find the recipe here). My daughter drained every drop and insisted that we go to the store to get the ingredients to make our own as soon as we left.
She loved getting to color on the giant mural wall. She picked up a purple marker and got busy completing the cool community project. In exchange for all her hard work, she was awarded a pack of colored pencils.
After that, she made a virtual postcard with №55. They had a setup where after the picture was taken, the parents could put in their Facebook, phone number, Instagram, or Twitter to receive the photo digitally. I love technology.
After the photo shoot, she watched the child in front of her spin the giant prize wheel and whispered to me, “I hope I get some toothpaste!” When it was her turn, she was elated to find that she got just what she wanted: a tube of “Cars” toothpaste. I’ve never seen a child so excited about toothpaste in all my life.
The Cinetransformer Mobile Movie Theater was an awesome addition to the day’s festivities.
Before the clip started you could hear moms, dads, and kids buzzing. As soon as it began to roll, the audience quieted, except for the occasional tiny voice exclaiming, “Whoa!” It looks like our favorite red race car is going to have to get dirty and get dangerous to whip himself into shape for race season.
I thought the coolest part of the event was the racer pit crew where the kids got a chance to change a tire and see what it’s like to be involved in a real pit crew.
My daughter’s favorite part was the interactive play area. She wanted to stay all day to play with the new “Cars 3” vehicles and track sets. Her birthday is coming up soon so she added a Cruz Ramirez race car to her ever-growing wish list. When we left, we were given a free poster that showed off all the new Mattel “Cars” toys. I might have to start a Go Fund Me campaign to get through the updated birthday list.
The very best part of the day was being able to have a family day out. It had been a while since we kicked life out of the way and just let ourselves have fun. We even got a sweet family photo (our first in ages!).
There’s still plenty of time to check out the Road to the Races tour if your kids love “Cars” as much as mine does.
We’re already planning our trip to the theater next month — just in time for a little someone’s fifth birthday — to see if Lightning McQueen has what it takes to outrace Jackson Storm.