Weeks ago I saw a post about the Cars 3 Tour. I suppose that’s where today started. When I looked up the tour info I discovered it was coming to my area this weekend! Since Dom works Saturdays I knew that was out but Sunday was Mother’s Day so the only way it could fit in our schedules was to go today (Friday). Since it closed at 5 I knew I’d have to leave work early or come up with another plan. I ended up deciding to come in early, take a long lunch, and leave late. Since Dom ended up having to go into work at 5 this worked for both of us.
Dom picked me up at 2:00pm wearing his adorable Lightning McQueen shirt I bought him for his birthday. I, of course, had to reprise my Fillmore ‘bound now that I actually have all my jewelry at home!

I added the bell bottoms I got from the Good Will (for something else entirely) and my lacey sweater as well because there was a bit of a chill in the air (about 50-60Β°).

So we drove the 30 minutes down to the Cherry Hill Mall for a photo op. I had anticipated it not being super crowded because it was during the day on a Friday. I was wrong. Parents and grandparents with little kids surrounded the area and ​formed a line that crisscrossed about five times. I did hear a worker say the line was on the​ short side, so maybe I was correct in my inferences. 

We felt a bit out of place being the only adults in line without a child, but since no one knew us there it didn’t really bother us. Dom did note that he may have been the only one over age ten to be wearing a McQueen shirt (I disagree, I think he was the only one over age five) but, again, I didn’t mind. Besides, I loved our outfits!

We stood in line getting to know the couple in front of us with their small grandchildren (I couldn’t believe they were grandparents). The girl stayed in her stroller through the line but the boy, about 3 or 4 chatted with the other kids about Cars and Mario and played with the traffic cones lining the line. All the kids were so cute and excited and kept us pretty entertained.

Also along the line were a bunch of tri-stand movie posters with character info as well as some actual NASCAR history (which the NASCAR fan in me absolutely loved)! 

We slowly made our way around the line, spending about 5-15 minutes on each straight. We deduced the bursts of people going in were due to people leaving after watching the sneak peek.

Once we got inside I made a beeline for the Dole tent. Having never had a Dole Whip 🍍 (I know, a sacrelig) I hoped they’d be there.

Of course, they weren’t. Instead we received a delightful Lightning Berry Smoothie with blueberries, raspberries, banana, and pineapple (recipe below) so I’ll still have to get my Dole Whip fix on our next trip (which I’ll be mentioning on Tuesday)!

We then walked over to the EXTREMELY short line for pictures (since most fans were interested in the sneak peek but we weren’t // had to get back to work at a reasonable time) and got ready to meet the stars!

Lightning was first of course and, this being my third time meeting him (see here and here) I knew what to expect! He did not disappoint πŸ˜‚

Next we were introduced to the gorgeous Cruz Ramirez who I can’t wait to see on screen!

And finally, the up-and-comer, Jackson Storm! He’s a highly anticipated addition to the circuit, but I’m afraid we’ll always be #TeamMcQueen πŸ˜‰

We then made a speedy retreat that would make Lightning McQueen proud (as we didn’t have kids who wanted to do any of the arts and crafts tents) and still made it to work in time!

So, the question remains, “was the 55 minute line worth it?”

I think that depends on what you aim to get out of the experience. I was obviously there for pictures and Dom and I both agreed that while we can’t wait for the movie to come out, a sneak peek wasn’t worth our time today. Perhaps it would have been if we had the whole day to explore with nowhere else to go, but that wasn’t the case today and I’m happy with the decision we made to forego it. 

We got our Lighting Berry Smoothies and our character photos which both had miraculously short lines. Honestly, I would have been less anxious with a shorter line starting out, but as my husband and the man in front of us pointed out, “you know it’s Disney when you stand in a 45+ minute line”. Add to that the fact that this is the closest we’ll get to a Disney World-esque experience in Southern Jersey and I would say “yes, it’s worth it”. We’d have a much longer cumulative line in the parks or even just getting through airport security at Philly or Newark so 55 minutes is not bad.

If you have little ones with you (which was 99% of people there) my suggestion would be to let them play while in line – but keep them close (most people are kid-friendly in a line like that but having a kid that’s not yours bump you too many times might push someone to get unhappy). Most of the kids were super excited and either hanging on traffic cones or getting pictures taken with the movie posters but if you think your child might get antsy, maybe bring a travel activity; and if you think they might get hungry, bring a snack (I saw many an adult leave the line to get something from the mall food court). Also note that if your child is in a stroller you will need to park it right inside the entrance since they are not allowed/there’s not enough room to navigate them once inside (this is after the long line so definitely bring one for the line if you need to).

We had a great time, and if the tour is coming to your area, I suggest you take some time to check it out! Especially if you’re a Cars fan 🏎️🏁

About Juli

I received my B.S. in Counseling and Human Services and a minor in Theology and Religious Studies and my M.A. in Organizational Leadership in Higher Education. Through a strange twist of fate, I ended up in the Human Resources field and at a company that I really love. I'm not much of a writer because I tend to write how I talk and when I tell stories I tend to ramble and tell way too many details. I love writing though because it's fun to get all my thoughts down. I also love drawing, I love photos, and anything artistic really.

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