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Robert Niles

A little bit of Disney, found in the heart of Texas

Published: July 14, 2013 at 9:41 PM

SHAMROCK, Texas — Driving across North Texas, well, the scenery doesn't always keep you awake. So when Laurie pulled off the road this afternoon, I knew it was my turn to drive.

Out roadtrip switches typically aren't a big deal. Pull off the highway. Switch seats. Drive back onto the road. But this time, we had a problem.

"Are you kidding me?" I yelled, in frustration. Laurie had selected an exit with no return to the highway. We'd have to drive down a local road until we could find a way back to I-40.

So we headed down the road for a mile or so, until we saw an intersection up ahead. A sign pointed us back toward the highway. Soon, we'd be back on our way. But what is this?

"Take a picture," I yelled, again.

Here's what I was looking at, across the street at that intersection in the middle of nowhere Texas, off I-40, where Route 66 once ran.

Conoco Tower in Shamrock, Texas

"It's Ramone's!"

Yep, my wife, strong with the Disney Force, just dumb-lucked us to the site of the visual inspiration for Ramone's House of Body Art in Disney California Adventure's Cars Land, back home in Southern California.

Disney's concept art for Ramone's
Disney's concept art for Ramone's

I know where some Imagineers have been!

Replies (6)

James Trexen

Published: July 14, 2013 at 10:35 PM

I think you just had a Lightning McQueen moment Robert. Don't go and ruin it all by getting back on the highway.
Mike Gallagher

Published: July 15, 2013 at 2:42 AM

That's truly awesome.

Somewhere. Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, Tommy and Marky are smiling.

Published: July 15, 2013 at 8:03 AM

This is really terrific. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

A friend once drove the entire length of Route 66 for his summer vacation. He said it was a wonderful experience. Kitschy roadside attractions and stores like Wall Drugs and the Wigwam Motel made long stretches of boring driving worthwhile, he said.

- Brian

Published: July 15, 2013 at 10:27 AM

When you posted this yesterday on Twitter and FB, I took it to mean that someone had copied the idea from Disney and built a replica of the building from Cars Land/the Cars movies out in the middle of nowhere in Texas.

I forgot that those buildings from the first Cars movie were based on real buildings along the old Route 66.

James Trexen

Published: July 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM

@Mike: And yet, C.J., Richie and Elvis STILL don't get any love.
Gary Knackstedt

Published: July 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Very cool. Thanks for sharing the photo and story.

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