Did you ever visit Cat Nip Junction? If you had the chance to ride the rails of the Wacky Soap Box Racer, then you were there! Designed by 22-year-old phenom Eddie Sotto, the attraction utilized the same track system of the 1976 Motorcycle Chase but with ride vehicles that had a lower center of gravity and could accommodate the whole family, four riders in tandem. Opening to the press on July 10, 1980, Sotto considered the $1.2 million Racers to be like an outdoor dark ride. After a lift hill, riders glided into Cat Nip Junction then fell under the city sewers and into Seymour Dud's Fireworks Factory for an explosive ending. Sotto stated, "The concept of the ride is for our park guests to travel through a living cartoon." Sotto designed a streamline modern and neon-encrusted kitty city comprised of the Daily Yarn newspaper, Cat o' Combs barber, Cat in the Bag fast food joint, Bob Katz garage, Sandbox cocktail lounge, and the Manx Theatre featuring the movie, "Catsablanca." Each ride vehicle had a painted pie tin on its rear with a specialized name created by Sotto himself: Fast Eddy, Mad Cap Marion, Dancing Darrell, or Romeo Racoon, among many others. The Soap Box Racers were inaugurated by racecar drivers Wild Bill Shrewsberry and Parnelli Jones (Shrewsberry won their Soap Box race). In 1996, the soap box vehicles were removed and the ride's wacky music silenced when the attraction was demolished to make room for the Windjammer racing coaster, now the Xcelerator roller coaster.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".
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