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The New Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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KA-CHOW! Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy made it’s debut on Sunday, March 31, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.

This new addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is definitely a great attraction for kids of all ages. Hollywood Studios has surely hopped up another rung in the game of attracting visitors.

I was thrilled when Disney invited me to attend a special media event to view the new show with my grandson. I knew he would love the experience, after all, what little kid doesn’t love CARS? What big kid doesn’t love CARS?

Lightning McQueen seems to be everyone’s favorite and this new show is definitely going to be a huge hit.

Add this to Toy Story Land and then the New Star Wars Land opening this summer and Hollywood Studios will definitely be the place to be when you visit Walt Disney World.

Where is it?

This new show experience invites guests into the world of Pixar Animation Studios’ Cars films as they become rookie racers and learn the rules of the road from Piston Cup Champion Lightning McQueen.

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is located next to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. When you turn the bend you enter a great courtyard outside Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, where you can meet Cruz and snap a photo with the champion racer, or dance with DJ, the ultimate party on wheels.

Before entering the theater or when the race is over, you can continue to immerse themselves in the world of Cars in the courtyard since several times daily Lightning McQueen’s Pit Crew will arrive on the scene for “DJ’s Ready! Set! Party Time!” that invites all the kids to gather around DJ for Cars-inspired dances and games.

At 2 years old my grandson doesn’t willingly go too far away from us so wasn’t a fan of going off to dance with the party. However most of the kids joined in and the DJ and dancers kept them all entertained and having a great time.

It’s super lively, lots of fun and definitely something you won’t want your kids to miss. Although my grandson wouldn’t go along with the great cast members that will lead the little ones by the hand, he watched from the sidelines and clapped and cheered with the other kids.

He was definitely more interested in being near the cars and not joining in with the dancing, which disappointed me a bit but kids will be kids – babes will be babes – and everyone else’s little ones were loving the dance party!

Inside the Theater

Inside you will come face to face with Lightning, live on stage.

Steven Diaz, Photographer

The theater features a 17-foot-tall wraparound screen that stretches more than 200 feet end to end, enveloping guests in high-octane fun. There is bench like seating in a semi-circle facing the front.

During the 10-minute show, Lightning shares racing knowledge gathered over the course of his illustrious career. And if there’s one thing he’s learned over the years . . . things don’t always go the way they’re supposed to.

I think the timing is ideal. Some little ones won’t always stay focused when it comes to sitting through some of the longer shows. Ten minutes is the perfect length. It’s enough time for the kids to get excited with the show and stay excited through the end.

Photo: Disney Parks – Steven Diaz, Photographer

The show definitely keeps the kids entertained. If fact, my grandson was mesmerized!

Disney Parks Live Entertainment worked closely with the creative team at Pixar to bring this completely new Cars story to life.

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy will run continuously throughout the day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

After the Show

On the way out, the kids can join in once again in the happenings in the courtyard or stop by the Cars kiosk for some super cool Cars merchandise or head down the street to the shop on Sunset Blvd. that features Cars.

Photo Credit: T.M.Brown of Footprints in Pixie Dust

Photo Credit: T.M. Brown of Footprints in Pixie Dust

Direct from Disney

The debut of Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is the latest chapter in the multi-year transformation of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which will mark its 30th anniversary on May 1.

Guests can let their adventures begin by immersing themselves in their favorite stories – they can feel like a toy in Toy Story Land or, starting Aug. 29, live their own Star Wars adventures in the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.


Cars Coloring Sheets

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I was provided free admission to the Walt Disney World parks for myself and my family. All opinions are my own.