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Robert Niles
Editor

Attraction spotlight: Lights! Motors! Action! stunt show at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Published: November 28, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Have you ever visited a theme park, then realized afterward, "I can't believe I missed [fill-in-the-blank]!"?

Well, for years, that was me with the Lights! Motors! Action! auto stunt show at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida. No matter how many times I visited the Studios, I never managed to make my way over to see this show.

So, when I visited Disney's Hollywood Studios earlier this month during my latest trip to Orlando, I made seeing Lights! Motors! Action! my top priority.

Lights! Motors! Action!

Theme Park Insider readers consistently have rated LMA among their favorite live theme park shows, and I now see why. The show opens with a stunning "car ballet" sequence, as multiple cars spin, whip and slide within inches of each other across a faux-ItalianFrench market square in the immense show stadium, set at the end of the Studios' Streets of America.

After the sequence, keeping with the park's movie studio theme, stunt coordinators emerge to break down the sequence, explaining how stunt drivers can make their cars do seemingly impossible things - such as drive backward at speed, even jumping a ramp in reverse.

I won't spoil the tricks for you in this post, but I will leave you with a sample of the action from later in the show:

Each sequence brings out the stunt team for an explanation, wrapping up with a film clip of the stunt sequences, edited together into a "final cut" action scene, which segues into the explosive live grand finale. (See the photo, above.)

Given my love for the whine of high-performance engines and the smell of burning rubber, I can't believe I missed this show as many times as I did. But I'm glad that I finally fixed that mistake.

I'd love to hear your take on Lights! Motors! Action!, in the comments.

Replies (7)

Manny Barron

Published: November 28, 2010 at 9:41 PM

LMA is a pretty good show and unique in a theme park. The pacing is a bit off but it's still a very entertaining show. At least the days I have been to DHS they only had this show for two showings, sometimes three, so it can be easy to miss it, so if it's your first time visiting the park make sure to plan your day around this show, it's worth your time.
Anthony Murphy
Writer

Published: November 28, 2010 at 10:37 PM

It takes place in a French Tourist Village, but I digress.

If you think its good at DHS, then it would knock you socks off at DLP (actually DS for Disney Studios).

The one downside that I have with it is that its not shown enough each day. Maybe one more show per day would be better! I also do not want to see it spell death for Indiana Jones down the sidewalk. Between Indy and LMA, DHS has the best Stunt Show Combo of any theme park that I have seen!

Rob P

Published: November 29, 2010 at 4:51 AM

I think this is a great show. Choc full of fast and furious action and the car stunts are first rate.

I agree with Anthony that it would benefit from 2 shows per day or, at least, an extra performance at weekends or high season.

Despite this I still think that Waterworld is the best in Class for current stunt shows.

Rob P

Published: November 29, 2010 at 7:37 AM

In my last post the line should have read :

" benefit from MORE THAN 2 shows per day "

Typo error.

Joshua Counsil

Published: November 29, 2010 at 7:57 PM

I have two problems with the show. As already mentioned, the pacing is off due to the downtime between segments. My second problem is that there aren't any crashes, and that's what I want in an action sequence. Obviously, Disney could not afford to have cars scrapped on a daily basis, but there must be a way to incorporate some variety of collision.
Raul Araoz

Published: November 29, 2010 at 10:44 PM

Not crazy about it. There are two reasons that Waterworld remains the best theme park stunt show. It involves the audience in the action and it moves at an extremely brisk pace. LMA does neither of those things.

I also have to point out that I'm not a big fan of DHS having two stunt shows. I feel as though that one is enough. Would much prefer to see Indy replaced with its' namesake ride from Disneyland.

Brian Collins

Published: December 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I think the show rocks and it's been fun for the family each time we've seen it.

As to pacing, keep in mind that these are real stunts with real safety protocols.
Is the script a bit contrived? Yes, but they have to fill the time somehow while the next scene is rigged.

I like the fact that so much of the show prep takes place in front of the audience. They have a great cast who manages to make it look incredibly easy.

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