New Lightning McQueen show to open at Walt Disney World

March 29, 2019, 2:03 PM · Just in time for the park's 30th anniversary on May 1, Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy opens officially this weekend at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios.

The new 10-minute show will play continually throughout the day in the Sunset Showcase theater, next to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. Lightning McQueen takes center stage, in front of a 17-foot-tall wraparound screen that stretches more than 200 feet end to end. Here's a preview:

In courtyard in front of the theater, Cruz Ramirez will meet and greet guests while Lightning's pit crew will perform in the "DJ’s Ready! Set! Party Time!" show multiple times daily.

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy kicks off the 30th anniversary additions to the park, which will welcome the new Wonderful World of Animation projection show in May, the Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway ride later in the year, and the biggie... the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land, which debuts on August 29.

Replies (12)

March 29, 2019 at 2:28 PM

Well, even if it's not's indoors and the kids'll probably eat it up. They're going to need everything they can get to soak up the crowds come Star Wars time. I wish we'd just get a Radiator Springs Racers clone though.

March 29, 2019 at 3:38 PM

If "the kids" "eat it up" by definition that means it's good.

March 29, 2019 at 4:02 PM

So on May 1 Lightning McQueen and his "Cars" buddies become the only ones legally smoking on stage at a Disney theme park in the USA;)

March 29, 2019 at 4:08 PM

Wait, isn't the Rock N' Roller Coaster next door already themed to a highway?

March 29, 2019 at 6:03 PM

I'm old enough to remember when this was called Days of Thunder at the Paramount Parks.

March 30, 2019 at 8:29 AM

Cool! Best use of this theater so far. And a clone of Radiator Racers would be great right behind this theater. And yes, more Incredibles, Monsters, Inc. and Indiana Jones if you will, please!

March 30, 2019 at 4:58 AM

Well there it is and it's something.

March 30, 2019 at 7:18 AM

A screen ...

March 30, 2019 at 8:50 AM

I was thinking the same thing jeremygary. Nothing bad about this attraction. I look forward to seeing it, but the next time I see another "Universal built another screen attraction! Ugh!" comment and that particular person hasn't panned Disney for making this attraction, then somebody's getting the Disney Fanboy treatment.

March 31, 2019 at 7:19 PM

They are just trying to get crowd swallowing attractions in before Galaxy's Edge, can't blame them. This looks kinda fun though, and I don't even like the Cars movies, lol. 100% on board with getting Radiator Springs Racers in Orlando though! I go to Florida a LOT, California not so often, and RSR is a truly special attraction that I would love to experience again. Again, not even a Cars fan! Makes for some great attractions though!

April 2, 2019 at 6:40 PM

Dropped into the show between Aerosmith and SDD and I must say the kids really did 'lap it up' ... :)

The outside courtyard area was well set out with a photo pass opportunity with Cruz for those with gold passes and higher.

I walked straight in, to find the auditorium about 3/4 full. Basic steel benches were provided, but the show only lasted 10 mins so they were bearable.

The screen wraps about 270deg and the highlight is Lightning's race with Chuck Hicks. No spoilers as to who won from me though.

All in all a great place to take the kids for 20-30 mins during a hectic day at DHS.

April 3, 2019 at 9:16 AM

All of the Disney parks need more of these "quick hitter" attractions. With even small, carnival-style attractions drawing 30+ minute lines across WDW parks (for a 3-5 minute ride), they need to create more people-eater attractions like this that don't require hours of waiting on line or take 30+ minutes to experience (like Indy and Beauty and the Beast).

Sometimes attractions don't need to be the best, just enough to provide a respite and something appealing to do for a short block of time between the headliners. Disney has gotten away from these types of attractions recently, so it's good to see them understand the basic need to have something to do while you're waiting for you next FP+ reservation. Hopefully, the Drones will not overwhelm this attraction to the point where the wait to experience it becomes intolerable with respect to its quality.

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