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

by Nakisha Wynn

This Lightning McQueen Racing Academy post was written in partnership with Walt Disney World. I received complimentary tickets to attend Hollywood Studios as a part of a media day attraction premiere. All views and opinions are my own.

For as long as I can remember my teenage son has been a huge fan of Cars the movie and Lightning McQueen. He eventually passed that love down to his little brother who currently loves Lightning just the same. Recently we had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios for the opening of Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy; an interactive show featuring some of your favorite Cars characters.

My little ones were blown away and in absolute Disney bliss. The fun begins before you even enter Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy in the Sunset Showcase courtyard. From Cruz Ramirez under the Dinoco tent complete with the Piston cup, the Route 66 car DJ playing the latest jams for a pre show dance party, and the perfectly appointed photo walls, it was all so…..Disney! Every little detail is perfect and amazing.

Lightning McQueen Racing Academy

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

The tone of the show is set as you approach the attraction with the tunes of Life is a Highway by the Rascal Flatts playing. Then entering the show is stunning. Lightning McQueens number 95 is towering the entrance with colored mood lights as the backdrop that really sets the fun tone for the experience. We entered the garage like room with a large wrap around screen and work benches as the seating. Absolute clever detail.

Before the show begins a Cars trivia game plays on the large screen and it was great to guess the answers with my little. Cruz Ramirez welcomed us to the show then Tow mater took over with his signature singing and encouraged an enthusiastic KACHOW to introduce Lightning McQueen.

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

When the show began and Lightning McQueen himself appeared on the stage my son was beyond excited. I was actually really impressed too. I wasn’t expecting an actual full size car to appear on the stage LOL. It was great! The show began and Lightning McQueen is giving a racing lesson to the kids on the racing simulator with Cruz Ramirez.

While practicing Chick Hicks hacks into the simulator and wants to challenge Lightning to another race. This begins the premise of the show. During the race Lightning ends up needing help from his friends to help him win.

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

The message of the show was teamwork and it really resonated with me and I used that as an opportunity to talk to my kids about it. We talked about the importance of working together as a family and being there for our friends when they need us and the importance of being a dependable person. They haven’t stopped talking about it since.

Lightning ended the show like this:

“Well rookies, that is not how I thought this lesson was going to go. Chick reminded me that in the end racing is not about speed, flash or crossing the finish line, its about the journey you take to get there and who you got driving alongside you.”

I couldn’t have said it better Lightning. KACHOW!

Check out this video recap of our day at the Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy:

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Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

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