A new show with the star of Pixar’s “Cars” franchise, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, is set to debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on March 31.
First announced in June 2018, the show will bring guests “face to face” with Lightning McQueen and other “Cars” characters, including Tow Mater and Cruz Ramirez.
“You’ll be part of the next generation of rookie racers, and you’ll learn the rules of the road from Lightning’s years of experience,” Jeremy Schoolfield, managing editor at Walt Disney World public relations, wrote on the Disney Parks Blog. “This will be the untold story of Lightning McQueen — as told by Lightning McQueen!”
A short glimpse at the show was included in a video from an Associated Press offering backstage look at Disney World’s live entertainment. Disney producers are shown exploring a model of the show in virtual reality, featuring a stage with Lightning McQueen animatronic. Only a small portion of the real animatronic is shown, but the AP reported it’s “almost ready.”
“You finish up your design, then you actually move into your production process and that’s actually where we are right now,” Gene Harding, a Disney live entertainment producer, told the AP.
The new show will be housed in the Sunset Showcase theater. This has previously been used as an event space when Disney hosts media previews (including last year’s Toy Story Land opening), but is currently off-limits to guests behind a gate near Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is one of several new attractions and experiences coming to the Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2019, capping a multiyear transformation of the park which once aspired to be a working TV and film studio. The park will also add new “Incredibles”-themed activities in the former Pixar Place area, the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction, and the highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a 14-acre expansion with two new rides set to open in the late fall.