Race into Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy NOW!


Disclaimer: We were invited to experience the all new Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We were gifted park tickets in order to facilitate this review. As always, all thoughts are entirely my own.

Rookie Racers — Ready, set, go! Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is now open in Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy with my Family!

This high-octane, innovative show recently revved its engine for the first time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and we were invited to check it out as a family!

We learned what it takes to become a champion racer, how to handle things when they don’t go “according to plan”, and how much easier it is to get “back on track” when we have wonderful friends rooting us on!

Start your Engines at the Sunset Showcase Courtyard!

The fun extends beyond Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy and into the Courtyard area outside Sunset Showcase at DJ’s Ready! Set! Party Time!

DJ at Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy
DJ at DJ’s Ready! Set! Party Time!

DJ, everybody’s favorite PARTY car, is sure to get you revved up for what lies ahead with his awesome party music!

At DJ’s Ready! Set! Party Time!, you will find Cars-themed games and dances! This is where you will also find Cruz Ramirez — our favorite! Cruz is just outside Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. She is always ready for a special photo-op with you!

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy -- Party Time in Sunset Showcase!

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy — Get to the Races!

Upon entering the Sunset Showcase theater, Guests will encounter a fun ‘Cars’ trivia session.

The screens wrap around the majority of the room and the bench seating is set up in a way where there isn’t a “bad seat” in the house.

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy -- Screens

Lightning McQueen shows off everything he has learned throughout the years by using his innovating racing simulator! He alternates between facing the audience and facing the simulator, which really keeps Guests, especially little ones, engaged.

The Lightning McQueen animatronic is seriously impressive. It is, by far, the best animatronic character I have ever seen!

In fact, I found myself so captured by the animatronic that at times it was hard to focus on the plot. You’ll just have to see it for yourself to understand. It is mind-blowing!

You can see videos of the animatronic in my Instagram Stories.

Lightning McQueen at Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy in Disney's Hollywood Studios

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that as history has shown, things won’t exactly go according to plan for Lightning. He will need to think fast in order to find a way to get back on track.

With the help of Cruz Ramirez, Tow Mater and other friends, there is Lightning sets out to conquer many obstacles. But, you’ll need to get ready for the races yourself to learn whether or not Lightning emerges as a true victor.

I especially love the topics of friendship, perseverance, and confidence present in this fun show!

Overall, I think Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is a welcome addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The show is funny, cute, and innovative. I don’t think it’s one of the very best shows I’ve ever seen, but it was never dull or underwhelming. However, I am not the target audience for this show.

For the target audience? It is practically perfect! Both my 7 year-old and 2 year-old throughly enjoyed the show. They never lost focus of Lightning or the screens, and that says a lot — did I mention I watched it with a 2 year-old?

Will you cross the finish line at Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy?
Will you cross the finish line at Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy?

Things to Know:

— This show is appropriate for children of all ages and all heights.
— This show is fully accessible. Guests in wheelchairs may remain in their wheelchairs/ECVs.
— The show is only 10-minutes long. I think it’s the perfect length for keeping the attention of little ones! The pacing is great.
— At the present time, FastPass+ is not available for this show. The show runs continuously throughout the day and the wait time is permanently set to “15 minutes”.

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