• Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Apr 23, 2024

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024

Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy
  • Year: 2019
  • Type: Stage Show
  • Single rider line: No
  • Minimum Height: None
  • Show Duration: 10min
  • Amazing animatronic
  • Lacks excitement

Yes, there is a Cars-based attraction in Hollywood Studios

Are you surprised by that? You are not alone. A lot of guests don’t even know that this little show exists, since there was barely any market for it. It’s also slightly hidden behind Rock N’ Roller Coaster in an area that is hardly ever visited. Soon enough it is going to become a myth. “Hey, did you hear about the tale of a Cars attraction in Hollywood Studios?” “It’s true. All of it. Rumors say that it even has an amazing animatronic”. 

Hollywood Studios Lightning MacQueen Racing Academy seats.webp

So, what exactly is Racing Academy? Well, this is a show that features giant screens and a very, very well made animatronic of Lightning McQueen in the middle of the stage. If there's one thing to praise Disney for, it's their incredible work on McQueen. He looks remarkably realistic, with visual projections creating expressive eyes and lips on his animatronic. I absolutely love it.

Hollywood Studios Lightning MacQueen Racing Academy stage.webp

The story features McQueen facing off against his rival Chick Ricks in a virtual race, with supporting characters like Tow Mater and Cruz Ramirez making an appearance. McQueen, however, is the only animatronic in the whole stage, with everyone else being displayed on the big screens. It’s also on the screens that we see the race taking place in a first person view, with McQueen zipping past opponents and trying to beat Ricks.

I would say that this ride certainly lacks a bit of excitement. The problem here is that… not much happens. We are in a completely normal theater, without any sort of tricks happening like in It’s Tough to be a Bug, or any 3D effects, or anything else that can make you say “wow”. Sure, the McQueen animatronic is impressive, but can it really carry the entire show? I don’t think so. Racing Academy is more about checking the action on the big screen as you sit down for ten minutes and enjoy the AC.

Hollywood Studios Lightning MacQueen Racing Academy 2.webp

Can you imagine an attraction like this as a motion simulator? Something that replicates a high speed chase could be fun, even something that used VR, or AR like in Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge in Universal Hollywood. I do understand that an attraction like this would be massively expensive, and it seems that Racing Academy wasn’t something that broke the bank, even if the animatronic is top notch.

If I'm being completely honest, I don't believe this ride will remain in Hollywood Studios for much longer. Queue times are extremely low, and you can usually just walk in when a show is about to start. Almost nobody talks about dear old McQueen anymore. Who knows, maybe Racing Academy will indeed become a myth in a few years.

Hollywood Studios Lightning MacQueen Racing Academy 3.webp

Will Kids enjoy it?

It depends. Young children might love the visuals and be really impressed by the animatronic in the center of the stage. Young guests that love cars - both traditional cars and the movie franchise - should definitely come here. The ride lacks excitement, but maybe McQueen himself can keep your kids entertained during the whole show.

Teenagers will probably get bored here and won’t care about the animatronic that much. The action on the big screens will also not be that exciting to them. They will probably have a way better time exploring Galaxy’s Edge or just riding the Tower of Terror or Rock N’ Roller Coaster.

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