Walt Disney World will be getting its first full-blown “Cars” attraction when “Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy” opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in early 2019. Disney’s top brass made the announcement following the dedication ceremony of the park’s Toy Story Land, which officially opens to the public on Saturday.
McQueen will be assisted by fellow “Cars” characters Mater and Cruz Ramirez, said Kathy Mangum, regional executive Walt Disney Imagineering Atlantic.
“It will be a show unlike anything we’ve done anywhere else,” she said.
The Lightning McQueen show will be inside Sunset Showcase, which has been a multiuse building that was built just beyond Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. It opened in late 2015. In the show, McQueen “will demonstrate racing techniques on a new simulator and share career highlights with his guests,” according to a Disney news release.
“Cars” characters have made limited experiences in the Disney World parks, including a meet-and-greet area for Cruz at Hollywood Studios’ Pixar Place. Disney California Adventure has been home to a popular Cars Land attraction for the past six years.
Hollywood Studios already is in expansion mode with additions next year including Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which is in the works in the former Great Movie Ride building, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a land set to open in late fall of 2019.
The “Cars” announcement was shared after a recap of ongoing construction from Walt Disney World President George A. Kalogridis. Members of the international media were reminded of work being done on resorts such as Coronado Springs and on the Disney Skyliner gondola system.