Lightning McQueen to Star in Cars Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, More on New Attractions, Restaurants

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 29, 2018) — As Toy Story Land is about to become part of the Incredible Summer at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney executives today provided updates on other exciting projects at the resort — including news of a high-revving addition coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The updates precede Saturday’s much-anticipated grand opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests to this new land become “honorary toys” and play with their favorite Toy Story characters in fun adventures throughout Andy’s backyard.

“Disney World is enjoying the most significant period of growth in the last two decades, thanks in large part to Toy Story Land,” said George A. Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World Resort. He noted the new land is part of a “Disney Theme Park trifecta” with last year’s opening of Pandora — The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge coming in 2019 to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. “In the run-up to 2021 and the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, more exciting new attractions and experiences are planned that position the resort for continued growth and galvanize Disney’s place as the leading vacation destination in the world.”

Kalogridis was joined by Catherine Powell, President, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts — Western Region, as well as executives from Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Parks Live Entertainment.

In news announced today, speeding into Disney’s Hollywood Studios early next year will be — Ka-chow! — Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. The all-new show-attraction, to be located in Sunset Showcase near Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, will immerse guests in the world of Cars and bring them face to face with racing legend Lightning McQueen. With help from friends Mater and Cruz Ramirez, McQueen will demonstrate racing techniques on a new simulator and share career highlights with his guests. Of course, this is Lightning McQueen, so a few twists and turns are to be expected on the road ahead.

Incredible Summer 2018…and Beyond

Disney executives also provided updates on previously announced attractions and experiences aimed at creating magical Walt Disney World vacations for guests both now and in the future, starting with Disney’s Incredible Summer already underway.

From Supers to an intergalactic concert and much more, Incredible Summer highlights include:

— Magic Kingdom Park is home to the Incredible Tomorrowland Expo, featuring character appearances, dancing, special activities, Incredibles-themed décor and more.

— Star-Lord and Gamora are part of daily cosmic concerts at Epcot in Guardians of the Galaxy — Awesome Mix Live!, with an alien band playing timeless classics from the ’70s and ‘80s in the America Gardens Theatre.

— Donald’s Dino-Bash at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a prehistoric party in DinoLand USA hosted by Donald Duck and featuring Disney characters in dino-themed attire.

— UP! A Great Bird Adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom invites guests to discover some of the world’s most exotic birds during an all-new show starring Russell and Dug from Disney-Pixar’s “Up.”

Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Midst of Multi-Year Transformation

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Toy Story Land and Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy are part of a multi-year transformation of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where guests will experience their own adventures in the worlds of their cinematic imaginations and make cherished memories like never before. Upcoming attractions and experiences in and around the park include:

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Late fall 2019 is liftoff for the new 14-acre land inviting guests to live their own Star Wars adventures, taking them inside stories from a galaxy far, far away. Guests will explore Black Spire Outpost, the largest settlement on the remote planet Batuu. Here they will meet characters both familiar and new and experience the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and adventures of the Outer Rim and Wild Space.

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One attraction will be an epic Star Wars adventure unlike anything Disney has ever created. It will put guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Elsewhere in the land, guests will step aboard the Millennium Falcon and pilot the fastest ship in the galaxy, firing laser cannons and steering the starship through deep space.

In summer 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will also open at Disneyland Park in Southern California.

Immersive Star Wars-Themed Resort Hotel

Fans will live out their Star Wars adventures beyond the theme parks with an epic experience at a groundbreaking new Star Wars-themed hotel concept located near Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests will enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience where a luxury resort meets a multi-day adventure in the Star Wars galaxy, as adventures unfold around their starship. An opening date will be announced later.


Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

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Opening in 2019, the first ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will feature a new original story and lovable theme song as it takes Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. New technologies will transform the two-dimensional cartoon world into an astounding multi-dimensional experience.

Disney Junior Dance Party

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In fall 2018, the new Disney Junior Dance Party premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This interactive performance will feature high-energy music, a vibrant party atmosphere, special effects and characters from popular Disney Junior TV shows. Guests join all the fun with the stars of “Mickey and the Roadster Racers,” “Doc McStuffins,” “The Lion Guard” and the newest hit series, “Vampirina.”

Play Disney Parks App Encourages Families to Play Together

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Launching June 30 at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, the Play Disney Parks App will turn wait times into play times for the entire family to enjoy together. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play, the app offers all-new interactive experiences and activities created for select attraction queues, including Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania! Guests using the app earn uniquely themed achievements as rewards for playing games, answering trivia, completing challenges and experiencing select attractions. The app also allows guests to celebrate the songs of Disney by accessing playlists directly from Apple Music — a curated audio experience inspired by Disney Theme Park lands.

Disney Springs Continues to Offer Wide Range of Dining and Entertainment Experiences

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Wine Bar George by Orlando Master Sommelier George Miliotis is now open, offering more than 130 selections by the ounce, glass and bottle in a range of varietals, vintages and prices. And coming summer 2019 is the new NBA Experience that will offer a mix of games, competitions, hands-on immersive experiences, a retail store and more.

Exciting Expansions on the Way for Disney’s Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach Resorts

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Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will open a new 15-story tower in summer 2019, including 500-plus new rooms and suites, as well as concierge-level services, a rooftop restaurant and other enhancements. As part of the transformation of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort later this year, Old Port Royal will provide a new centralized location with more convenient access to services, amenities and dining with a tropical flare.

Disney’s Riviera Resort to Become 15th Disney Vacation Club Property

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The proposed 15th Disney Vacation Club property will be located near Epcot with a rooftop restaurant showcasing panoramic views of nighttime spectaculars at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. An opening date will be announced later.

Minnie Van Service Now Open to All Walt Disney World Resort Guests

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Now available to everyone at Walt Disney World Resort, Minnie Van service offers a comfy, convenient and expedient way for guests to travel to and from theme parks, to dining reservations at resort hotels, to shopping sprees at Disney Springs and much more. Minnie Van service to and from Orlando International Airport is also available.

New Disney Skyliner Will Connect Select Resort Hotels with Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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Starry-eyed guests will glide in overhead gondolas to two Disney Theme Parks from any of four Epcot-area hotels aboard this new transportation system. Disney Skyliner will offer Tinker Bell views as guests float to either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios on roundtrips from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the proposed Disney’s Riviera Resort. An opening date for Disney Skyliner will be announced later.





Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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