Each attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is designed to take guests directly into the movie magic by making them a part of the action or taking them behind the scenes to see just how movie magic is made. Big action movies are no exception, and at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, guests can find themselves in the middle of the filming of an action movie with car chases, explosions, and some pretty amazing stunts.
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show opened in the Backlot area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 5, 2005, as part of the Happiest Celebration on Earth which was honoring the fiftieth anniversary of Disneyland, the first Disney theme park. Part of the celebration was to introduce attractions that were already popular in various Disney parks around the world to other Disney parks . Thus, Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show was brought to Walt Disney World to honor Moteurs…Action! Stunt Show Spectacular in the Backlot area of Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, France which opened on March 16, 2002. Because the attraction was inspired by its French counterpart, the set reflects that of a Mediterranean village in the South of France.
To make way for Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, Residential Street, which was part of the Studio Backlot Tour, was removed. Until its closure on September 27, 2014, guests used to be able to glimpse the backstage areas of Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show from the Studio Backlot Tour. If timing was right, guests were even able to watch the stunt vehicles speed offstage and get positioned for the next scene.
Each show features fourteen drivers who are trained on a practice course behind the arena for ten weeks before performing in the actual show. These skilled stunt drivers operate more than forty vehicles including cars, motorcycles, and jet skis. The stunt cars used in each show may look like any regular vehicle, but they are revved up with 150-horsepower motorcycle engines to make them really fly in chase scenes.
Before each show, guests are welcomed into the six and a half acre arena which comfortably seats 5000. After some preshow music and jokes on the big screen television, guests are introduced to the director who narrates the entire show. He explains that the crew is shooting a series of action sequences for a movie starring the hero who will always be found in the red car. Soon a chase sequence starts in which the hero is being pursued by a fleet of bad guys. At the end of the scene, the director introduces the stunt coordinator and then rolls a playback of the shots allowing guests to see just how the stunts are pulled off and the movies are made.
In between scenes, everyone’s favorite hero Lightning McQueen from Cars is introduced in a video montage. Suddenly, Mater breaks in warning guests of an enemy spy with a secret weapon who is in the vicinity. Lightning then takes part in a daring scene in which he helps to save guests from the enemy spy and save the day!
After Lightning’s big scene, a marketplace set is rolled into place and another chase scene is filmed. Then a child volunteer from the audience is chosen to help remotely control one of the stunt cars, with a little additional help and a twist! Next up is a motorcycle chase in which the hero switches mid scene to a jet ski to try and evade the bad guys. This daring scene concludes with one of the bad guys skidding through a patch of fire and igniting himself. After several seconds the fire is put out and guests are treated to the secrets behind how the stunt was pulled off. Now that guests have seen a number of action sequences and just what the cars can do, they are given a glimpse inside the cars to see just how they are able to pull off their amazing stunts.
The grand finale comes when the hero reappears in his red car and is being chased by a bad guy. After a few laps around the stage, the hero disappears from view and suddenly comes crashing through a window in one of the set buildings, lands on the ramp of a massive delivery truck, and then propels towards the audience. The hero then leaps across the small moat in a massive explosion ending the show with a bang!
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show is an amazing show that allows guests to take a look behind the camera of those crazy action movie chase scenes and see just how the magic is made. The show runs several times a day, so be sure to check out the times guide when entering Disney’s Hollywood Studios for show times. Be sure to stop by next time you find yourself in the Backlot to be a part of the action!
What is your favorite part of Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show? Do you love seeing Lightning McQueen and Mater? Be sure to let me know by leaving a comment below, I would love to hear from you!
Caitlin Corsello was born and raised in New York. She graduated from Adelphi University with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling in 2012. Her love for Disney started as an infant and has continued to grow with family vacations to Disney parks almost every year since. She holds a particular interest in WDW’s parks and attractions, never passing up an opportunity to visit. She looks forward to continuing to explore and learn about all things Disney and to share that passion with readers.