Sunday, November 4, 2007

Disney's Hollywood Studios Lights,Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show

UPDATE April 2016
It was inevitable: Disney's Hollywood Studios had to make room for the future Star Wars and Toy Story-Pixar Land  expansions, which meant attractions like the Lights, Motors, Action! stunt car show had to close.
Walt Disney World announced the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and "nearby locations around Streets of America" would  be permanently closed on April 2nd ,2016 .

The dust settled on the "Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show" at Disney's Hollywood Studios. After a run of more than a decade, the last performance of the show -- unlike anything else at Disney World -- took place Saturday afternoon.

The show, which showed off the skills of professional stunt drivers to a grandstand audience, had opened in the spring of 2005, after debuting first at the Walt Disney Studios in Paris three years earlier.The most dramatic moment, though, was saved for the finale of the last show. As always, the hero car emerged from a building, shot down a ramp and soared through a wall of fire. But in this case, the building's door was left shut -- so the car just burst through it, scattering pieces of the door (made of a heavy foamlike material) in its wake. Afterward, fans flooded the stage to express their well-wishes, and a few manly, macho tears might have been shed. The final line of the show, as always, was the rousing reminder to "Drive safely!"


Oakley Family Tribute Webpage  and Pictures: http://www.floridasunshine.com/oakleyflorida/OakleyFamily_SubPages/2005/MGMStunt.htm

We were fortunate enough to experience the First showing of Disney's " Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show "
One of the perks of having our son Elliot work part time at Disney World is his getting free tickets to what they call Cast Previews. In other words they test the new shows on the staff before the public can get in. This show was imported from France. We had three tickets and Lorraine Elliot and I saw it March 19th,2005.Long before its official May 5th launch to the general public. Here's some pictures.
The main entrance at the back of Disney / MGM studios. This used to be the very popular street where they had celebrity homes on the back lot tour.
These high powered cars are actually modified motorcycles but you are never supposed to learn that before the show is over
What the public never can see behind the movie set
The actual set
That's one gigantic high definition screen at the top of the building. ideal for close up shots and replays as this show has so much going on at the same time.
The crowd looks over the set but has no idea what to expect
Lights, camera action - the show begins

Herbie the love bug decides to visit the set
At first this car seems to be without a driver
That is before you see a driver hidden on the back side of the car.
Death defying Motorcycle stunts
The final scene was anticipated by the crowd to include a car flying right out the center balcony but it did not happen. Well, that's why they test it on the cast first .Just in case the stunt drivers are not ready.



The show had more than 40 vehicles in the show and backstage in the maintenance garage. The primary "hero" car, which the action revolves around, is a custom-built design for the show, while the pursuit cars are Opel Corsas. The hero cars are all painted red while the pursuit cars are painted black, to easily allow guests to tell the difference between them.
The show also includes specially-designed cars that look identical to the others used in the show, two of which are red "hero" cars. One substitute hero car has the bodyshell oriented backwards, to allow the driver to appear to be driving in reverse; the other has a seat and steering wheel bolted onto the side of the car away from the audience, so that the car appears to be driving without anyone inside the vehicle. One of the substitute black "pursuit" cars is cut in half behind the front doors, so that it can appear to explode during a scene in the show.
All the cars, while they appear simple, are reinforced with rally car roll cages for driver safety and powered by 1400 cc 150 horsepower (110 kW) motorcycle engines mounted directly behind the driver's seat. The cars have four forward and four reverse gears, allowing them to be driven backwards at high speed.
The cars have a bump shift for easier gear shifting: the driver bumps the shifter forward to go up a gear, and back to go back a gear. In order to reverse, the driver twists the top of the shifter and bumps it forwards or backwards. The emergency brake automatically releases when the driver lets go. The show cars are lightweight, at 1,322 pounds (600 kg), and are rear-wheel drive to allow the cars to drift. The drivers wear heavy protective suits; to keep the drivers cool, a cooling system in the rear of the car pumps water through the suits. The show also features jet skis on the small canal at the front of the theater, and motorcycles which maneuver around the cars.

Allan N.Oakley
Kissimmee
Florida