We have a yearly tradition of attending the North American International Auto Show in Detroit every January. We have a family connection with one of the display managers (he’s our uncle!) of the Ford Motor Company display and our kiddos get a little VIP treatment.
The 2019 NAIAS was an especially fun experience as Mr. D. was super interested in the cars this year. We’ve taken him ever since he was a baby, but this year I think it finally clicked that these were all the latest and greatest cars.
Plus, he has been talking non-stop about how he got his license from Mickey Mouse since he drove a car (twice!) at the Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom. He’s dreaming of the day when he can buy his own car. He spent most of his time eyeballing the trucks at the NAIAS.
A few years ago, in 2017, John Lasseter, the man behind the ‘Cars’ franchise brought a surprise for all NAIAS guests. There was a life-sized Lighting McQueen on display in anticipation of the upcoming ‘Cars 3’ movie. Mr. D. was only 2 at the time, but I was a huge fan. Seeing Lighting made me excited for our upcoming Walt Disney World trip that year and for the upcoming Cars 3 movie in general.
In 2019, there was no Lighting McQueen on display, but instead Legos played a predominate role in the auto show. There were a few make and take locations, which was a huge hit with Mr. D. In the last few months alone, he has become completely obsessed with Legos. I think he received over 5,000 Legos for Christmas alone.
In addition to the make-and-take locations at the NAIAS, there were several gigantic Lego sculptures. There was an entire red Chevy pick-up truck made of Legos. Plus, a life-sized race car driver made entirely of Legos.
Legos are an amazingly sweet toy, that stand in a league of their own, but they always remind me of Disney. Specifically, Disney Springs. I have always loved the Lego store at Disney Springs (and was so glad it remained when the remodel from Downtown Disney occurred.) Being able to see life-sized Disney characters on display and then realizing they were made of Legos is always sweet. I remember the first time Mr. D. realized that the giant Buzz and Woody outside of the Lego store at Disney Springs were made of Legos. He was speechless.
Walt Disney World is famous for its amazing shows. From musicals to 4-D comedies to parades, nothing is second class. Therefore, being Disney raised family members, we all have pretty high standards when it comes to shows. Yet, at the same time, we have a love for shows!
At the NAIAS auto show we had a chance to watch the Ford show, highlighting a few of the new trucks and cars available in 2019. Within the show there were three live cars and SUVs that we were able to watch drive in front of us. Mr. D. thought it was amazing. Mr. E liked the blue lights. He’s an easy win.
Hollywood Studios Reminder
Personally, the show reminded me specifically of the old ‘Lights, Motors, Action-Extreme Stunt Show’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The show had to close in 2016 to make way for the new Toy Story Land and the soon to open Star Wars Land.
While the Ford Motor Company didn’t do any crazy stunts, they did lower the brand new Shelby Mustang down from a ‘helicopter (or at least what sounded like a helicopter motor). My son got a kick out of that (and truth be told, me too!) While I’m glad they didn’t plan to blow anything up or have the mustang jump over the studio audience, it felt a little like the good ol’ stunt show.
If you have little ones who are fans of cars or trucks, I highly recommend taking them to the NAIAS or any auto show in the near future. Next year in Detroit, the NAIAS will be taking place in the summer. The details are all rumors and hearsay at this time, but things are definitely going to be switched up. It sounds like the plan is to bring the auto show to different parts of Detroit. Honestly, I think it is going to be a great event for the city. Can’t wait to see what is in store for next year!
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