Tomorrowland Speedway has been a popular attraction at Walt Disney World for generations since it arrived with the opening of Magic Kingdom in 1971.
Since then, many parents have reminisced about their days on the track as they watch their own children take their first drive in a gas-powered car.
What is Tomorrowland Speedway?
Tomorrowland Speedway is an attraction in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, where guests can take a nostalgic drive around the Tomorrowland Speedway race track.
This speedway, originally called Grand Prix Raceway, was an opening day attraction when the Magic Kingdom theme park first opened in 1971 and has changed gradually over the years into the popular attraction we know today.
In 1999, the park became the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway after a partnership between Disney and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Today, it’s known simply as Tomorrowland Speedway, which came with its retheme in 2008.
Where is the Tomorrowland Speedway?
You can find the Tomorrowland Speedway located close to Space Mountain, across from Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
What is the Queue?
When you arrive at Tomorrowland Speedway, you will wait in line, which is referred to as the queue. This line ranges from the entrance to the loading area.
Given the popularity of the attraction, you can generally expect a long line. Luckily, you can see the track from the line, so you can watch the other races as you wait.
The wait can get hot at times. While most of the queue is covered, some of your time in line will be spent in direct sunlight.
In addition, you can smell the gas fumes pretty strongly from the queue. Some racers find that this enhances the experience, while others find it to be one of the downsides of the wait.
Can You Skip the Line?
You can skip the line at Tomorrowland Speedway if you purchase Genie+, which you can purchase on the day of your park visit.
Genie+ allows you to reserve your ride time for specific rides and come back at that time rather than waiting in line. Furthermore, you can book your first lightning lane pass at 7 AM, before the park opens.
What Will You Experience on the Ride?
Once you reach the front of the line, you will enter the loading area. Here, you will step down into the race car that sits low to the ground.
When the checkered flag is waved, you embark on an exciting and scenic drive along the 0.4-mile race track. You drive a gas-powered race car with a working gas pedal and steering wheel.
As you sit behind the wheel, you can spot iconic attractions visible from the track as you speed down the track to the finish line. An announcer announces the event and a checkered flag is waved for each racer as they enter the victory circle.
These cars reach a top speed of 7.5 miles per hour. The engine governor on these cars allows for safe speeds. It also makes the experience last longer.
Each ride vehicle has shock-absorbent bumpers and seat belts that go across your lap to ensure a safe and fun ride. In addition, there are guide rails on the track to help keep racers in their own lane and prevent collisions.
The ride is bumpy and you may be jolted a little extra if someone suddenly stops in front of you. For some, this adds to the fun of the attraction. Some others find this to be one of the few downfalls of the experience.
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Can Kids Drive at Tomorrowland Speedway?
One of the best parts about the attraction is that kids can drive their own cars as long as they meet the height requirements. The height requirements are much more inclusive in comparison to other attractions in Magic Kingdom.
Children and adults that are at least 54 inches tall can drive one of the race cars without another person present. In addition, children at least 32 inches tall can drive. They just need an adult riding with them that meets the height requirement is present.
If you have a younger child riding alone, it’s a good idea to give them an idea of what to expect. They may also need an idea of how the car will work.
However, those under 32 inches can still ride with an adult, and even steer the car, as long as they have an adult to work the pedals for them.
How Many People Can Ride in One Car?
The race cars at Tomorrowland speedway have seating that is suitable for two adults to ride in each car.
However, these cars have bench seats. In most cases, two adults and one young child can ride if needed.
If you have more than one small child that will need to ride with an adult, you can use the Riders Switch option to avoid waiting in the queue more than once. This option lets one adult wait in the loading area with the other small children during the ride.
After the first ride, the children can switch out and the others can take their turn riding with an adult without having to wait in line again. Just note, the same child cannot ride twice using this program.
Who Shouldn’t Ride at Tomorrowland Speedway?
Some people may need to avoid riding this ride for health and safety reasons. It can be bumpy and can sometimes roughly jolt the passengers from side to side.
For example, expecting mothers and those who have back or neck problems shouldn’t ride this ride. Those with heart problems or high blood pressure should also avoid getting on the track.
You may also want to avoid this ride if you’re prone to motion sickness.
Does Tomorrowland Speedway Have Special Events?
If you visit Tomorrowland Speedway during the Christmas season, you may be able to experience Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. During events like this, they usually give the attraction a holiday overlay to add a festive touch.
During some events, you may also be able to see fireworks from the attraction.