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First Driving Experience At Disney World Tomorrowland Speedway

The Tomorrowland Speedway has been the first driving experience for many children since it opened in the Tomorrowland section of the Magic Kingdom at Disney World on October 1st, 1971.

As one of the Magic Kingdom’s original attractions, it has been a favorite of kids of all ages for over 39 years. The attraction was originally called the “Grand Prix Raceway”. There have been minor modifications over the years, and the addition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2000 as the main sponsor.  Recently it has changed to just the Tomorrowland Speedway.

If you look closely the emblem pictured above pays tribute to the attraction's earlier Grand Prix roots by putting "Walt Disney World Grand Prix" on the rear of each of the cars.

The premise for the attraction is still basically the same. You drive a 9 hp, gas powered car around a curving, guided, 2,260 ft. track at speeds of up to 7.5 mph.

The precursor to this ride was Disneyland’s Autotopia, which was designed when the nation’s highway systems were really starting to evolve. At the time Walt Disney wanted the attraction to help children get used to the concept of driving on a highway. By the time the Disney World version was created in 1971, highway driving was now commonplace, so they chose a race course theme for their attraction.

Because of its popularity, this is a ride that you should try to ride early in the day, before the lines get long.

This is a ride that my own children loved when they were very young and still enjoy it today. It is enjoyable for guests of all ages.

Although the cars have steering wheels, the guides on the track do not allow you to go too far off course and technically, you do not need to steer much at all. The one pedal operation also simplifies the driving for children. You depress the foot pedal to accelerate and when you release it, the disc brakes engage and stop the car.

Disney World Did You Know?: The official host of the Tomorrowland Speedway is called “Al Unserbot.”

Tomorrowland Speedway
At 7.5 mph you can hardly call the Tomorrowland Speedway a thrill ride, but kids continue to love this attraction and flock to it.  If you have children this is a must do attraction for your Disney World Vacation.  There is that appeal of driving on a race track, no matter what the speed might be. 

If you don't have children you may want to experience this ride again for the nostalgic effect and become a kid again, if just for a day.

3 comments to "First Driving Experience At Disney World Tomorrowland Speedway"

  1. that's amazing and so exciting..it feels like you got wings when you are on these speed cars.. i went there once... and its life long experience for me.

  2. Nelly says:

    7.5 mph is fine for me after all if my kids would be the one riding, that kind of speed suits them. I keep hearing a lot about this place but never really got this interested as I am now after reading your post. Will be checking it out with my kids and I do hope they have a fun time. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have been to Disney World 15 times since I was 4, and now i'm 33. I have no fond memory of the ride and purposely bypass it now. I feel a much more exciting ride, even for smaller children should be put in it's place. Big Thunder Railroad has Splash Mountain next to it....Tomorrowland in general needs more innovation to keep it futuristic.

    Oh, yeah...dozens of gas powered cars running all day....Not very eco friendly.

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