The Tomorrowland Speedway has been the first driving experience for many children since it opened in the Tomorrowland section of the Magic Kingdom 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 35 years. The attraction was originally called the “Grand Prix Raceway”. There have been minor modifications over the years, such as,the addition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2000 as the main sponsor. Now the attraction is without sponsor and currently named just Tomorrowland Speedway.
The premise for the attraction is still basically the same. You drive a 9 hp, gas powered Indy style race 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.
Did You Know?: The official host
of the ride is called “Al Unserbot.”