Check out these engine-revving Tomorrowland Speedway facts before your next trip around the track.
Long before I got my driver’s license, I got my first taste of sitting behind the wheel at Tomorrowland Speedway in Magic Kingdom. It didn’t matter how slow the car was or that I was confined to driving along a guiding rail. As a young kid, it felt like I was flying down the track at 200 mph, turning the car myself at each curve while I barely reached the pedals.
If you’re like me, Tomorrowland Speedway has a special place in your heart because of these fond childhood memories.
Did You Know? Tomorrowland Speedway got its own holiday overlay in 2019. To experience the holiday magic and dive deeper into this legendary attraction, subscribe to our print magazine; we’ll be talking about this classic car experience in our December 2021 issue.
Others, however, may agree with my wife. Her first time on this ride was as an adult when she indulged my excitement to relive my nostalgia. But once we began our drive toward the checkered flag, it was clear that I had oversold this attraction. To her, it was just loud, smelly, and boring.
Whatever your feelings are toward the ride, here are 5 Tomorrowland Speedway facts to get you geared up (see what I did there?) for your next visit to Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom.
1. IT’S AN ORIGINAL
Alongside other classic attractions such as Peter Pan’s Flight, “it’s a small world,” and Jungle Cruise, Tomorrowland Speedway has been a part of Magic Kingdom since day one as an opening day attraction. However, it hasn’t always stayed the same …
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2. A BRIEF HISTORY OF NAMES
Tomorrowland Speedway has gone through several changes, including its name. It was first introduced as the Grand Prix Speedway. In 1994, Disney renamed it to Tomorrowland Indy Speedway.
At one point during this phase, the attraction was sponsored by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and included features from the real racetrack such as the Yard of Bricks and Gasoline Alley.
In 2008, “Indy” was dropped from the name, resulting in the name we are familiar with today.
Apparently, there was only room for one Indy at Disney World.
3. MAKING TRACK ADJUSTMENTS
The name isn’t the only thing that has changed. The track itself has been shortened throughout the years to make room for other nearby attractions and expansions of nearby lands.
Today, the track is around 0.4 miles long. Since I can average around 20,000 steps in a day in Magic Kingdom, that would be the equivalent of walking roughly 25 laps around the Speedway.
4. REACHING TOP SPEED
This attraction is no Test Track. In other words, it’s definitely not known for its speed, with the cars reaching a whopping top speed of around 7.5 mph.
Unfortunately, it’s not like Space Mountain where the darkness makes the ride more thrilling and feel much faster than it actually is. You’ll be fully aware of what the wind in your hair at 7.5 mph feels like.
5. RACING AROUND THE WORLD
Did you know Tomorrowland Speedway has other versions in Disney parks around the world? The attraction originally launched as Autopia in Disneyland Park in California, sharing its name with the version in Disneyland Paris.
Over in Asia, Hong Kong Disneyland had its own version of Autopia while Tokyo Disneyland’s speedway was branded as the Grand Circuit Raceway. However, both of these have since closed to make room for new attractions.
The big question now is will Tomorrowland Speedway get its long-awaited update? After all, it’s located in a future-themed land, and there’s nothing really futuristic about it. At the very least, I’d love to see the attraction shift to electric cars like the Hong Kong Disneyland version. It would be much better for the environment (and also be a much more pleasant smelling area!).
So which team are you when it comes to Tomorrowland Speedway: love it or hate it? Let us know with a comment on our Facebook page.