One of our go-to rides at Walt Disney World is the Tomorrowland Speedway. It’s loud, it’s noisy and in the summer it’s really hot but there is not much more exciting for the under twelve set than driving your own race car. It’s the first thing Eli wants to do every time we go.
I have memories of riding the race cars myself as a kid and how grown up I felt the first time I was tall enough to ride one alone! The height requirement is 32 inches to drive with someone over 54 inches in the car or they must be 54 inches to drive alone (whew, I barely made it!). At three, Eli’s tall enough to drive with one of us.
The ride now has FP+ and it is usually available even on the day of your visit. It’s handicapped accessible as long as you can transfer from the wheelchair or ECV into the car. The cars are pretty low to the ground, so if you have knee or hip problems, it could be hard to get up and down.
The cast members direct you to a loading zone that’s numbered. There are no gates, so it’s a good idea to keep a hold of little ones (kind of like in a parking lot) while you load and unload so they don’t stumble or wander in front of a car.
When you finish your ride and return to the loading zone, the cast member will tell you which numbered zone to return the car to so you can exit and the next guest can load.
The cars fit two people easily and have one steering wheel. There is one seat belt that fastens across both passengers. There is a gas pedal in the center, so it can be operated by either person in the car.
With little ones, it’s best to let them do the steering (if they want to) and let the adult operate the gas pedal. You push down to go and let it up to brake. There is a guide rail track under the car, so while it can get kind of jerky if you have a crazy kid like me who likes to slam the car back and forth, there’s no risk of hitting other cars on each side.
The only rules are to leave a car’s distance between the your car and the one in front of you, no bumping each other and stay seated in your car. You wind around the track and get a couple of great views of Space Mountain along the way. The cars are gasoline powered, which is why they are loud and stinky but really it’s a lot of fun.
This is a great chance for little ones to have a low-intensity ride that’s a lot of fun. It’s also great for kids who aren’t really thrilled with dark rides (Eli’s getting over it but he’s still a bit skittish about rides that have any dark parts). There are always those who would like to see it replaced with a quieter, less fume-filled ride (like the Cars ride at Disneyland) but I love the nostalgia of it and it is still a great attraction!
Have you ever ridden it? Would you like to see it replaced or do you want it to stay the same?