Tomorrowland Speedway

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Tomorrowland Speedway
Speedway.jpg
The Entrance to the Tomorrowland Speedway
Magic Kingdom
Land Tomorrowland
Opening date October 1st, 1971
Vehicle type Mark VII
Number of vehicles 146
Ride duration 3:50 minutes
Height requirements 52" (132 cm)
Track Length .4 miles
FastPass + Yes
Based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Tomorrowland Speedway is an attraction located in Tomorrowland.

Attraction History

Like many early Magic Kingdom attractions, what would eventually be known as the Tomorrowland Speedway, actually traces its origin back to Disney. The Tomorrowland Speedway’s predecessor was an attraction known as Autopia. Located in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, Autopia allowed guests to board cars and travel on the highway of the future (Disneyland’s Autopia opened before President Eisenhower signed Interstate Highway legislation into law). The attraction proved to be extremely popular in California, and thus it was an obvious choice for addition in Walt Disney World [1].

The Magic Kingdom’s version of Autopia opened as the Grand Prix Raceway with the rest of the park on October 1, 1971. Unlike the Disneyland version of the ride which was themed to look like a futuristic highway, the Grand Prix Raceway was instead designed to look like an international car race. The Grand Prix Raceway was originally sponsored by Goodyear, who supplied tires for all of the attraction vehicles [2].

Although the basic idea of the Grand Prix Raceway has not changed since its opening, the name and theming of the attraction have. The first change to the Grand Prix Raceway came in 1973, when the track was expanded[2]. This was followed by a shortening of the track in 1974 as part of the construction of Space Mountain [3] In 1987 the track was again shortened, this time to make room for Mickey's Birthdayland [2]. In 1996 the attraction was renamed the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, and it was given new futuristic theming to coincide with the "New Tomorrowland". In 1999 Disney and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that they would partner together to change the theme of the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway [4]. Famous items from the Indianapolis Speedway were added to the attraction including:

Cars going around the Tomorrowland Speedway
  • The Yard of Bricks
  • The Scoring Pylon
  • Gasoline Alley
  • The "Wheels and Wings" logo

Also, panels of the Indy 500, Brickyard 400 and the Grand Prix Raceway were added to the loading area.

In 2009 the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ended their sponsorship of the attraction and the the "Indy" was dropped from the name of the attraction. Although now sponsorless, the theming of the Speedway remains the same. [5] In 2012 the Tomorrowland Speedway was shortened by about 400 ft in order to make room for the relocated Dumbo attraction in Storybook Circus [3]

Attraction Plot

The Tomorrowland Speedway allows guests to drive their own "race cars" around a 4/10 mile, four lane track. A guide rail keeps each guest in his or her lane, but can lead to a sometimes bumpy ride. The attraction is especially popular among younger guests who cannot yet drive a real car. The Tomorrowland Speedway is themed to resemble the famous Indianapolis Speedway. To add to the illusion, environmental sounds from a race track are actually pumped in through speakers in each car. The cars are also equipped with an acceleration pedal and a steering wheel (the cars reach top speeds of 7.5 mph). Famous announcer Tom Carnegie can be heard announcing the "race" as cars travel around the track, which takes minutes to complete. At the end of the race, a checkered flag waves for every rider.

See The Attraction!

To see the Tomorrowland Speedway click play below.


Fun Facts and Trivia

  • From 1994-2009 when guests rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority over the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, Mr. Johnson would give a traffic report. He would always say: "Hi there Tomorrowland travelers. This is Mr. Johnson in Skyview Hovercraft One, bringing you the latest Tomorrowland traffic report. As usual, everything is perfect on Tommorowland’s Super Highways"
  • Mr. Johnson is actually a reference to a character from Mission to Mars, a former Tomorrowland attraction.
  • There is a sponsor lounge in the control tower, near the front of the attraction.
  • Al Unserbot is the official host of the Tomorrowland Indy 500.
  • Al Unserbot Jr. is the 4 time winner of the Constellation Cup [6].

References

  1. http://www.wdwradio.com/2007/09/tomorrowland-indy-speedway/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2012/09/tomorrowland_speedway_1.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tomorrowland: Walt Disney World Walking Tour by Lou Mongello
  4. http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/tomorrowland-indy-speedway/news/03nov1999-press-release---tomorrowland-indy-speedway.htm
  5. http://allears.net/tp/mk/mk_speed.htm
  6. http://www.wdwradio.com/2007/09/tomorrowland-indy-speedway/