Today we have a guest post from our very own Guru Leanne Roberts. Leeanne is an agent with us and would love to help you plan your vacation. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her HERE on Facebook.
Have you ever wanted to experience the “Need for Speed” in a stock car? I have the perfect opportunity for you to let your dreams come true!
Most people think that Disney only has characters & rides in the parks. I am here to let you know that Disney has much more to offer as well. Speaking of rides, you can get your adrenaline flowing and your heart pumping on a high speed ride along or drive with the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway. It is an amazing opportunity for you to get the feeling of what a NASCAR driver feels like when he/she is on the track. You will definitely appreciate and have a better understanding of how the driver’s feel when they are strapped into a car after completing a ride along or drive.
Though I have not yet done the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway, I have done it at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I enjoyed it so much that I MUST do it again at one of my favorite places on earth, Walt Disney World! I did the shotgun Ride Along, and knew that I was in great hands with my Richard Petty experienced driver behind the wheel. Now, I am not going to tell a fib……I was so very nervous before climbing in the window of the stock car. My hands were completely sweaty, and my face felt very flush. I would not recommend eating before your experience, because your anticipation level is so high!
You will start your experience by checking in with the Richard Petty Driving Experience crew. The experienced professionals will then give you instructions on what to do and not do while in and out of the car. You will be given a fire suit and helmet to put on over your clothes as well. This is for your safety, and must be worn!!! Whatever you do, please do not ask if these items can not be worn; it is a safety procedure that must be followed by everyone. You will watch others in the cars as they complete their laps around the speedway. Keep in mind that at this time, all kinds of things are running wild through your mind as you near your turn in the vehicle. Once it is time for you to go, you must climb into the car through the window, just like a real NASCAR driver. If you have shorter legs like me, you may need a little bit of assistance getting in. Don’t be shy, that is perfectly okay. Once inside, your buckles will be pulled very tight! I do mean VERY TIGHT!!! Don’t be afraid, you are then going to take the ride of your life! The driver will ask if you are ready; you are buckled in so tightly that it is difficult to turn or shake your head yes to the driver’s question. Instead of shaking my head, I said………”Yes, lets go for it!” That was all I had to do, and we were off. Then you will take 3 high speed laps around the track and feel the weight of your body being pushed back against the seat as well as being pulled toward the wall at the same time due to the banking of the track. You will realize how the drivers feel when they are in the cars for the races; and at that point, you know how much endurance it takes for them to be able to complete each race! When your driver brings the car in to pit road after your 3 laps are complete, I promise you that you will be grinning from ear to ear and ready to do it all over again!
The cost of doing a 165 mph Ride Along for 3 laps varies with the different types: Junior Ride Along for guests who are between the ages of 6 years old and 13 years old and at least 48 inches tall is $62.84 + tax per person; Junior Ride Along Reserved for guests who are between the ages of 6 years old and 13 years old and at least 48 inches tall is $59.00 + tax per person; Ride Along for guests 14 years of age and over is $105.44 + tax per person; Ride Along Reserved for guests 14 years of age and over is $99.00 + tax person. You must be 6 years old or older to ride along. Reservations are not required for the ride along packages. However, they are on a first come first serve basis if not reserved, and usually start about an hour after the first driving class.
If you want to take it up a notch and drive yourself, you can also do this as well. Reservations need to be made for the actual “Driving Experiences”. You must be 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. You will also go through a complete training coarse before getting into a car. Once you are in the car, you will follow an experienced driver around the mile long oval racetrack as well as watch for flagman’s signals. You will actually get to graduate after completing the coarse and receive a print out of your performance on each lap. There are several types of experiences you can do at this level. The list of experiences are listed below:
***The Rookie Experience – lasts for 2.5 hours, 8 laps on the track, and the cost is $499 + tax per person.
***The King Experience – lasts for 2.5 hours, 18 laps on the track, and the cost is $849 + tax per person.
***The Experience of a Lifetime – lasts for 2.5 hours, 30 laps on the track, and the cost is $1,299 + tax per person.
***Speedway Challenge – lasts for 4 hours, 50 laps on the track, and the cost is $2,099 + tax per person.
***Racing Experience – lasts 4 hours, 50 laps on the track, and the cost is $2,599 + tax per person.
Some important things to keep in mind when doing any of the experiences, including the ride along, is that you must wear closed toe shoes. If there is inclement weather, the cars will not run. If you choose to drive to the speedway, there is complementary parking at the speedway infield. If you are not driving to the track, a complimentary shuttle can be taken from the Lost and Found at the Ticket and Transportation Center. The Richard Petty Driving Experience operates most days, but can be closed for private events, testing, or inclement weather. Gates open at 7:30 AM, and generally Ride Alongs are between 9 AM and 4 PM Sunday through Saturday.
I would recommend ALWAYS reserving your experience, and ALWAYS calling to check on the day of your experience to make sure that everything is “Go” for your time at the track.
This is an absolutely amazing experience, and I would honestly recommend it to anyone who loves auto racing of any kind! It is a once in a lifetime experience! I will be glad to book this adventure for you when you book your Disney vacation.
Contact Leanne today to begin planning your Disney Destination vacation. You can email her at email@example.com or you can CLICK HERE to request online pricing.