Richard Petty Driving Experience Leaving Walt Disney World Speedway

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Sad news for NASCAR fans who also love Walt Disney World. The Richard Petty Driving Experience available at the Walt Disney World Speedway will close effective July 1, 2015.

This means the end of the Piston Cup Junior Ride-Along with the Pixar “Cars” themed cars too. It’s also the end of the Exotic Driving experience, which was operated by Drive Petty. If you can’t make it to Walt Disney World Speedway before July 1st, here’s what a lap around the Exotic Driving track in a Ferrari is like, in this case with Formula 1 & Le Mans driver Christian Fittipaldi at the wheel

According to a press release from RPDE, Walt Disney World plans to use the land occupied by the Walt Disney World Speedway to make transportation improvements. I haven’t heard anything about that, but it is clear that parking and transportation from the TTC can get overwhelmed on the busiest days of the year. Perhaps they just want to add more parking spaces.

Richard Petty Driving Experience will still operate at other locations.

Update with statement from Drive Petty;

Our main focus at this moment is taking care of our staff and preparing them for the upcoming transition,” said Petty Holdings Vice President Bill Scott. β€œAny reserved guests prior to July 1 will have the same fantastic experience that we have delivered since 1997 at Walt Disney World Speedway.”

Anyone booked after June 30 for Richard Petty Driving Experience or Exotic Driving Experience can call 1.800.237.3889 to reschedule their experience at any of their 14 locations nationwide – including the location at Daytona International Speedway. Petty Holdings currently has plans in process for exotics and stock car programs in Orlando.

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6 thoughts on “Richard Petty Driving Experience Leaving Walt Disney World Speedway

  1. Bailers

    This makes me a sad panda :( I was looking forward to driving one of the exotics when my kids got a little bit older.

    Since I never go during the busy season, is the parking lot at the TTC that full that they’d need to remove the track for more? Or does this mean more of a reconfiguration of the roads in and out of the lots?

  2. Kaz

    Aw, man. At least my kids got a NASCAR ride along in last year… think my son was looking forward to driving one of the exotics when he was older, as well.

  3. Tom

    I’d love to think “transportation improvements” meant something dramatic and imaginative. How about spend a few million and give us a miniature monorail from the parking lot to the front of the park, transporting the unluckiest souls who have to park the furthest away in record time. Or at the very least replace those ungodly loud trams with something futuristic and fun we look forwards to boarding and prepares the kids for an out of this world experience at MK. The basic principle is, if you tear down something cool, replace it with something cooler! ;)

    But alas, you’re probably right, it’s probably more parking spaces….

  4. Dustin

    Bummer. I never got to do it, but we got my dad an experience several years ago for his birthday. He loved it. And I always felt this was a really nice, unique mix to the Disney property. I hope whatever update they’re planning works out well though. That space could definitely use some new configurations, among other things.

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