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Downtown Disney is about to undergo its own extreme makeover into Disney Springs, so June 15-16 may be the last year to really enjoy the great atmosphere of Car Masters Weekend until about 2017. If that’s not a good enough reason to get you out to see the cars, there is always the merchandise, special meet and greets, and the Pixar Cars themed fun. Plus this year they’re throwing in new fun from Splitsville and La Nouba by Cirque du Soliel and more.

Car Masters Weekend, now in its third year, is also the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day. The Downtown Disney West Side area will be filled with classic cars and special entertainment as only Disney can arrange. Featuring all things “Cars,” the event showcases meet and greets with Disney•Pixar “Cars” and “Cars 2″ characters, a sock hop at Splitsville, select discounts on food and shopping, and more exciting entertainment for the whole family.

The Richard Petty Driving Experience is a must-do for racing fans who visit the Walt Disney World Resort. But not everyone dreams of driving a race car. On the other hand, almost everyone has watched as a high performance automobile, such as a Ferrari or Lamborghini, zoomed by them on the road and said to themselves, “Gee, I wish I could drive one of those.” That’s the premise behind “Exotic Driving Experience” where you get the chance to drive, or ride along, inside a very expensive automobile and put it through its paces.

Exotic Driving Experience opens officially today and this weekend The Disney Blog was invited out to experience it ourselves. Disney has modified its existing Walt Disney World Speedway track to include a new infield section with hard turns and sweeping esses, that will offer unique challenges and lots of fun for drivers. Driving experiences start at $199 and Thrill Rides with a professional driver behind the wheel start at $99.

Lots more below the jump including on-board POV video of Christian Fittipaldi putting a Ferrari 458 Italia through its paces around the track:

Pixar’s Cars characters are no longer the only talking cars at Walt Disney World, the U.S. Department of Transportation sponsored a special test at the Walt Disney World Speedway last week, where cars communicated with each other to improve roadway safety. On hand was U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who received a firsthand look at “connected vehicle” technologies that have the potential to improve safety and help drivers avert crashes.

“Thanks to the efforts of automakers and the safety community traffic fatalities have reached historic lows. Despite these great strides though, more than 32,000 people are still killed on our nation’s roads every year. That’s why we must remain vigilant in our effort to improve safety,” said Secretary LaHood. “This research should bring us a step closer to what could be the next major safety breakthrough.”

Analyses by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show connected vehicle technology could potentially impact approximately 80 percent of vehicle crash types involving non-impaired drivers. Specifically, NHTSA research shows these technologies could help prevent a majority of kinds of crashes that typically occur in the real world such as crashes at intersections or while switching lanes.

I’m sure Disney finds this potentially useful technology given the size of the bus fleet they operate in and around the resort.

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I really like the crazy paint on this Citroen Nemo concept from our fine friends in France. Unveiled at the Bologna Motor Show, the Nemo gets its vibrant paint scheme from the clown fish protagonist in Pixar’s "Finding Nemo" feature animated movie. What’s next, an Incredibles Edition Smart Car?

The best part about the new Nemo? It’s a low CO2 emissions vehicle. Um, anybody know if they got an official license from Disney to use the Nemo characters? (via Autoblog with more pics)

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See full press release below the cut: