Racers, start your engines and get ready to jet around Tomorrowland on the Tomorrowland Speedway!
This classic Magic Kingdom attraction is popular with those who don’t yet have their licenses.
And while you must be at least 32 inches tall to ride, the retro-looking gas-powered cars only reach 7.5 mph, so it can be a good first driving experience!
Hit the gas with our complete guide to Tomorrowland Speedway.
Tomorrowland Speedway Quick Facts
You can find Tomorrowland Speedway at the edge of Tomorrowland, across from Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café and Star Traders.
How to Ride Tomorrowland Speedway
The best time to ride Tomorrowland Speedway would be either the first 3 hours of the day or the last 3 hours of the day.
Do I need to use Genie+ at Tomorrowland Speedway?
Genie+ is available at Tomorrowland Speedway. Much of the line is outdoors and uncovered, meaning it can be tough to wait if there is a long line on a hot day. However, this wouldn’t be a top priority to grab Genie+ reservations as availability usually lasts most of the day.
You can read more about our tips and tricks to touring the parks with Genie+ here.
Rider Switch/Child Swap
Tomorrowland Speedway does offer Rider Switch since you must be 32 inches or taller to ride.
That said, those who are at least 54 inches tall can drive their own gas-powered race car. Guests who are at least 32 inches tall may also drive their own cars as long as they are accompanied by someone who is at least 54 inches tall.
Rider Switch is Disney’s system that allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one.
You can learn more about Rider Switch via our handy guide.
What to Expect when you Ride
The queue for Tomorrowland Speedway is outdoors and is only partially shaded.
It winds back and forth and crosses a pedestrian bridge over the track until you’re directed to one of the loading bays.
The loading area features panels of the three Indianapolis Motor Speedway races — the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400, and the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis.
To reflect the futuristic theme of the ride, there are also panels that depict races around the moon, Saturn, and other outer space destinations.
The ride vehicles at Tomorrowland Speedway are retro-inspired, gasoline-powered, authentic Autopia Mark VII race cars that fit up to two guests.
There is a gas pedal, as well as a steering wheel on the right side of the car. Make sure you buckle your safety belts!
Guests in ECVs and wheelchairs must transfer to a ride vehicle.
Those who ride the Tomorrowland Speedway must be at least 32 inches tall and in order to drive one of the ride vehicles alone, you must be at least 54 inches tall.
Since bumping may occur, the ride also comes with a warning that you should be in good health and that expectant mothers should skip this attraction.
On the Ride
If you prefer to experience Tomorrowland Speedway without spoilers, you may want to speed over this section.
Board your race car and then take off on the Tomorrowland Speedway, a 4/10 mile, four lane track complete with banks and turns.
The cars are equipped with an acceleration pedal and a steering wheel and can reach a top speed of 7.5 mph. A guide rail beneath your car keeps you in your lane, but this can sometimes be a bumpy ride!
To add to the illusion of a real speedway, environmental sounds from a race track are actually pumped in through the car speakers. Famous announcer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tom Carnegie, can be heard announcing the “race” as cars travel around the track.
As you cross the finish line and arrive in the Victory Circle, the checkered flag is waved.
Spectators can experience the attraction from the observation bridge, or from outside the attraction along the route.
Be warned: the fumes here aren’t exactly pleasant.
Is Tomorrowland Speedway Kid-Friendly?
Yes, Tomorrowland Speedway is kid-friendly however you must be at least 32 inches to ride and at least 54 inches to drive alone in a ride vehicle.
Strollers are not allowed in most queues at Walt Disney World, including Tomorrowland Speedway.
Instead, you’ll need to leave your stroller in the designated stroller parking area to the right of the entrance to the queue.
The Tomorrowland Speedway is one of the original Walt Disney World attractions, debuting on opening day of Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971 as the Grand Prix Speedway.
Like many early Magic Kingdom attractions, what would eventually become the Tomorrowland Speedway was inspired by a Disneyland attraction. Located in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, Autopia allowed guests to travel on the highway of the future. The attraction was very popular, so when Imagineers were mapping out Walt Disney World, they included a version of the ride.
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. It was sponsored by Goodyear, who supplied tires for the attraction vehicles.
The track was expanded in 1973, but shortened in 1974 to make way for Space Mountain. In 1987 the track was again shortened to make room for Mickey’s Birthdayland, which eventually became home to the Storybook Circus section of Fantasyland.
In 1996 the attraction was renamed the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway to reflect the ride’s new sponsor, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The ride also was rethemed to be more futuristic to coincide with the “New Tomorrowland”.
The “Indy” was dropped from the name in 2008 when the attraction’s sponsorship ended. The ride itself has remained in its classic racing theme ever since.
In 2012 the Tomorrowland Speedway was shortened by about 400 feet in order to make room for the relocated Dumbo attraction in Storybook Circus.
On January 3, 2019, the Tomorrowland Speedway closed for refurbishment. The track was rerouted to make room for TRON Lightcycle/Run. The Tomorrowland Speedway reopened on May 19, 2019.
Other Fun Details
- Sometimes at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, they decorate the speedway with colorful lights and holiday music!
- Al Unserbot, Jr., the 4-time winner of the fictional Constellation Cup, is the official host of the Tomorrowland Indy 500. This is in tribute to Al Unser, Jr., a retired American race car driver, and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner.
- After you ride, make a stop at the Tomorrowland Speedway License of Tomorrow booth where you can create your very own license!
- From 1994 to 2009 when guests rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover over the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, the attraction’s announcer, Mr. Johnson, would give a traffic report. He would 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 Tomorrowland’s Super Highways.” Mr. Johnson is actually a reference to a character from Mission to Mars, a former Tomorrowland attraction.
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