In March of 2010 Annual Passholders had a cool opportunity to do a FREE ride-along at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at WDW. So hubby took advantage of it. (I was going to but I forgot my drivers license so I couldn’t ride). Its not free currently, but if you or a family member have a NEED FOR SPEED you can pay $99-$135 (dependent on how many laps you want) to go. Currently teens between the ages of 14 and 19 ride free when you purchase any Driving Experience or Ride-Along Experience for the same day! Visit Teens Ride Free for more information. You can find discounted tickets at http://www.wdwinfo.com/recreation/petty.htm
We got there early because Ride-alongs are first-come, first-serve. There is a shuttle that takes you from the Ticket and Transportation Center which picks up next to the Magic Kingdom Kennel. The shuttle begins at 8am and ends at 4pm and runs every 20 minutes.
– If you drive your own car then you can just park at the Magic Kingdom parking lot. (which is really at the TTC) and ride the tram/walk over to the Kennel.
– If your on-property then you just need to ride your resort bus over to Magic Kingdom. Jump on the monorail and get off on the second stop, which is the Ticket and Transportation Center. Obviously this will take a lot more time, so you need to take that into consideration.
Once the shuttle arrives it will drive you over to the racetrack where you will check in for the ride along. You will need your drivers license with you!
And you’ll get in line with other people who have come to do the ride-alongs. You could be there a while or it could be short, there is really no way to tell. Until you get there.
Once its your turn they will give you one of these super SNAZZY helmets. Which looks super hot on the guys and makes the gals look like total idiots. haha
They will then take you out to the loading area on the track and you’ll get into the car. Its super awkward, but they are really good at helping you into the car.
After you are all strapped in its time to get a move on. And you DO get a move on. The ride along takes you around the 1 mile track a few times (husband went around 3x) at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour.
While you’re waiting you and the kids/ family can wait and watch, but there’s really not that much shade. There are some hard metal bleachers that you can sit on to watch, and there is a little picnic area also where the kids can run around and play in if they start to get a little wild.
After the ride is over you (awkwardly) emerge from the car and you’re all done. You just have to go and return your coveralls. They will then (in fine Disney Tradition) try to sell you a few pictures of yourself which you may or may not want to buy.
Overall husband seemed to really love the experience, and we are not even NASCAR fans. So I would imagine if you have a racing fan in the family they would adore it.
There are many other options you can do where you actually drive the race-car but it’s a much longer experience and much longer. You can read all about it on the Richard Petty new website http://www.drivepetty.com/race-tracks/orlando-walt-disney-world-speedway
Overall the Divas would recommend it for anybody in your family who has a need for speed. Disney is about experiences!! and the Richard Petty Driving Experience is one for sure you might want to consider. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re taking a short trip (2-3) days because it does take a few hours to complete.