February 7, 2003

Walt Disney World offers thrills for racing fans

Lake Buena Vista, Florida – Walt Disney World is recommending that fans flocking to Daytona International Speedway make a “pitstop” at the Vacation Kingdom for a few entertaining racing-related rides and activities. A one-hour drive from Daytona Beach, Walt Disney World Resort has eight attractions designed for racing and car enthusiasts.

1.) Richard Petty Driving Experience — Motorsports fans can get behind the wheel of a real stock car on the one-mile tri-oval Walt Disney World Speedway. The Richard Petty Driving Experience features a choice of driving programs daily in vehicles with 630 horses under the hood. Guests can also choose a three-lap thrill ride as a passenger at a top speed of 145 mph. Information is available by calling 800/BE-PETTY.

The Richard Petty Driving Experience offers guests the ultimate racing souvenir that doubles as gear- spinning home decor — used tires. After experiencing the ride of a lifetime in an authentic stock car at Walt Disney World Speedway, guests can purchase the same Goodyear Racing Eagles that are used on the 630-horsepower machines. The tires are used for approximately 100 laps around the speedway before they are changed. Guests can purchase them for $5 each.

According to track officials, buyers use them for tire swings, coffee tables and conversation- sparking wall hangings. Fans often take the purchased tires to NASCAR races to have autographed by their favorite drivers.

2.) Feel the Need for Speed (at 7.5 miles per hour) — It may not be the high banks of Daytona’s tri-oval speedway, but Tomorrowland Indy Speedway lets young hopefuls and seasoned veterans take turns around the Magic Kingdom’s half-mile track at a whopping 7.5 miles per hour. One of the popular Magic Kingdom attractions that debuted on the theme park’s opening day in 1971, Tomorrowland Indy Speedway has been redesigned with the help of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

3.) Test Track — Ever wonder what goes on behind those proving ground walls? Sponsored by General Motors, this high-speed thrill attraction in Epcot invites guests to buckle up and brace themselves for a series of automobile tests. Hair-raising maneuvers peak with a high-intensity speed loop pushing 65 miles per hour around the massive testing facility.

4.) Stars in Classic Cars — Classic cars also take center stage in the “Disney Stars and Motor Cars” parade, the daily parade spectacle at Disney-MGM Studios. Honoring Walt Disney’s career in motion pictures, resident stars of the theme park – including Miss Piggy, Mary Poppins, Luke Skywalker, Mike and Sulley from “Monsters, Inc.” and Rolie Polie Olie — ride in customized cars, many of them vintage models. The “Aladdin” car is outfitted to look like the Genie, the “Toy Story” car is in the shape of Andy’s bed — and the final car, a 1929 Cadillac, carries Mickey, Minnie and friends.

5.) High-Speed, Rock and Roll Thrills Combine — A wild limousine ride through the Hollywood Hills gives guests high-speed thrills aboard Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, an indoor, “E-Ticket” roller coaster in Disney-MGM Studios. The five members of the legendary band Aerosmith teamed with Walt Disney Imagineering to create the ride that features a high-speed launch of 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds, three inversions, rock-concert lighting and a specially recorded Aerosmith soundtrack thundering from 120 onboard speakers in each coaster train. The roller coaster train was specially constructed to resemble a super-stretch limousine car.

6.) Two Wheels of the Future — It wouldn’t win at Daytona, but for a look at what some are calling the “transportation of the future,” guests can take a gander at Segway Human Transporter (HT), the world’s first self-balancing human transporter that sends riders gliding down the road at 12.5 miles per hour. Walt Disney World Resort and Segway LLC partnered last year for the first public display of the two-wheeled, technological wonder. Guests may see demonstrations at Innoventions in Epcot.

7.) Just Eat in the Car — Cars and film combine at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, a drive-in movie-inspired eatery inside Disney-MGM Studios. Diners sit in 1950s-style cars as fiber-optic stars twinkle overhead. The theater’s movie screen shows outrageous sci-fi movie clips as servers journey from car to car dishing out classic American cuisine.

8.) One Horsepower — While stock cars rev their engines using high horsepower, Walt Disney World guests may take a leisurely, one-horsepower ride on one of the many horses at Tri-Circle D Ranch at Walt Disney World Resort. Guided trail rides are offered through the pine-lined woods at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. In addition, horse-drawn carriage rides are offered for couples and families.

For more information, visit www.disneyworld.com.

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