Walt Disney World Speedway Closing To Make Way for Magic Kingdom Area Improvements

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Walt Disney World announced yesterday that the Richard Petty Driving Experience and Exotic Driving Experience will be closing in late-June 2015 for “future transportation improvements”. The Walt Disney World Speedway is expected to be demolished sometime after that.


It’s no secret that road improvements are coming to the area, as cast members already know of the expansion of Floridian Way and the moving of Cast Connection to allow backstage road improvements near Magic Kingdom. We can only speculate that changes will also be made to the Magic Kingdom toll plaza and parking exit to allow better traffic flow, and perhaps provide a separate vehicle entrance to the park from the road that takes guests to the monorail resorts nearby.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
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  • Can’t help but wonder if this might be paving the way (pardon the pun) for monorail expansion. I was told Disney seriously looked at that in the 90s, but took an additional track (to be anchored at that long exit platform at EPCOT) off the table after September 11th. It was to be a loop connecting Yacht, Beach, Swan, Dolphin, Boardwalk & Hollywood Studios.

    Compared to the monorails, the buses seem so anti-climactic, so I hope the race track space will be used for a TTC expansion that includes an additional monorail station…perhaps connected to the existing one by a People Mover.

  • I heard rumors about this but it is approximately $1M per pile on for the monorails so I don’t think Disney is willing to take on this large of an expensive expansion. But you never know :-)

    I would love for Disney to do the enclosed pod cars transportation where you simply touch where you want to go and you sit back and your pod takes you there.

    • So this is an often quoted misnomer, The cost of $1,000,000 per mile would be for a startup of a monorail and not an operator that already has much of the infrastructure in place, IE Disney already has a full fleet of trainings and would only need to purchase a limited amount of new “hardware to run this additional route Couple that with the fact Disney has a perpetual license to the monorail technology, and licenses they sold off their cost is significantly less. What is interesting is the most likely route for a monorail to both Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom would have to run through the speedway. This would alleviate some of the parking capacity problems, and would service the more profitable “Park Hopper” ticket base. The downside to this is Universal has managed to monetize the Hogwarts Express around their “Park Hopper” tickets, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Disney added a fee for customers not staying in one of the premium hotels or without Park Hopper for using the monorail. This would be pretty easy to track via mymagic+ bands.

  • Don’t get excited folks. It’s all just for more parking, and some changes to roads. The MK is expanding greatly the areas where guests stand. They’re taking out water features/ponds for more walkways and kiosks to sell stuff. The parks are overrun with strollers, and people. SADLY, NO additional attractions. In fact, just another example of them taking one away!

    Just more places to hoard people, and hope they buy something. It’s all about efficiency now. A good guest experience means nothing at Walt Disney World. Not being negative. Just being honest.

      • Do drugs very often Disneyphilip? They’re taking away an attraction (the entire purpose of the article) to fit in more people. And not adding new attractions. Not much more to it. It’s a trend. The only new attraction this year at Magic Kingdom is…well..nothing. Just more walk ways and sales kiosks. It’s reality babe. The attendance is way up, the experiences for guests to enjoy is way down. Requires more than pixie dust to think it has anything to do about making a good time for people who pay to visit the parks.

    • “Just more places to hoard people, and hope they buy something. It’s all about efficiency now. A good guest experience means nothing at Walt Disney World. Not being negative. Just being honest.”

      So fixing the driving and transportation issues isn’t improving the guest experience? Do us all a favor and stay home. You will be one less person complaining in the park and ruining the guest experience for everyone else.

  • Just last year we saw the completion of New Fantasyland, which had rides and attractions opening in 2013. A lot of work is being done on the hub too to enhance the fireworks and parade viewing experiences. And, given the hype about the Tomorrowland movie in addition to the new color scheme its namesake is seeing, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see a “New Tomorrowland” project in the works over the next several years.

    That’s to say nothing about rumors about Pixar/Cars Land and Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios, which is undergoing the beginnings of a major metamorphosis. And the very real developments in Animal Kingdom in the forms of Avatar Land, Harambe Village Lion King Theater & the Festival of Light.

    Those are all some pretty big attraction based improvements. Yeah, I would love to see a renaissance in EPCOT’s Future World and some new countries in World Showcase…some additional monorail lines…etc. But I can’t say Disney isn’t adding new attractions. The shops, infrastructure and attractions all seem to be growing in kind.

    …but I definitely go Donald-Duck-tantrum when I think about the loss of the Polynesian lobby waterfall and the Maelstrom. ;-)

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