Florida Travel

Disney World to close its speedway

Guests at the Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway prepare to drive supercars around a one-mile course.
Guests at the Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway prepare to drive supercars around a one-mile course. Miami Herald File

Walt Disney World is closing its speedway, which once hosted Indy Racing League events and now houses the Richard Petty Driving Experience and the Exotic Driving Experience.

The speedway, which opened in 1996, will close at the end of June. The space is adjacent to a Magic Kingdom parking lot and will be used for unspecified transportation improvements, not any new attractions, Disney said.

The speedway was built for the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World, but the last Indy race was held there in 2000. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series also held races at the track, but they were discontinued after the 1998 season. The Richard Petty Driving Experience, which began using the speedway in 1997 in the off-season, later expanded its use to year-round.

Disney World is one of more than 20 tracks that have the Richard Petty Driving Experience (www.drivepetty.com), where fans can drive NASCAR cars or do a ridealong with a professional driver. The next closest one is at Daytona International Speedway.

The Exotic Driving Experience (www.exoticdriving.com), which opened three years ago, gives customers the chance to drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche 997 S, Nissan GT-R or an Audi R8 around the one-mile course at high speed.

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