Hello everyone, and welcome to our continuing look at the attractions of Disney and what makes them special. Today’s post is the final one that takes a look at original Opening Day attractions at the Magic Kingdom, so let’s explore some of the detail surrounding the Grand Prix Raceway, which is now known as the Tomorrowland Speedway!
On October 1, 1971, believe it or not, this was the ONLY attraction open in Tomorrowland! As crazy as that seems, I can totally see this being a serious thrill ride for the kids of that generation! Sponsored by Goodyear, the Grand Prix Raceway had all of the tires supplied by Goodyear, and the Mark VII vehicles were a site to see I can imagine!
In 1973, the track was actually expanded, but sometime in 1987-88, the track was shortened a bit to make room for the newly created Mickey’s Birthdayland to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday. Along the way, the name changed from the Grand Prix Raceway to Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, and then later, on December 20, 1999, Walt Disney Company and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway formed a partnership to update the theming and look of the track, but in 2008, when the partnership was ended, the name of the attraction became simply the Tomorrowland Speedway, which is what it is to this day.
The Grand Prix Raceway has, in my opinion, kind of seen the evolution of the world pass it by. It feels to me like the Raceway, Speedway, whatever name they are going with now, isn’t so much a look at what tomorrow might bring, but rather, it feels more like a look at what yesterday had for us. While I like looking at the past and exploring where we are going with attractions like Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, on an attraction like the Tomorrowland Speedway, this just doesn’t work as well for me.
However, just because I don’t necessarily see the value in an attraction doesn’t mean that others don’t either! I would imagine that, were I a young lad of 6 or 7, and I had the opportunity to drive my own race car, I’d be all about that! So, perhaps, for me, what should be done is to improve the attraction by introducing the concept of non-gasoline engines, or whatever it is they use, as a means of powering the vehicle. I think it would surely be an improvement over not having to smell the smell of gas and oil as much!
Thank you for stopping by on our look at the Grand Prix Raceway! Stay tuned as we explore more attractions next week!
- Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel at the Magic Kingdom (mydreamsofdisney.com)