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Indy out as sponsor for Disney World 'Speedway' ride?

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Published: March 25, 2008 at 12:19 PM

Indy Car racing fans at SpeedTV have noted that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway appears to have dropped its sponsorship of the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. One poster notes that Disney is dropping the "Indy" name from the attraction, on which visitors - usually kids - drive two-seater mini cars around a road-course track. (Disneyland fans know the ride as "Autopia," though the cars and layout are different on the west coast.)

The Disney website still lists the "Indy" name on the attraction. The Indy Racing League recently merged with the rival Champ Car series, reunifying open wheel racing in the United States. Those whose memories go back more than 12 years might recall that Indy car racing used to be bigger, much bigger, than NASCAR in the U.S.

That said, I always thought that the Indy branding was a bit weird for this ride. Indy cars are single seat, open wheel cars (no fenders) and the Indy Motor Speedway is an oval, not a road course. So Indy looks nothing at all like the Tomorrowland ride.

Anyone on the scene in Orlando have a report?

Readers' Opinions

From James Rao on March 25, 2008 at 1:08 PM
Perhaps, and this is just a guess, Disney did not pursue a renewal of the sponsorship because they are planning a removal of the ride? There have been many rumors in the past about Disney dumping this attraction and adding a Pixar themed coaster in the area.

Probably just wishful thinking on my part?

From Reid Loveland on March 25, 2008 at 1:12 PM
I read somewhere that Disney was testing an electric or hybrid engine for the Indy cars. If they are doing a change to the vehicles why not re-theme at the same time?
From Bradley Robertson on March 25, 2008 at 2:20 PM
It would be nice if not-renewing the contract means that area would be put to a better use. That kind of ride is at lot of parks, just usually not with as much theming as Disney has done. One the problems with that ride is the capacity and wait times for it. As much as I would love a Pixar coaster I'm not sure that would be the best replacement. Speedway is definitely an all ages ride, and even the tamest coaster can turn away some kids and adults.

Since it is Tomorrowland I think the idea of re-theming it with a focus on alternative energy might not be a bad idea though.

From Iris Hernandez on March 25, 2008 at 3:04 PM
Why not give it a refurb, put in new cars and just re-name it with something that has to do with the movie "Cars". If they really wanted to put something pixar there wouldnt that be the best way to do it(probably the most cost effective and less time consuming option). Kids love Mater, the tow truck and I think that something that has to do with him would be an all-around hit.
From James Rao on March 25, 2008 at 3:59 PM
While the non-gasoline powered cars mentioned by others would eliminate the pollution issues of the current attraction, I would hate to see any money or time invested into a basic re-theming of the existing attraction. It is exactly like the cars-on-a-rail ride I skip at my local Cedar Fair park whenever I go there. I expect more from the Disney Imagineers.

If they are going to keep it as a speedway, then I hope they add something like the Radiator Springs Racers E-Ticket they are adding to DCA.

From Mark Hollamon on March 26, 2008 at 5:22 AM
On one hand, I would hate to see it go because I am somewhat of a purist when it comes to MK, however, I also realize everything must evolve and what was popular to me as a kid is probably seen as prehistoric by today's youth. That thought alone is kind of a bummer!

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