Disney Confirms Plans to Convert Speedway into Magic Kingdom Parking

Edited: June 17, 2015, 1:40 PM

The Reedy Creek Improvement District this week filed plans with the South Florida Water Management District to tear down the Walt Disney World Speedway in order to expand the Magic Kingdom's parking lot.

In the filing letter, Disney's engineer stated, "The project consists of expanding the existing guest parking lot by demolishing the existing speedway and the infield to construct the expansion. A new dry detention pond will be constructed to treat the eastern expansion while modifying the existing wet pond to serve the remaining expansion areas."

The existing pond inside the Speedway is the famous "Mickey head" pond that helped inspire the nickname "The Mickyard" for the facility. The Speedway opened with IndyCar racing in 1996, but hasn't been used for competitive races in years.

Disney in February announced the Speedway's closing for this summer. In April, the Richard Petty Racing Experience, which has been the Speedway's tenant in recent years, suffered its first on-track fatality, leading to its permanent closure.

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Replies (12)

June 17, 2015, 9:57 AM

The next question is... What will be the names for the new sections of the Magic Kingdom parking lot?

On the Heroes side, I figure that something from the options "Elsa," "Anna," and "Olaf" is a lock. On the Villains side, it's got to be "Darth Vader," right?

June 17, 2015, 11:14 AM

That's a lot of parking spaces. They need to expand the park to keep up with demand.

Edited: June 17, 2015, 1:04 PM

I always felt that the parking lot for Magic Kingdom should be shifted closer to the park past the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian to the left of the lake and repurpose the current parking lot into another park. An early concept for EPCOT Center was for it to be built in the Magic Kingdom parking lot, putting the two parks in close proximity to one another. It would create another mini resort area anchored by two Disney parks, much like Disney Hollywood Studios and Epcot are currently. Universal did it right, the Disneyland Resort did it right, WDW did it with DHS and Epcot, and it should be the direction WDW should continue to expand in by "shrinking" the HUGE expanse at WDW. Have four or five mini resort areas anchored by two Disney theme parks with a few resort hotels accommodating each area with a mini shopping district, and maybe an additional attraction (like a water park or a Boardwalk type experience). That's the way WDW should compete against Universal-five mini resorts (WDW) against one (UOR).

June 17, 2015, 1:41 PM

But it will be a new gate: Disney's Parking Adventure -- admission $20 a day.

June 17, 2015, 1:58 PM

Ah...well played, Robert.

June 17, 2015, 2:25 PM

Includes free tram ride and a space you can call your own.

Edited: June 17, 2015, 4:39 PM

The extra parking is already needed to handle the 5k extra people coming each day due to the Fantasyland expansion. Last year during busier periods, Disney guests were redirected to other parking areas when the Magic Kingdom filled up and their parking fees were waived. In other words, Disney had to turn away a lot of revenue. Disney does not like to turn away revenue.

June 18, 2015, 12:03 PM

Next thing you will need is a FastPass to park at MK.

June 18, 2015, 12:53 PM

=) A good problem for them to have, I guess.

June 18, 2015, 1:41 PM

I can't explain the rise in crowds for all parks. For about the last 3-4 years, the WDW crowds have only increased everywhere. The economy hasn't improved much, but the crowds are now typically crazy all year long. Disney must love it but the hassle of the guests is ever increasing. After this new parking lot, get over to Hollywood Studios and add 50% more and new access roads.

June 18, 2015, 3:08 PM

Given Disney's history of respecting its past, and the former use as a speedway, I think here is only one logical choice.

The Herbie the Love Bug Parking Lot.

Edited: June 18, 2015, 4:15 PM

"On the Villains side, it's got to be "Darth Vader," right?"

Interesting. But my internal sources are betting on "Thierry Coup".

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