My kids had an amazing opportunity to Push Away the Screen and be involved with the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World by participating in a Junior Ride Along experience!! They got to sit shotgun in a real NASCAR and go over 120MPH!!
We started our adventure with a tour of the garage where they keep the exotic cars! They even started two of them up and "roared" the engines. Ronin L.O.V.E.D this part and asked for them to do it again and again. It surprised me that he liked this so much. It was quite loud, and he's normally quite sensitive to loud, unexpected noises. But not this.We listened to a Lamborghini and a Ferrari.
My kids throughly enjoyed themselves, and James and I had a blast watching them! They were so excited. Ronin couldn't wait to get in the car. He wanted to be first, and while he wasn't the first participant chosen from our group, he was the first of our family to go! Part of the experience is that they provide you with a flash drive that has an IN CAR video experience of your child while they are riding!! So AWESOME!!
Ronin was so anxious to go, but once he got in the car, he froze up a little bit. I was expecting a bit more enthusiasm from him when I watched his video.
Here he is coming off the track. I think you tell by his face that he really enjoyed it!
Next up was Ella. She was pretty quiet, but had a perma-smile on her face the entire morning.
Ella came off the track, quiet yet excited for her big sister Haley to go! What really surprised me was when I watched Ella's video!! She was the most animated off all my children. Watching her video made me smile from ear to ear and had me longing to be a kid again! You can hear Haley holler "Have Fun" to her sister as she gets in to the car.
And last up was Haley. She was more than anxious after having watched her siblings go before her. Haley is getting to that age where she is not wanting me to post unflattering photos of her online, so out of respect for her, I won't post how she looked in her helmet. But I'll describe it! She looked like a chipmunk! The helmet is supposed to be tight around the neck/face and in Haley's case it was so tight that it squeezed her cheeks in towards her nose. It was adorable. Here she is just coming off the track!
And here is her ride video! She is so blase! But as soon as they get in to the pit stop she says deadpan "again." And when the pit stop boss asked her what she thought, she just looked at him and said "again." She loved it.
In addition to the in car video, they also gave us an 8X10 photo of each of the kids in the car.
What did my kids have to say about the whole experience? I asked for them to each give me one word to describe how they felt, and this is what they said. Ella gave me more than one word.
What is the Junior Ride-Along experience all about?
RPDE’s “Junior Ride-Alongs” program will provide children, who are 6-13 years of age and at least 48 inches in height, the opportunity to experience real-life racing excitement while they ride shotgun with a professional driving instructor for three thrilling laps in a specially equipped two-seat NASCAR race car. “Junior Ride-Alongs” are possible as a result of RPDE’s partnership with The Joie of Seating, a premier fabricator of custom-fitted aluminum racing seats owned and operated by two-time NASCAR Nationwide series champion Randy LaJoie. The North Carolina-based company built custom racing seats for this program, specifically designed to ensure the safety and security of smaller bodies. These full containment racing seats feature built-in shoulder and head protection and a five-point safety harness that is the same design used by NASCAR drivers. Located just outside the Magic Kingdom property, RPDE’s Disney location has been known as a high-speed attraction for adults for more than a decade, providing thousands of moms and dads the thrill of a lifetime. Now with “Junior Ride-Alongs” available, NASCAR racing can become a family affair at Disney. (You follow the signs for Magic Kingdom, tell the parking attendant that you are heading to the Richard Petty driving experience, and parking is FREE) “Junior Ride-Alongs” with Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World® Speedway are $59. No reservations are required.
They are also hosting a drawing contest until May 31st.
To celebrate the expansion of the Junior Ride-Along program, RPDE’s contest invites children ages 6 to 13 (and at least 48 inches tall) to submit a hand-drawn picture of legendary Richard Petty, 'The King' of NASCAR racing, for a chance to win a “Junior Ride-Along” party for 10 Junior Riders. Selected by a panel of RPDE judges and ‘The King’ himself, the winning drawing will be used to wrap the hood of the new “Junior Ride-Along” cars*. To enter, visit DrivePetty.com/draw-the-king and download the hood template and submit their drawing by May 31. The winner will be announced June 14.
I am so jealous that my kids got to do this, and I asked my husband to consider this for MY birthday present!
Have you ever been to the Richard Petty Driving Experience? How fast did you drive??