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Photo TR: Racing through Walt Disney World


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Last Friday, I set aside the day to revisit the Disney parks, as I had not had a chance to do this in a while. During the visit, I redeemed my Richard Petty Driving Experience free annual passholder "Ride Along" program (for those of you that haven't done it, you have until March 31st, 2010 to give it a try) and made stops at Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Magic Kingdom for what was truly a "Disney day."

 

The free "Ride Along" program is a short promotion designed to get passholders that wouldn't have previously spent money to give the Richard Petty Driving Experience a try. The description of the promotion cites that the four-lap passenger run is a $100 value, so to take it for free was a given. The experience itself was short but exciting, though not what I expected. It may be my lack of interest or knowledge of Nascar, but I expected the ride to be feel faster than it was, as it seemed much like a regular car hitting highway speeds at its best. Little time is spent on the outside of the track (the banked section), which again was a little surprising, but I still feel that the visit was worthwhile. I will say that it was truly the driver that made the experience mean more than just a quick ride around the track. My driver was personable and spoke to me for a few minutes before the drive to get me acquainted with the car, find out my interest in visiting that day and even spoke about his relationship with the Driving Experience and the Walt Disney Company as a whole.

 

Overall, the day was a truly great one and I highly recommend taking the time to visit the Richard Petty Driving Experience when you have the time, especially if you can do so before March 31st when the free "Ride Along" program ends.

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Here we are, ready to roll at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World.

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How clever...

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Here are the not-so-flattering ride along suits...

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Here I am, being not-so-flattered in my ride along suit.

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Here is where you get your helmet, your driver "virtual key" and eventually, into the car.

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Ready to roll at 88 miles per hour!

 

 

Wrong movie.

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Hans has definitely got my back!

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Here's my car!

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I'm excited to be in the car... And according to the LED screen on my forehead, I want to "BE PETTY."

 

What are LED's you ask? Well, since you asked... They are light emitting diodes, and I have some in my room!

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My ride went well, until the ghost of Ratzenberger (Bryan and Adam Show fans will know who I'm talking about) came and wrecked my car. After my driver began to imagine he was on fire, I took control of the car and drove it back to safety. I took a photo with the car as a sign of my heroism.

 

Oh, and the driver's initials were R.B.

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This is where you sit if you want to actually learn to drive the race car (and want to pay money to do so).

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Of course, like any good attraction on Walt Disney World property, you can buy a souvenir photo or video after your ride.

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The wall of celebrities has yet to feature my photo, but it will soon. They will be removing the left third of the photo wall to accommodate the addition of my portrait.

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Hi Elissa!

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When Jango Fett's jetpack exploded on Geonosis, he decided to get the next fastest mode of transportation--a race car!

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Laces out Dan!

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I'd like to buy a tire for $5.00. Would you?

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My friend called shotgun, so I called tire lick and beat him to the tire. I got shotgun.

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Over at Animal Kingdom, we caught some monkeys just hanging around.

 

I'm trying. Cut me some slack!

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As always, some Park Index love for Larry!

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Primeval Whirl had its track completely reinstalled last year, and now it runs a lot better.

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Moving on to Epcot, we caught the Tronorail in motion!

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I'd be lying to you if I said I posted this photo for any reason besides the way the sun made it look.

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I never earned the "Hiking through the Flowers" merit badge, but I'm sure it wasn't easy.

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Scar had a rough night.

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The monorail track cleaning in Future World was recently completed, and now the track looks good as new!

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Have I ever told you how much I love Garden Town?

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I am the self-proclaimed Mayor of Garden Town. Unfortunately, my town wasn't open during my visit. Siestas and all.

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Behind MouseGears, a photo op promoting The Princess and the Frog has been put up.

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The Butterfly House has returned once more to the Flower and Garden Festival, this time under the Tinkerbell theme.

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In my five years of visiting Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival, not once have I seen an alien hatch from its cocoon in person.

 

I guess I'm gunna have to go rent the movie and watch them hatch in Steven Gutenberg's swimming pool instead.

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"Its a tiny, tiny world! It's a tiny, tiny world!..."

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They actually did a really nice job tying Tinkerbell into the Flower and Garden Festival this year!

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Syngenta is sponsoring the event this year.

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With the upcoming release of the DisneyNature film, Oceans, this planter in the Fountain of Nations plaza features dolphins.

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Here's an edgy one for you Bryan!

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The even made an appearance in the annual flower bed over here.

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Adam Sandler's Iraqi Pete comes to mind when I see this.

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Even the VinylMation trend has gotten into the Flower and Garden Festival spirit.

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"What is a chimichanga?"

"Beef, cheese and vegetables."

"What is a burrito"

"Beef, cheese and vegetables."

"What is tostadas?"

"Will you just order something? Its all the same!"

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Thumper's just doing his thing.

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As of this year, Swindon is our twinned town. That practically makes us brothers Swindonians!

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In Epcot, trees bend out of the way to ensure an optimal view of Spaceship Earth from all angles.

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Construction on the new pizzeria at Epcot is well underway.

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This donkey doesn't look so happy. He clearly hasn't ordered his Club TPR membership yet!

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Trains of the World!!!!!

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Dopey's looking a little odd.

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A new gift cart is being constructed at the edge of the China pavilion.

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A dragon has invaded China as well.

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The Tronorail zooms by in Epcot. Will we ever get up close to it?

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Over at Magic Kingdom, we see two teens sitting high above Tomorrowland's Pride Rock, though they probably shouldn't be up there.

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Over at the Tomorrowland Noodle Terrace which is now open for a short time, you can order a vegetable eggroll for dessert.

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What's this?

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It can't be!

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We found the Tronorail!

 

Thanks for reading!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I've always wanted to do the Petty Experience. My dad and both grandfathers drove cars at Pocono Raceway, which is about an hour from here, and they all loved it. They let them go up to about 170 MPH there because of the long straightaways that WDW Speedway doesn't have, and they said it was a rush. Only problem is I don't know how to drive stick shift, which could be a bit of an obstacle.

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^^Andrew, you made my night!

 

^I walked directly into the riding area and waited no more than five minutes to ride. Even with five people in line behind me, my friend got into a car within ten minutes of waiting. They were very efficient in getting riders in the cars, around the track and back out.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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^Primeval Whirl. Triceratops Spin. They are both spinning dinosaurs... Big difference!

 

I made sure I stopped by Dinoland just for that, and yet I messed it up. I guess since you are twisting my arm, I'll go back and get the right one...

 

The right one being T-Rex Gyration.

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