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Before Christmas last year, Richard Petty offered discounted prices on Ride Along vouchers. Since we had a trip coming up in February, I thought it a fine idea for my husband and our soon to be 16 year old daughter — so I purchased two vouchers. I think the price was around $60 for each one. A little pricey, but everything I had read said that this was quite a memory for the participants, and I thought it was a unique experience they could share. You don’t need reservations if all you want to do is the Ride Along. But– they don’t run every day, so do call before your vacation and check to see the days and hours they are running. And, if you have your heart set on doing it, don’t save the experience for the end of your trip. If it rains — you’ll be out of luck.
Luckily, we rented a car for the trip, so getting to the track was easy. If you have ever driven to the Magic Kingdom and parked in the Ticket and Transportation Center parking lot, you may have driven by the entrance to the track on your way out of the parking lot. If you don’t have a car, I hear you get to the Ticket and Transportation Center, and they have shuttles that take you to the track. Personally, I am glad we had a car.
Entering the track is kinda cool.
Enter by driving under the track….
…And back up the other side.
From there, the folks at the front desk will sign you in and get you started. You suit up in coveralls, and then, within a few minutes, head out to the track. Jamie took a little while to find the one that would fit her. The small was not a men’s small– just small!
Another employee will finish suiting you up, ask you to sign your life away, and then pose for pictures.
Jon went first. A quick hop in the car, an official photo, and then, bam– he was off. Three laps later, it was Jamie’s turn.
The time on the track was over in minutes. After the ride, you go back inside, leave your gear behind, and they have a plaque waiting for you complete with your picture to commemorate the trip. We passed.
The entire event, from entering to exiting the Richard Petty Experience, easily took less than 30 minutes.
I am glad we did this in February when the weather was perfect. I can’t imagine this in August. The heat and humidity, fumes and noise would not be a pleasant combination for families on a summer vacation. There is no air conditioning under the tent while you wait outside. And did you note the coveralls and helmet? Not fun if your already hot!
Was it worth it? Yeah. It was a different experience. I don’t think I would have been happy if I had paid full price (starting at $99 per person for the Ride Along and going all the way up to $2,099 per person for the Speedyway Challenge). But, for $120 total, they had a once in a lifetime experience.
At last I hope it’s once in a life time. Jamie gets her license soon….. !!