Magic Kingdom

An Open Letter to Mr. Elon Musk Regarding the Tomorrowland Speedway

Dear Mr. Musk:

Disney’s Tomorrowland Speedway needs your help. Open since 1971, this introduction to the road has been fascinating children for 48 1/2 years. It sits in the center of the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland—but sadly, it no longer inspires. It stinks—and I mean that. Literally.

The idea of waiting in line to drive a car is mundane to many adults who schlep kids, hate their commute, or prefer a car with a little more power. But to a child—driving is still magical.

I remember the first time I was allowed to “drive” at an amusement park. The surge of pressing down on a gas pedal, the grip of the steering wheel, and the challenge not to bump the car in front of me. It was obtainable wizardry.

The challenge at the end of the track is “NOT” to bump the car in front!

Today, I have young kids who can’t wait to start drivers’ training. In a world full of distractions, I’m happy to say that the art of driving is still enticing to a lot of young people.

So here is my plea to you. Help Walt Disney World create a new Tomorrowland Speedway worthy of the name. To start, the attraction needs electric cars, futuristic designs, foot and hand controls, and some driverless vehicles.

Next, the track needs serious inspiration. I think you may know a thing or two about tunnels and bridges. Perhaps, a little Mars-like terrain could be added?

The bright and fueled-up vehicles in the pit.

As for the smell, I’m not sure if you are aware, but the fumes emitted from the current vehicles are a little intense. However, some guests are nostalgic for it. The good news here is that Disney is really good at adding smells to enhance guest experiences. Just pump in a fake, non-toxic whiff of gasoline and asphalt strategically at the queue, and you’re all set.

Many see the Tomorrowland Speedway as a tired, waste of space. But even in its current state, I’ve witnessed kids waiting in line with anticipation and adults onboard smiling as they watch their young chauffeurs in action.

A kid only needs to be 32-inches tall to drive his or her grownup.

To me, that’s reason enough to give this attraction a second chance. The hopeful side of me sees the Tomorrowland Speedway as a spark. Something that ignites the free spirit, creative mind, and inventor inside all of us. I think the world could benefit from a few more inventors. Don’t you?

Kim Ringlever

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