A Farewell to Mickyard: Walt Disney World Speedway Closing in June

800px-California_Speedway,_NEXTEL_CupThe Orlando motor sports track, Walt Disney World Speedway, will close in late June, officially confirmed Petty Holdings, operator of Richard Petty Driving Experience and Exotic Driving Experience. Walt Disney World is planning to use the land to make “transportation improvements”. Further details on what happens from there were not provided and exactly what Disney plans to do with the land remains unclear. Rumours say a new parking lot for the area south of the Magic Kingdom would be built there.

The track opened in Orlando in 1997 and is operated by Petty Holdings set up by Nascar legend Richard Petty. The company has other attractions at speedways in Atlanta, Daytona Beach, New Jersey, Kansas, New Hampshire and Texas. The Exotic Car Experience was introduced four years ago. The visitors can drive or ride in professional racing stock cars or exotic sports cars, such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches at speeds of up to 165 mph. Customers can pay from $200 to $400 for a five or six-lap experience around a track with a professional driving instructor in the passenger seat offering advice.

The Orlando motor sports track was nicknamed the “The Mickyard” by fans because regarded as a baby Brickyard. According to Bill Scott, executive vice president of attractions operator at Petty Holdings LLC, it would be difficult to find a place to open a new speedway. Fortunatelly, Petty Holdings currently has plans in process for other exotic and stock car programs in Orlando.