Walt Disney World
Main Street USA
Carousel of Progress
Space Ranger Spin
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Stitch's Great Escape
Skyway to Fantasyland
Walt Disney--The Man
Trip Planning Tips
This is the Magic Kingdom's version of Disneyland's Autopia (The name Autopia is a portmanteau of the words "automobile utopia," which was popularized in academic circles by British architecture critic Reyner Banham to describe Los Angeles in his 1971 book "Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies.")
When Autopia opened in 1955 it represented the future of what would become America's multilane limited-access highways, which were still being developed. President Eisenhower had yet to sign the Interstate Highway legislation at the time Disneyland opened.
Before the park opened, the cars were tested without the bumpers, and were almost completely destroyed by the test drivers. Bumpers were fitted around the vehicle, but there were still problems with collisions, as a guide rail had yet to be implemented on the ride. Eventually the vehicles were fitted with spring-loaded bumpers to discourage collisions.
At the Magic Kingdom, this opening day attraction, was called Grand Prix Raceway, based on an international car race rather than the futuristic roadways of Autopia. The original sponsor was Goodyear, as it supplied all of the tires on the Mark VII vehicles.
The ride was expanded in 1973 and remained unchanged until the 1994 remodel of Tomorrowland. Part of the track was also shortened to make room for Mickey's Birthdayland (now Storybook Circus) sometime between late 1987 to early 1988. The Grand Prix theme and name was dropped in favor of Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, but the track and vehicles remained the same, as new theming to coincide with the "New Tomorrowland" overlay was installed.
On December 20, 1999, Walt Disney Company and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway partnered to change the theme of the track. The ride was changed to add items from the famous Speedway, such as the famous Yard of Bricks, the Scoring Pylon, Gasoline Alley and the wheel and wing logo. The loading area featured panels with the three Indy events: the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400 and the United States Grand Prix.
The name was changed in 2008 to Tomorrowland Speedway, resulting in the drop of the Indy portion of the title.