There will be a brand-new thrill ride at Walt Disney World beginning in mid-January, but it won't be what you'd expect.
The Richard Petty Driving Experience, which already offers stock car drives at the Disney World Speedway, will begin offering rides in exotic cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
The new option is coming, in part, because the stock car business, including NASCAR, has contracted in the tough economy, said Mike Bartelli, chief marketing officer of the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
"So we looked at extensions of what we do in the stock car arena to help build our business, and what we're good at is putting people in cars, safely,'' Bartelli said. "We've got the track, we're here year-round, and we know there are people who would love to drive these cars on a race track, given the opportunity."
The Exotic Driving Experience is expecting to start out with two Ferraris, two Lamborghinis, a Porsche 911 and an Audi R8. Other brands and models could be added in the future.
Prices will start with "Thrill Rides," with a Petty instructor driving, for $99. The actual driving experience will start at $199 for six laps, with an instructor in the passenger seat.
Prices will vary depending on the car, and the ride will be preceded by classroom instruction. All the cars will have automatic transmissions. For information, visit http://www.exoticdriving.com
The Experience expects to acquire the cars from Orlando-area dealers. Petty would like to offer the Exotic Driving Experience at Daytona International Speedway soon and likely Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The Petty Experience at Disney World has given stock car rides and drives to more than 250,000 customers, Bartelli said.
"And we think the Exotic Driving Experience has the potential to be every bit as successful as the stock cars," he said.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times