Daytona USA

The interactive Daytona USA is closed. The Daytona International Speedway is as popular as ever though, and nearby hotels are plentiful.

On your mark, get set and go to Daytona Beach where you'll find the NASCAR theme park, Daytona USA. Within an hour's drive of Orlando, and due north an hour from the Kennedy Space Center, the ultimate racing museum awaits fans of the racing circuit that got its start on the back roads of rural America. During the days of prohibition, backwoods boys were brewing :mule kick"(better known as moonshine). With feds in constant pursuit of those running this illegal elixir, souped-up cars became the norm to escape the long arm of the law. As runners became more and more proud of their exploits, contests evolved over time to see who had the fastest car and the best driving skills. From there NASCAR evolved, and today it is one of the top-grossing sporting events in the world. At this NASCAR theme park, among the other attractions, visitors get the chance to view the winning car from that year's Daytona 500. It is proudly displayed at Daytona USA until the day of the next year's race, where the void awaits the next great champion's ride.

A top draw among Nascar theme parks and museum, Daytona USA is deemed :The Official Attraction of NASCAR", and over the last 10 years it has been delivering a truly unique experience for both racing enthusiasts and casual observers. Guests to this NASCAR theme park can expect a variety of hands-on activities, interesting memorabilia and challenging thrills. Among the highlights found at Daytona USA is the Richard Petty Driving Experience, where fans pay a premium in addition to their Daytona USA tickets to get out on the Daytona 500 track.

For $134, the Richard Petty Driving Experience begins with the Daytona Ride-Along, where visitors ride shotgun in a 2-seat stock car driven by a professional instructor. This thrilling ride takes you around the track for a 3-lap simulated NASCAR qualifying run at speeds that exceed 160 mph. For $525, try the Daytona High Banks 8, where visitors to this NASCAR theme park get the chance to get behind the wheel for an 8-lap journey inside a NASCAR style racecar with up to 600 horsepower. A prior safety and training session prepares you for this rip-roaring good time. The Daytona Super 16 experience goes for $1,249, and gives drivers the chance to take two 8-lap tours around the track with feedback from the Pit Road Instructor and further instruction from the on-track driving instructors. Take your graduation package home and show off your time sheet with a breakdown of each of your laps. Finally, The Richard Petty Driving Experience offers the Daytona Experience for $2,099. Similar to the Daytona Super 16, this ultimate thrill allows the driver to run 24 laps around the track in three 8-lap segments, with feedback and instruction between each set of runs.

Among the other attractions found at this one-of-a-kind NASCAR theme park, is Daytona DreamLaps. This is an iWERKS motion simulator ride that seats up to 32 guests for a :moving" experience at the Daytona 500. At the Ford 16-Second Pit Stop Challenge, test your pit skills with an airgun and take on the clock as you join the No. 21 Ricky Rudd Motorcraft Ford team. And make sure to stop by the Car of Tomorrow exhibit, where fans can view a car of the future through a modified Jeff Gordon No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet.

Daytona USA is open every day of the year, except for Christmas, and operating hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with extended hours during peak seasons and event times. Daytona USA tickets will cost adults $24, and $19 for seniors and children 6-12. Under 5 get in free. The Annual Pass option for Daytona USA tickets allows year round access at $49. So take a break from enjoying the great Daytona Beach golf courses and wonderful Florida beaches and head to 1801 W. International Speedway Boulevard, for the Daytona 500 Experience. You will find a number of great options for Daytona Beach hotels during your stay here, and NASCAR fan couples can enjoy a nearby Daytona Beach bed and breakfast to put a romantic spin on this exciting getaway.

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