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“If you REALLY know how to drive, you will like this Experience”
Review of Exotic Driving Experience - CLOSED

Exotic Driving Experience
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Owner description: Imagine driving the world’s fastest and most exotic high performance cars on a real racetrack…no traffic…no stoplights…no law enforcement…just your dreams, your adrenaline and the wide-open asphalt!Located at Walt Disney World® Speedway in Orlando, Florida, Exotic Driving Experience features supercars by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, Porsche, Nissan and Aston Martin.Exotic Driving Experience gives you the opportunity to get behind the wheel of these supercars and make your dreams a reality.
Reviewed 29 January 2014

I have had the good fortune of training via Skip Barber Racing School and Master Maserati School, and driven various things on various tracks in various countries. My personal car is a blown C6 Vette, about 650 HP, set up for road racing, and I take it to the track 2 or 3 times a year. I am not a professional race car driver, but I am not bad either. For those of you who actually know how to track a car, this review is for you.

"Drive a Ferrari" was on the bucket list. My future daughter-in-law was talking about planning the wedding down at Disney World. They wanted me to come along for the day. I graciously declined, it wasn't my money, wasn't my wedding, just tell me where and when to show up, which Dwarf to dress up like, and I'm there. After nagging a bit, she gets a twinkle in her eye and says, "They have a racetrack down there . . ." She knows me TOO well.

So I do my hunting online, discover WDW Speedway, it's a real racetrack, used for real races on occasion. A mite small at a one mile tri-oval, but not bad. The choices are NASCAR, Indy Cars, or Exotic. I've done Richard Petty before, a great program. I'd want to drive Indy cars on a bigger track, to get more speed. So exotics it was.

Me, I'm about going fast, not which is prettiest. The two Ferraris are clearly the big dogs. Neither have the horse or power/weight ratio of my Vette, but I'm sure they are still damn quick and wonderful handling cars. The two Ferraris, the 430 Scuderia and the 458 Italia, have virtually identical performance numbers, as the Scuderia is set up for racing, so less weight. So I take the Scuderia, save a couple hundred dollars. I sign up for ten laps, might as well get what I can.

I have done lots of these type of "schools" before, so I know what to expect. A very minimal chalk talk of the track. Find out how they are going to keep amateurs from killing themselves or others. Wait. It's good to be patient.

As I was a ten lapper, I was going last. Fine by me, let me watch some others run. What is readily apparently is who has had training and who has not. The drive around the first two thirds of a lap anyone can do easily enough. The infield portion does the separating. The driving line is very technical, and takes precision to do quickly. I watched one gent doing some good laps in the GTR, and when he was done asked to see his time sheet. His best was in the 57 second range, with a top speed of 120. So, a target to shoot for.

When I finally got my turn, got in the car, met the ride-along, and we quickly chatted about my experience level. He seemed to take it OK. You could tell he was thinking, well, if you say so. I think he wanted to see in action. We rolled out to the start line, waited, and the radio went buzzy. Sigh, so back to the pits, change out batteries, and back out. As others have said, they limit speed on the first straight section leading to a big turn, and you can see why, as most folks have no idea about driving lines, threshold braking, trail braking when coming in too hot, on and on. So I couldn't really fault them for that. The wall looked like it was probably hurt.
About two-thirds of the way around the turn, the ride-along says "Hit it", and we floor it and off we go. Blow it up to big speed, then hard on the brakes to prepare to enter the infield. They had markers numbers up to six to mark the braking zone. I was guessing that #6 was likely double the distance needed to stop. In fact, what I found out was that about halfway to #5 was about as far as I could wait, even with threshold braking, to get it shut down sufficiently to make the turn. Maybe the bigger skins on the Lambo could go deeper. And of course the ride-along was ADAMANT that I had to be on the brakes at the Six. Made for an awkward stopping-too-early position a couple times. Just off the brakes for a instant or two while coming in cleaned that up.

As I said earlier, very technical infield. They have cones set at turn-in and apex (some VERY late apexes). They have rumble strips, I suppose to keep folks from just running over the cones. I just tapped the rumbles the first time through, he said Nah, miss those. So a few inches off thereafter. At the end of the infield section, a very short straight patch then back out on the big track. The ride-along was VERY observant of keeping speed somewhere around 75 in the first section, every time.

After a couple laps learning the line, started pushing it. Shaved off a second a lap pretty easily, though the ride-along was NOT going to let me go find the edge of the envelope. But I was still doing 80-90% of the max, and on a Ferrari with its computerized suspension, that is a LOT of g loading. I loved that the car had a real racing seat, so no sliding around. But I never had the tires squalling. Never heard ANYONE out there getting them squalling.

On lap 8, floor it coming out of the big turn, and the engine revs then just drops to idle. It's not my fault!! We slowly roll it back to the pits, and the ride-along tells one of the helpers the Traction Control arfed again. We hop out, and as I'd paid for ten laps, he said come on, let's grab the Italia. He said not many folks get to drive both, see what you think, see the differences, etc. Where the 430 is all business in the cockpit, the 458 is all lux. VERY nice.

So we roll it out, get in a practice lap to get the feel, then two hard laps. Blasting out of the corner, like driving my Vette, gotta hold onto the wheel to keep from flying around the cockpit. Gotta be up around 1 g. Fuuuuun.

Afterwards, looked at the numbers. I pulled a 57 second run in both of the Ferraris. The 430 had a best speed of 125, the 458 hit 128. I'm sure with a bit more flogging there was another second or two out there, and of course driving the first straight with acceleration and braking into the corner would shave a bit of time (its pretty short, actually). But they were not going for that, and I can understand that. But it really was enjoyable. Still had to work to get to even that 90% mark. Ten laps is really quick to try to dial in a new car on a new track. I'd imagine for folks who aren't used to driving really powerful lightweight cars, it's gotta be pretty mind-blowing. 5.5lbs/HP is not common.

For comparison, I drove an Audi R8 (big engine, AWD) on the F1 track in Dubai, and they DID let me whack the edge of the envelope repeatedly. But that ain't America. For this country, I imagine this is the best you'll get for just renting a Ferrari. At $60/lap, I am pleased. Everyone was polite and helpful, they recognize its an "experience", very customer service oriented.

11  Thank Godzilladude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 January 2014 via mobile

This was the best Christmas present ever!! If you want the chance to drive a $300,000 car you could never hope to own then this is how you do it!!! The whole process from check in to the drive went smooth. I was able to take the care out and drive as fast as I was able to do with my coach encouraging me to go even faster than I felt comfortable doing (yes that Ferrari was more car than I could handle and I'm not afraid to admit it). But I easily went over 100mph with no problems. If your a car enthusiast or know one then I highly recommend this.

2  Thank Terry G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2013

My wife & I are Disney annual pass holders and at least 20 times in the last 2 years we have driven past the Disney track & I have stated my interest in trying the Exotic Driving Experience. So we had planned Thanksgiving at Disney & my wife booked this for me as a surprise.
Red flag #1. My wife and I are extremely punctual. She said she had a surprise for me but we would need to be at Disney at 8:15. She told me on the way there what the surprise was and that I had some paperwork to fill out before my scheduled drive time of 9:00. We arrived at 8:15 looked around a bit (actually wandered) as there is no signage as far as "Entrance" . Walked up to the registration area at 8:20 to be told "sorry, I am still filling out paperwork for my 8:00". Great! So I filled out my forms at 8:30 knowing immediately this whole process was going to be a series of delays. These forms would be a great place to gather a bit of information about the customer's driving experience & expectations. But no, they are just pages of disclaimers & waivers.
Red flag #2. Into the classroom we go. I must say I am a fan of exotics & even more of a fan of German sports cars. Having owned Porsches & BMW , my wife knew the best choice for me was the 997. One of the first statements out by the classroom "instructor" was "Who is here to drive the Porsh?" No big deal for most but for me it was like nails on a chalk board. This portion consisted of the instructor reading from an a powerpoint type presentation of the cars' specs, not unlike you would find in the brochure or a 3 second Google search.This was followed by a video of Christian Fittipaldi giving a walk through of the track. The finish of the classroom (the parts I picked up) involved " 75mph through the banked corner & wide open as soon as you see the Disney on the wall", more on this later.
Okay paperwork done, classroom done, out to the track. I see 50+ drivers waiting from the 8:00 class, it is 9:20 and this is where the real excuses start. I realize everything Disney involves a wait & a line but this was poor planning & execution. I watch the track and wonder why every car looks to be going so slow & feel bad when every one of them comes in with their brake rotors blue with heat & brake pads smoking. Wait,wait,wait.... 10:45 arrives, finally my time.
Red flag #3. I am not a professional driver but have a flawless driving record with 0 accidents or tickets in 25+ years of driving. I have ridden with professional drivers & know what certain cars can do. I get in the car & immediately realize I have driven more miles in reverse than my "instructor" has spent in a car (including from the time he was in a car seat). Ok, he may be a great driver, let's see how this goes. First lap, I don't know the track, cautious. Second lap, I start driving the car, mind you I am not here to flog anyone's $100,000 + car, but my wife did pay $$$$ for me to drive it. The cars have a potentiometer to control throttle usage by the driver, 0-100%. I know better than to battle the guy with the controls but his instructions were laughable. He limited me to 60 in the banked turn of a Nascar track in a new Porsche that could have done 85+ with a novice driver. I hit the throttle into the straight away & never saw 100. Alot of "brake,brake,brake" when it could have just been a lift. "Don't throttle out of the turns as it may cause it to spin out" Seriously? Ferdinand Porsche just rolled over in his grave if you think 40 mph is the top speed you can go through the chicanes in car with the traction control on. If you hit the brakes at the 6 on the track where they tell you to you can be fully stopped by the 3 to turn into the infield (6,5,4,3...). No wonder why the brakes are smoking hot, poor cars, treated worse than cows at a veal plant. Once I was told to take the slower unbanked infield onto the straightaway as someone was having a ride along experience. Wouldn't want them to miss out as I am driving on the equivalent of pit road at 45 mph.
I was smiling when I got out of the car, love that the wife selfishly did this for me (sat there patiently for 3 hours). She said "what happened?". You see she knows the difference between a car moving at speed and a car that is meandering around a race course looking like it is trying to find a mall parking spot. I explained the experience in the car & she immediately wanted to "talk" to somebody, I guess that 3 hour wait wasn't so patiently after all. I talk her out of there before any confrontation.
Final note, by best lap was a 1:03, I could have effortlessly turned a sub :50 in the BMW I drove to their track. You would be better suited renting a 283hp 2013 Dodge Caravan & racing through Disney's parking lot.....

30  Thank boatingjason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

If you typically drive the speed limit at all times, have never driven a fast car, and want the experience to say you drove a lambo or ferrari, then you will probably like this. If you think 75mph is child’s play and think this will let you break loose a super car on a track, you will be terribly disappointed. This is a complete gimmick. When you shift gears, how fast you go, when to brake, and all other driving decisions are preset and dictated by your driving coach, not you.

I have been dying to get my hands on an Audi R8. I found that the track in Orlando offered the R8 for around $350 for 8 laps. So, I booked a weekend in Orlando just to go drive this car (I could have just driven 2 hours to the NJ track for a different car). When I arrived I was told that the Audi was out of commission because someone "broke" it in the previous class. So yes, I flew to Orlando to drive the R8 and ended up in a Porsche. The guys tried to make me feel better when I said I didn't want to take pictures by giving me extra laps and letting me go first, which was nice, but I wasn't there for a cheap ruse. I was there for pure driving. Even though it wasn't the car I wanted, I at least hoped that I could still get some good driving action out of the Porsche. I was wrong.

In the classroom portion, the instructor told us that on the long curve of the track we were limited to 75mph because "physics" wouldn't allow us to go any faster. Puh-lease, my BMW would have eaten that curve alive at 100mph+. I knew the Porsche could hit at least 120. But rest assured, you have your very own driving coach to ensure you don't go over 75 on that curve. Then they allow you GENTLY accelerate up to 100-110 on a VERY short portion before they tell you to brake so hard you come to an almost complete stop. The maneuvering turns are in 2nd gear only, and you are not allowed to accelerate at any point. I was constantly told to slow down. Only when I started driving sarcastically slow was I told in a patronizing tone "good job". The one lap that I actually got decent speed on I was yelled at and told "NO" as if I were a small child, and I'm pretty sure I've been driving twice as long as the kid who told me that. I was even instructed exactly when to change gears, which by the way, was complete granny shifting. If you're on a race track, there is no reason you should ever shift at 3k rpm.

When I complained to the instructor, his response was they want the cars to last as long as possible. So there you go, it's a tourist trap. Not a place for gear heads to go have some fun.

26  Thank Nancy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PettyMarketing, Manager at Exotic Driving Experience, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2013

Our team at Exotic Driving Experience takes customer satisfaction very seriously. In fact, the only thing we take more seriously is safety.

We regret that this customer was so disappointed with her experience and we will gladly offer her a refund given the depth of her dissatisfaction and her apparent belief that we would allow guests to drive our cars however they wish.

Exotic Driving Experience does not promote itself as a venue where guests can “break loose a supercar.” We do not attempt to mislead customers into believing that they will be able to do whatever they want behind the wheel, regardless of the potential consequences to themselves, our instructors or our vehicles. Our policies and procedures are not ambiguous and we will do everything we can, within them, to ensure customers get the experience they hoped to have.

But we cannot and will not meet expectations that exceed our safety margins. Our business allows non-professional drivers to take these incredibly powerful machines out on a racetrack and we take the responsibility and inherent risks of this very seriously.

Our driving programs – which, typically, receive overwhelmingly favorable reviews – were designed by professional racers to deliver a thrilling – yet, safe -experience to the vast majority of drivers whom would, otherwise, not have the opportunity to experience the remarkable performance of a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Nissan GTR, or other supercar on a track.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2013

For my 60th birthday, my wife bought me 10 laps with a supercar. To make it even cooler, I got to drive a Ferrari Italian 458 at the world famous Daytona International Speedway. Unfortunately, the drive wasn't on the oval track, it was on their 1.2 mile road track. The Exotic Road Team do a great job of getting you prepared for your experience. You start off with a short movie with Christian Fittapaldi explaining the proper way to take turns at the high rates of speed that these supercars can attain. you are then transported to the track. I would highly recommend you opt for 10 laps instead of the 6 lap program. It will take you at least 3 laps to get a feel for the track and how these supercars handle. These cars are equipped with paddle shifters on the steering wheel that you can use to shift these cars manually or you can use the automatic shifter were the cars computer system does all the shifting and downshifting perfectly. I chose the automatic shifting so I could concentrate on driving. The acceleration on these supercars are exhilarating. The turns at 115MPH come very quickly. These cars have a super braking systems that allow you to take these turns at a high rate of speed. Owning 2 Corvetttes in my life, I had a little experience with cornering at a higher rate of speed. You will have a professional driver sitting next to you with a governor switch that will control the speed your supercar. They do a super job of determining your skill level before they give you 100 percent reign of these supercars. They gave me 3 extra laps because I caught several other cars and had to slow down and wasn't able to get the most out of my experience. The instructor would call the instructor of the slower vehicle to let him know that you were going to pass the slower driver on the straightaway. So my instructor said I was going to get 3 extra laps which was really cool. I was able to get my Ferrari up to 118MPH!!! What a thrill!!! For the drivers that select the standard 6 laps, it will take you at least 3 laps to get a feel for the car and the track. Your fast laps will will be under 1 minute, so your thrill ride goes fast. The one change I would like to see them add is when they transport you to your ride, I would like to see them take you on the course with their van and drive the course with the van so you know what to expect when your in your supercar. Instead, your 1st 2 laps are at a fairly slow speed learning the course. This is a very expensive adventure that goes real fast, but where can you drive one of these supercars?? After your drive, they send you over to the souvenir stand to give you your lap times. You can purchase a very nice plaque of your experience with your picture of you standing next to your supercar and sitting in your car with your helmet on. You can also purchase a video of your driving experience from a camera filming you inside the car and outside the car of the track. It is definitely worth the thrill of driving one of these supercars. Take one off of your bucket list!!! Very cool!!!

2  Thank Bill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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