Chapek, F1 Partnering on Walt Disney World Grand Prix?

Disney World Grand Prix

It’s lights out, and away we go!

March 20 marks the beginning of the 2022 Formula 1(F1) season with the Bahrain Grand Prix. This season will see F1 and its governing body, the FĂ©dĂ©ration Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), continue to expand its presence in the United States. Two American Grand Prix are on the race calendar this year–The United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, and the Miami Grand Prix in Miami, Florida–and it was announced that discussion about a Las Vegas Grand Prix is underway. But it appears that’s not all we could see of F1 on this side of the Pond.

Bob Chapek, FIA

Credit: Disney (left); FIA (right)

Sources tell us that Disney CEO Bob Chapek has reached out to FIA about hosting an F1 race at the Walt Disney World Resort just outside Orlando, Florida.

Here’s what we know so far:

What Would a Grand Prix at Disney World Look Like?

2022 F1 Lineup


Unconfirmed reports claim that a Disney World Grand Prix will be a street circuit at EPCOT partly following runDisney’s 10k racecourse. The dream race track will take drivers straight up the main promenade past Spaceship Earth, running right past the Living Seas with Nemo and Friends and Living with the Land before a sharp turn onto the long left-hand curve around World Showcase before. Drivers will then speed over the bridge and down a straight through the new World Celebration Land that veers to the other side of Spaceship Earth and into the parking lot. A few more corners, paddock, and pitlane are expected to be situated somewhere in EPCOT’s parking lot.

Here’s a quick mockup of the supposed in-park section:

WDW Grand Prix Track Concept

Credit: TK Bosacki/Disney Fanatic

While an official date is yet to be set, insiders speculate that the Central Florida Mega-Resort and FIA are looking at 2023, either the weekend of April 31–just before the Miami Grand Prix–or September 31–just before the United States Grand Prix.

As an F1 fan myself, it is easy for me to see why Bob Chapek would show interest in bringing the World Racing Championship to The Most Magical Place On Earth. An F1 Grand Prix attracts fans from all over the world, and they bring a lot of money with them. Each race arguably brings Super Bowl-level prestige as basic grandstand tickets can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Just google “Monaco Grand Prix” or “Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” and you will understand.

Monaco Grand Prix


Now, combine an F1 Race Weekend with a Disney World Vacation, and that is one magical money-maker that would undoubtedly make the people who decided to swap the free FastPass with the extra-cost Lightning Lane drool.

Grand Prix: Bad News for Disney World Guests

Spaceship Earth, EPCOT

Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, this would mean that the Disney Park would have to suspend normal operations for several days–if not weeks–causing Guests to go elsewhere and further congest Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The actual circuit would have to be completed with barriers, proper pavement, grandstands, and other proper measures before all ten teams arrive on-scene. Then, “Race Weekend” itself is a three-day affair with free practice and fan paddock access on Friday, grid position qualifying–and Formula 2 race–on Saturday, and the race running on Sunday.

Details are still vague at the moment, but Guests looking to visit Disney World on either of those dates next year should also expect the entire race weekend to be a special extra-ticketed event. Special character meet ‘n greets will be available in the Paddock area with Mickey Mouse and his pals in special Grand Prix gear.

France Pavilion, EPCOT World Showcase

Credit: Disney

Each World Showcase Pavilion will offer its own grandstand section, and we should expect the Italy Pavilion to host parties for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, the UK Pavilion to host parties for McLaren, Aston Martin, and Williams, Mercedes-Benz in Germany, Haas at The American Adventure, and Alpine in France. As for Red Bull and Alpha Tauri, it is expected that they will host their race week party at the Japan pavilion in honor of their power unit builder, Honda. But no word yet on how much those tickets would cost nor if there will be any special discounts for Resort Hotel Guests, Disney Vacation Club Members, or Annual Passholders.

Disney World: A Proven Sport Haven

ESPN Wide World of Sports

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney World Resort has proven to be a solid venue for major sporting events. During the pandemic, it was home to the NBA and MLS bubbles, hosting both leagues during the rest of their season. It is most likely that Disney will cut a deal with the FIA to house current champion Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, and the other F1 drivers and their teams in Disney World Resort Hotels like they did with the NBA. We will report on those deals when more information comes to light.

NBA, ESPN Wide World of Sports

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company also owns ESPN, which currently has the television rights to F1 races in the United States, and this move could be Disney’s latest attempt to one-up Netflix. Disney’s streaming rival will shoot the final season of the docuseries Drive to Survive in 2022. This will leave the perfect opening for another media giant to further its relationship with another globally-recognized brand.

F1 on ESPN


A Formula 1 Grand Prix at Walt Disney World would be a sight to behold and would undoubtedly be a financial success for Bob Chapek and his team. The only question remaining is how the fans would feel about more construction and more closures at the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on this story as more information comes to light.

Disclaimer: This article is a work of satire and should be treated as such. There are no plans for any motor race to take place on Disney World property any time soon.

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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