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This is so cool!

Ridemakerz Sign

A new shop called Ridemakerz opened today (3-25-10) at the Westside of Downtown Disney. Located in the building previously occupied by Virgin Megastore, Ridemakers offers kids of all ages a new experience in retail shopping.

Ridemakerz Exterior

Ridemakerz Sign

Ridemakerz Interior

At Ridemakerz, guests can custom build their very own radio-controlled vehicle. As ZEO (CEO) of the company Larry Andreini said during the grand opening ceremony today, Ridemakerz was inspired by Build-A-Bear Workshop. But instead of creating a custom animal, kids can create custom automobiles. And with all the body styles, colors, tires, wheels, lights, and sounds available, it is estimated that there are more than 649 million possible build combinations - not including the individual decal placement.

Here we see Larry Andreini and Downtown Disney Vice President Keith Bradford officially opening the store with a ribbon, err, chain cutting ceremony.

Chain Cutting Ceremony

In the center of the store are four souped-up "real" cars to drool over. The Corvette was actually used by the team of Dale Earnhardt Senior and Junior at the "24 Hours of Le Mans." This is the world's oldest sports car competition in endurance racing, and held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, Sarthe, France.


MINI Cooper

Display Car

Display Car

Also on display around the shop are a number of the Ridemakerz vehicles you can duplicate or improve upon with your own imagination.

Model Display Cars

Model Display Cars

Model Display Cars

Model Display Cars

Model Display Cars

Model Display Cars

The process of customization starts at the Chooze Station. (Notice the use of the letter Z.) Here you pick up a basket to carry your options as you make your way around the store. You also select your vehicle body type at this station. There are cast members throughout the store to answer questions and help you with your selections. There is a basic price for a car, which I'll go into later. But just like in real life, it's the options that jack up the price. All of this is clearly marked so there shouldn't be any confusion.

There are over 70 body types to chooze from. Here are some of the available models: Chevrolet Corvette C6.R and C6RS, Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, Ford F-250 SuperChief, Dodge Ram, Scion xB, MINI Cooper S, and Dodge Viper. There are also retro hot rods, fire engines, and a number of trucks.

Chooze Sign


Available Car Bodies

At the Sonicize Station you select the sound you want your car to make. There are five options and push buttons allow you to listen to each. These include electric guitars, city beats, sirens, whistles, squealing tires, and revving. Once you make your selection, a cast member will give you the appropriate computer chip to be inserted into your car later.

Sonicize Station

Next we move to the Mobilize Station to pick up our tirez and wheelz. Since not all wheels fit every car, a cast member is on hand to help you make the right choice. The selections are mind boggling.

Mobilize Station

Tire Options

Wheel Options

At the Motorize Station a cast member will open up the packaging and store it for later recycling. Here you decide if you want your vehicle to be Free-Wheel or Radio-Control and given the appropriate chassis.

Motorize Sign

Motorize Station

Now it's time to move to The Pit and assemble your vehicle. Here a cast member will arrange all of the parts for you in a logical order, then start the clock. You're now being timed to see how fast you can put your car together. Required tasks include screwing the chassis to the body, inserting the wheels into the tires, and attaching the tires to the car. Here are a few pictures of me taking this all very seriously.

The Pit

Car Parts Arranged for Assembly

Jack working on his MINI Cooper

Jack working on his MINI Cooper

It's at the Customize Station that you can really personalize your car. Hundreds of options like specialty lights, spoilers, side pipes, hood scoops, blown engines, roll bars, decals and more are just begging to be added to your vehicle.

Customize Station

Customize Station

Customize Station

Customize Station

Customize Station

Customize Station

Be sure to save all the packaging acquired at the Customize Station. You'll need it when you pay. At the check-out counter, your new baby will be placed in a nice carrying case.

Check-out Counter

Carrying Case

I attended the Grand Opening via a press invitation. For a first hand experience, Disney and Ridemakerz allowed me to create my own vehicle at no charge.

I have never been cool - and I gave up trying years ago. So instead of selecting a hotrod or Corvette, I picked a MINI Cooper to customize cuz I think they're cute. Here's how it turned out.

Jack's MINI Cooper

Jack's MINI Cooper

Jack's MINI Cooper

Jack's MINI Cooper

Once I got home, I added everything up and the price of my car came to $90. This includes the radio-control and rechargeable battery.

The basic price for a car is $10 to $32 depending on the body and paint style chosen. Radio remote control can be added for an additional $25. And custom accessories range in price from $2 for grill guards to $15 for spoilers and hood scoops. The vehicles are approximately twelve inches long or 1:18 scale and are easy to assemble with snap-on components that do not require glue.

DO NOT. I repeat. DO NOT take your son (or husband) into this shop unless you plan on buying a car. This store is addictive. I also think this store offers a great bonding opportunity for fathers and sons. I saw a number of dads helping their boys build their car with big smiles on their faces. And I could tell it was difficult for them not to jump in and take over the project. Just for the record, there were a number of girls thoroughly enjoying themselves at Ridemakerz.

Ridemakerz is currently at Downtown Disney for a limited engagement. But when I spoke to Disney VP Keith Bradford, he told me that it's hoped that this shop will become a permanent participant at Walt Disney World, either in its current location, or someplace else. I hope so too!

Ridemakerz is located at the Westside of Downtown Disney and the hours of operation vary from day to day.

For more information (and online shopping), check out their website at www.ridemakerz.com

The previous post in this blog was Signs at Walt Disney World - The Answers.

The next post in this blog is Discovery Island Shops at Animal Kingdom.

Comments (45)



Your car is hilariously cute! I can't imagine paying $90 for a remote-controlled car, but then again, I'm not a dude. I will definitely have to keep my hubby out of this store!


That is an awesome store!!!! I can't wait to check it out!!!

Build A Bear for Boys!!!! I want to build one!

David Lizewski:

Great report again Jack. This looks really cool. I dont believe I would build one, but it does look cool.


OMG! Awesome! I'm going to surprise Hubby with this. He's going to be in HEAVEN!!! What a great surprise it will be. Thanks for the heads up All Ears!

Alpha Gollihugh:

Wow, this sure out strips the one at DTD at DLR.
The stock is somewhat the same, but to have all that room at opening is great. Are they going to keep all the real sized cars there or were they just there for the opening? It looks like the building could accomodate several other stores too.
Are there any other plans for the area?

Jack's Answer:

Although it wasn't mentioned specifically, I believe the real cars are on "permanent" display. But like I said in my blog, this shop is here for a limited engagement until this, or other quarters become available. I spoke with the Downtown Disney VP and he couldn't really deluge much more information than that.

This shop is large. Although most of the first floor was taken up by Ridemakerz, the entire second floor stands empty. I suspect this building could be put to better use given that the right tenant came along.

Ridemakerz also started out at Anahaim Downtown Disney as a temporary store and had already become permanent. I suspect it's in everyone's best interest if this could happen here at Disney World as well.

Nijuana Jones:

WOW, what a great idea!! I have 2 sons in their 20's (who regularly build and race their own hotrods) and a 2 year old son who adores his big brothers. Plus I have 4 grandsons who are totally into cars. I think this would be a great place to take them! My hubby is a big kid, too, so I imagine he could have some fun there as well. Can you say "ChaChing" for the one who dreamed up this idea?

Jeremy Hunt:

I have two daughters. I'm going to have to think about how I can pull this off. :-)

Great concept, and I'm thrilled to see some new blood in DTD. Thanks for sharing Jack!


I bet this is going to be so cool. I will love it. I am a kid so it is going to be better than it looks and i love build a bear so this is going to be the best. THIS IS GONIG TO BE HEAVEN!!!!! I hope I will have money to buy it, anyway I do have 600 dollars in my bank so Im good. DISNEY ALWAYS HAS THE BEST THINGS IN THE WORLD!!! :)


I've been waiting on this store to open! Thanks for the report. I can't wait to go and build me a car. My daughter is pretty excited about this store too. She loves designing and building things.


This looks like a great place. Another fun thing to do when you're looking for just a "little" Disney for the day.

For the record Jack, I think you're cool.

Keep up the great blogs!


Sakia :

Seen this store in Branson,Mo and loved it. Can't wait to get to Disney world and take my boys there. They will love building their own Ridz.


We had a Ridemakerz in a "town-center" area in a middle to upper-middle class suburb of Baltimore. It was not successful, apparently, since it has closed. I wish the Disney location well. Sorry I am not as enthusiastic as previous posters.


Hi Jack!

My hubby builds RV cars and he really loves model cars as well. Yes, he'll be over the moon when he sees this place. I'm totally keeping this a secret from him until we get DTD. I'm so excited!

Jimmy M:

Thanks for the detailed report Jack. I'm hoping this store is still in WDW in the Fall, so we can bring our little boy there to build his dream car.

Jack's Comment:

When I spoke with the Downtown Disney VP, he eluded to Ridemakerz being in this location through the end of the year. Let's keep our fingers crossed.


hey jack
this new store looks awesome! I always wanted to get into building cars when i was younger but never had the time. The only problem is i could never find myself paying that kind of price for something like this even though the experience of doing it would be incredible. can't wait for your next blog and as always, keep up the great work.


But Jack! You are cool!! And so is the car you made! This place looks really fun. Can't wait to check it out. Thanks for the great blog!


great story.
i have a 10 year old son and hubby who would love to go there.
i spend about 60-80 at build a bear when we go so spending that much on a toy car isnt too much of a stretch. and its not like we would be going all the time so it would make a GREAT souviner.



Thanks for the wonderful and timely article. My 6 year old has been asking for a radio controlled car for his birthday and we'll be WDW just after that. I can't wait to surprise him with this on the way to La Nouba! Thanks.


A. D. Johnson:


This looks like a screaming good time, and I'm not even into cars and hot rods. I love your little model MINI coupe! With all the emphasis on princesses and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques, I think this helps level the playing field!

I have to think this joint will be raking in money hand over fist, headlights over wheels, in no time at all. I'm surprised they did not try to open it in Epcot near Test Track, actually. But if they have to move, there is plenty of room in DD right now, without a doubt.

By the way, if you're a Disney fan, you are automatically "cool." Trust me on that one.

A.D. Johnson
-Littleton, CO

Penny Urell:

We had a Ridemarkerz her in the Chicagoland area. Your right it is addictive, my son is a proud owner of a very expensive remote controlled car. I was very happy with the customer service we received when building/purchasing the car and a few weeks later when we returned with a "tire problem". The store opened about 2 years ago but now sadly it is closed. I'm sure due to the poor economy. I think the Disney location will be successful, let's face it spending a lot of money at WDW comes with the territory.

Casie Crowder:

Hey Jack! Love the car by the way! It has a kinda macho-ish-ness cuteness to it. LOL!
Do they have Disney specific decals (characters, etc) for the cars?
Keep up the great work!

Jack's Answer:

I checked out all of the decals and there are no Disney specific decorations.


I've been hearing about this store for awhile now but had no clue what it was. It looks amazing! Forget gender lines on this one: both my parents and my sister and I will love this experience! I'm going to keep it a surprise, as others have posted.

Your car rocks, Jack. Super cool :D Thanks for the excellent report.


So fun! When I first heard of Ridemakerz, it didn't seem that thrilling to me. I can't believe how cool this is. It just goes to show you: Disney is doing wonders with interactive media right now.

Tracy Boylan:

Great blog, Jack! (and you are very cool!)

This is a perfect "Daddy Reward" after too many trips through It's a Small World! Disney is getting the hint. Boys need goodies too. With the addition of The Pirate League and Ridemaker the field is a lot more even.



Cool ! My grandson will be so excited when I take him into this store. Gonna be total surprise.

Since last year I spent a mint fortune on grandaughters disney tink, mermaid, and a disney outfit every day of the week
we were at Disneyland...

Yeah I can let him go all out on this one.

Can't wait to see his face when we walk in.

This is also their 1st DisneyWorld trip.



Love your car - very cool! We don't currently have any children, but I certainly expect that my husband will be excited to get in here this May. I must admit, I'm excited to see it too!


Are there different frequencies/channels available for the radio controlled units? if I got two cars I would want them to operate independetly.

Jack's Answer:

Yes. There are multiple frequencies. I don't know the details, but you can definitely buy several cars that each run on a different bandwidth.

Rob Dickinson:

Nice!! Must check this out on my next trip!

Ashley Johnson:

68 days until our trip - & counting. My son, almost 8, is so excited about this! We enjoyed reading your blog today!


I can't wait to take my five year old when we visit at the end of April, was just wondering if anyone knew if there was any discount for DVC members at Ridemakerz. I know certain shops do/or used to give discount to dvc members.



Jack's Answer:

I do not know if any discounts are available here. Since this shop is not owned or run by Disney, it's entirely up to Ridemakerz to set policy in this matter. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.


this place looks great!!! just showed it to my 14yr old and he cant wait to go when we are in disney in may. i dont this the prices are that bad consider if you took the kids into the lego store you could spend that easy. and its great that they have something for the boys to do, its hard to find something special for the tweens and teens this place is great


Hey Jack,
It was bad enough that my husband, Andrew, had to buy all of the Formula 1 play sets at Lego, but now you had to fill him in on this :-)
Actually, we'll be back up there the first weekend in May, and it will be nice to hang out at WestSide.


I can't wait for this. I have already warned my wife to go ahead and prepare herself for the reality that her adult husband is going to drop about $100 on a silly toy in Disney World.

So exciting.

Thanks, Jack!


Mmmmm I prefered Virgin Store...

I'm pretty sure that my brother will spend the exact time that I spended there when it was Virgin...

First time in my life that I'm dissapointed with Disney...

Jack's Comment:

Unfortunately, Virgin Megastores went broke and closed all of their stores -- something Disney has no control over. It will be difficult for Disney to find another retailer that can fill this rather large and unique building. Until they do, I think Ridemakerz is a great addition to Downtown Disney.


Lot's of comments Jack! I would say this is going to be a popular store. I have seen these pop up in a few malls here in TX. Kind of like a Build A Bear for boys! Great concept, and lots of fun.


It's about time. I have 3 boys and they are not into bears and bows. We will be there on vacation in May and I can't wait to take them. Thanks DISNEY!!!


Thanks Jack for such a good story.. My only question is ... "limited engagement." Do they have any idea of how "limited"? We are planning a trip in September and I really am looking forward to this! Im a single mom to one fantastic 13 yr old son w/aspergers. I can tell already THIS will be the store we will lose time in! lol I am looking forward to building a car for each of us so we can race at home! What a fantastic way to keep our Disney trip alive in our hearts and memories!
Love the coop too! The surf board just rocked it!

Jack's Answer:

I asked the Downtown Disney VP just how long the store would be open. He was vague. But it's Disney and Ridemakerz' hope to remain in this location through the end of the year. And if the store is successful, find a permanent home at Downtown Disney or somewhere else on property. So I believe this shop will be here when you arrive in September.

I think you and your fantastic son are going to have a blast.


About how much time would you expect to spend in the store...choosing parts and putting together?

Jack's Answer:

I would say you should allot about 30 minutes for the entire process. This includes picking parts, assembly and paying.

Stephanie :

Just the thing I needed to convince our Best Friends that it was time for another trip the The World! Their son is gonna LOVE THIS! OK - Dad too.


Hey Jack,

I had been reading about this store and was curious to see what it would be like. Thanks for answering my question!

Although I don't plan to build my own ride, I remember the joy I had while building a bear at Build a Bear Workshop, so I'm excited about all the kids that will find that in this store! I hope it's successful. What else can go in that monster of a store?!




Love your Mini Cooper, rhe surfboard was a great addition, it s very cool!!!
Love the idea of the store and it is a good fit for the old Virgin Store.

I will have to veer my husband, son and two grandsons in the direction of the eastside Wolfgang Pucks. When they see this store, they will never come out. But then again, I can leave them there and not worry about them getting lost in Lego land!!

Thanks again for keeping us updated!!!!

Jay :

Wow...Jack, that is cheap!!!...My last radio controlled car cost over $500 and I did not have near the fun you did!!

Jack's Comment:

I do want to emphasize that these cars are the fastest in the world -- at least mine was not. Before you buy, check out the test area where you can play with some samples.


took my son there on our recent trip to disney world. the store is truly as awesome as you describe...he loved playing with the remote control sample cars. couldnt get enough..lol its well worth the visit...


I am bring my 18 year old son to Disney for graduation, I want to surprise him with making car, can you please let me know the best way to get it home on the air plane?

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 25, 2010 2:55 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Signs at Walt Disney World - The Answers.

The next post in this blog is Discovery Island Shops at Animal Kingdom.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.