Festival of Speed – December Day at the Ritz

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Over the course of the past year or so, Hunter has taken quite an interest in cars. He will often disappear to the toy room for a few hours with the laptop, pull up a photo of his favorite cars, and try to build replicas of them with Legos. He has made it well know that some of his favorites include: Aston Martin, Tesla, Rolls Royce, and the Maserati to name just a few. He often uses our weekend drives to gaze out the window trying to catch a glimpse of his favorites if they pass us by.

Emily, being the amazing mom that she is, found a couple cool car experiences that we could attend together as a family. The first event was near our neighborhood in the Sam’s Wholesale Club parking lot called Lake Nona Cars & Coffee. This is a monthly event where locals bring their souped up or fancy cars and put them on display for car enthusiasts to admire. We attended our first one of these events a few weeks back and Hunter was in heaven. We were impressed at the sheer number of cars that came out for this event. There were of course a number of tough guys trying to show their machismo, revving their engines, so you should bring earplugs if you are planning to attend.  While attending this event they were advertising an upcoming event that Emily had read about called Festival of Speed, which was taking place in December at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando.  When we told Hunter about the event you could tell that this was something that he definitely wanted to attend.

Fast forward to early December when Emily secured tickets for us all to attend the Festival of Speed at the Ritz Carlton.  I have to give Emily props because the night prior to the event was our friend Jesse’s Christmas party, during which Emily’s mom had to be taken to the hospital where she and Emily stayed the night.  Thankfully it turned out to be a fairly simple fainting spell and nothing more serious.  Working on almost zero sleep, Emily returned to the house the following morning, got herself cleaned up and ready to go to the car show.  Not sure I would have been upright after all of that but she is certainly a trooper.

Festival of Speed - Ritz Carlton Orlando - Rolls Royce

We headed out of the house just after lunch, arriving at the Ritz Carlton Orlando at around two o’clock.  As we were pulling up to the front of the resort we could tell this was not your ordinary day at the Ritz (which has plenty of expensive cars to go around on an average day).  They directed us to the grass parking ($20, but I digress) along with the other event attendees.   As we were making our way to the lot we could see a ton of impressive cars lining the event entrance.  Hunter’s jaw would be permanently dropped for the remainder of the day.

After a brief walk from our car to the entrance there were amazing cars as far as the eye could see.  Hunter had a couple cars that were on his radar that he definitely wanted to see including, in no particular order: Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Tesla and a few others.  Happy to report this event delivered on all of those and many more.  

Festival of Speed - Ritz Carlton Orlando - Batmobile

The first car of note that both of the boys thought was cool was the Batmobile.  Sawyer has been a huge fan of Batman for as long as I can remember so he thought the car was really neat.  There were cars two deep along the walkway around the back of the resort so it took a little back and forth weaving to see them all.  As we rounded the corner to the back of the resort we couldn’t believe how far the event stretched across the Ritz property.  We continued on our way spotting the grand prize location ahead.

Festival of Speed - Ritz Carlton Orlando - Aston Martin

There were a number of dealerships who brought multiple cars to put on display, many of which you rarely, if ever, see in public.  When we got to the area right behind the Ritz Carlton Convention Center, we spotted the Aston Martins, Bentleys, and Rolls Royces that Hunter really wanted to see.  We spent a fair amount of time in this section admiring the different makes and models and capturing some fun photos of the boys (aka James Bond).  

Festival of Speed - Ritz Carlton Orlando - Aston Martin

The highlight of the entire event was a gentleman who had his Aston Martin convertible on display.  He was sitting in his lawn chair when we approached and without us asking, he offered to let the boys sit in one of his cars for a photo op.  He could clearly hear how excited Hunter was about these cars!  Hunter and Sawyer took full advantage of the opportunity for their James Bond pose (my favorite photo from the experience is above).  They would talk about this experience for days following the event.  

Ritz Carlton Orlando - Holiday Decorations

After we had our fill of fancy cars and photos, we headed into the Ritz Carlton to enjoy a comfortable seat and a couple beverages before we called it an afternoon.  The sun was beaming into the resort, lighting the immaculate holiday decorations.  We rested our feet while we enjoyed our drinks, snapped a few interior photos, and headed out.  I have never been one to care much about cars, but I really enjoyed this experience.  It’s funny what stuff you come to care about when your kids care about it!  Hunter was an amazing tour guide telling us a ton of facts and figures about the cars that we were seeing.  He really does know his stuff!  If you are into cars, check out the photo slideshow below that contains many of the incredible cars we saw! 

Festival of Speed Photo Slideshow

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