With hands gripped to the wheels of karts capable of cresting 45 miles per hour, up to 12 racers hum around the hairpin turns and straightaways of K1 Speed's indoor track during adrenaline-spiking sprints toward the podium. This brand of excitement can be found at all 15 locations, where racers eschew the fumes and inflammatory skywriting of gas kart exhaust for European, eco-friendly electric karts designed to instantly accelerate out of curves, which are bordered by safety barriers that absorb impacts. To keep everyone in the chase, dialed-down junior karts (available at select locations) safely carry tiny drivers between the height of 48" and 58".
Today's fast-paced society asks us to race to the water cooler, the cupcake table, and the closet that stores sweaty wrestling singlets. Today's Groupon returns racing to its original form with two high-speed kart races at Dromo One for $20. Train like a professional kartist before embracing your inner velocity and fondness for competitive lap navigation.
Pacific Park’s attractions celebrate Santa Monica Pier’s history with classic rides that run with modern technology. The Pacific Wheel uses solar energy to circle 130 feet into the air, where fist pounds from the man in the moon and scenic views of the coastline await. The energy-efficient attraction is 1 of 12 rides, which include classics, a roller coaster, and a four-story tower drop. Visitors can earn prizes at midway games, refuel at the food court, and get their adrenaline pumping on the rock wall or beach bounce.
In 2005, Jason Williams and Ken Faught assembled a team of experienced racers and designers to create the driving experience at Pole Position Raceway. Williams, a motocross racer since 1984, and Faught, a three-time land-speed record holder at the Bonneville Salt Flats, recruited professional drivers Kurt Busch and Jeremy McGrath to help their engineers. They reimagined every detail of the track from the ground up, creating indoor courses that balance the grip of asphalt with the swervy fun of polished, concrete slick tracks. Pole Position’s Formula EK20 Pro Karts rumble over the track powered by 18-horsepower motors (nearly triple that of average gas karts), which reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour without filling the temperature-controlled arenas with fumes.
After the first Pole Position Raceway opened in Corona, California, it soon spawned eight locations stretching to the Atlantic. Technicians maintain the fleet via handheld computers, and top drivers are regularly sent out to evaluate karts’ handling and reading comprehension. During races, up to 12 guests compete in contests that last about 10 minutes.
The twists and turns of SB Raceway's indoor track challenge drivers seated behind the wheel of speedy Sodikarts. After garbing their brain-cages with Snell-approved helmets and liners, adrenaline-seekers age 8 and older can gain speed on straightaways and hug corners like a lonely carpenter. Each 17-lap experience features up to 15 karts whizzing around the track at the same time, and concludes with a post-race printout with individual lap-times and the right to chug a gallon of milk. Patrons over the age of 16 can come in on Saturdays for cosmic karting, which remixes classic races with black and neon lights and live, DJ-spun tunes.
Mulligan Family Fun Center's three locations surround parents and kids with sprawling smorgasbords of kinetic entertainment. Outside, each park's sunny grounds encourage healthy activity with putt-testing miniature-golf courses and the hairpin turns of go-kart tracks. In the batting cages, aspiring sluggers test their swing while recognized major-league sluggers test their disguise against the park's do-not-admit posters. Back inside, climbers scale the rock wall’s vertical challenges and friends battle friends in laser tag’s intense light-based combat.
Each location also has its own signature activities. The Torrance location's rookie go-karts, for example, enable younger drivers to take a turn down the track, whereas the Palmdale location boasts a longer, 1,500-foot track for children and adults alike. At the Murrieta location, mini-bowling offers bumpers and kid-size balls, letting the whole family angle for strikes, and warm weather opens water slides so that wee ones can prevent their engines from overheating.