On our first day at Disney, when we spent the evening at Downtown Disney, the boys spotted this:


And while the three older kids were clamoring at the chance to relive their childhood memories at Build-A-Bear, the two youngest were begging to use the last of their saved allowance money at Ridemakerz:

“Calling all speed demons and concept “car-tists”: Customize a vehicle with your choice of body, color, rims and more!

Cruise into RIDEMAKERZ and create a 1:18-scale model car that’s truly one of a kind! Select a body style and chassis then decide whether you want your racer to be radio-controlled or “free wheel.” Then kit it out with colors, paint details, rims and tires, real working lights, sounds, sporty accessories and decals—a staggering 649 million combinations are possible, and that’s not even counting individual decal placement!

Choose the exotic car of your dreams, a truck just like dad’s, a Batmobile, or even Tow Mater, Lightning McQueen or other characters from Disney•Pixar’s Cars. You’ll also find RIDEMAKERZ vehicles and accessories sporting the designs of custom legends Chip Foose and Fireball Tim Lawrence as well as popular body styles including:

Ford Mustangs

Dodge Vipers

Chevy Corvettes

Hot rods

Pickup trucks

Concept cars

The expert pit crew at RIDEMAKERZ can help you pick out and assemble your parts at your own hands-on machining station, and you can even try out different combinations to see how they look and work together before deciding on a final product. Once it’s revved and ready, take your custom creation for a spin around the store’s test track!

Welcome to a wonderland of chrome, horsepower and pulse-pounding sound where the only limit is your imagination.”

Knowing my sons, and knowing how fleeting the “must have” items on their wish list are, I made them a deal. I told them that they couldn’t use any of their saved allowance money on a Disney souvenir until Friday, our last day at Disney.

I figured this would help prevent buyer’s remorse and cut down on impulsive buys that they would regret later.

I told them that, after a week of seeing all that Disney gift shops had to offer, if they still wanted to build a custom car at Ridemakerz, we would take them.

Friday morning arrived and Tyler and Ozzie both woke up with one question on their lips:

“Can we go make our cars?!”

We decided to do it first thing, before going into the park for the day. So as soon as the store opened we were waiting at the door.


It was a very cool store, and a regular wonderland for little boys, but very pricy.

The boys soon learned that their $40.00 was not going to stretch as far as they first thought. With every custom detail comes an increase in price, but that didn’t change their mind. This was the memento they wanted from Disney.

So we began.


What made this souvenir neat was that you weren’t just getting a toy truck, you were also getting a unique experience.

Step one was to pick out the body of the car you wanted. They had Disney themed cars like Pixar Cars characters or Marvel themed trucks, as well as dozens of sports cars and street cars to choose from.


It was interesting to see the thought process of both boys as they picked out their cars. Tyler really wanted a remote control car (which was an extra $25.00) so he picked the least expensive body with no customizations to have enough money to afford that.

Ozzie was much more interested in creating his dream vehicle and gladly sacrificed the remote control feature for his dream “push car.”


He wanted a truck.

He hemmed and hawed over the make, model, color, and customization.

He was in heaven!

Once the boys had decided on their vehicles and picked out their tires and rims, it was time to assemble their cars.


Both boys LOVED using the “power tools” to construct their vehicles.

The store concept was clever and the experience was one that will be remembered. Both boys made it out of the store on budget, spending $40.00/each…a miracle since it would be easy to spend hundreds on a customized vehicle.

But the boys were more than pleased with their “inexpensive” versions of Ridemakerz.


These smiles speak for themselves. They love their customized cars.


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