The Charlotte Motor Speedway Christmas Lights

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Are you curious about Speedway Christmas at the Charlotte Speedway? A local mom visited and wrote a complete review of her Speedway Christmas experience. Read on to find out what to expect at Speedway Christmas and why it is a must for Greenville families.

We’ve updated this review with 2021 Information about Speedway Christmas. Photos of the display are from previous years’ displays.

Speedway Christmas at the Charlotte Motor Speedway is unique in that you get to drive your own car on the racetrack that is normally driven on by professional NASCAR drivers.  Unfortunately your mini-van will be going at a snail’s pace, but it’s still pretty cool in my opinion. On the 3.75 mile drive-thru course visitors get to view displays consisting of over four million lights!  In its twelfth year, the light display is one of the biggest in the country.

Charlotte Motor Speedway lights

Cabarrus, North Carolina

We think spending a day in this Cabarrus, North Carolina is a great day trip. Bethany recently visited with her family and wrote about some of the fun things to do in Cabarrus County, NC.  You can spend the day there or make it a weekend with a stay in the Great Wolf Lodge, another favorite destination for us, here at Kidding Around.  Regardless of the length of your trip, we think the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s light display should be on your itinerary.

Find a place to stay near the Speedway. This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

What to Expect at Speedway Christmas

Knowing what to expect helps everyone enjoy the lights. Because this is such a hugely popular attraction, the wait will be long. This can be said of most holiday light events anywhere during the holiday season. Make sure everyone has taken a potty break before heading towards the speedway and have snacks on hand. The estimated wait from the main entrance can be about 2.5 hours.

They’ve tweaked their ticketing this year. Tickets are priced by which day you visit.

  • Monday – Wednesday tickets (not valid Christmas week): $30 for a vehicle pass | $140 for a bus pass
  • Thursday – Sunday tickets: $40 for a vehicle pass | $70 for a vehicle pass with Express Lane Access | $170 for a bus pass
  • December 20 – 26 tickets: $40 for a vehicle pass | $70 for a vehicle pass with Express Lane Access | $170 for a bus pass
  • January 3 – 16 tickets: $30 for a vehicle pass | $140 for a bus pass

On busy nights the express pass will save you about 1 hour of that 2.5 hour wait. After you approach the ticket booths and purchase a pass, the difference in passes is visible.  The normal pass holders get diverted to the left to continue in a line cue in a field and up a side street. The express pass holders continue straight on into the display.

Once you enter the Speedway, you will be driving on the actual track. I love lights and all, but this was the highlight for me, and I’m not even a huge NASCAR fan. The first light display is safari themed and the second display is synced to lights. The accompanying music can be heard through a dedicated radio station.

After you have driven through the light displays on the track, the Christmas Village is a great place to stop. The village is only open Thursday through Sunday nights. You will be able to use the restrooms, visit Santa, enjoy a snack, and visit vendor displays. You can also enjoy a Christmas movie on select nights while enjoying some hot cocoa and funnel cakes in an enclosed area.

Visiting Monday through Wednesday is suggested, because attendance will be at its lowest those days.

When you exit the Christmas Village parking area, the show continues under the risers of the venue. On your way towards the exit, you will drive under light displays synced to the music. A great way to finish this holiday adventure.

Tickets for Speedway Christmas

Guests should purchase tickets in advance online and are priced as follows:

Monday-Wednesday
(November 22-24, 29-30, December 1, 6, 13-15, 27-29 only. Not valid the week of Christmas December 20 – 22, The display is also closed December 7, 8 & 24)
$30 per car (max 15 people)
$140 bus (max 60 people)

Thursday – Sunday
(November 19-21, 25-28 December 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 23, 25-26, 30-31; January 1-2. The display is closed December 24.)
$40 per car (max 15)
$70 per car with Express Lane Access (max 15)
$170 bus (max 60)

December 20 – 26
$40 per car (max 15)
$70 per car with Express Lane Access (max 15)
$170 bus (max 60)

January 3 – 16
$30 per car (max 15 people)
$140 bus (max 60 people)

Military/First Responders/Educator Discount: $5 off –  Purchased at gate only

Mom Review of Speedway Christmas

My children and I really enjoyed the light display. I encourage everyone to make a day of being in Cabarrus and then get to the Motor Speedway as early as possible to be at the front of the line when it opens at 6 pm. The light display closes at 10 pm, however once you are in line you will be permitted to see the lights. We were still in the Christmas Village at 10:30 and cars were still driving through.

You can make a day of shopping at Concord Mills, have an early dinner, enjoy the light display and head home. It’s a perfect day for the whole family, since Concord Mills has plenty to keep kids occupied while holiday sales are taken advantage of by parents.

I was provided with a pass by The Charlotte Motor Speedway in order to provide this review for KAG. All the opinions are my own and genuine.

Have you made it out to the Speedway Christmas display? What was your favorite part?

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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