You have to be intrigued by a car club that calls its annual convention the “FreakOut.” As the Fiat Club America celebrates its 35th anniversary, it wanted to stage “The Most Magical FreakOut on Earth!” so it will base its annual gathering at the Disney World resort in Florida.
“Now, we know some of you are saying to yourself, ‘I come to the FreakOut to be around cars… not ride rides’,” the hosts from the Florida Regional chapter of the club acknowledge. “Let us assure you that while this event will be taking place at the Walt Disney World Resort, we only have one in-park experience planned as part of our event… and it doesn’t involve rides or our favorite rodent.”
However, the schedule for the event does include half-day driving “adventures” and a Fiat/Lancia/Alfa Romeo expo, and thus “plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy your cars and fellow Fiatsi.”
Why go to Disney World but not spend more time in the park? Attention to detail at hosting all sorts of events, from dietary accommodations for those with food allergies to deeply discounted rooms at the Coronado Springs Resort, and even special admission prices to the park for those who might want to arrive early or extend their visit beyond the FreakOut dates of August 15-19.
The FreakOut beings with an evening at Disney Springs for those arriving on Wednesday, August 15, with a fleet of refurbished amphicars available for cruising Lake Buena Vista.
The official Welcome Day is Thursday and includes a guided driving tour of the Walt Disney World Resor.
Friday, there will be some Disney magic as the FreakOut transforms into a European adventure that starts in “France,” with a visit to the Lakeridge Winery, and then moves on to “Germany” with a stop at the Yahala Country Bakery and Biergarten in a Bavarian-style forest (and right next door is one of Florida’s legal moonshine distilleries). Next stop if “Italy” — actually the Italy pavilion at Epcot, for a private dessert party and fireworks viewing.
The Fiat Club America Concorso d’Eleganza and “Expo Italiano” are scheduled for Saturday, with Fiat/Lancia/Alfa lifestyle products, test sessions and other presentations, and with an optional drive of “The Gator Tail,” a series of curving, twisting “backwoods” roads. The day ends with the “Feast of a Thousand Fiats.”
The FreakOut ends Sunday with a brunch and raffle.
Registration is open for the FreakOut, and if you aren’t already a FCA member, you can join through the club’s website. And if this all sounds like fun but you don’t have a Fiat, Lancia or Alfa Romeo, you can click over to the ClassicCars.com marketplace and buy one.