The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has revved up their twinkle game this year. As much as you may think they are just like any other light show in town they have so much more to present and in 2019 it feels like they are totally new attraction. My family of four did not allow nearly enough time to see and do everything they had to offer. We thought an hour was plenty of time to fit in what was about a 20 minute drive around the track but completely miscalculated how long we’d need to do all the extras. You are definitely going to want to make plans and carve out a few hours to soak in all they have to offer this year.

When to See The IMS Lights at the Brickyard

The IMS Lights at the Brickyard runs now through January 5th. Monday through Wednesday gates open at 6pm and close at 9pm. Thursday through Sunday gates open at 6pm and close at 10pm. The lights stay on continuously though the holiday season so as long as you are through the gate by closing time you will get to see the light show. However, all the other fabulous options they have this year; the “out of car” experiences will end at the posted “closing time”. Plan accordingly, you will not want to miss them.

Cost of the Event

Monday through Wednesday the standard lane pass which you can ONLY BUY AT THE GATE will cost you $25 per vehicle with 1-15 passengers. Thursday through Sunday standard lane passes will cost $30 per vehicle with 1-15 passengers. Vehicles with more than fifteen passengers will cost $50 all week in the standard lane.

Insider Tips

If you like to save time and get exclusive experiences then the SPEEDY pass is for you. Skip the standard lane and enter using the gate via the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course on West 16th Street. Purchase a Speedy pass online and use it any day of the week for only $50. This price is good for vehicles with up to 15 passengers. You can wait and buy your speedy pass at the gate but note it costs $60 Thursday through Sunday. If you’re bringing a bigger vehicle with more than fifteen passengers the Speedy pass will cost you $100 either online or at the gate, any day of the week.

Now, other than getting you in the gate quicker the Speedy pass actually has a lot of other really cool benefits, we’ll get to that in a minute.

Out-of-Car Experience New for 2019

New for 2019, you can find the Lights at the Brickyard Out-of-Car experience. The folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have dressed up the Pagoda Plaza (now known as the Plaza Village for the holiday season)! It has been transformed into an “unforgettable, Instagram-worthy winter wonderland where Indy 500 meets holiday décor”. Make a pit stop to refuel; snuggle up with your loved ones and roast marshmallows with a s’mores kit next to one of the fire pits, sip and snack on seasonal treats*, and bask in the glow of over 3 million twinkle lights.

The kids will have plenty to do too. The Plaza Village is offering a train ride* on an oval track and a little drummer boy ride* that will be open every night. On select nights special appearances will be made by the IMS mascot, IndyCar transporters and vehicles representing the 2020 racing calendar. Fans of all ages will have the chance to take photos with these special guests.

(*some attractions may have small fees associated with them)

The Scoop on the Speedy Pass

So, Speedy pass holders, here are your other benefits… in addition to bypassing the standard entry lane gate and getting the fastest access to the two miles of more than 3 million lights spanning 500 displays and 40 scenes AND the Plaza Village where you won’t have to pay the small fees for kiddy rides you will also get access to the eighth floor of the Pagoda where few fans have gone before for breathtaking panoramic views of the Lights at the Brickyard and the downtown Indianapolis skyline. On the 8th floor you’ll find beautiful décor, trees in festive themes very appropriate for the racing capitol of the world and even more light displays worthy of your hashtags.  As a Speedy pass holder you will also have access to Santa Claus. He will be trackside in a custom racing suit ready to hear your wish list. Your Speedy pass will get up to four adults and kids under 15 in for free. Additional adults will be $5 at the base of the Pagoda. Please note that the Plaza Village and the Pagoda Experience are only open during normal hours of operation for Lights at the Brickyard December 13th-24th.

Curious About how to Upgrade your Standard Lane Pass?

Did you buy a standard lane pass and now you want to witness the Pagoda Experience too? No worries, for a small fee you can. For $5 per adult guests you can upgrade at the base of the IMS Pagoda to gain access.

Curious About How to Have the Best Experience?

If you have never done a drive-thru light show before or maybe it has been awhile here are some tips:

  • Dress in layers; wear coats and hats, gloves and scarves.
  • Roll down the windows and crank up the Christmas music.
  • Turn off your headlights.
  • Use the facilities before you leave the house.
  • Bring snacks for the ride, you may be in line a bit.
  • There are port-a-lets at the exit if needed.
  • If you want to go back through a second time on the same night it’s just $5
  • Like most holiday activities attendance should be lower during the weekdays and will generally increase on weekends.
  • Take lots of pictures and videos

Find all the fine print details and ticket info here at the IMS website:

Check out the Indy with Kids “Kids Eat Free” link and find a spot to grab some dinner on the way to the Speedway.

Make sure you #IMSlights and #PLAYindy so we can all follow along in your holiday fun!