Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
During 2012, Test Track underwent a major overhaul and was relaunched as “Test Track - Presented by Chevrolet” (a General Motors brand) in December 2012.
Whilst the actual layout of the track is much the same, the whole attraction now has a futuristic digital style theme to it with a completely different pre-show.
Test Track Quick Facts
The ride lasts around 4 minutes and there is minimum height restriction of 40 inches (102 cm).
FastPass is available and there is also a Single Rider line for those who don’t mind not travelling in a group.
The attraction is wheelchair accessible but guests have to transfer from their wheelchairs to board the ride vehicles.
Test Track Pre-Show Area
When you enter the Test Track Pavilion you are now in a Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot where you become part of the Chevrolet design team.
Using advanced design touch screen computers you get to create your own virtual car, truck or crossover vehicle right down to the style of wheels, accessories, paint colour and graphics. You are given hints on how to balance four main design factors; capability, efficiency, responsiveness, and power which feature in the ride.
You also receive a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) card and this lets you effectively take your own design with you through the entire attraction.
If you have a Walt Disney World Resort hotel “Key to the World” RFID card, you can use that instead.
Test Track Ride
Having created your design you then enter the actual ride where the cars are tested against the four design criteria from the Pre-Show; capability, efficiency, responsiveness, and power.
The ride itself is a giant “slot car” type ride representing a test track experience both inside and then outside on the roof of the Test Track pavilion. Whilst it feels a little like a roller-coaster ride it is no where near as intense and is suitable for the whole family.
Each open top car seats six riders in two rows of three and they are now referred to as “SimCars”. The track is now called the “Sim Track”.
Anyone who went on the earlier Test Track ride will see an immediate difference. Whilst the original ride featured typical road test elements like road signs, traffic cones, crash barriers and environmental chambers, the new ride uses futuristic lighting techniques to give an experience more akin to that in the ground breaking Disney film “Tron”.
As part of the re-launch the cars themselves have been re-skinned in a more futuristic Chevrolet design with Tron style graphics.
The capability tests cover road and weather conditions whilst efficiency shows airflow over the vehicle. The responsiveness tests include the 18-wheeler truck from the original Test Track and the original crash barrier exit onto the roof track has been replaced by a series of purple arches at the start of the power tests. Throughout the ride, the six different designs (one for each rider) are scored against each other and shown on screens at the side of the track.
The track features different road surfaces, hills and hairpin bends. Cars can reach speeds of up to 65 mph (105 kph) on the outside banked track making it one of Disney’s fastest ever rides. It is particularly good at night when on the outside track.
Courtesy of Attractions Magazine
Test Track After Show
When you exit the ride, you can see how well your own design performed against other riders.
Thanks to the RFID technology, you can produce and share a TV commercial featuring your actual design, race your car on a digital driving table or pose for a photo.
You also get the chance to see current and future concept cars and trucks from the Chevrolet marque and shop for Test Track inspired merchandise.
Test Track History
When Test Track first opened in 1999, it was all about how a modern car is tested, both in the pre-show queue area and the actual ride and it replaced an earlier attraction called “World of Motion”. Throughout its life it has been sponsored by General Motors though when General Motors went through a financial crisis there were rumours that they would pull out.
The original emphasis was much more about the physical testing of the car with crash dummies and test rigs whereas the new Test Track attraction concentrates more on the design of the car with a view to appealing to a wider audience.
The ride has not been without its problems opening nearly two years after the original planned date of May 1997 due to issues with the reliability of the cars themselves and the programming software controlling the maximum number of vehicles on the track at any one time.