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Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

P. 118: Guardians Cosmic Rewind opening May 27th!

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I used to spend such a long time designing and redesigning those (very limiting) coasters at Communicore (sp?)... AND trying to get that damn mouse through the maze using the telephone (and in multiple languages!!!) Stupid thing never really understood me... Oh how I miss Communicore... Thanks for the pictues...

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I rode the ride at Downtown Disney where you design your roller coaster and ride it...are they the same? Or is this one, maybe, way better upgraded?

 

CyberSpace Mountain is sort of a fixed oil drum contraption, whereas Sum of All Thrills uses robotic arms to give a wider range of movement.

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^ Dan, the old program was very limited. I believe there might have only been two different tracks that program allowed you to build, all along the way that little beaver lisped his way through the process, telling you, "Hey! That's sssshweell!"

 

Once you completed it, the program let you watch a first person view of the ride, complete with people screaming. It was very basic, but addicting.

 

Like Rollercoaster Tycoon Beta with an awesome cartoon mascot?

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Like Rollercoaster Tycoon Beta with an awesome cartoon mascot?

 

More like the original Theme Park game, that only gave you prebuilt coasters to build, with a POV video when you wanted to "ride" it.

 

^ Bob, it's more like the Legoland Robocoaster, except you get to design the program.

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  • 2 months later...

Test Track is set to close for refurbishment from January 11th thru January 17th and this seems like an ideal time to wipe the GM slate clean if needed. The signs presented below could mean something, or could mean nothing at all.

 

http://thedailydisney.com/blog/2010/01/signs-of-gms-restructuring-at-epcots-test-track/

 

By all appearances, General Motors, the Detroit auto giant forced through bankruptcy last year, remains sponsor of the Test Track attraction at Epcot. Even though GM’s $100 million sponsorship contract with Walt Disney World is believed to have expired last year and there was never any announcement of a renewal, the company’s logo and presence is still splashed all around the pavilion.

 

Still, there are some signs around Test Track of the painful restructuring that GM is going through. For example, GM has pulled cars from the brands it plans drop (Saturn, Hummer, Saab and Pontiac) from the swanky showroom that guests walk through when they exit the ride, such as a Saturn VUE hybrid that until recently was on display in the area. The only cars displayed now are from GMC, Chevy, Buick and Cadillac, GM’s remaining core brands.

 

GM has also removed a large model Hummer made of wood that had been something of a minor attraction in Test Track’s gift shop. (The model was large enough for a crash-test dummy to sit in the driver’s seat). In its place: One of Disney World’s much smaller souvenir model monorails, which does laps around a small pile of boxes of the toys.

 

Below is a short story from the middle of last year about the status of GM’s Test Track sponsorship.

 

Orlando Sentinel (Florida) June 22, 2009

Sponsorship stuck in NEUTRAL

 

General Motors Corp. filed for bankruptcy — and nearly three months after an internal deadline to resolve the issue — the carmaker’s status as sponsor of one of Walt Disney World’s marquee attractions remains uncertain. Executives for GM and Disney have continued to negotiate a possible contract extension to keep the beleaguered Detroit auto giant as sponsor of Epcot’s Test Track. But so far nothing has been announced. Neither side is talking, at least publicly. “We have nothing new to share,” Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said recently.

 

A spokeswoman for GM did not return messages seeking comment. The sponsorship of Test Track, a high-speed ride that carries guests through a series of simulated car-safety tests, has been the subject of speculation for months. GM’s 10-year contract is thought to have expired at the end of March — which is also the public deadline GM had originally set for negotiating an extension. GM has said it wants to remain Test Track’s sponsor. But it is an expensive proposition for a company that this month became the second-largest industrial bankruptcy in U.S. history. GM paid Disney $100 million for the sponsorship, according to a person familiar with the contract. The deal was front-loaded: GM paid nearly all of its sponsorship fees during the first five years of the 10-year pact, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on behalf of either company.

 

GM also spends between $1 million and $2 million a year operating a post-ride showroom inside the attraction, with more than a dozen vehicles on display and terminals that guests can use to order sales brochures. The company’s contract-extension talks with Disney have been further complicated by the involvement of the federal government, which has kept GM afloat with tens of billions of dollars in loans and is about to become majority owner of the iconic company. Some worry the company could face a public backlash if it is seen as using taxpayer money to underwrite a theme-park ride. Still, the marketing appeal is obvious. Test Track — among the biggest draws in a theme park that lures 11 million customers each year — gives GM a unique platform from which to build goodwill for its brands.

 

Since March, rumors have circulated around Epcot that Disney was permitting GM to stay on a month-to-month basis while negotiations continued. The person familiar with the contract, who said he had been briefed on the talks, said GM and Disney were poised to sign a six-month contract extension just days before the carmaker’s June 1 bankruptcy filing. The deal would have allowed GM to forgo paying Disney a sponsorship fee but would have required it to continue paying for the post-ride showroom. The agreement would have ensured that GM remained Test Track’s sponsor through the end of 2009 — and spared both the carmaker and Disney the expense of erasing GM’s presence from the attraction. It’s not clear, however, whether such an agreement was signed. Disney would not discuss the talks in any detail. A sponsorship change any time soon appears unlikely. Experts say finding another car company to replace GM will be difficult for Disney, as the entire auto industry has been hammered by the global recession. Any new sponsor would also likely have to spend a significant amount of money to update and re-theme Test Track.

 

“We find it difficult to believe another manufacturer would be able to rationalize such an expensive partnership in today’s environment,” Richard Greenfield, an analyst at the stock-research firm Pali Capital, wrote in a blog post earlier this year. Two of the companies often rumored as potential Test Track sponsors — Toyota and Honda — both said they were not interested. “We have no plans to sponsor that,” said Marcos Frommer, spokesman for American Honda Motor Co. Added Toyota Motor Sales USA spokesman Joe Tetherow: “This is something that’s not even on the radar.” A representative for Ford did not return a phone message. While the fees at stake are a relatively minor amount for the Walt Disney Co., Greenfield said they are an example of the varied ways the recession has squeezed the Burbank, Calif.-based company. Sponsorship uncertainty “illustrates how the economic meltdown is impacting aspects of Disney’s businesses that we had not even thought about previously,” he wrote.

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Not sure the removal of the wood Hummer from the TV commercial (with the Who music), is a sign of anything, but it's quite odd that they just threw a monorail display up to fill the space. Not that those monorail toys aren't cool.

 

I know there's been rumblings that Toyota and Honda are chomping on the bit at a possible sponsorship deal for Test Track. It should be interesting.

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Be careful though as it may also accelerate unexpectedly and crash killing several and be the most recalled brand in 2009.....

 

Dumb, but nowhere near as dumb as some of the shit Detroit has shoveled out over the years. Like the school bus with gas tank placed under the emergency exit. Or the Pinto with the exploding rear bumper.

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^ And the Lions...... oh, are we just talking about cars here?

 

If GM is truly out, I can't wait to see a bidding war by Toyota, Honda, and whoever else decides to come out and play ball here. I'm sure Disney can't wait either, for other, obvious reasons.

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Be careful though as it may also accelerate unexpectedly and crash killing several and be the most recalled brand in 2009.....

 

Dumb, but nowhere near as dumb as some of the poo-poo Detroit has shoveled out over the years. Like the school bus with gas tank placed under the emergency exit. Or the Pinto with the exploding rear bumper.

 

Toyota's acceleration issues are the modern day version of those issues that had previously plagued U.S. manufactured cars.

 

But to get back on topic...

 

Test Track is a ride that I feel was due for a "plussing." Hopefully a new sponsor will mean a nice refresh is coming too!

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That, or Disney might retheme it to Marvel, you first travel through new york city with spiderman to battle the sinister six, then move on to the launch themed after the Hulk. now all they would need is a S&S Combo Tower and Disney will be complete in making universal unpopular,

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Be careful though as it may also accelerate unexpectedly and crash killing several and be the most recalled brand in 2009.....

 

Dumb, but nowhere near as dumb as some of the poo-poo Detroit has shoveled out over the years. Like the school bus with gas tank placed under the emergency exit. Or the Pinto with the exploding rear bumper.

 

I agree until the last couple years GM has had several quite poor vehicles. The coming lineup though is something the public ought to take notice of though; But I digress.

 

GM is still tight on cash as they are trying to accelerate re-payments to the government. If the price to sponsor Test Track really is $100 million, I think GM would be best served spending that money elsewhere.

 

*Btw full disclosure: I work for a GM supplier and support my brand 100%*

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Something tells me that an 8 day rehab isn't enough to remove all GM branding. TFT Screens on the cars, license plates, drywall with logos, and even those huge faded banners outside would all have to be changed.

 

On my recent disney trip a busdriver told me that Oldsmobile and WonderBread are currently in a bidding war to take over sponsorship. Anyone heard more?

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