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Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

P. 119: Test Track closure announced, new concept art released!

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  • 1 month later...

I saw a tentative menu for the Food & Wine Festival. There are about 73 food offerings! I think it's time for me to finally do the Food & Wine Festival Food Marathon! That's where you try and eat all 73 food items in one evening! It will end up costing about as much as the normal marathons, and be just about as tough. It could also make for an epic food photo TR!


Marketplace Menu

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  • 2 weeks later...



It’s all happening behind the scenes, but by early December, Bistro de Paris in the France Pavilion at Epcot will have a whole new look plus a new name, and by mid-December, a new bakery will be open. Guests may not even notice the construction, as the downstairs Les Chefs de France remains open, as well as the Boulangerie Patisserie bakery and pastry shop.


We talked with Jerome Bocuse, president and owner of the company that runs all three – and son of world-famous Chef Paul Bocuse – about the upcoming changes:


What’s the biggest change guests will see in the new upstairs restaurant?

Jerome Bocuse: It’s all new – new name, new dining room, new costumes for the servers, new menu. We’re still aiming for haute cuisine, but with a less formal atmosphere. Guests are in the park with their families, so we want to create an elegant, nice ambience, but not stuffy. Our guests want to experience true French cuisine.


Tell us a little about the new décor.

JB: Servers will be in less formal attire – no more tuxedoes – and the room colors will be fresh and bright. The theme is our family history, as we’ve been in the culinary business for two centuries. We have a long tradition of French chefs in the Bocuse family.


And cuisine?

JB: We want to offer a taste of the true cuisine of France – classical, but with an approachable, affordable twist. We brought a chef over about a year ago from a Michelin 3-Star restaurant in France, so he’s ready to go.


Bistro de Paris has lots of fans, why change the restaurant now?

JB: We’ve never changed the restaurant since it opened more than 25 years ago, and it’s time for a new look and new theming based on our family’s history.


How about the Chefs de France downstairs, any changes?

JB: It is a classic brasserie, and will stay the same.


Tell us about the new bakery.

JB: We have a new building under construction at the back of the pavilion [the theater exit area]. We’ll have a bread oven, and do baking for all three restaurants there in a show bakery.


Are you changing the Boulangerie Patisserie menu?

JB: We are expanding the menu to add salads and sandwiches so our guests can have a meal in the bakery, with about 90 seats.


And what happens to the old pastry shop?

JB: It’s our new Glacier ice cream parlor!


Stay tuned for more details.





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We just finally checked out the new Agent P game the other day and it was really great!


A giant improvement over KimPossible and KT really loved it. She's already requested to go back and try some more missions.

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A few days ago I had the chance to stop by Walt Disney World to check out the latest happenings across the resort. Let's look at Epcot...


Over at The Seas with Nemo & Friends, a new entrance canopy has been built to eventually serve as the split point between a new Fastpass line and the existing standby queue.


Bolts for the eventual wait time signs and Fastpass distribution/return signs are already in place, waiting for the signs themselves to be installed.


Work continues on the new Fastpass line as well.


Over in Canada a new, permanent DVC booth is being built.



In France, Bistro de Paris has closed to allow for its reinvention over the next few months. It will receive a new name, menu and theme when it reopens.



To the left is the current Boulangerie Patisserie, which will eventually close to become a Glacier ice cream parlor.


A look at the current Patisserie. The new location will include expanded seating, an updated menu and a wider serving area.


The building that has served as the exit gift shop for Impressions de France as well as the indoor seating for the Patisserie will become the connector to the new building where the expanded Patisserie will be located.


Much of the existing building has been blocked off for allow for interior construction to begin on merging the new and old buildings.


Work has begun on preparing the Belgium booth for the Food & Wine Festival.


I can't wait!


In Italy, Tutto Gusto has updated its menu to include Gusto Plates for Two or More, plus the prices for the menu as a whole have been altered slightly.



Inside the entrance of the Mexico pavilion, a new set of exhibits have taken up the space previously occupied by Animales Fantasticos.


More museum-esque in style, they use lighting effects to reveal additional details...


Like this.


And by Test Track the old Cool Wash station has been surrounded by walls, presumably to be removed.

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^^Um...everything I loved so much at Tutto Gusto seems to be gone!?!?!?!?!!?!?


Seriously Disney, don't do this to me. You seriously open a restaurant that I love and has such amazing stuff then three months later completely change it!?!?!?!?


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Jenn Fickley-Baker: Hi everyone. Welcome to our latest Disney Parks Blog live chat. Today we’re getting to know Imagineer Melissa Jeselnick, who is one of the lead Imagineers on the reshaping of Test Track here at Epcot.


First a few housekeeping items. We're looking forward to all your questions, but please realize we won't have time to get to all of them in today's chat. As you submit questions, they will be put into a queue and will not appear at first in the live chat window. As Melissa sends her answers we will post the original question in the live chat. And please keep your questions family-friendly.


Welcome, Melissa! We have a lot of enthusiastic Test Track fans out there who are eager to learn more about the reimagined attraction. Thanks for being here to answer some of their questions today.




Melissa Jeselnick: Hi. I'm excited to represent my team and answer some questions here today!


Jenn Fickley-Baker: The first few questions come from our readers on the blog.


Michael asks:


1) Will the giant overhang in front of the pavilion be removed? (Hoping the answer is yes)

2) Will there be any changes to the internal ride track layout?

3) Will there be any new music/theme song for the attraction?

4) Will there be any scenes with sets/Audio Animatronics, or just the “warehouse” look of Test Track?

5) Will any elements of World of Motion be incorporated?


Melissa Jeselnick: For the exterior, we actually have a new piece of artwork that we want to release, which is the new marquee for the attraction.




Jenn Fickley-Baker: From the blog, Bryce asks: "What kind of changes can we expect in the queue area?"


Melissa Jeselnick: The queue, the whole attraction is completely reimagined. The queue will look like nothing our guests are used to seeing it look. We'll use the space to introduce guests to Chevrolet’s Automotive Design process - how it starts with a line and ends with the cars you can buy on the showroom floor. We'll have actual items, sketches, cars, models from GM that have never been seen before by anyone outside the Chevrolet family. It's basically changing from testing to design.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: Kyra asks: "How are the vehicles customized? To better explain my question, say the ‘Killian’ party customizes their ride. If the ‘Connelly’ party comes later and uses the same ride vehicle, but customize it differently, how does that work? Or am I misunderstanding this?"


Melissa Jeselnick: Let's talk about the Design Studios. In the studio, you have a chance to design your own custom concept vehicle. That design follows you into the ride, which is still the same physical ride that our guests know and love. You'll ride in our sim car. As you move through the space, your custom design will be scored in areas such as Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Speed.


Comment From Pixie Vac Steve: Melissa, I am very excited about an update to Test Trak. The concepts seem a little Tron like. Was Tron an influence? - Pixie Vac Steve


Melissa Jeselnick: I think the new attraction and the artwork represent the digital age, and when people think about what the inside of a computer looks like, that's what you think of.




Jenn Fickley-Baker: Let's talk about graphics. We've released this image before, but can you talk us through what we're seeing?


Melissa Jeselnick: That's just before our final virtual scene. By that point of the ride, you've experienced Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness, and Power and we're setting you up for Speed.




Jenn Fickley-Baker: Brande on the blog asks: "Will we still experience the 65 MPH loop?"


Melissa Jeselnick: Yes, it's still the same track layout that we know and love.


Comment From Guest: Will there be a single rider line in the new version?


Melissa Jeselnick: Yes!


Jenn Fickley-Baker: Jonathan from the blog asks: "First off, is the ride being re-branded as strictly Chevrolet? Second, can we get an explanation about how the vehicle customization is going to work? And the last one is just me being a dork…can you divulge what vehicle(s) built by GM gave inspiration for the new vehicles and the old ones?"


Melissa Jeselnick: Yes. The new attraction will be sponsored by Chevrolet. It's been great working with the dedicated Chevrolet team members and as Imagineers, we've learned a lot. They're really integrated members of our creative team. It's not Disney's creative take on Chevrolet; it's a real partnership.


Comment From Alexa: How will the new "Customize your car" feature going to work? Wont there be multiple parties in one car at a time?


Melissa Jeselnick: It's an interactive design kiosk, so in the full experience you can start from a line, then shape your vehicle and add attributes - pick the colors, the tires, and make it truly your dream vehicle.


Everybody in the vehicle will have their ride design, whether they designed individually or as a group. As you move through the four groups, you'll see how the design stacked up against the sim car design.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: How many different customization combinations are possible?


Melissa Jeselnick: The possibilities are endless.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: Craig asks: "To Mellisa: What is something new and exciting we should be looking forward to in the reimagined Test Track?"


Melissa Jeselnick: I think the coolest thing is how we integrate the pre-show with the experience, and then in the post-show, your ride vehicle travels through the entire experience with it. And you can keep interacting with your ride vehicle after.


Comment From Moli: When is the anticipated opening date for the new test track?


Melissa Jeselnick: It will be done in late fall.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: From the blog, Joseph asks: "What kind of experiences should we expect for the new post-show that will replace the automotive plant/vehicle showcase?"


Melissa Jeselnick: The post-show will kick off with a scoring opportunity, not just with the guests in your car, but guests throughout the day. From there, we'll move into other opportunities to play with your design with multiple interactive elements. The show room space will still be there with the Chevrolet cars, and we'll have our own photo ops with different concept cars.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: How long have you been working on the project?


Melissa Jeselnick: I've been on the project since last spring (2011), right after Star Tours opened. We've got a huge team with folks from both WDI California and Florida, along with our Chevrolet partners. We're tapping in to pretty much every single one of our 140 disciplines in Imagineering on this project.


Comment From Guest: Are you recording all new music for the attraction? Any details?


Melissa Jeselnick: It will be futuristic. We'll have a whole new soundtrack that will not only compliment the attraction with music, but special sound effects too.


Comment From Kyle J.Chang: Are there going to be any new show scenes?


Melissa Jeselnick: Let's talk about the four show scenes in more detail. Capability is where your car is tested for rough road and weather conditions. Efficiency tests your car design's environmental footprint. The Responsiveness phase tests maneuverability, and finally, Speed is tested.


Comment From TheMoomintroll: Welcome Melissa. What prompted the "re-imagining"?


Melissa Jeselnick: The whole automotive design process has evolved since Test Track opened and things have moved into the digital realm, and the same has been true for WDI's design process. It updates the automotive story to reflect what is happening today.


Comment From Ricky: To what extent will the scenes and visuals of the new Test Track be "virtual" versus props, set pieces, etc.? How much time will riders spend looking at screens instead of real-world items?


Melissa Jeselnick: We talk a lot about being in the digital space, but it's still a physical experience. We're using a lot of new technology to tell the story, but it is still a dynamic physical experience.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: Jonathan from the blog asks: "Can you divulge what vehicle(s) built by GM gave inspiration for the new vehicles and the old ones?"


Melissa Jeselnick: It wasn't a single vehicle, but more like the process. Our custom design studio reflects the entire Chevrolet design vocabulary, not just specific models.


Comment From Guest: Will fastpass still be avaliable when the attraction opens back up?


Melissa Jeselnick: Yes, we'll have FastPass, too!


Melissa Jeselnick: The full experience allows you to do a lot of customization with your vehicle; the FastPass and Single Rider lines allow for an expedited queue experience and select you a custom vehicle of your choosing to take with you on your ride all the way through the post show.




Comment From Matthew: What are you personally most excited about with this new redesign?


Melissa Jeselnick: My favorite part is the first day guests get to experience what we've been working on for months and months. It's always a great day. The team will be around!


Jenn Fickley-Baker: Can you tell us more about the technology used in the attraction?


Melissa Jeselnick: Our team is so excited to bring new interactive technologies to the guest to enhance Future World and put the guest at the center of the experience. All of the software is custom for this attraction.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: From the blog, Alex asks: "Will this overhaul make the updated Test Track feel more like a dark ride compared to before?"


Melissa Jeselnick: The experience will be dark, but more importantly, I think we're showcasing new technology, so it's not really a traditional "dark ride."


Jenn Fickley-Baker: How specifically has your team been working with Chevrolet?


Melissa Jeselnick: It's back and forth. We send people to Detroit, they send folks here. The attraction reflects the Chevrolet aesthetic and Disney storytelling.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: We have time for just one more question.


Comment From Nicolo: What is it that you hope guests will take from this newer experience?


Melissa Jeselnick: I think the world of digital design is exciting to our Imagineers as designers and storytellers, so I hope our guests come away with some insight into what that process entails, and maybe it will excite some future generations of Imagineers to join us.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: Thanks again for taking part in our live-chat today. As a reminder you can revisit this chat at any time and click 'Replay' to review all the questions and answers.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Pure speculation here-Could the circular shape of the new marquee and the fact that the first question they posted and then skipped over was about the "home depot style" overhang mean they might be removing it? I'd like to see test track returned to the original, retro, epcot exterior.

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I don't think this really says anything new. I hate when people do interviews like this and they only answer one part of the question, more or less everything was answered by the end though.


I thought it was funny how she said it's not really influenced by Tron and is just their idea of what inside a computer looks like. Look at that image with the cloudy sky and lightning bolt, that's 100% Tron right there.


I completely understand the reason for this 'reshaping', but I don't think it is going to change the ride one bit. I already enjoy Test Track, and while change is nice I don't think this is going to make the overall experience any better.

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Comment From Pixie Vac Steve: Melissa, I am very excited about an update to Test Trak. The concepts seem a little Tron like. Was Tron an influence? - Pixie Vac Steve


Melissa Jeselnick: I think the new attraction and the artwork represent the digital age, and when people think about what the inside of a computer looks like, that's what you think of.


Yeah, that's pretty much the plot of Tron.


The "design your own car" stuff sounds a bit like the paint-and-tire-shop scenes of Radiator Springs Racers--that is, I guess they'll be using similar tecnhology.

Edited by cfc
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