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Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

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

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Looks awesome! Love the look and REALLY like the voices onboard. Based on videos I've seen, the old voices were so cheesy and kinda killed the thrill of the old one. These new ones fit the experience much better. The ride seems like it fits in better with Future World now by actually looking futuristic, rather than just looking modern.


Super bummed I never got to get on this during my trip to Orlando. Looks like I missed it by a day. I guess that's reason to go back to Epcot!

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Wow, now that actually looks like it belongs in Future World. The old Test Track just didn't fit in with the future theme, it just seemed like a current warehouse.


Disney really went above and beyond my expectations, I wasn't expecting anything huge, but it's better than the outdated old version.

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Hopefully this update spurns some decisions to update the rest of the aging Future World line-up...Universe of Energy desperately needs updating, Imagination obviously could be so much better, and it would be nice to see Wonders of Life actually become something instead of being shuttered.

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So today we had the chance to check out the new Test Track, now presented by Chevrolet. The new attraction is a total overhaul aesthetically from the previous version, but it is the same physical ride experience that you knew and loved from the original.


Let's just say, Disney has a winner on their hands with this one. The ride itself employs some stunning visuals that will make you wonder how they pull them off, and they really manage to transport you into the digital realm (not the Grid) where your concept vehicles are stacked up throughout the ride as you determine your SimCar's rankings in four categories: Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power.


Please be warned, this report does contain some spoilers for the overall experience, so if you don't want to know any more about the ride before you can experience it for yourself, stop reading here!


You enter Test Track through a heavily reworked queue that makes you totally question if there was ever anything else there before it. The new design of the queue is sleek and futuristic, but integrates the retro World of Motion logo throughout the decor, which is a great throwback for the longtime fans. You weave around the building following a new path that leads to a merge point for the eventual Fastpass and standby lines. From there you are directed into a group room where you are grouped for your Design Room experience. Moving into the next room you are able to design a vehicle in an extremely hands on system that allows for a surprising amount of customization (as you'll see below). Once done, you swipe the RFID card given to you in the previous room over a familiar looking reader (if you've been following the installation of similar readers throughout Walt Disney World) to take your design with you.


You enter the loading station, which is the space most clearly reminiscent of the former version, but even so, it still looks wonderfully different. As I mentioned before, the ride path is totally the same but the experience along that track is almost entirely different. You move up past the seat belt check and into a "launch hill" of sorts with some incredibly overwhelming, awesome graphics and projection effects at work, including some not so subtle World of Motion logos prominently featured on the walls. Your SimCar turns the corner to go through the former Belgian/German blocks section which has been flattened for a smooth descent. In the "ABS off" section you race towards a digital mountain only to swerve off of the lit road (a very convincing effect) before nearly being swept away by a digital avalanche. You move toward a new mountain in the "ABS on" section, turning the corner as a bolt of lightning strikes the peak. Moving into the old Heat/Cold/Corrosive test rooms, you are scanned, aerodynamically tested (a magnificent effect there) and scanned once again for internal car testing.


Into the "increase in lateral forces" you weave around the tight turns leading to the old near collision with the semi truck, all of which has been updated with laser effects and great show lighting. You turn the corner in a final "loading" of your earlier three core tests culminating in your final push for Power. The former barrier test features a great launch animation and setup that really has to be seen to justified--pictures and video don't show off just how great this is. The outdoor section is the same as it was before, save for new purple stripes on the track. You slow down and reenter the building to see your design's score as stacked against the other five designs with you before you reenter the station to exit the ride.


Much of the post-show experience was not yet online during our visit, but when ready, you'll be able to produce a commercial featuring your design, as well as to be able to race your vehicles on "drive tables" via detailed projection effects. The reworked Chevrolet car showroom looks great and feels far more open, with less of a sales angle and more of a chance to take photos. The gift shop at the exit has been made slightly smaller to give the showroom more space, but it features some new merchandise for the ride as well.


Take a look at the photos and video below for a better look at what all the hype is about... It is well deserved!


Welcome to the new Test Track presented by Chevrolet!


Inside of the first and largest part of the queue is a full model and an exploded one of the Chevrolet en-V concept vehicle.


There are no crash test dummies to be found here!


Power, Responsiveness, Capability and Efficiency make up the tests for a good design at the Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot.


All designs start as an amorphous blob...


You can catch a glimpse of the Design Center in the queue.


The queue already has the new Fastpass+ readers installed at merge.


Grouped and ready to go into the Design Center.


The lighting really sets the mood for this new preshow experience.


You have free range to start by tracing whatever design you'd like for the shape of your car, so I played around.


The system then refines it...


You are able to choose the width and length of the vehicle, so we made it a super stretch.


You've got a good deal of freedom when choosing your design's paint scheme.


You can add decals...


We really played with our designs, adding some gaudy accessories and stretching the limits of the system as much as we could. Check out those Tron hood and roof pieces!


Our group designed two vehicles, and this was the other one.


World of Motion logo!


At the loading station all six seats positions are equipped with RFID readers that link your design with your SimCar.


Even though it looks familiar, it is very much different!


Let's ride, shall we?


The projections were a bit much for my camera to catch at these speeds but you get a sense for what is going on in the ride...


Down the old German/Belgian block section...


Let's race an avalanche!


The old "warehouse" section of the ride looks great in the dark and really feels far less industrial and more digitally futuristic.


The ride's Progress City-style model has some really amazing projection mapping effects.


Laser trees!




The outside section of the ride is almost entirely unchanged.


I've missed this view...


Love the signage!


The post show continues to use riders' designs for interactive elements along the exit route.


Our blue super stretch lost to their white monster truck of the future...


In here guests can create a video advertisement for the vehicle they designed in the preshow.


While not open during our visit, these are the drive tables where guests will be able to race their designs in a projected environment.


Looks neat!


You can also email your design so you can take it with you after you leave Epcot!


Time to check out the Chevrolet Showroom!





Several of the cars on display allow for guests to take automated pictures to be emailed to them after their visit.


Spaceship Earth!


This isn't the Test Track of 1997.


The ride will continue to support Fastpass when it reopens later this coming week.


This signage mixes retro and futuristic beautifully!


The test car from the old side queue area has been moved out front.


It looks so clean!


Test Track opens officially on December 6th, 2012.


Time to ride again!

Edited by robbalvey
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I've ridden it several times now and love it. I think it is a HUGE improvement from what the ride was before. It definitely feels more like a "dark ride" and less like a giant warehouse.


As for all the people who seem to not like the updated version... GREAT! Shorter line for me...

Edited by Swimace
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Test Track was my favorite ride at EPCOT when I last visited it back in 2005. I was very worried that the new dark ride section would destroy the ride and it would feel like a video game. After watching that POV, it looks like a very good improvement over the old version which surprised me. I like the futuristic design to it and I really like how the semi truck effect is still there. It's good that the outdoor section of Test Track is the same as that was definitely the highlight of old Test Track.


Also, since my family owns GM-only cars, I thought it was nice that they had the "Connecting to Onstar" at the beginning of the ride.

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So why exactly didn't Disney just go whole-hog and make this a Tron Lightcycle ride? Because that's what this is. Nothing about this ride says "Test Track" once you get on-board the "SimCar".


Because they got GM to pay for this one!

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It's very hard for me to come to any conclusions from that POV, though it does like a new experience entirely, which is what this is all about. Changing rides up can rarely be an altogether bad thing because it IS something new. I'm glad they made it look futuristic, it will hold age better, im sure. At any rate, I do think it looks a bit like Tron. At the same time though, I think many people would have been upset to see the end result named differently with a whole new story, etc, etc. I don't think it would have ever come down to not wanting to 'go all out' with the future 'grid' theme. The imagineers could have done that with no problem and created a Tron ride. But Epcot isnt about advertising films. It's about innovation. and i thinj beung sponsored by an actual car company will always be the way to go. Its tangible and relatable to our everyday lives more so Than a movie.


However, I think it makes sense to make the future look like something most Disney fans are familiar with, in a movie but maintain the basis for the ride. This happy medium gives the best of both worlds, quite literally. If they had tried making the future look different, it wouldn't be receiving the Tron comparisons, but it also wouldn't look familiar. And I think that could've caused more people to not like this.


In the end, this IS Test Track 2.0. Whereas before, you participated in tests without any interactivity, they have now created a new element in the sim car to bring the re-rideability up a bit. I think this will be more well-received by skeptics when they see the interactivity. Because from the POV, all we see is a new 'look.' Just my input.

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The big thing that I feel makes the new Test Track great (at least from what I have seen) is that it's a learning experience, which I think fits EPCOT perfectly. If anything, I hope we see more interactive pre- and post-show experiences like the ones in the new Test Track and Mission Space.


I think that if we were to see a Tron attraction, it would be built in Hollywood Studios instead of EPCOT.

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As for who I am - ask your forum members. Several of them have taken the things I say about theme parks and spread it as the gospel all over the internet for over a decade.




Are you Screamscape?



I realize you all just gave me a weird look, but IRL that's normal LOL.

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To me, the new ride looks great.... but its not Test Track, is it?


To call that Test Track is an abomination, it literally looks like Tron: The Ride. I do like everything they've done, but the old Test Track had charm, it showed what Testing Vehicles WAS like. Now its just a space for Chrysler to plaster everything in their logo.


Doesn't this new version actually subscribe to the overall Epcot Future World "mission statement" of showcasing a better tomorrow than Test Track 1.0 did? This new one is more about the future of cars, technology, etc. The other one was just a recreation of a 90's test track, nothing really aspirational about it. Granted, the majority of Future World is still stuck in the 90's, but this seems like a good step in making the place more forward-focused in theme and concept.

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To call that Test Track is an abomination, it literally looks like Tron: The Ride. I do like everything they've done, but the old Test Track had charm, it showed what Testing Vehicles WAS like. Now its just a space for Chrysler to plaster everything in their logo.


Its a shame they had to ruin Epcot with something which should have been in the Magic Kingdom as TRON or something. Ah well.

There's the thing - Chevrolet (not Chrysler, but it's the same principle) probably wanted the ride that way. When you design a ride where the sponsor is paying for it as well, the sponsor has the right to partially oversee the design of the ride from the get-go. If they don't like it, they won't help pay for it.


But, in an area called "Future World" where you have attractions like Mission Space and Sum of All Thrills, both which are based around a large amount of interactivity before and after the actual ride, the theme makes sense.


Doesn't this new version actually subscribe to the overall Epcot Future World "mission statement" of showcasing a better tomorrow than Test Track 1.0 did? This new one is more about the future of cars, technology, etc. The other one was just a recreation of a 90's test track, nothing really aspirational about it. Granted, the majority of Future World is still stuck in the 90's, but this seems like a good step in making the place more forward-focused in theme and concept.

Wes, I think you really hit the nail on the head here.

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but this seems like a good step in making the place more forward-focused in theme and concept.

True, but at the same time one of the hazards of doing futuristic themes is their tendency to date.

Think of the way Tommorrowland feels today, or the way the architecture of Future World feels as a whole. When I first visited Epcot (2007) I guess it felt like an 80s rendition of the future.

....The future?...

To me it's a bit of a false dichotomy that the choice for Test Track is the "dated" 90s version, or the computerised fantasy type theme it has now.

I reckon it's entirely possible to have had a ride based around a "real" test track that still feels modern...Just update the audio and signage packages, redo preshow films, incorporate the car design preshow, perhaps incorporate that cool aerodynamic wind tunnel effect the new one has etc etc.

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I think it's sorta unfortunate that the connections to Tron can be made, but they set themselves up for that when they chose the 'inside a computer' or whatever concept. There really is only one way to convey being inside a digital space, and the most effective is the way that they chose, which just happens to be pretty similar to how Tron does it. They could have gone the realistic 3D generated route, but I guarantee that would look way more dated in 10 years than what they did will. There are differences in style though, and in many ways the projections in the ride are much more complex.


They could have gone a different route though, and kept the ride in the real world, and just switched up the style. I think the graphical style of Portal could have been adapted well into the ride, they already have a bit of that style on the entrance and in the queue area. I guess people would complain that they ripped that off though. They also could have used some ques from the McLaren Technology Center, which is an actual vehicle design and production center (although a competitor's, sorta.)



Actually the outside kinda looks like that already.


That would have solved the Tron problem and the going from the digital to the real world for the loop, but it probably would have made for a less visually impressive ride, depending on what they did with it. Really though it's just unfortunate the Tron connection is there.

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Being halfway around the world, I've watched the old version of the Test Track quite a few times, and to be completely honest I did enjoy it. However with the new version, I was completely blown away with how good this ride looks now. Looks a bit more interactive, new theming, all of which would make you believe you've just stepped into the future of car testing. I would also tend to think with the effects within the ride, it's a nod to the movie TRON Legacy - to me it's just got that futuristic-y feel to it.


So with that I would agree that even the "old school" version of the ride was great- the newer version has really impressed me - can't wait to ride it

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