Here is the glossy Walt Disney World link to the “new” look Test track ride at the park (that has been closed since April)…
Since 1999, car nuts stranded at Walt Disney World knew they could find respite from the Small Worlds and Magic Kingdoms at Epcot’s GM Test Track—until it closed its doors this past April, at least.
Fortunately, the attraction won’t be shuttered forever. A team of GM designers and Disney Imagineers—that’s Disney-speak for the individuals responsible for making the entertainment empire’s theme parks a reality—have been laboring to redesign and rebuild the ride as the Chevrolet Test Track.
The result of their 18-month collaborative effort won’t face public scrutiny until it launches on Dec. 6, but GM gave us a hint of what guests can expect at a recent media event.
The most outwardly notable alteration to the attraction is the name: Chevrolet gets exclusive billing at the new Test Track. Where the attraction previously made room for GM’s entire lineup, only vehicles bearing the bowtie have a spot on the newly renovated floor.
The Test Track’s new focus on Chevrolet is accompanied by an increased emphasis on vehicle design, which sets up an interesting hook for the attraction as a whole. Guests will create a virtual concept car that will accompany them for the duration of their time at the attraction.
It begins with a line drawn on a computer console in the “pre-ride” staging area. That line is converted to a streamlined, three-dimensional “speedshape.” Further interaction involves balancing four performance attributes—capability, efficiency, responsiveness and speed—to create a roughly sketched proto-vehicle.
Special software and something project manager and indefatigable Imagineer Melissa Jeselnick referred to as “Disney magic” fill the gaps and turn that guest input into a nifty, polished concept car—with a Chevrolet bow tie on the grille, of course.
Fans of the original GM Test Track will be pleased to hear that the ride portion of the attraction, which hits speeds of up to 65 mph, remains fundamentally unaltered. The scenery, however, has received a substantial makeover. Dated “Incredible Crash Dummies”-style carts have been redone with fluorescent paint and a prominent Chevy logo. Tron-like glowing panels give the track a futuristic, virtual-reality feel.