Tag Archives: Walt Disney World

Disney to final re-open “Test Track” ride in December





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.