Details about redesign of Test Track
Aug 27, 2012
The Disney Parks Blog featured a live chat this morning to discuss the remodeling of Test Track at Walt Disney World's Epcot. Melissa Jeselnick, one of the lead Imagineers on the project, was on hand to answer questions from the attraction's fans. Melissa has been working on the project since the spring of 2011, along with Imagineers in California and Florida and partners from Chevrolet, the sponsors of the attraction. The whole attraction has been redesigned, all the way down to the front marquee.
The images that have been released so far look very "futuristic," so this was a popular topic with chatters. Melissa's response was this: "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."
When it reopens, a few things will still be the same. The track layout will remain, as will the Fastpass and Single Rider options. Melissa says doing the full experience will "allow you to do a lot of customization with your vehicle; the FastPass and Single Rider lines allow for an expedited queue experience and you select a custom vehicle of your choosing to take with you on your ride all the way through the post show."
The queue has been completely changed and is no longer about the process cars go through when being tested. Melissa said you will be introduced 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."
Guests will design their own custom concept vehicle and "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." This will be done at an interactive design kiosk, so you will choose all of your car's features.
Multiple parties will still ride in the cars together, just like they did before. When asked how customizing would work if people were sharing the ride vehicle, Melissa answered, "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."
A new soundtrack will add not only music, but special sound effects as well. The attraction will feature four show scenes. "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."
The post-show has been redesigned as well. Your car will be scored against cars from the rest of the day. Multiple interactive elements allow you to further tweak your design to your liking. The showroom featuring Chevrolet cars will still be there, and there will be photo ops with concept cars.
When asked what she hoped guests would take away from the experience, Melissa had this to say: "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."