Test Track

Test Track

Infobox Disney ride
name= Test Track

park= Epcot
designer= Walt Disney Imagineering, General Motors Corporation
type= High speed simulated test track
theme= Vehicle Test Facility
control_system= Wayside
propulsion=Onboard Electric Motor
soft_opened= December 19, 1998
opened= March 17, 1999
host= John Michael Higgins
music= "Test Track Medley" By George Wilkins
guests_per_vehicle= 6
duration= 5:34
length= 4286
speed= 64.8
height_requirement= 40
site_area= 150000
custom_label_2= Previous attraction
custom_value_2= World of Motion
sponsor= General Motors (1999 - present)
fastpass= 1
single_rider= 1

Test Track is an attraction at Epcot. Sponsored by General Motors "General Motors and the Walt Disney Company sign a new contract that ensures GM's presence at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida until the 21st century. The contract extends the partnership at Epcot until 2007 and provides for a complete redesign of the existing GM World of Motion pavilion." http://www.gm.com/company/corp_info/history/gmhis1990.html] , Test Track is a simulated excursion through the rigorous testing procedures that General Motors uses to evaluate its cars, culminating in a high-speed drive around the exterior of the attraction.

It opened to the public on December 19, 1998 after a long delay due to problems revealed during testing and changes to the ride design. The ride had many opening dates that it missed like May 1997 and August 1998. It replaced the World of Motion, though it uses the same ride building. It did not receive its official grand opening until March 17, 1999.

Guests ride in futuristic "test cars" in a GM "testing facility" and are taken through a series of tests to illustrate how automobile prototype evaluations are conducted. The highlight of the ride is a speed trial on a track around the outside of the Test Track building at a top speed of 64.8 miles per hour (104.3 km/h) on a 50-degree banked curve, making Test Track the fastest Disney theme park attraction ever built, next to California Screamin', Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and Tokyo DisneySea's Journey to the Center of the Earth (which uses an improved version of Test Track's ride system).

The ride remains powered up 20 or more hours a day, due to lengthy start up times and nightly maintenance.

Ride overview

During the entering of the queue, guest view a sample repair and test shop. As guests enter the queue in the welcome center they are shown tests performed on cars and parts before they are released. The queue winds past different tests for tires, car doors, an anechoic chamber for radio receivers, and an area for crash test dummies to be tested. At the end of the queue a group of guests are brought into a briefing room where they are shown automobile testing facilities and examples of tests being performed. The host, John Michael Higgins tells the guests that they will take part in some of these tests and tells the technician in charge of testing what tests to set up. Small videos of each test are shown as he speaks. He finally tells her to choose one final "surprise test," and a video of a car crashing into a barrier is shown as a door is opened for guests to enter the interior queue.

Upon reaching the end of this second queue guests are loaded into the test cars to begin. Upon dispatching from the loading dock the car is brought through an accelerated hill climb. Next the car's suspension is tested over different road surfaces, including bricks and cobblestones. Next, the car's anti-lock braking system is turned off and the car tries to negotiate a course of cones, knocking many over in the process. The anti-lock brakes are then turned back on and a similar cone course is negotiated easily. Guests are shown a video overlay of the difference. Next the cars are brought through environmental chambers: a hot chamber of 110°F (43°C), a cold chamber of 10°F (-13°C), and a corrosion chamber. The nozzles on the corrosion robots are actually Hidden Mickeys.

The handling of the car is tested next. It climbs a set of hills with blind turns while increasing its speed each time. At the top the car almost crashes into an oncoming semi-truck before swerving out of the way. The car is now on the final test shown in the briefing room: the barrier test. The car lines up across from a barrier and begins to accelerate towards it. Just before hitting the barrier a series of flashes occur, where a picture of the guests is taken, and the barrier opens to a track outside. The car takes a lap around the building with banked turns and a max speed of 64.8 mph (104.3 km/h), shown on the car as MAX MPH. As the car returns to the loading dock a thermal scan is taken of the guests and shown on a large screen.

Like most Disney attractions, Test Track exits into a themed gift shop featuring merchandise associated with the attraction. Guests can also view and purchase photos taken of their vehicle on the ride or scan their Photopass to view or purchase the photos later. There is also an area where guests can view current General Motors vehicles as well as the toy Hummer featured in recent Hummer advertisements.


*"Florida", DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, 2004, pg 150

ee also

*Epcot attraction and entertainment history
*Radiator Springs Racers

External links

* [http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw/parks/attractionDetail?id=TestTrackAttractionPage Walt Disney World Resort - Test Track]

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