Discover Future World: Test Track

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are taking a closer look at the fun you can find in Future World at Epcot.


Discover Future World: Test Track

Photo credit: CL Photographs via StoolsFair / CC BY-ND

Epcot’s Test Track has been delighting Future World guests since the late 1990’s and continues to do so with the 2012 overhaul of the attraction’s theme. Reaching speeds of up to 65 mph, Test Track is a must do for any thrill-seeking guest at Walt Disney World. Let’s take a look at what makes Test Track one of Epcot’s best attractions.

History

Test Track’s history actually goes all the way back to Epcot’s opening in 1982. When the park first opened, many of the attractions and pavilions had corporate sponsors. This allowed these companies to advertise to consumers in a fun and unique way, while assisting Disney in the massive financial undertaking of launching a brand new theme park. In 1982, General Motors sponsored Epcot’s Transportation Pavilion which featured the attraction World of Motion. This omnimover attraction took guests on a journey through the history of transportation starting with the invention of the wheel and moving forward to current innovations and even looking into the transportation of the future. The soundtrack for the ride featured “It’s Fun To Be Free” written by none other than The Sherman Brothers.

Many of Epcot’s original corporate sponsorships were initially scheduled to last 10 years. At that time, some sponsors dropped out, while others renewed. General Motors liked the idea of continuing their sponsorship at Epcot; however, they wanted an attraction to sponsor an updated attraction – one that might make guests want to visit their local GM dealership and purchase a new vehicle upon returning home from Walt Disney World. So GM and the Disney imagineers began developing an idea for a new, more exciting Future World attraction.

Original Test Track

Discover Future World: Test Track

Photo credit: clyderob via Source / CC BY

Test Track officially opened in the former World of Motion building in March of 1999, after numerous problems delayed the attraction’s expected 1997 opening by 2 years. The new attraction gave guests a glimpse into the automotive industry’s safety testing process. While waiting in the queue guests saw various safety tests and repairs. Of course, there was no shortage of crash test dummies. After viewing many of the tests which vehicles are put through before being ready for consumers, the guests would attend a briefing where they learned they would be experiencing these safety tests first hand.

Once aboard their very own test vehicle, guests experience several different safety tests. The rough roads test took the cars over various types of road surfaces including German blocks, Belgian blocks, and cobblestone. I’ll be honest, this was not my favorite test – it was a very bumpy ride! After the rough roads test, the cars proceeded to test the brakes both with and without anti-lock brakes. This test will really make you thankful to have ABS on your car! Next, it was on to the heat, cold, and corrosion (a mist of water) tests. After those tests, the car’s handling was put to the test with hill climbs, sharp turns, and even a close call with a semi-truck.

Test Track’s final test, a surprise test, was the barrier test. This test was always my favorite. Just when it looked like the vehicle was sure to smash into the barrier, the doors suddenly opened, sending guests and their vehicle out on the open road around the upper level of the attraction’s building. During this part of the attraction, ride vehicles reached speeds of up to 65 miles per hour, making it the fastest ride at Walt Disney World!

Re-imagined Test Track

Discover Future World: Test Track

Photo credit: MattCC716 via Scandinavian / CC BY-SA

In 2012, Test Track underwent a massive refurbishment. While the ride track itself did not change, just about everything else about the ride did. The new version of Test Track is sponsored by Chevrolet, a division of General Motors, rather than by the parent company. The new Test Track also has a contemporary look featuring sleek designs and a lot of color.

In addition to the ride itself,  the queue also received a major overhaul. The attraction’s new interactive queue allows guests to try their hand in vehicle design. After scanning their Magic Band, guests are given a few minutes to design and select features such as tires, engine, and more. After the design is completed, it is saved to the guest’s Magic Band which they will scan again before entering their ride vehicle.

One of the best things about the new version of Test Track is the ability to actually test your vehicle design as you ride the attraction. As you and your vehicle go through each of the four tests – capability, efficiency, responsiveness, and power – you will also see how your vehicle’s design fared in the test. In addition to the fun of sharp turns, high speeds, and the open road, the interactive components of Test Track add a whole new element of fun. The last time my husband and I rode Test Track, our vehicle designed fared pretty well. It came out on top for a couple tests and did fairly well on the others. Overall, we were quite happy with our stylish vehicle design. Not to mention, the new version of Test Track was even more fun than the original, which I wasn’t sure was even possible based on my love of the original.

Have you experienced the original or new versions of Test Track? Let me know in the comments which version of the attraction is your favorite! Be sure to visit the other stops along Magical Blogorail Green to discover the very best of Epcot’s Future World!

For more about Future World,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


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Kimberly's love of Disney began at an early age and grew even more when her family won a Walt Disney World vacation from a local radio station. She grew up visiting the parks every one to two years and is fascinated by Disney history and trivia. Whether at the parks or at home, Kimberly is constantly looking for hidden Mickeys. She enjoys sharing tips and helping others plan their Disney vacations. In addition to Frontierland Station, she can also be found writing for Park World Travel and selecting music for Park World Radio.

Latest posts by Kimberly (see all)

  • Great post, Kimberly! I love Test Track, but for some reason, I’ve yet to experience the new version of the ride. I think it’s probably because of the tiered system of FastPass+ selections, we always choose Soarin’ over Test Track — but we need to change that soon!

    • We are in the same boat. We now have to get in line there first thing in the morning. Still wait about 30 minutes! Hopefully Frozen will bring down the time.

      • We only got to ride it once because of that same reason. And it got stuck part of the way through. We tried to get in the standby line when it was short, but the weather didn’t cooperate. So they had to close the ride.

  • Kimberly Kahl

    This is my 12yo son’s absolute favorite attraction in all of Walt Disney World. It’s why we visit Epcot more than any other park! We did really love the old version, but have come to enjoy the new version more, mainly because it’s a challenge to keep improving our car design in an attempt to get higher scores each visit.

    • I wasn’t too thrilled when I heard they were changing Test Track, but the imagineers really did a great job with it. I think I actually like the new version better.

  • It’s so funny – we were at WDW in January of 1999 – it was not long after Ashley turned 5 and my parents gave us the money to take her to Disney. Test Track wasn’t yet open, but they were preparing for it. Lumpy the Crash Dummy was greeting guests and Ashley was FREAKED! She was so scared of him. I wish I could have found the pictures when I was looking for them yesterday. Test Track is a neat addition to the park – we don’t always ride it, but when we do we love it!

    • That’s hysterical, Heidi! I had no idea he was ever there! 🙂

      We love this ride – either version – but I wouldn’t have minded seeing “World of Motion” with all of its history.

      • I know I saw World of Motion on my first visit, but I can’t really remember much about it. 🙁 I wonder if my Dad videotaped any of it (that was the era of dads carrying those BIG videocameras around – he even taped Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!)

      • I agree. I think I rode World of Motion once. I don’t remeber anything but the song.

    • I had no idea they had a crash test dummy to meet guests! That is so cool! If you do find the pictures, I’d love to see them!

  • Test Track is a family favorite, but I confess that I really miss the World of Motion.

  • I’ve experienced both versions and I honestly can’t decide which is my favorite. I do love the new queue!

  • Lee Beatens

    I prefer the original version simply because I don’t like the designing your car portion now. I felt rushed by the CM’s (for good reason, I realize) and it didn’t really pay off in a big way later. Still love the speed!

  • Jojams

    Very interesting seeing the evolution of Test Track!

  • Is it true that this is very similar to Radiator Springs Racers? I have never been to WDW, but go to DL as often as I can. I would love to make the trip to WDW if i can convince my wife to fly that far…

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