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Disney to make changes to Epcot's Test Track ride

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Published: January 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM

This fall, Disney will be making some changes to Epcot's Test Track, including a sponsor change from General Motors to GM brand Chevrolet.

Test Track

According to the Disney Parks Blog, the current testing workshop will be transformed into the "Chevrolet Design Center," where you can see how cars are designed. According to Disney, "Here, guests will become automotive designers and create their own custom vehicles. Next, they’ll buckle into a six-person SimCar ride vehicle and test out their design on the challenging track of the Test Track course."

The post-show will be redesigned to include the latest Chevy vehicles in an all-new show room. The current version is schedueled to close in April or May, and the re-imagined version may open in October. What do you think? Me? I can't wait to check this out!

Update from Robert: Also on the refurb front, Disneyland's closing Matterhorn on Monday in part to install the new sled cars - three riders to a car, with individual restraints. (Two cars will run in tandem.) The coaster will reopen this summer.

Readers' Opinions

From Dominick D on January 6, 2012 at 1:04 PM
To answer some questions in advance:

1.Test Track (as of now) is schedueled to close April 15.
2.It will NOT be a simulator.
3.Much of the track will remain the same, but new details may be added.
4.Rumours are stating that a new pre-show will come to go along with designing your SimCar.

From David Kirby on January 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM
Does anyone else get the feeling there will be minimal changes to the actual ride experience?
From 165.130.136.208 on January 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM
I love it. It sounds very interesting. I was at WDW this past summer, and it seemed to me that Test Track was losing a lot of its cutting edge flare. Maybe this will help it. I'm pretty sure the layout will remain the same, but maybe a lot of things can be added and taken away on whats already there to make each ride a little different, thus the whole create your own ride thing. We shall see. I just hope that this doesn't see the budget slasher monster like Space Mt at MK saw..... only time will tell the tale for sure.
From 82.21.58.35 on January 6, 2012 at 1:21 PM
I put money on it that it will open 1st of October for Epcots 30th
From TH Creative on January 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM
Nice!
From 173.162.139.169 on January 6, 2012 at 1:53 PM
If they freshen up the theme a bit and add some new features to "plus" the attraction then I am all for it...as long as they don't change the feel of the ride too much.

I can't see that they would given how popular the attraction still is today.

While I am all for this I would rather they spend the time and $ on attractions that need it much more than this (stitch, sounds dangerous, backlot tour, country bears, add a couple of c ticket and a couple of d ticket attractions to the animal kingdom and to DHS)

From Robert Niles on January 6, 2012 at 2:07 PM
I'm guessing that we're going to make some choices in the pre-show that then affect the displays we see in the test portion of the ride. That's it. (New post-show and Chevy branding sted GM, too.) This really sounds like a sponsor-driven change to allow more Chevy branding in the ride. But I've got no insider scoop on this one, just reading between the lines.
From Tom Rigg on January 6, 2012 at 2:13 PM
I'm pretty excited about this. I really enjoy Test Track and am glad to see it getting an update, but more importantly a new queue. The old queue was such a headache inducer that I only waited in it three times ever. But this also raises a question for me: when is Epcot going to get something truly new? I think the last major attraction to be added that was new was Soarin' in 2005. I understand that Disney isn't like many other theme park companies that must have a new major attraction every 2 or 3 years, but it seems that they are long overdue for a new major attraction. But I digress. Yay for updates to Test Track!
From Dominick D on January 6, 2012 at 2:36 PM
People are saying that single riders can't choose their ride experience, which makes it like Star Tours.
From Giovanny Cruz on January 6, 2012 at 2:57 PM
I'm exited can't wait for this.
From Robert Niles on January 6, 2012 at 3:26 PM
Here's the pitch I just made on Twitter:

How about Disney reward GM/Chevy by revamping Test Track as... Journey to the Center of the Earth? With a Mount Prometheus and everything.

Change Future World into "Science World" - a tribute to the science of the past, present and future - and it'd work. And Science World would work better as a theme for the front of the park than the always-out-of-date Future World, anyway.

From Brandon Mendoza on January 6, 2012 at 4:02 PM
What, no loop? j/k

But yes, I would love to see Journey come to North America! (the attraction, not the band even though I'm a fan of them)

From Dominick D on January 6, 2012 at 4:22 PM
JTTCOTE would be better at Animal Kingdom, IMO. Also Robert, you should note that Sunday the current Dumbo spinner at MK is being moved to the new location, and BTMR is getting some new track work for a long refurb starting Sunday.
From James Rao on January 6, 2012 at 4:46 PM
I am a big fan of what has been described for the Test Track "update". The ride itself does not need to change drastically, but a complete refurb and retheme should breathe new life into a very popular headliner.

There is still a lot of work to be done in Epcot's Future World, but this update is definitely a step in the right direction.

From 65.203.150.126 on January 6, 2012 at 6:31 PM
BUMMER!
I heard rumors that a "Tron type" overlay was coming. :-(
From Michael Smith on January 6, 2012 at 7:25 PM
I hope they put in a queue-less wait area where you can really spend time designing something and not just pick from a few generic choices. I wonder if some of the change will be elements added to the indoor part of the ride that allow you to see yourself riding in the vehicle you design, using tech similar to what is used at the haunted mansion. I don't know how far they are going with the overhaul.. but it'd be nice to see yourself riding around different parts of the world or something like that. Like instead of just riding over Belgium blocks you were actually riding through a street in Belgium during that section. Anything immersive that doesn't look like a factory would be amazing.

Whatever they do it will surely be better than what is there now. I think the current iteration is the worst themed and most over-rated ride ever built at WDW.

From Aaron McMahon on January 6, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Yeah I rode Test track last October and it looked real used up. Granted most Futurewold/Tomorrowland attractions should be updated every ten years since everyone's vision of the future ends up looking cheesy and dated within a decade.

While I'm sure they'll get rid of those pre-flat screen TVs, I hope they'll bring back John Michael Higgins as the ride host.

From Samantha McCrae on January 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM
Aw man, it's going to be most likely closed during my trip there in September :(
Oh well, i'm sure it will be better for it in the long run.
From Randall Peek on January 7, 2012 at 3:37 PM
My guess is that the design portion of this will have very little to do with the actual ride experience, but that your vehicle will be seen on video screens throughout the ride, and that your design choices will figure into a rendered video overlay of the vehicle you are riding. Essentially, you will see yourself in the vehicle you designed, and I am guessing that the whole ride can be purchased on a DVD in the after-show area. I'm expecting a lot of blue neon throughout, with a semi-TRON vibe to it.
From Anthony Murphy on January 8, 2012 at 9:58 AM
I think it will, more or less, be the same. However, I liked the original concept
From Tyler Stover on January 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM
The interactive design stuff sounds pretty much right in line with the next-gen queue upgrades Disney has been making. The ride-system and track layout works, so simple upgrades and redesigns to address issues such as ABS not being new tech needing explanation should do fine.

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