On March 26, 2013, during our trip to Florida for Spring Break, we had the amazing opportunity to visit the Epcot theme park for the day. Though we spent the day hitting the rides we usually hit, and a new experience in Innovations (See Habit Heroes Article), we were even more excited for the new version of Test Track, recently renovated. This version, now sponsored by Chevy, featured the way cars are designed, rather than how they are tested. At first glance, and from reports about the ride, it seemed to be just as great as the original Test Track, but it turned out to be better.
Because of our normal schedule of getting into the park, sending either me (Quinn), or Dad (Ed), to get fastpasses for Soarin’, we missed the huge development of the stand-by line at Test Track. It was at 40 minutes so we decided to take the single rider line, to avoid the long wait. Though it was obvious the normal line had a more in-depth demonstrations about how cars were designed, the line we went on, had a slick silver sports car, and models of engines, one normal one, and one that seemed futuristically possible. We also passed through the area were we would choose our design.
The monitors were on a platform, about four on each side of the platform, and displayed a choice of four different attributes of a car, Power, Efficiency, Responsiveness, and Speed. After you chose one, it would give you a set of cars to pick, and you would record that onto either your Key to the Kingdom card, available only if you were staying at a resort hotel, or a white card given at the beginning of the platform.
One thing I noticed as we walked through the line is that the single riders have to choose from a set of cars that were pre-made, while the normal line riders would be able to shape and mold their car choice. This was discovered as we walked through the line, because of a glass wall that looked down on the normal line’s monitors. After going through where the engines were displayed, the loading dock for the cars came into view, where you would be matched up with any odd numbered party.
Due to what I suspect is a way to cut down the price of this renovation, the track wasn’t different, at all. What was around the track was. After going through the Seatbelt check, the cars, now designed like they had technological wires running around the car, took you up the hill where the power test would be conducted. This was tested by going down the track at a high speed, and using the brakes. After going through the test, the results were shown, ranking our virtual cars that we made by earlier. Next, the Efficiency was tested, by going through various tests to decipher that miles per gallon, and the aerodynamics of the created cars. Once again the results were shown. The Responsiveness test was next, and this test had you curving around the winding road, through the forest. After almost colliding with a virtual truck, the results are again shown (My car ranked first for this one). Next was the one everybody enjoys, which was the Speed test. This sent you flying against a wall, only for it to open just before you hit it, sending you to the outdoor track, which loops around the back parking lot, and to the front of the attraction. After the rankings are shown, you are taken back to the loading dock, where you would exit.
After you get your photos from the Speed Test, you enter a room where you can create your own car commercial, using your virtual car. Unfortunately, we did not get to experience this as we walked to the next room. In the next room, there were games, in which there was a track, and you could key in your car to race around a virtual track. Continuing on, there were car models filling half the room, as another room revealed the gift shop. We had to return our cards, as they were to be reused by other riders.
In my opinion, this ride was just as great, if even better than the original. One downside I found was the tests were just put in to match the track, but besides that, the ride fit together nicely. It was nice to see how the cars were created, for the four attributes, and how a balance of each was a great car.