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Test Track
Test Track Preshow

Opened

March 17, 1999

Designer

Walt Disney Imagineering & General Motors Corporation

Vehicle capacity

6

Length

4,286 ft. (1,306.4 m)

Maximum speed

65 mph (104.6 km/h)

Height requirement

40" (102 cm)

Sponsor

General Motors

Preceded by

World of Motion

Test Track is an attraction at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, sponsored by General Motors. The ride is a simulated excursion through the rigorous testing procedures that General Motors uses to evaluate its vehicles, culminating in a high-speed drive around the exterior of the attraction.

Test Track opened to the public on December 19, 1998 after a long delay due to problems revealed during testing and changes to the ride design. It had many opening dates that it missed, such as May 1997 and August 1998. It replaced 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 vehicles" in a GM "testing facility" and are taken through a series of assessments to illustrate how automobile prototype evaluations are conducted. The highlight of the attraction is a speed trial on a track around the exterior of the Test Track building at a top speed of 65 miles per hour (104.6 km/h) on a 50-degree banked curve, making it 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.

Attraction Description[]

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, Bill McKim (John Michael Higgins), tells the guests that they will take part in some of these tests and tells the technician Sherrie 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 navigate 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 navigated 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 65 mph (104.6 km/h). As the car returns to the loading dock, a thermal scan is taken of the guests and shown on a large screen.

Like many 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 there is a showroom of new, prototype, or legendary GM vehicles.

Sources & External Links[]

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