by Nick LoCicero
A reimagined Test Track will open at EPCOT this fall. The high speed attraction, which originally opened in 1999, pulled into the pits a couple weeks ago and is currently closed to guests while undergoing its first major overhaul. While the thrilling ending will still feature an outside race around the track, the insides will change and the overall experience will become very interactive.
According to the Disney Parks Blog, “When complete, the reimagining of this attraction will allow guests to design their own custom concept vehicle, and then put it through its paces on the exhilarating hills and switchbacks of the Test Track circuit. In the post-show, guests can make a TV commercial featuring their concept car or truck, race their car or truck on our virtual track and take a picture with their custom concept vehicle.”
Now, instead of being “test track dummies”, the guest is an integral designer, using his or her imagination then getting to “play” with the creation. To me, this is more along the lines of what Walt wold have dreamed.
This idea seems extremely enjoyable… as this particular annual passholder queues up for Test Track very infrequently these days. While the queue itself and ambient soundtrack are top notch, I’ve never understood the fun of the inside tests. While the re-ridabilty should improve with these changes, the visuals look phenomenal as well.
Almost a TRONesque feel to this concept art, which gives the decade old attraction a fresh, new, digital age feel. Even the logo has undergone a re-haul. A smooth look showing off the new sponsorship as well. The motor company will now choose to display its Chevrolet brand over GM as a whole.
Last but not least, these hot new ride icons didn’t go unnoticed. From a merchandise perspective this is fantastically genius. It prays on us EPCOT lovers who crave the EPCOT icon merchandise. It’s nouveau-retro (did I just make that up?) They look 80′s EPCOT Center while having a decidedly 2000′s digital feel.