Epcot had been plagued since its opening by complaints that it was lacking any thrill rides. I am not going to argue whether philosophically Epcot needs any thrill rides, but the Disney Imagineers listened to its guests and decided that it would be a good idea to add thrill rides to Epcot.
The first thrill ride to be added would replace the World of Motion Attraction sponsored by General Motors. Disney Imagineers partnered with General Motors to come up with the concept and design of the new attraction. They decided upon a "Test Track" concept showing how a car was put through its paces during the design and testing process.
The resulting attraction is nothing short of amazing. Disney Imagineers developed a 6 person ride vehicle that would go through the testing that cars would to evaluate the critical systems. Each ride vehicle has more than enough computer processing power to run the Space Shuttle!
Disney Imagineers challenged themselves by creating a vehicle that performs at dramatically varying speeds including full stops, while maintaining proper spacing from other ride vehicles. Each "car" comes equipped with on board audio-visual systems. This was certainly one of WDI's most challenging achievements.
Test Track Facts
From the "Imagineering Field Guide To Epcot":
- The chassis of each vehicle is made entirely of composite materials, meaning there is no steel between the front and rear wheels.
- Each vehicle carries 3 on board computers to create the necessary Space Shuttle like computing power.
- Each vehicle generates 250 horsepower, more than most passenger cars today.
- Test Track is the fastest Disney attraction anywhere in the world, attaining a top speed of 65 miles per hour.
Test Track starts with an expansive queue area that demonstrates a number of the tests that various components of the car goes through like: windshields, doors, seat belts, etc. The queue is actually quite interesting and worth your time to check out all there is to see. There is actually so much there, that you may have to force yourself to ride several times so that you can check out of the elements of the ride queue area.
The next stage of the ride is the Briefing Room. Once you are here you will see a short video that explains how GM tests cars and the experience that you are about to go through. This sets the storyline for the attraction.
Note: This is the fastest moving single rider line since the ride vehicle has an odd number of seats (3) in each row. This is a great way to experience the attractions and cut down the extremely long waits.
Test Track Is A Disney World MUST DO!
Test Track is an attraction that you can experience over and over and still be excited each time! It is one that should be on your list of MUST DO Disney World attractions for each visit. Using the FastPass and/or the Single Rider line is strongly encouraged unless you ride it close to park opening before the lines get long.
Ride Test Track for the thrills, but take the time to appreciate all of the technology that went into designing and building this incredible attraction.