We had some work to do in Tampa this weekend. Epcot was on our way home, so we decided to stop in for dinner.
I feel so fortunate that my husband got this beautiful photo of Mary Poppins in front of the UK pavilion – so that I could share it with you today.
The weather was beautiful and I have a feeling she came in, umbrella open, on that gentle breeze.
Do you have any favorite Mary Poppins memories?
- A spoonful of sugar… (spitspotblog.wordpress.com)
Near the area of Future World Epcot, where one can now find Test Track, there was once a pavilion that included the World of Motion presented by General Motors. World of Motion opened in October 1982 with the rest of EPCOT Center. Enjoying this attraction meant taking a road trip through the evolution of transportation. Almost everyone has some interest in transportation. Whether it’s cars, trains, airplanes, buses, boats or just by simply walking, everyone has used some form of it. We have always relied on our ability to travel, and we have always searched for ways to improve that ability. This was the basis and idea behind World of Motion, to entertain and educate us about how it’s “fun to be free.” Click here for a photo tour. Check out this “totally tubular” 18 minute video to be transported back to 1982 and it what it must have been like to enjoy The World of Motion.
World of Motion closed in January 1996 to make way for Test Track. This change broke the heart of hundreds of thousands of nostalgic World of Motion enthusiasts, many of whom still believe the attraction was one of Epcot’s greatest achievements.
Test Track presented by General Motors (GM) represented the cutting edge of Walt Disney Imagineering created ride-systems. As Epcot’s first thrill ride, it took guests through a series of vehicle tests and outside onto a 50 degree banked track at highway speeds. Even though it seems strange for a car company to advertise by emphasizing car crashes – the message here was that GM designs cars for safety and performance – and puts them through rigorous tests. A high-speed performance run on a proving ground track was thrown in, to the delight of thrill seekers from all over the world. The complexity of the ride system took years to perfect, but to many, it was worth we wait. Officially opening in March 1999, Test Track became a firm favorite and must do for hundreds of thousands of Walt Disney World visitors. This 24 minute video takes you for a closer look at the original Test Track.
Just over 10 years later, General Motors began looking to make more use of one of its most visited marketing locations. Plans began to come about for a complete Test Track makeover. After a collaborative design effort between GM and Walt Disney Imagineering, the original Test Track closed on April 16th 2012 to begin the transformation. Just like it’s predecessor World of Motion, once again, many are feeling nostalgic for what’s now affectionately known as Test Track 1.0
Despite having only 8 months to complete the refurbishment, the new Test Track is definitely much different in some ways. Nearly every set piece has been removed from the original attraction. The new Test Track takes a step towards the more traditional Epcot Center pavilion approach, with the idea that there is now more to the pavilion than just the ride. Having enjoyed the new Test Track 2.0 attraction 10 or more times now, I can tell you first-hand that the actual ride track – is the same – despite rumors that it is different. This video from AttractionsMagazine.com gives even further proof in a really cool way. Take at look at this 4 minute, amazing, side-by-side comparison.
World of Motion (1982-1996), presented by General Motors, was a road trip through the evolution of transportation. It opened in October 1982 with the rest of EPCOT Center and closed in January 1996 to make way for Test Track. All photo credits belong to LostEpcot.com
Transcenter was the post ride area with many exhibits. It was Located on the lower level of the pavilion – the second hemisphere. Photos from LostEpcot.com