Anyone who enjoys reading about Disney through social media knows that opinions vary WIDELY about the newly designed Test Track – unofficially called Test Track 2.0. Having experienced the ride more then 10 times now, today I thought I would provide some further insight on what the ride is really like, and hopefully give you some reasons to love it (the way I do!)
It’s not easy to describe the entire new Test Track experience without the risk of leaving people confused about all the stuff that happens before you even get in, and then again once you exit your Sim-car (the actual vehicle you ride in). I have to admit – I didn’t really get it at first. Now that I’ve got it figured out, I think it’s really cool.
Right off the bat, I apologize for using the description of a “pretend” car instead of a “virtual” car. My reasoning is that the Sim car (simulated car ride vehicle) to me, is also like a virtual car, and this is where it all got confusing for me in the descriptions I read before this thing opened.
Any way, if the thought of designing a “pretend” car doesn’t excite you – you can probably skip reading the next few paragraphs. When you are at Test Track in real life, you can skip designing your pretend car all together – simply by going through the single rider line, or using a fastpass, or just not doing anything when you get to your kiosk. It’s all up to you.
Starting fresh from the beginning however, Test Track 2.0 stand-by line starts with your entering the brand new queue area, where you will see Chevy concept vehicles, and some video about the GM design process. If the line is really long, this is where you will be spending the most time. Next, when you move to the design studio pre-show area, guests are split into groups and assigned a number that will determine which design kiosk you will use. A party of 3 can work at one kiosk, but only one car can be designed per kiosk. If you want to design your own car, without any collaboration with members of your party, you just need to let the cast member know you want your own kiosk. Following a brief instructional video, the doors to the design studio open, and the fun begins.
To get started, you then touch your RFID equipped card (that they give you at the ride) to the kiosk. Then you can start designing your pretend car if you choose to do so. Here is a one minute video clip of my son, Scott, doing a demonstration for you.
Leaving the design studio, you now head towards the actual ride portion of Test Track. This is the original Test Track ride system, where the pretend vehicle you just designed will be put through its paces. The loading area has been completely re-built, and looks fresh and new. From here, you now use the RFID card to touch a reader next to your boarding spot. This is to associate your custom designed pretend vehicle with the ride. You’ll understand why later. A small screen next to you then confirms the vehicle you created has been uploaded to the actual Sim-car vehicle you are about to ride in. After boarding, you progress towards the seat belt check, just like in Test Track 1.0. Inside the ride building, however, you see a completely different atmosphere then before. Described by many as a “Tron” like environment, taking place mostly in the dark, with vivid lighting effects, your sim-car (actual ride vehicle) will go through the exact same physical track as before, just in a completely new atmosphere. I’m not a BIG fan of Tron, but the experience of this environment is really amazing. After your first or second ride, you are able to look around and really appreciate the work that’s been done here. It is nothing short of incredible if you ask me.
The four key elements from the pretend car you made will now be measured against the Sim Car (the vehicle you are riding in.) This is why you touched the card to the reader right before you got in your Sim-car. You will get to see the pretend vehicle you designed on various screens throughout the ride! I think this is pretty awesome. When you look at the various screens, they will also show how the pretend car you designed is stacking up against the one you are actually riding in. The two will be compared by energy efficiency, power, etc.
To get a feel of what it’s like to ride the new Test Track, here is a video form JeffLangeDVD.com.
Upon exiting the ride, you now move into the post show area, where you will have the opportunity to take part in several interactive experiences. You can scan your RFID card again here, and see on a huge video screen how your pretend car stacked up against other guests pretend cars. This allows for you to brag if you want, as long as your scores are better then others. Next is the opportunity to create a Chevy commercial, featuring the pretend car you created. Pretty cool huh? Your commercial might look something like this:
Finally, there are several different chances to create green-screen photo opportunities with different Chevy concept vehicles. We didn’t have this in Test Track 1.0 either! Similar to before however, you will also the chance to see a range of current Chevy vehicles in the Chevrolet Showroom, and have full access to sit in them, touch the buttons, and take pictures of your friends and family sitting inside.
Concluding it all, after that, you will walk through a common ending to most rides in Walt Disney World, the gift shop.
Hopefully now that you know more about what to expect – I hope you will give the new Test Track a try!