EPCOT’s popular Test Track attraction will be getting an updated theme to go with a new sponsor. Rather than General Motors sponsoring the ride, it will change to Chevrolet. Chevy is, of course, a GM brand, but the company wanted to focus the new experience on just one brand.
Plans call for closing the current GM Test Track in April 2012, with an anticipated opening of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet scheduled for fall 2012. A few months ago updated cars were spotted testing on the track, they’ve obviously been working on this for a while already.
With the credit crisis of 2007-08 sending GM into bankruptcy, there was a question if the 10 year #10 million sponsorship would continue. But Disney and GM worked out a series of arrangements that allowed them to keep their name on the ride until finances could be lined up to renew the arrangement.
The new theme reminds me a little of how the ‘Sum of all Thrills’ attraction works. But the execution will have to be different to keep the capacity of the attraction moving at a quick enough clip.
As part of the new alliance, GM will be actively involved with Walt Disney Imagineering in the development of a re-imagined, design-centric Test Track experience. The refurbished Test Track will be presented by one of GM’s most famous brands, Chevrolet. As Chevrolet marks its 100th anniversary, the new alliance agreement enables General Motors to tell its story in new and exciting ways to millions of Guests from around the world and continue as the official vehicle sponsor of Walt Disney World Resort.
“We are excited to renew our long-term alliance with General Motors,” said George Aguel, Senior Vice President, Corporate Alliances for the Walt Disney Company. “This unique agreement extends collaboration between two of the most recognized brands in the world, a relationship that spans over 30 years. The re-imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will continue our shared goal of providing unique and innovative experiences that engage Disney guests in exciting and interactive ways.” ”
“As a global brand, Chevrolet is looking forward to welcoming Guests from around the world to the re-imagined Test Track,” said Joel Ewanick, Global Chief Marketing Officer for General Motors. “The best of Disney and the best of Chevrolet will come together to bring Guests an immersive experience in the design process of the vehicles they see on the road today and will see in the future.”
As part of the re-imagining, the Future World attraction will feature a sleek new “Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot” immersing Guests in the fascinating world of automotive design. Amid upbeat music, engaging media, dramatic lighting and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers – and peer into the future of personal transportation in the process.
At interactive design and styling workstations, Guests will be able to create their own custom concept vehicles. The adventure will then shift into high gear as Guests buckle into their 6-person “SimCar” ride vehicle and put their design through its paces on the exhilarating hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit.
Their performance testing complete, Guests will move into a post-show area filled with special effects and be scored on how well their custom concept vehicle did. And of course, Guests will be able see the very latest Chevrolet vehicles in an all-new state-of-the-art showroom.
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It’s hard to believe that they’ll be able to keep up the throughput through this ride, if there are “design” options.
Also, how will they deal with mixed groups in the queue … a family of four and a couple of singletons, let’s say. Will they somehow be required to collaborate on their design? Or will they have only partial loads on the vehicles?
Maybe, each person will be assigned a role. Similar to mission space, unlike mission space, it won’t be just pushing a button. For instance, if youre standing on dot ‘A’ you’re in charge of wheel design, ‘B’ is front end, etc.
Ahhhh … that would make sense. I’ll be curious to see how they integrate those design elements into the (presumably) fixed ride vehicles.
I don’t think the ‘chose your own adventure’ element will be inside the car. It seems to me the queue will be the best place to do that.