The re-imagined version of Test Track officially reopened tonight with a small ceremony and a giant party. Disney execs, VIPs, media, dignitaries, and even the lowly Disney blogger were all invited in to enter the world of automotive design as never before, creating their own virtual concept, then boarding a “SimCar” ride vehicle to race through a thrilling series of performance tests.
For the dedication ceremony, Mickey Mouse took the stage with Disney parks president Meg Crofton and Alan Batey, CMO at GM, to officially open Test Track. The band One Republic was also on hand to help the attraction get a rocking start.
The iconic Epcot attraction, a new collaboration between Chevrolet Design and the creative team of Walt Disney Imagineering, celebrates how meticulous design not only shapes the look of Chevrolet cars, trucks and crossovers, but drives their performance on the open road.
For inspiration for the project, Walt Disney Imagineers made numerous visits to Detroit, collaborating with Chevrolet designers and touring the inner sanctums of Chevrolet’s design studios.
“As storytellers, to be able to tell Chevrolet’s design story was fun for our Imagineers,” said Eric Jacobson, senior vice president of WDI. “Chevrolet designers come from the same creative roots as Imagineers. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will become, for Epcot guests, an exciting part of their visit to Walt Disney World Resort.”
Amid upbeat music, eye-popping lighting effects and a collection of Chevrolet concept and new vehicles, guests themselves become automotive designers – and peer into the future of personal transportation in the process.
“Through an enduring partnership, Chevrolet and Disney continue to inspire generations to imagine the impossible and innovate,” said Chris Perry, vice president, Chevrolet Global Marketing. “The re-imagined Test Track reflects the personality and values of Chevrolet design and offers guests a behind-the-scenes look at a discipline that drives our business. This first-of-its-kind automotive design attraction represents the best of Chevrolet design and Disney innovation.”
Test Track guests enter an all-new, interactive pre-show area with a future-focused design theme – from the fully realized Chevrolet Miray roadster concept car and the Chevrolet EN-V to dynamic media displays including models and sketches of vehicle design possibilities. The sleek new “Chevrolet Design Center” invites guests to create their own virtual custom-concept vehicle.
Car design wannabes get to shape their own virtual car, truck or crossover and learn how their choices perform against four important performance attributes that guide Chevrolet designers:
Capability – design your car to handle the roughest roads or most extreme weather conditions
Efficiency – create a car that saves on fuel, reduces your environmental footprint, cuts down on emissions or even uses recycled parts
Responsiveness – choose elements that will give you easy maneuverability through the tightest of turns
Power – choose the gear you need to make your car a racer or a hauler
At design kiosks, rows of touch screens become canvasses for guests to try their hand at automotive design. They can design alone or collaborate on their design with family and friends. Even choose from six different languages.
Here, they can virtual-draw – stretch and shape their vehicle design by length, width, height and engine size — and decide which performance attribute is most important to them. Once they create – from infinite possibilities — the design of their dreams, guests complete their creation with even more choices. They can make a design statement with an expressive front grill, tailored wheels of various sizes and styles, and custom paint with graphics and other vehicle accessories. And the crowning touch of every design – Chevrolet’s world-famous bowtie logo.
Even FASTPASS and single rider guests can choose the performance attribute most important to them and select their virtual car’s profile from a selection of pre-designed vehicles.
Their virtual custom-concept Chevrolet vehicle complete, the adventure then shifts into high gear as guests – armed with a card encoded with their personal specs that allows their design to ride with them and see how it performs – board their 6-person “SimCar” ride vehicle. Ahead: a thrilling journey into a dazzling multi-sensory, optically charged experience as guests put their personal design through a series of performance tests – the exhilarating heart of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet.
Along their route, riders experience changing terrain and extreme conditions as their designs are scored at checkpoints for Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power. How does their design stand up to the challenging hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit? How well does it navigate through bumpy roads, icy conditions, turn-on-a-dime curves and other surprises? Their design skills are put to the test – at speeds of up to 65 mph.
The fun and excitement extends to the post-show area, which continues the story of Chevrolet design:
- Scoring their design. Guests get to compare their virtual car’s performance results to that of a baseline “SimCar” – and see how they performed against their fellow “designers” and recent top scorers.
- Guests as freshly-minted car designers can even create their own TV commercial – starring their virtual custom vehicle and adding location, narration and music – and email it to friends and family.
- At a digital driving table laying out a road course, guests have an opportunity to race their virtual custom-concept vehicles against other guests’ designs, over changing terrains and encountering extreme conditions.
- In another experience, guests get to pose for photos with actual Chevrolet vehicles. Also, through green screen technology — with a few taps on their touch screen — guests suddenly find themselves posing with their virtual concept.
- Chevrolet on the lunar surface, a polar landscape, arcing across the galaxies or other thrilling scenes. The images become easily sharable on social media, sending virtual postcard greetings to family, friends or co-workers back home.
- New and concept Chevrolet vehicles are laid out showroom-style. Guests can get behind the wheel of Chevrolet’s latest production models. Chevrolet product specialists are on hand to answer any questions.
Test Track Presented by Chevrolet continues a 30-year relationship between General Motors and Disney at Epcot dating to the opening of the park Oct. 1, 1982 with World of Motion