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Five Things to Know About Test Track

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EPCOT’s Test Track takes you through the process of designing your own vehicle and then “testing” it in a high-speed drive around the pavilion. It’s the fastest attraction at Walt Disney World, reaching a top speed of 65 mph! Keep reading for details, but if you want to race ahead to the whys, wheres, and hows, here’s your shortcut.

1. First, you’ll design your own vehicle!

The queue for Test Track winds through a display area that features concept cars. Video screens show actual automotive designers discussing their craft. This is a sort of orientation for you before you actually enter the “Chevrolet Design Studio” to create your own concept car.

In the design center, you’ll use a touchscreen to design a car. As you choose your car’s body, engine, wheels, trim, and color, the screen shows you how each choice impacts the car’s efficiency, responsiveness, capability, and power. For example, designing a large truck with a huge V-8 engine increases the car’s capability and power but drastically reduces its efficiency. Each of these metrics will be tested during the ride, so you want your design to score well. Or at least, to look cool.

The entire creative experience takes 5–8 minutes; the timer on the screen will let you know when the time’s up. Some websites share details about how to get the best scoring car design to “win” Test Track. For my money, if you have fun with the design – and then the ride – you’re already winning!

2. Then, you’ll start your engines!

When you’re done designing, the real fun begins. You’ll buckle yourself into a SIMcar ride vehicle. The “cars” are attached to a track (think giant slot cars) which will take you on a ride through Chevrolet’s “test track”. You’ll go through a sort of computer simulation judging your vehicle’s performance characteristics, but your car will also be moving around the track with you in it.

In one test, you’ll see what it’s like when you lose control of your car. Another shows you how your car performs when driving over rough terrain. After testing braking maneuvers, cornering, and acceleration, it’s time to test your car’s power. This test takes you outside the pavilion and around an outdoor track where you’ll reach speeds of 65 mph.

The ride’s visuals are sleek and eye-catching, and as you move through the ride video screens will show virtual cars designed by the guests in your vehicle. You’ll see a status update on how the tests are progressing, but it’s clear pretty quickly that nothing you put into your design affects your actual ride.

3. There’s more to do when the driving’s done.

Like many Pavilions in EPCOT, Test Track has an after-area where you can play games and see more stuff. As you exit through the Test Track SIMporium, you can make – and then share – a commercial featuring your car, race your design on a miniature virtual test, or take a picture with your car in front of a pretty cool backdrop. There’s also a “showroom” featuring full-size cars that you can admire, or in some cases sit in. If you’re not into the vroom-vroom experience, or you don’t meet the height requirement, this can be a good place to explore while you wait for the rest of your party to ride.

4. The road goes backward and forward.

Test Track has an interesting history, to be sure. It’s estimated that it cost $300 million to build, making it one of the most expensive theme park attractions in the world. Which explains why it’s sponsored by Chevrolet! (Some say it’s “one big commercial” for Chevrolet, and we can see why they think that.)

Originally scheduled to open in 1997, problems with Test Track’s mechanics delayed its debut until March 1999. Test Track “1.0” had guests enter the “repair center” at a test facility. Crash dummies were on display and the original storyline for the ride had you going through the same tests as the crash dummies. This first iteration of Test Track closed in 2012.

Version 2.0, the current ride, opened later that year with new futuristic sets and the Design Studio. This version includes several nods to World of Motion, which was the original ride in this Pavilion. There are WoM logos in view around the ride; a sign reading “FN2BFRE” is a nod to the lyrics in the theme for WoM, “It’s fun to Be Free”, and there’s a peek at a futuristic city of tomorrow that resembles Walt’s original layout for EPCOT. (You can see the model city more clearly by riding the PeopleMover over in the Magic Kingdom.)

Concept Art for Reimagined Test Track ride vehicle © Disney

At the September 2023 Destination D23 event, Disney announced that Test Track 3.0 is in the works. As they announced, “Imagineers along with teams from Chevrolet are reaching back into history for inspiration – from the original World of Motion – and bringing that spirit of optimism to the next iteration of the Test Track attraction!” Details and specifics were scarce, and no dates were given, but there’s some speculation about the new version leaning into hybrid and electric vehicles based on the concept art shown above.

5. The Nuts and Bolts.

Test Track is located at Epcot’s Future World next to Mission: SPACE. Most of the queue is indoors, although it occasionally extends into the plaza outside. Because the final lap of Test Track takes you outdoors, the ride will close in inclement weather. The design process lasts 5-8 minutes and the ride itself lasts about 4 minutes.

SIMcars seat 6 in two rows with three individual bucket seats per row, and empty seats will be filled from the attraction’s single-rider queue. Each seat has its own seatbelt; in the center seat this is a lap belt and the outer seats have lap/shoulder belts. Each seat also has a headrest and handlebars to hold on to as you ride.

Guests will need to take a small step up over a wall and then a step down to board the vehicle, and must transfer from a wheelchair/ECV in order to board. Disney advises that guests should be in good health and free from high blood pressure; heart, back, or neck problems; motion sickness; or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride.  Guests must be at least 40 in tall to ride Test Track; as with all Disney World attractions with a height limit Rider Switch is offered here. Service animals aren’t permitted. Video Captioning is available.

Test Track is open for Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Theme Park Hours. It’s a popular attraction and first thing in the morning or right before closing are when wait times are the shortest. But if you pick Test Track as your rope drop target then make sure you have a backup plan. Test Track is known for being down more than almost any other ride at Disney World. Alternatively, you can secure a Lightning Lane via Genie+, or use the attraction’s single-rider queue. Guests using the single-rider queue will skip over the design process, and won’t be seated with others in their party.

The Bottom Line.

We rate Test Track as not to be missed. As mentioned, Test Track breaks down a lot. But while it’s true that the promotional hype is more heavy-handed than in most other sponsored attractions, we think that when it’s up and running Test Track is one of the most creatively conceived attractions in Disney World. It’s a great ride for anyone who may want to try something that’s a notch up from a dark ride but may not be ready for one of the roller coasters. While there’s some jerkiness and a couple of “close calls,” the high-speed lap outdoors is just plain fun.

Have you been on Test Track? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.

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Bob Jacobs

Bob Jacobs lives in Wisconsin where he retired as Editorial Director for a well-known catalog company. He and his wife Cristie have four children, seven grandchildren and a cocker spaniel named Penny the Dog. They’ve visited Walt Disney World regularly since 1992.

One thought on “Five Things to Know About Test Track

  • Useful knowledge and gives readers good access to information. I think this is really great. Looking forward to more frequent updates.


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