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Behind the Ride: 4 Mind-Bending Tricks Employed by Epcot's Test Track

The Experience: A Test Track Experience

The Trick: The Sim Track Tests Your Design

A special Chevrolet car during Star Wars Weekends

While pre-ride activities comprise between five and nine minutes of interactive entertainment, the ride is still the thing at Epcot. Test Track would not have the reputation of one of the best overall rides at Walt Disney World without a thrilling ride experience. Its attention to detail in recreating a crash test simulation is what differentiates Test Track as a masterful ride.

Car designs are tested by navigating a course of massive acceleration, hairpin turns, and sharp stops. The user swipes their smart card to identify and upload their precise prototype to employ during the evaluation phase. After entering the car, the rider is dropped into the Tron-styled world. The Sim Track connects with OnStar in a second shameless bit of consumerism on top of the existing Chevrolet tie-in. Then, a weather event that looks like a cross between a comet strike and a car Derezzing occurs. This signifies the beginning of the four tests, where you are almost struck by lightning and hit by a futuristic 18-wheeler in a matter of about 10 seconds. Frankly, if you have that kind of luck as a driver, you should probably stay off the road.

Of course, the previous work is less important than the adrenaline rush that occurs once the rider exits the indoor portion of Test Track. The first hint of sunshine establishes that the true velocity is about to occur. What transpires afterward is many people’s favorite part of EPCOT. The car explodes into daylight at a maximum velocity of 64.9 miles per hour. The disconnect between the Tron visuals indoors and the brilliant Florida sunshine is startling at first. Once your eyes adjust, the pure speed rush is all that matters.

 If there is any complaint about Test Track, it’s that once you reach the open air outside, the simulation part of the ride takes a backseat to adrenaline spike. Then again, that sensation may be intentional. The instant the car follows the track back inside, the scoreboard above identifies the placement of the participating riders. Winning first place is a moment that will satisfy all of the race car driver wannabes in the world.

The Experience: A Ride to Remember

The Trick: RFID Technology Captures Everything

Behold my hideous monstrosity!

After you exit your test car, the Test Track experience is not complete. The post-race area includes a Chevrolet showcase that presents several tremendous opportunities for pictures. You can insert yourself into several settings, many of which involve Chevrolet products. There is also the area where your scores are publicized, making you a hero or goat among your Test Track peers. The beauty of RFID technology is that everything you’ve done up to this point has been leading to your final Test Track grade.  You can use your smart card to integrate your car and yourself into various other Chevrolet Showroom games. Plus, you have the opportunity to take a picture of your imaginary vehicle to show off to your friends. Note: they WILL laugh at you if your design as terrible as the one above. Yes, it’s mine.

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