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Does the thrill of competition send a surge through your spine? It’s okay to admit that you enjoy crushing your loved ones on the battlefield. Visiting a Disney theme park is supposed to be a get-together between family and friends wherein everyone relishes their time together. That’s nice in theory but in execution, several Disney attractions offer the opportunity to vanquish your foes, thereby earning bragging rights that last until the next vacation. Winning is power, and everybody knows it.

Over the years, I’ve heard countless anecdotes from theme park tourists. No matter how much they love their fellow Disney guests, everything changes on certain rides. Attractions such as Test Track, Toy Story Midway Mania!, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin become opportunities to win bragging rights over companions and strangers alike. My job is to help you on your quest. I’ve got all the tips and hacks that will allow you to best your opponents. Here’s how to attain the highest scores on Epcot’s Test Track.

1. Don't try to build the Batmobile

A dilemma exists at the start of Test Track’s design phase. Theme park tourists have the option of crafting a stylish car that they can show off to friends. By my estimate, 30 percent of people in line try to recreate the Batmobile. It’s this thought process that gets everyone in trouble. If you want to “win” Test Track, you can’t build the same vehicle as everyone else. Oddly, you have to choose some very specific options to attain a high score. If you visit the attraction a lot, you’ll notice a certain sameness exists for the daily high score winners. The explanation is that everyone who practices car design has deduced the same avenues for score-boosting. Let’s take a look at what those are.

2. Make some impractical design choices 

Image: Matt C, Flickr (license)

When you reach the design console, quickly choose the vehicle style to the left, the sports car one. Don’t even think about it. Then, use your fingers to give it the smallest curves possible. Your primary goal here is to bag a solid score right off the bat. For whatever reason, the sports car does better than the SUV or bike. On the next screen, push up at the back of the ride. It’ll alter the look of your vehicle almost into a V-shape, and your responsiveness will increase. Afterward, shrink the length to the shortest size possible. If it’s a car only a small child will fit in, you’ve done it right. Finally, stretch the front of your car as wide as possible.

Following the suggestions above, I consistently get at least 200 as a base using this strategy and sometimes as much as 205. Unfortunately, if you aren’t at 195, you should probably just start all over again. Modifying your design to maximize points sucks up a lot of the allotted time and is tricky to do correctly. Test Track will let you start from scratch, which is much quicker. So, reboot if you mess up the first time. If you’re wondering how you can tell your score, don’t worry. A lot of people don’t realize this about the panel. By quickly adding your scores in the categories of Capability, Efficiency, Power, and Responsiveness, you can tell immediately how you’re doing.

What’s odd about the Test Track ride design scoring system is that it’s largely inflexible. That’s the explanation for why so many scores are in a similar range. Generally, when you improve your grade in one category, you lose a point or two somewhere else. It’s hard to advance your scoring in a zero-sum system. The skill you need to master is ignoring the cosmetic changes to allow yourself more time in the menus where you can add a few points. So, ignore the paint job and facing, places where most users will waste a lot of time.

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Comments

As a 12 time designer of the day myself, I approve this message. Great tips. The only thing I would add is do front and rear tires separately to get double the benefit.

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