If you've been to Disney World lately and have ventured to Epcot to check out the infamous Test Track, you were probably greeted with some signage that said this,
Test Track is temporarily closed for refurbishment-with the Grand Re-Opening scheduled for December 6, 2012.
Doing some research would lead you to Disney's site, telling you about a new partnership with Chevrolet that would revamp the Test Track, but the details behind the transformation were few and far between. That is, until this week, where GM let us in on what Chevrolet designers and Walt Disney Imagineers have teamed up to create.
Just over 18 months ago, the two companies had a meeting of the minds in a design session that left the two wanting to create a brand new ride experience with Test Track that brought back the "future-focused" and "optimistic" feelings that were once associated with TomorrowLand and Disney as a whole. The two teams have met over the past year-and-a-half numerous times, at both the GM Design studio in Warren, Michigan, as well as the Test Track in Epcot to bring people the "greatest level of innovation yet" from Disney with a "first of its kind" multi-sensory virtual experience in what goes on during the design process of vehicles. GM Design manager, Jeff Mylenek said,
At Chevrolet, the diversity of talent on our team allows us to consistently produce sophisticated, refined and detailed design - but we don't typically design through the eyes of a 12-year-old. Working with Walt Disney Imagineering, we were inspired to see our brand story from a more youthful perspective and really opened the parameters on how to approach this design challenge.
So what will we see in the updated Test Track? GM broke down the details for us.
- Visual cues inspired by Chevrolet's expressive vehicle design language throughout the architectural elements in the space as well as in the interactive displays; speed forms and concept vehicle displays, like EN-V and Miray, provide a glimpse into the future of Chevrolet design.
- Advanced computer technology - similar to that used by Chevrolet designers every day - powers the guest design experience, while radio frequency technology allows them to take their unique vehicle design with them through the entire ride.
- A thrill-ride that provides the test experience where each guest's vehicle design is evaluated.
- Social media sharing extends the experience beyond the day at the park.
- Test Track Presented by Chevrolet offers Disney guests a three-part experience:
- First, guests will have the opportunity to design their own vehicle - car, truck or crossover - with some helpful hints from the Chevrolet designers built into the process.
- Next, they will have the chance to test drive their vehicle design, through the ride, on track surfaces that simulate the actual vehicle validation process that Chevrolet engineers use to ensure every new vehicle meets the highest performance standards. Each guest's vehicle design will be evaluated and scored based on how well their design balanced the core attributes.
- Finally, guests have the opportunity to race their vehicle over changing terrain and extreme conditions on a digital driving table, produce and share a TV commercial starring their custom vehicle and pose for action shots in front of their design.
On December 6th, we will see all of this happen at the brand new Test Track. From a concept standpoint, I think this could be something that brings a new group of guests to the attraction, especially the younger ones who would like to design, build and then test and race their creations with others. Would you give the new Test Track a spin? Let us know in the comments. And if you get out there before I do, let me know how the experience was for you? Perhaps even the older generation would enjoy the experience as well.