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Walt Disney Imagineers Share Tips on Designing Cars at Test Track at Epcot

posted on October 18th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Have you visited the new Test Track at Epcot yet?
Designing Cars at Test Track at Epcot

One of the coolest features of the re-imagined attraction is the fact that you get to design your own concept car in the Chevrolet Design Studio. Here, guests make a series of selections (as an individual or a group) to design their ideal virtual custom concept vehicle. These choices not only put you in the role of the designer, but each selection also affects the car’s performance in the four key areas of Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power. Later on, you board one of the attraction’s SimCars for a test drive to see how your own design performs against it.

Check out this video where Imagineers David Hardiman and Eric Jacobson give you a tour of what to expect in the Design Studio.

 
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An Imagineer’s-Eye View of the Re-Imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot

posted on February 19th, 2013 by Wes Clark, Senior Copywriter, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


If you’re a frequent Walt Disney World Resort guest, chances are pretty good that you’ve taken more than a few spins around the exhilarating course of the Test Track attraction at Epcot. But no matter how many laps you’ve logged on this popular ride, we guarantee that you’ve never experienced anything quite like the re-imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet.
The Re-Imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot

The result of The Walt Disney Company’s more than 30-year business relationship with the General Motors Corporation, this re-imagined version of the popular attraction combines the design aesthetics of Chevrolet automotive engineers with the storytelling expertise of Walt Disney Imagineering — including Assistant Project Manager Melissa Jeselnick.

Shifting Gears

For Imagineers like Melissa, who previously worked on such high-profile projects as Star Tours — The Adventures Continue and Toy Story Mania!, it’s all about the story. So when she tells us that the updated Test Track is one sweet ride, we know it’s not just idle talk.

In addition to the attraction’s new-look exterior (bold blue replaces the familiar yellow-and-black checkerboard pattern) and sleek marquee, there are some big — and very exciting — changes inside. We asked Melissa about the inspiration behind this ambitious project, and here’s what she told us:

“The original Test Track focused on crash testing and safety in terms of automobile prototype evaluations,” she explained. “But as the vehicle industry evolved, we decided to go back and explore a new story that reflects these evolutions. As a result, this iteration of Test Track celebrates vehicle design and an optimistic view of the future.”

Imagination in Motion

The emphasis on the design phase is evident from the moment you set foot inside the attraction’s redesigned queue. What was formerly a testing workshop has been transformed into the sleek Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot, complete with sketches, cars and models supplied by Chevrolet.

It’s in this interactive design studio that you get your big chance to play automotive designer. Through a series of selections — including body color, tires, etc. — you create your own virtual custom-concept vehicle, then put it to the test while you’re on the track. And that’s the part of the experience that Melissa is especially revved up about!

Fun by Design

“The coolest thing about the re-imagined Test Track is how involved our guests get to be in the attraction,” she said. “Not only do they get to design and style their own vehicle, they get to have it follow them through the attraction — and even into the post-show.”

How does that work, exactly? Well, after you design your vehicle, you climb aboard a six-person SimCar ride vehicle and hit the track — a course filled with hills, hairpin turns, straightaways and switchbacks — racing along at speeds up to 65 mph!

As you ride, your concept vehicle is scored in the areas of Capability (how it handles terrain and weather conditions), Efficiency (its environmental footprint), Responsiveness (maneuverability) and Power (speed). When you’re done, you can see how your concept vehicle scored against other guests’ designs, race it on a virtual track and even produce and star in a TV commercial for your new creation. As Melissa pointed out, “Ultimately, it’s about putting our guests at the center of the action.” And Test Track definitely does that!

Getting on Track

So, what goes into creating an attraction as cool and cutting edge as the new Test Track? Well, if you ask Melissa, she’ll tell you that it takes more than state-of-the-art technology — it takes a dedicated team of incredibly talented people to make this kind of Disney magic.

“One of the great things about working for Walt Disney Imagineering is the people,” she said. “We have more than 140 different disciplines — and it took every one of them, plus the talents of our partners at Chevrolet, to create this amazing guest experience.”

If you haven’t yet checked out the re-imagined Test Track, you’ll want to experience it soon. If you have been to it, chances are that it’s become a must-do on every Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Either way, we think you’ll agree…a victory lap is definitely in order for Melissa and the whole Test Track team.

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Test Track Presented by Chevrolet Celebrates Grand Opening at Epcot

posted on December 6th, 2012 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


To end a historic day at Disney Parks, we just officially opened the re-imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot.
Walt Disney World Resort's Meg Crofton and GM's Alan Batey Led an “Accelebration!” During the Grand Opening of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

Before everyone jumped in their vehicles, Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France, and Alan Batey, CMO and Head of U.S. Sales & Services at GM, led an “Accelebration!” on stage. Mickey Mouse and a group of high-energy performers also got things rolling at Epcot before the band OneRepublic performed for guests.

If you haven’t seen our series of stories here on the Blog, Test Track is a collaborative effort that showcases the best of Chevrolet Design and the best of Walt Disney Imagineering. It’s a cool experience from beginning to end.

Tonight, we’re sharing a group of never-before-seen images from the attraction. Check back on Friday to see our exclusive video of the ceremony and night.

Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #TestTrack.


Read more about Test Track Presented by Chevrolet in these posts:

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Inside Look at New Merchandise at Epcot for Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

posted on December 6th, 2012 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


A T-Shirt for Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

For months now, my son has been asking to ride Test Track presented by Chevrolet. He rode the previous incarnation of this fun Epcot attraction and loved it. The official opening takes place tonight, (December 6), which also happens to be my daughter and son’s birthday. I’m tempted to tell him that I got him Test Track for his birthday, but I think I’ll settle for a T-shirt. New apparel is just one of things that guests will find as they pass through the merchandise location. I stopped by last week for a first look at what to expect.
Merchandise for Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

The merchandise location is found just beyond the Chevrolet showroom, and will carry a variety of automotive-themed goods including shirts, hats, toy cars and more. There is also a section with Disney•Pixar’s “Cars” merchandise, and a dedicated area for Disney-themed automotive items like antenna toppers, fuzzy dice and window clings. Toward the exit, guests will find a booth where they can make official “Automotive Designer” photo badges.
Apparel for Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

For the opening, we are releasing several new shirts for adults and kids with artwork created by artist Cortney Williams. One shirt has Mickey Mouse in the driver’s seat with a ghosted image of the ride’s test categories of Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power. A shirt and a hat will have only the attraction’s logo (simple designs are sometimes the best!).
Pins for Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

There are a few additional items arriving next year, including a tie-dyed shirt for kids with the attraction logo, a photograph frame, and an antenna topper. Finally, we will have two open edition pins which have been updated with the new attraction color scheme. The original Test Track car pin (above right) has been a fan favorite since the original attraction opened in 1999.

Here are a few additional images from the location:

Read these posts for more about the newly re-imagined Test Track:

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Peek Inside The New Test Track Presented by Chevrolet with Imagineers & Chevrolet Design

posted on December 3rd, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


While Test Track Presented by Chevrolet doesn’t celebrate its grand opening until later this week, Walt Disney Imagineers and Chevrolet Design have offered up an exclusive look inside the new attraction to share with you today.

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The two groups, who worked together to create the reimagined attraction, recently met at Epcot to tour the nearly complete attraction. (Check out the attraction’s sleek new logo above).

A Look Inside The New Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot A Look Inside The New Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot

Here, the group checks out the new pre-show area, where guests will be introduced to the attraction’s automotive design concepts of Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power.

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Further along in the queue, the team tests out a touchscreen display that will give guests a sense of how they’ll create their own vehicle in the upcoming Design Studio.

A Look Inside The New Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot A Look Inside The New Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot

Once inside the Design Studio, they make a series of selections to create their ideal virtual custom concept vehicle. From here, they’ll board a six-passenger SimCar for a test drive to see how their own design compares to the attraction’s SimCar in Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power.

A Look Inside The New Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot A Look Inside The New Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot A Look Inside The New Test Track Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot

From these photos, it looks like the post-show will be a blast. Here, guests can see how well their car performed, and race it over changing terrains and extreme conditions on a digital driving table. Guests can also produce and star in a TV commercial for their custom cars, explore a Chevrolet showroom that will feature the latest models, and more.

Thanks to Disney Photographers Ali Nassar and Matt Stroshane for the photos.

Be sure to follow the Disney Parks Blog for ongoing coverage of this attraction’s opening and join the conversation online with the hashtag #TestTrack.

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New Test Track Costumes Unveiled at Epcot This Week

posted on November 21st, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


We have another update on the progress of the reimagined Test Track – Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot to share with you today. Guests visiting Epcot this week can spot Cast Members sporting new Test Track uniforms. (Cast members will be on hand at the attraction only to answer questions, as Test Track doesn’t grand open until December 6).

Cast Member Costumes at Test Track - Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot

Walt Disney Imagineering costume designers worked in collaboration with Chevrolet to design costumes that reflect style and technical innovation. Elements of the automobile design experience in the attraction are found in the colors of the costume, while the silver/gray base color was chosen to represent one of the many colors of Chevrolet automobiles. The blue and black accents found in the Test Track graphic reflect the field testing required of all new vehicles and the color changes that take place inside the car while experiencing the attraction.



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First Look: Renderings of the New Test Track Chevrolet Design Center Pre-Show Released

posted on November 12th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


While the reimagined Test Track – Presented by Chevrolet is still a few weeks away from opening at Epcot, we have a sneak peek of the attraction’s new pre-show to share with you today.

Upon entering the attraction, you’ll be invited into the Chevrolet Design Center where you can design your own virtual custom concept vehicle at design kiosks. Here, you’ll be asked to make a few selections that really allow you to create a unique vehicle design that’s personalized to your taste.

Rendering of the New Test Track Chevrolet Design Center at Walt Disney World Resort Rendering of the New Test Track Chevrolet Design Center at Walt Disney World Resort Rendering of the New Test Track Chevrolet Design Center at Walt Disney World Resort

First, you’re asked to draw an outline of your vehicle. If you don’t have the steadiest hand, don’t worry because you’ll have a chance to smooth out the shape before moving on. Next, you’ll be asked to make some choices that adjust the shape, length and width of your vehicle.

Rendering of the New Test Track Chevrolet Design Center at Walt Disney World Resort

Then you’ll select your type of engine, choosing among several fun choices, including Solar Drive, EV Hybrid, and Plasma Burner, among others.

Rendering of the New Test Track Chevrolet Design Center at Walt Disney World Resort Rendering of the New Test Track Chevrolet Design Center at Walt Disney World Resort

Next up, you’ll make choices on your design’s aesthetics. Here you choose the face of your car, the paint color and graphics, and even choose the wheel size and style.

Rendering of the New Test Track Chevrolet Design Center at Walt Disney World Resort Rendering of the New Test Track Chevrolet Design Center at Walt Disney World Resort

And you’re design is complete and ready to be put to the test. From here, you’ll board a SimCar to see how your design compares, as they’re put to the test in the categories of Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power at different points along the attraction’s track.

What do you think? Let us know in the “Comments” section below.



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Test Track’s New Look Will Be Unveiled at Epcot This Week

posted on October 29th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Now that all you Epcot fans have had a few weeks to recover from celebrating Epcot history at the park’s 30th anniversary festivities, let’s take a look forward at what’s next for the park. We have an update to share on Test Track – Presented by Chevrolet, which will celebrate a milestone in its construction this week as it unveils its new exterior to guests.

Artist Rendering of the Test Track's New Exterior at Epcot

As you can see from this image, the attraction’s color scheme has been changed from a yellow-and-black checkerboard pattern to a sleek, bold blue design that incorporates smaller icon designs that guests will encounter within the attraction. (And I think I spy at least one nod to Epcot history here. Anyone else?).

The attraction’s new marquee, which Walt Disney Imagineer Melissa Jeselnick unveiled here on the Disney Parks Blog back in August, also reflects a sleek automotive-inspired design.

Artist Rendering of the Test Track's Sleek Automotive-Inspired Marquee at Epcot

As a reminder, the reimaged Test Track will officially open this Dec. 6. For more on the attraction’s new storyline, technology and more, don’t miss these previous blog posts:

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Test Track to Reopen at Epcot December 6

posted on October 9th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Many of you have been asking for an update on the reimagining of Test Track – Presented by Chevrolet at Epcot, and I’m happy to say that we finally have some news to share: The attraction will officially reopen to guests on December 6.

Test Track - Presented by Chevrolet Will Reopen at Epcot December 6

When Test Track reopens, this reengineered attraction will allow guests to experience the fun world of automotive design firsthand. Guests will first enter a Design Studio and make a series of selections (as an individual or a group) to create their ideal virtual custom concept vehicle. They then board a six-passenger SimCar for a test drive to see how their own design compares to the attraction’s SimCar in Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power.

And it sounds like the post-show will be just as much fun. Here, guests can see how well their car performed, and race it over changing terrains and extreme conditions on a digital driving table. Guests can also produce and star in a TV commercial for their custom cars, explore a Chevrolet showroom that will feature the latest models, and more.

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a sneak peek at what the SimCar will look like when the attraction reopens:

Test Track - Presented by Chevrolet Will Reopen at Epcot December 6



Take a look at the posts below for more on the reimagining of Test Track at Epcot:

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Glimpse the New Test Track ‘SimCar’ Starting Today at Epcot

posted on September 24th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Here’s an update that I’m sure many of you Epcot fans have been waiting for – a sneak peek at the new Test Track attraction vehicle.
The New Test Track ‘SimCar’ on Display at Epcot

The New Test Track ‘SimCar’ on Display at Epcot The New Test Track ‘SimCar’ on Display at Epcot The New Test Track ‘SimCar’ on Display at Epcot

This sample “SimCar” can now be viewed outside the attraction at the nearby Cool Wash Station, while the reimagining of the attraction continues.

When Test Track reopens later this fall, the attraction will allow guests to experience the fun and fascinating world of automotive design firsthand. Guests will first enter a Design Studio and make a series of selections (as an individual or a group) to create their ideal custom concept vehicle – they can even pick the color. Guests then board a six-passenger SimCar for a test drive, and see how their design compares to the SimCar in Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Power.

What do you think? Tell us in the “comments” section below.

Read more about the reimagining of Test Track in these posts:

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