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Is Your Car Up to Speed? Test Track at Epcot

Updated: Apr 5

What's it like to ride Test Track?

Read on and find out

Test Track, Disney World
Futuristic car on display at Test Track, Epcot

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Note: Test Track is closing June 2024 for a reimagining. Stay tuned!

It never fails: you could literally fly onto Soarin' sometimes but Test Track will probably have the longest line of an attraction at Disney World's Epcot. (Guardians of the Galaxy is still on virtual queue as of this writing).

And ultra thrill seekers will be scratching their heads wondering why? It's not really a roller coaster, it stops and starts, so that there is only really one stretch of speed at the end. What is the allure?

FULL DISCLOSURE: Test Track really does have a long line, so consider using the Lightning Lane feature to shorten your wait.

Some background info: The idea came about as early in 1976 and finally opened up for real in 1999, after a series of soft openings and technical issues. A little history: Test Track replaced an attraction called World of Motion, a cute ride through the history and development of transportation (think Spaceship Earth). At the end, was a projection of the future in CenterCore, metropolis. And there was a theme song.

Test Track sign Epcot, Disney World
Test Track sign, Epcot

World of Motion ended in 1996, to make room for the construction of Test Track. The old Test Track ride (opening in 2012), also fit into the "edutainment" theme of Epcot back then. The queue showed guests how a repair and test shop was operated, complete with test crash dummies. The, you rode in a car that simulated the actual tests: hill climb, suspension system over several types of road surfaces, a race course with cones with and without the anti-braking lock system, environmental chambers, hills and then the open road outside. This all changed in December 2012, when Test Track was updated.

In 2012, the attraction and ride experience was renovated. The queue changed from a display of the shop and video of a vehicle test is to a more interactive experience.

Test Track, Epcot, Display Car
Test Track display car, 2010

So, still, why the long lines? Especially since it's not an extreme ride. That's because most Disney people know that Disney doesn't have extreme rides. And, they know Disney's history with thrill rides. Walt Disney dreamed up Disneyland because he wanted a park where most families could ride together on attractions. He was sitting on the sidelines watching his daughters have fun and he wanted to be with them. As Disney matured (along with the park goers) and as other theme parks started including more thrill rides, Disney found a way to give a thrill ride feel without alienating riders who couldn't or wouldn't ride the extreme rides. And Test Track is one of them.

Part of the fun is the experience with Test Track. It's a complete experience.

Vehicle at Test Track, Epcot
Vehicle on display, Test Track, Epcot, Disney World

The attraction is sponsored by GM company, so when you're in line, you will see cars on display. It was GM until December 2012, and then it changed to GM, the Chevrolet division. They aren't your average cars from the road, but extreme models.

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Test Track queue, Epcot, Disney World
Tap your Magic Band and create a virtual car to test out

So, here's a rundown of the Test Track experience. You're invited to create your own virtual car for the test. Tap your ticket, which is actually a card, or your Magic Band. Create your vehicle according to your own specifications. When you enter the ride, tap your card/Magic Band again and your data will load into the attraction. Everyone in the same car will have their data, too. Then the ride begins. After the obligatory safety inspection (part of the attraction and a real safety check), you're on your way.

Test Track Design Studio, Epcot
Design your own car

Ride through a series of tests for your vehicle: capability (skids), efficiency (aerodynamics), responsiveness (a series of hairpin turns) and power (the final run outside of the building). At the end of the ride, you can see how your "vehicle" scored on each test, as well as have fub playing in the activities area after you exit the ride.

The current Test Track still pays homage to the old Epcot theme of mixing fun with learning and science (edutainment) while creating a ride that everyone can still enjoy. Of course, there are the usual warnings for those with back issues, because the ride will start and stop quickly and there's fast ride at the end.

Part of the fun is to look for the hidden symbols in the ride. You have to be quick. Here are some of the references in the four tests:

Capability: look for old World of Motion logos, an attraction at Epcot

Efficiency: the initlals WED (Walter Elias Disney) and some websites and a hidden Mickey.

Responsiveness: Look for the line that Mater says to Lightning McQueen in Cars: Turn right to go left. Also, look for a sign that says Beaver X-ing, a GM plant in Beaverton, Oregon, where some of the first Test Track was designed.

Power: Look for the number 82, the year Epcot opened 1982; a picture of a futuristic city, in reference to the old World of Motion; and the acronym FN2BFRE, which refers to the World of Motion's former theme song, It's Fun To Be Free.

Well, that's the story of Test Track. We're off to stand in line or maybe buy a Lightning Lane pass to find all of the hidden symbols.

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Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

All photos and videos created and copyrighted by Marcia Crayton, unless otherwise noted.


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