03 May 2012


At the end of last week, concept artwork for the reimagined Test Track was released. When the attraction once again takes to the open road later this fall, the basic premise will be centered upon guest created concept cars. From the queue to the post show exhibits, everything is tailored around the creations of the guests. You can see the artwork and read the latest is this Disney Parks Blog article. Here are a few things that caught my eye or piqued my interest while reading the news.

Most people have made an instant connection between this artwork and the world of TRON – Legacy, going so far as to nickname the new form of the attraction Test Tron or Tron Track. I’m can’t argue against this notion, as I thought the exact same thing when I saw some of the track shots. So, why the digital world? My theory is that guest are creating concept cars and Chevrolet, GM is no longer the headlining sponsor, isn’t just going to build any concept vehicle. First it has to be run through its paces in their various computer programs. Queue the guest opportunity to jump into your design and ride through the virtual world of the program.

As for how your vehicle will look, I don’t expect to see many changes to the current ride vehicles, and the concept art confirms my hunches. What I do anticipate is a scene where you can see yourself in the car you designed. Picture a hybrid between the sleek car reflections present at the end of the original World of Motion and the computer enhanced Hitchhiking Ghosts from the most recent updates to The Haunted Mansion. You will see yourself in the car, and be able to take a picture of it in the postshow area, but you are actually racing around in a test car with your data built into it.

The other thing that caught my eye were the set of icons attached to and throughout the attraction. Critical components to be tested and thought about during the design phase are obviously Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness, and Power. The icons, from a leaf to an RPM gauge, give you an idea of what is at the core of the concept. The real treat for me, however, is that Test Track has been given its own emblem once again.

Epcot appears to be returning to its roots with the inclusion of icons for the individual pavilions. This trend began a few years ago when Siemens took over the sponsorship of Spaceship Earth and gave it an updated symbol. While there isn’t a uniform shape to the icons like the set that were created for early EPCOT Center, the fact that the pavilions seem to be getting some symbolic love is a-okay with me!

Overall, I am cautiously optimistic that the new Test Track will refresh a popular attraction that did not need a complete overhaul. My one hope? If there are monitors inside the ride vehicles in this incarnation of Test Track that they operate more dependably than the current cars.

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