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Side of test vehicle
© Disney

The information on this site may not be reproduced in any form on the Internet without express written permission from EDC.

Located in the former home of World of Motion, Test Track gives the public their first look at an automotive proving ground where cars and trucks are put through the extremes to test the vehicle's safety and durability. We approach the pavilion passing between two large murals that show guests in test vehicles moving in many different directions. To the left of the Test Track logo sign ahead is the entrance to the queue and a sign telling us how many more minutes until our scheduled test run. Signs throughout the outdoor queue area give brief descriptions about the development of specific car safety features including the horn and road signs. One sign shows a variety of license plates. On the front of the building are three large doors labeled 1, 2, and 3. Above the doors is a large mirror that allows us to see the reflection of the test vehicles whizzing by on the overhead track. We enter the pavilion through the only open doorway (Door 1). Passing through a small entryway, a sign warns us not to ride if we don't meet certain requirements. A video monitor has a constantly looping display that says "Imagine," "Design," "Create," "Test." The first in a series of varying background music featuring a strong beat mixed in with the sounds of assembly line construction or screeching tires (depending on which test is being demonstrated) is heard overhead. Throughout the rest of the indoor queue, we view a variety of tests parts of cars are put through. The tests are divided into two categories: Quality Zone and Safety Zone. More detail about the indoor queue will be added in the near future.

Disney's Fastpass system was added to Test Track (Epcot's first Fastpass attraction), in late 1999. At that time, the Fastpass line entered through a side door directly onto the platform in front of the Briefing Rooms. Within a few months, this was changed so that the Fastpass line utilized the main queue area whereas the Standby line entered through the side door of the pavilion.

Queue pictures

Queue pictures

Signs in queue

Crashed car in queue

Once through the queue, a group of about forty guests are asked to step in front of either Briefing Room 1, 2, or 3. When it is our turn to enter, a yellow light turns on and spins around followed by the automatic doors opening. We proceed into the room and view several pictures of GM proving grounds throughout the country. The last one to the right of the exit door is an interesting overhead view of the Test Track pavilion. On the left side of the room are three monitors and two bulletin boards. The boards contain a bunch of notes and diagrams of the test vehicles and some of the tests we are about to experience. On the center monitor, a woman is sitting entering information into a computer. Behind her we see other technicians working and looking at a large map of the track on the wall. The current date and time are at the bottom, right corner of the screen.

Sherry: (Talking to someone via headset) Uh, huh. Oh, yes. Oh OK, hang on one second. (Presses button) OK, got it. Yeah? (Laughs) OK, thank you. (We hear other operators talking in the background.) Bill!

Bill: Yeah.

Sherry: The next group's ready.

Bill: Oh, thanks. (Comes forward from background and puts on headset) Hi, everybody. Welcome to the Test Track. My name is Bill McKim, I'm up here in the control center and in just a couple of minutes you're gonna be out there on that track. But first, let's, ah, put together your test schedule. These are the same kinds of tests that are run at, ah, GM test facilities all over the world. Let's put up the, ah, 26-8 grade.

Sherry: You got it.

Each time Sherry selects a test, a short video clip of the test is displayed on the two outer monitors.

Bill: OK, we're gonna start you off on an accelerated hill climb. Now, these steep grades give us a chance to evaluate the effects of heat and stress on your engine and on the transmission.

Sherry: Twist [ ? ] or blocks?

Bill: Let's put up the blocks, ah, German and Belgian.

Sherry: OK.

Bill: Next, your vehicle is going to go over a variety of rough road surfaces. These are designed to test the integrity of the suspension and the chassis.

Sherry: And it's gonna get a bit bumpy.

Bill: Yeah. Next you're gonna see and feel what it's like when your brakes lock up and you lose control of the steering. Not such a good feeling but hang in there because we're gonna do the test one more time, this time with the ABS or the anti-lock brakes.

Sherry: OK. What's next?

Bill: Let's do some environmental tests. Put up 2, 5, and 7.

Sherry: Seven?

Bill: Yeah, seven.

Sherry: OK.

Bill: After that, we're gonna subject your vehicle to some extremes in temperature as well as corrosive conditions to see how it handles nature's worst. And finally, we'll take you out for some handling runs.

Sherry: Off road or cornering?

Bill: Let's do the cornering. Um, I'm gonna send you through some hairpin turns and then we'll take you out and do the high speed loops. And depending on how your vehicle and you hold up, ah, we'll even throw a few surprise tests in there.

Sherry: Surprise tests?

Bill: Yeah, pick one.

She picks the crash barrier test which causes the crowd to react and laugh.

Bill: Now, if this whole routine seems a bit extreme, you're absolutely right, but that's what a test track is all about. The cars you drive at home are made up of over 15,000 different parts and every one of them has to pass the test under very extreme conditions before we ever let it off that test track and out onto the road. Now, as you can imagine safety is a big concern of ours so we're going to insist that you buckle up your safety belt securely.

Sherry: You'll be glad you did. (Laughs) Oh, we're ready.

Bill: OK, great. Well, Sherry says we're ready. So, we'll see you on there on the Test Track.

Sherry: Good luck. Have a good ride.

Bill walks away and Sherry continues to work at the computer. The automatic doors open to our right and we exit into a small queue area. Eight rows are available to board three passengers across into four cars.

Female Announcer: Please remain behind the yellow stripes until your test vehicle comes to a complete stop. Watch your step as you enter the vehicle.

Once seated, we buckle up and hear Bill.

(272 K) Bill: Hello again! We're just about ready to hit the track so please make sure your safety belts are securely fastened as they always should be in your vehicle.

Sherry: We're clear for dispatch.

Bill: OK, let's move them up to the test area.

The cars move forward and up around a curving sloped track making almost a 270° loop. At the top of the short incline, a technician checks to make sure we're all buckled in OK. We see ourselves on a monitor. A red light turns green when we get the go ahead.

Sherry: Vehicle 1 is clear for Hill Climb.

Bill: OK, let's go.

Test 1: Hill Climb Test

The vehicle takes off with a squeal of the tires and a little smoke as we go about 20 mi/h up a three story hill. The square video screen in the center of our dashboard displays the name of the test, shows our speed, and displays the vehicle's performance.

Hill Climb test

Sherry: The torque and transmission load data are looking good.

Bill: Great! Let's proceed to the rough road tests.

Sherry: You got it.

Once at the top of the hill, we slow down and turn to the right.

Test 2: Road Surface Test

The suspension is tested as we drive down a short hill over German blocks. We then drive over Belgian blocks along the level ground.

Test 3: Brake Test

Male Announcer (voice echoes): You are cleared for Brake Test: Zone 1 and 2.

We see Bill and Sherry on a monitor.

Bill: OK, we'll take you right up to the cones, hit the brakes, and see if I can steer you through.

Sherry: Hold on.

Sherry: Braking now.

The car accelerates and tries to make a sharp turn, but skids and knocks some cones over.

Brake test

Sherry: OK, we're back on track.

Bill: Let's do that other sequence.

Turning towards the right, we see Bill and Sherry on another monitor.

Bill: OK, let's try it again this time with the anti-lock brakes.

Sherry: ABS reactivated.

We accelerate again and this time when the vehicle brakes, we complete a smooth turn without knocking a cone over.

Sherry: Braking!

Bill: All right, that's the way it outta be.

Ahead on the left are two monitors that replay both of our tests.

Bill: You see how ABS let's you keep control of the vehicle while braking.

Test 4: Environmental Chamber Test

We proceed to the right into the first of three environmental chambers.

Entering Environmental Chambers

Bill: Let's demonstrate some extreme test conditions.

Sherry: OK.

The first features rows of heat lamps and a thermometer that reads 140°. The second has icicles hanging from the ceiling since the air conditioner is on full blast. The thermometer reads 40°. In the final chamber, robots spray the sides of the car with a "corrosive" mist.

Moving into cold chamber

Bill: Did you remember to turn off those robots?

Sherry: Uh.

Test 5: Road Handling Test

A monitor ahead points out track courses A and B. A is selected so we turn to the left.

Sherry: Clear for track course A.

Bill: All right, let's pick up the pace.

Sherry: Increasing speed ten percent.

We head up an incline, turn a sharp corner (wheels screeching), and continue up another incline repeating this a few times back and forth.

Sign warning of curves in the road ahead

Sherry: Twenty percent .... Thirty percent.

Bill: Are you seeing an increase in lateral forces?

Sherry: Sure am.

At the top of the last incline, we turn to the right and hit a slight dip in the road. We pass a sign that says "Lights on."

Moving into a dark tunnel with our lights off, we hear loud honking and then we see the lights of a large truck just as we're about to collide. Our vehicle cuts to the right (originally sending sparks from the car scraping the barrier on our right) as we slow down entering the next portion of the test.

Evasive Maneuver

Bill: And that's what we call an evasive maneuver.

Test 6: Barrier Test

Male Announcer (voice echoes): Barrier test in progress.

Sherry: Ready for the barrier test.

Bill: Check.

Barrier test

A loud whistle sounds, bright lights turn on up ahead, and we see a car head straight into a cement wall causing its hood to crumple. We also feel the wind from its impact. Turning the corner, we see a similar wall straight in front of us.

Bill: Hang on tight.

We hear the loud whistle again and the bright lights turn on in front of the wall as we accelerate. Just as we're about to hit the wall, the doors fly open and we're outside.

Test 7: High Speed Test

We proceed down a slight hill and accelerate along the straightaway.

(416 K) Bill: Increase speed for the loop.

Sherry: Accelerating.

We enter the loop to the right banking all the way around.

Bill: Push it, harder!

Sherry: You got it!

View from seats

We continue to accelerate heading into another straightaway. We can see another car exiting the building on the left, the Horizons pavilion on the right, and a sign up ahead that reads our speed. The numbers keep increasing, but just as we pass under the sign, it reads 64.8. We head into another banked curve and pass by the entrance to the pavilion as we begin to slow down on the other side.

Test vehicle rounding the front of the building

Bill: Decelerate for re-entry.

Test 8: Thermal Scan

Bill: As long as they're heated up, let's grab a thermal image.

Sherry: Will do, camera's on.

We proceed back into the building and see ourselves on a monitor. This image just shows the areas of heat given off by each rider and generated on the car by going through the tests. At the bottom of the hill, we turn to the left and view a monitor that displays a list of all of the tests we experienced.

Sherry: Looks like all components are well within test parameters.

Bill: Well all right. That completes our test schedule. Let's download the data.

(224 K) Bill: Hey, thanks for being such a great test crew. Come back and ride anytime. By now.

Sherry: Watch your step when exiting the vehicle and remember to take all your personal belongings.

Our vehicle pulls up to the unloading area and we exit to the left. 


In the event the ride stops, this spiel is heard:

Female Announcer: This testing facility is currently experiencing technical difficulties. Remain seated please. A track technician will assist as necessary. Please remain seated. Your vehicle could begin moving at any time. Thank you.

Female Announcer: Vehicle testing has resumed. Your vehicle will begin moving imediately. Please remain seated. Thank you.


Following the signs, we head down a hallway to the post-show area. First, we stop in on the right and see what our picture looks like when we almost hit that barrier wall. Then we head into the Assembly Experience room which simulates part of a GM assembly plant. On the right is the Die Press; a large machine that molds parts by dropping a heavy mold onto a piece of metal. Along the walls on both sides are conveyance systems moving doors and engines from one assembly area to another. The far left wall features a caged in area in which automated robots weld the metal (sending sparks flying) on the bare frame of a car in production. A projection on the wall behind the welding shows similar assembly jobs going on throughout the plant giving the illusion that we're in the middle of a large plant. In the next room on the left is the Control Room for the plant. On the right is the Final Inspection department in which a truck is on display. Monitors throughout these two rooms feature several GM employees talking about aspects of their job and safety.

Robots welding car

Parts moving down line

Moving ahead, we see a room off to the left called Driving Technologies Laboratory. In here, we can sit down at a monitor, take the wheel, and follow the directions two technicians give us (via side monitor). They have us test out new technologies like night vision, a computerized mapping service to get us where we're going, and a system that warns us when other vehicles are in our zone. There is also a large demonstration area in which a live lab technician shows us other new technologies.

Driving Technologies Laboratory post-show

Leaving the DTL, we enter the Reveal Theatre, a very slick showroom. The room is brought alive with music and colored lights dashing across the room. The latest model cars and trucks are once again on display across the floor for us to inspect and sit in. Three display areas on the left, middle, and right side of the room feature elevated, rotating stages in which cars with specially designed scenery are shown. Only one is shown at a time as curtains reveal the vehicle behind. Large video walls between the stages show the highlighted vehicle in action on the road. At the back of the room is a GM Answer Desk in which all your questions about the vehicles can be answered.

Cars and trucks on display

The final stop in the pavilion is the GM Test Track Shop (later renamed Inside Track). This is where our picture can be picked up and we can find Test Track t-shirts, jackets, keychains, license plates, orange cone hats, and Test Dummy Goofy plush.

Test Track License Plate

Exiting through the glass automatic doors, we are back out in Future World. There is a parked white trailer ahead on the right that sells pizza and drinks. On the left across the path, is the Coca-Cola Cool Wash. In the center is a Test Track ride vehicle with two test dummies holding Coke bottles. The back seat is filled with fake ice and Coke bottles sitting in the ice. Every few minutes, the green wash bristles at the front turn on and as they spin, they resemble the shape of Coke bottles. Water sprays from different parts of the structure cooling guests off as they run underneath. During peak seasons, this area is also used as a stand to sell bottled drinks. (This area opened in October 1997).

 


WoM/TT Introduction | World of Motion Script | TransCenter | Test Track Script
Concepts/Construction Page | WoM/TT Fact Sheet | "It's Fun to Be Free" Lyrics

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EPCOT Discovery Center
Created July 1, 1999 / Last modified September 16, 2001

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World of Motion /
Test Track
Introduction


Attraction:

World of Motion
Script


TransCenter

Test Track Script


Extras:

Concepts &
Construction


WoM/TT
Fact Sheet


"It's Fun to Be
Free" Lyrics


EDC Site Map

Search

Contact