Test Track

Florida Guide > Epcot

Test Track at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT is an awesome ride and definitely recommended.

Replacing the World of Motion, the attraction was scheduled to open in May 1997, and then again in August 1998, but the complexity of the computer systems that control the ride meant that it did not finally open its doors until December 1998

An interesting fact, and one that confirms the difficulties associated with the ride, is that the ride remains in an operational state for up to twenty hours a day, even after the park has closed. This is due to the time it takes to start up all the systems and for night time maintenance.

Some of the other amazing facts and figures, which are not generally known by guests, are that the track is an enormous five thousand two hundred and forty six feet; the actual ride lasts for five minutes and thirty four seconds (although it feels much less than that when riding in the cars! ). The vehicles are designed with a life of one million miles and each test vehicle has three computers on board. Whilst each vehicle has twenty two wheels only four are visible; speeds of up to sixth five miles an hour are reached; finally each car has six breaking systems.

It is hardly surprising then that the attraction was late in terms of delivery.

The ride itself is first entered through a welcome centre, where guests are shown the type of tests all new models of cars are subjected to, including tyres, panels and also an area for crash test dummies.

After seeing a video, which explain the tests the guests will encounter, they are loaded into the test cars for the tests to begin.

The first test demonstrates an accelerated high climb. This is followed by a fairly high speed manoeuvre with anti lock breaking systems off (the car is unable to negotiate cones on the road) and then on.

Be prepared to be hot and then cold as the car passes through an environmental chamber with temperature ranges between 110 degrees and only 10 degrees!

The last (and best) test is the high speed one. Guests will definitely understand here why a track with a length of one mile is required, as the car accelerates to sixty five miles an hour, using steeply banked corners where the G Force is definitely felt. Whilst waiting in the queue it is possible to see the cars flash by overhead on the track.

A photograph of the action is also taken, which guests can see, and purchase, prior to leaving the ride.

As the sponsors of this attraction are General Motors, a number of their new vehicles are available to view, and sit in, just before the final exit doors.

As the queues may be long, a FASTPASS ticket can be obtained during the day.

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