So you’ve made it to Disney. Congratulations! You are in for the vacation of a lifetime. If you haven’t been to the parks before, you may be looking for things to do in Disney World. First of all, you should go to Epcot—Disney’s answer to world travel.
At Epcot, you can explore countries from all over the globe in the World Showcase. Likely the most recognizable part of Epcot, the World Showcase should definitely be included in your vacation. However, it isn’t the only part of Epcot you should visit.
Future World houses the iconic Spaceship Earth—you may know it as the big golf ball in the center of Epcot—as well as other futuristic attractions. One of these rides is called Test Track, and this article will tell you everything you need to know about what makes Test Track great as well as things that could be better. Buckle up!
What is Test Track?
Test Track is a sponsored ride in the middle of Future World. Chevrolet partnered with Disney to create this high-speed car ride full of thrills. You start out in a home base of sorts where you have the opportunity to design your car with Chevrolet Design Center. Though, the car you design won’t be the one you hop into when you get on the ride. Even Disney can’t make that magic happen. You do, however, get to test the power, capability, efficiency, and responsiveness. You do this when you travel through the digital testing ground called the SimTrack. Your cars are called Sim-Cars, by the way.
You start out on a loading dock, then you test your car’s ability to go up a steep incline. After that, you’re taken over various types of roads to test your suspension. The real fun comes next; your car’s anti-lock brake system turns off. The car attempts to dodge cones, poorly, before the brakes come back on and you swerve through the cones with ease the second time around.
Next, you enter three chambers: heat, cold, and corrosion. Each tests your car’s ability to handle different kinds of weather. The last part of the ride indoors consists of increased speeds, almost crashing into a semi-truck, and blowing through a wall to the outside. When you’re out of the building, you race around a track at about 65 miles per hour.
All in all, it’s a big thrill. What’s most special about this ride, though, is its ability to completely immerse you in the car testing process. Even though you aren’t in the car you designed, it will feel like you are. Everything will make you feel like you’ve really made the car you are sitting in, for better or for worse. So if you decide to design a purposefully awful car, you’ll definitely pay for it later.
There are a few things you need to know before you decide to hop on the Test Track. Firstly, there is a height limit. You must be 40 inches, or 102 centimeters, in order to ride this ride. That means if you have little ones with you, you probably should skip out on this one unless you have someone around to watch them for you. If you’ve got toddlers with you, it’s best to avoid this one. Disney recommends riders be about 7 or older to enjoy this experience.
From the ride description earlier in this article, that should be relatively obvious. There are a lot of thrills in this attraction! While that’s great for older riders, little ones may be frightened, especially since the vehicle you’re riding in is something they’re familiar with. You wouldn’t want them to form an unhealthy fear of cars from this ride, so make sure young kids understand it’s just a ride. As for tweens, teens, and adults, you’re sure to have a fun time!
This ride is also wheelchair accessible, but you must move from your chair into the car. There are also some video elements in the ride; these are all captioned and able to be translated. Service animals, though, are not permitted on this ride.
While this isn’t one of the new rides at Disney World, Test Track remains one of the more popular attractions. The wait time for Test Track varies depending on which month you visit, but it can range from as low as about 20 minutes to as high as 70 minutes. If you plan on hitting up this ride in the late afternoon or morning, you may want to rethink your plans. In September, the best time to go on Test Track is actually around 2:00 pm.
Luckily, FastPass+ is available for Test Track, so you can skip out on the wait entirely if you so desire. If you don’t know much about FastPass+, don’t worry. It’s easy to understand. FastPass+ is a free service offered by Disney, who knows how annoying waiting in line can be, that lets you bypass long lines so you can enjoy your time at the parks without wasting time waiting. It’s based on a tier system; you are allowed to choose one Tier 1 option and two Tier 2 options. Each day you plan on visiting the parks, you get three FastPass+ freebies. They all have to be in the same park, though, so you can’t mix Magic Kingdom with Epcot, or anything similar.
In Epcot, there are five Tier 1 attractions:
From this list, you can choose one line to skip. Out of all of these, Test Track is a good choice if it is a ride you and your family love. However, there are other rides that may be suited for your Tier 1 FastPass+. Soarin’, for example, has an incredibly long wait time most of the day. Even though the line is indoors, it’s still agonizing to stand around for a five minute experience. Your best bet for the Tier 1 Epcot FastPass+ is probably Soarin’. Don’t let that make you think Test Track isn’t great, though! It’s still in the first tier for a reason: People love it!
If you’re a single rider, or in a group but don’t mind being split up, you can cut down your wait, too. Single rider lines tend to go faster because most families don’t want to be split up on the ride. If there’s a family of four, then two single riders are able to join them. It’s a great way to avoid longer lines!
As mentioned before, this ride includes a lot of thrilling moments. If you are someone who gets car sick, you may want to skip out on this one. On average, you’re traveling around 65 miles per hour, which may not seem incredibly fast, but when you’re riding around in circles on top of a building, it feels more like you’re going 80 miles per hour.
The ride is also meant to be bumpy, meaning you will be whipped around. If your child meets the height requirement, but is skinny for their age, it may be best to rethink getting on Test Track. There are seatbelts, of course, but thin kids may feel overly jostled on this ride. Likewise, if you experience neck problems, this ride may not be for you. Although, if you don’t mind jerky movements and sudden stops, this ride is full of excitement.
You also have plenty of opportunities to engage with the experience after the ride comes to an end. When you’re speeding towards the barrier that leads you outside, a photo is snapped of everyone in the car right before the moment of impact. You can purchase the photo at the end of the ride in the gift shop. You can also take part in creating a commercial for the car you designed while you were waiting in line. If your kids enjoy cars, or filmmaking, this is a fun way to end your Test Track experience. Your designs statistics are available for you to look at, too. Comparing how well your car did to others who raced before and after you adds an exciting element of competition to the ride.
Lastly, you can take a picture with the Chevrolet dream car or the car you designed in line. They put it up against a dramatic background, letting you choose what kind of adventure you’d take your design on. There is also a mini virtual test track for you to play around in with your design.
Test Track: Is it Worth the Trip?
Short answer: Yes.
Test Track thrills riders and keeps them engaged throughout the entire experience. From start to finish, you’ll feel like you really are designing a new car model for Chevrolet. Out of all the attractions at Disney, Test Track’s line actually provides you with entertainment while you wait. In fact, it’s crucial to your experience. Designing your car is one of the key elements of this adventure. The rest of your experience depends on the type of car you choose to create, making this ride unique to each rider. Even though you ride in one of the cars designed by Disney instead of your own, it will truly feel like your car.
Plus, it’s more than just a roller coaster! There are elements to Test Track that resemble traditional roller coasters—like hills and fast paces—but Test Track offers so much more than that. This ride allows you to enter an entirely different frame of mind from beginning to end. By the time you hit the heat chamber, you’ll be wondering when on Earth you became qualified to test a car’s ability to adapt to weather.
Of course, every ride has its downsides. It can be hard to ride Test Track if you have little kids with you. Even if you have older kids, they may feel uncomfortable because of how much you are jerked around. However, if you are an adult, or have teens and tweens with you, this ride is absolutely worth your time. It may even be worth your FastPass+ if you want to skip the line completely.
Overall, Test Track gets 4.5 stars out of 5. This is because it can be rough for smaller riders who meet the height requirement, and for those with neck problems. Other than that, Test Track provides riders with a totally unique experience. After you leave, your hair disheveled, you’ll want to jump right back in line and perfect the design of your car. Just remember to buckle your seatbelt because it really is a bumpy ride!
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