So, you wanna ride Test Track at Epcot? Well to be honest, we can’t blame you! This ride is the perfect mix of thrills, surprises, and family fun. Plus, it constantly ranks as a favorite among Disney guests.
But, what is the history of this ride? What should you expect before going on? At what point during your park day should you plan to ride it?
We know your head is probably spinning with questions, but don’t worry!
All these questions, and more, will be answered in this very post! So what are you waiting for? Sit back, relax, and buckle up your seat belt- we’ve got lots to get to!
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History of Test Track at Epcot
March 17 of 1999 Test Track opened to the public in Epcot…but it wasn’t anywhere near the same ride as you’ll see and experience today.
You see, 21 years ago, the concept for the ride was more traditional and less “technologically advanced.”Guests were corralled through a car testing facility and shown a somewhat comical video asking them to essentially be official test dummies for GM (General Motors).
Guests would then board the ride in groups of six, (three passengers in the front row of the car, and three in the back, which is how it still is today) and the entirety of the ride the vehicle went through different tests.
For example, braking and turning, as if they were testing an actual car prototype in a real, live car testing site.
But in 2012 that all changed. The original, yet still very popular, Test Track closed April 15, 2012 and reopened on December 6 as the ride you’ll see today.
The car testing facility themed queue remained relatively untouched for the most part, but the same can’t be said for the inside of the ride itself.
Instead of brightly lit areas full of test dummies and yellow caution tape, virtual darkness and fluorescent neon lights. Plus, decorative glow in the dark accents were added.
Similar to the interior of Rockin’ Roller Coaster, if you’re familiar with that Disney’s Hollywood Studios Ride!
This made the car’s “tests” like sudden braking and turning. This mad the ride feel more thrilling since visibility was taken away.
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In terms of more minor Test Track updates that happened in 2012, GM’s branding was replaced with Chevrolet. And also, the “cars” and “tracks” were re-themed, and are now referred to as “Sim-Cars” and “Sim-Tracks.”
However, most Disney-goers would agree that the biggest change to Test Track at Epcot in 2012 was the interactive feature. Instead of every car receiving the same “test results,” in the remodel, guests can design their own car and see how it holds up.
What exactly does this mean?
Well, in the middle of the queue, there is now an area of large touch screen computers where guests can scan their Magic Bands or park tickets and begin designing their car.
Options like paint color, environmentally friendly engines, aerodynamic body designs, etc. can all be selected. And so, as you experience the ride, your exact car design’s specs will be put to the test!
After every unexpected twist, turn, and crash, every passenger’s test score will be projected. At the end of the ride, the overall best car design will be revealed! And while this design portion of the ride is optional, who doesn’t like a little friendly competition?
Overall, the main point of the ride’s upgrade was, as it seems, for guests to have a more personalized rider experience.
Yes, technically the motion of the ride itself is the same, but now that it takes place in the dark. Plus, you can look forward to their car’s performance results, Test Track is certainly more thrilling these days than when it originally opened.
So, who’s car will have the best steering and handling? Which car is more environmentally friendly? You’ll just have to ride Test Track for yourself to find out!
What to Expect on Test Track at Epcot
Once you arrive at the Test Track queue, believe it or not, you have three line choices to choose from: general queue (usually a 30+ minute wait), Single Rider (significantly shorter), or Fastpass+.
Whichever line you pick, you’ll get to enjoy the amazingly themed Test Track queue!
Although, keep in mind, the general queue does get to experience this atmosphere more than the other two queues which take shortcuts away from the main queue area.
Designing Your Car
About halfway through the wait, the general and Fastpass+ queue (NOT single riders) will come to the room where car design happens.
- Have your Magic Band or park ticket key card at the ready, tap it to the Mickey Head, and start designing!
- The design process takes anywhere from 3-5 minutes and shouldn’t be missed if you haven’t experienced it before.
- After your car has been designed, you’ll be led to the final part of the queue: pre-boarding!
Right before it’s your turn to board, you’ll be directed to scan your Magic Band or park ticket key card again to activate your car’s design.
Once the car in front of you has emptied out the previous passengers, you will sit down and buckle yourself into one of six seats: three in the front row, and three in the back.
Actual Vehicle Your Will Ride In
The design of this ride vehicle mimics that of a convertible sport car with the top down. You will then step into the car and have plenty of space to stow away any personal belongings safely.
Once Cast Members have checked that you are safely buckled in, your car will move all by itself to the dark track where the “tests” begin. From how well your car’s brakes perform to how well it withstands extreme heat and cold, you’ll be in the vehicle for it all!
The final test is certainly the most thrilling of the ride. The car’s “airbags” need to be tested…and we don’t want to spoil that big surprise…
…but let’s just say what actually happens is wayyyyy cooler than that!
Reaching Maximum Speed
After the final portion of the ride, where you’ll reach 65 miles per hour, your vehicle will end up exactly where you started. You’ll disembark the ride on the left side of the vehicle and be led to view your (either really awesome or really embarrassing) photo from the ride.
It’s then followed by a Chevrolet showroom with lots of cool interactive games and actual cars to explore!
Overall, the entirety of the ride itself lasts about 5 minutes- but trust us, all that time will be full of laughs, screams, and unforgettable memories!
4 Easy Tips for Riding Test Track at Epcot
Now that you know what to expect, let’s go through a few tips for your ride experience.
1. Single Rider Line!
Unlike many attractions at Walt Disney World, Test Track at Epcot does have a Single Rider Line; so be sure to take advantage of this!
If you’re not familiar with what a Single Rider Line means, it is basically another queue for the ride where guests are pulled out to board the ride one at a time instead of in groups.
Why? Because on Test Track, each car or ride vehicle can sit six passengers. However, oftentimes a family of 4 or 5 will get loaded in, leaving an extra seat or two.
That’s where the Single Rider Line comes in! This line moves at a faster pace because people are pulled from it one at a time continuously to fill up vehicles to capacity.
So, if you’re at the park alone, this is DEFINITELY the line to choose when riding Test Track.
Or….if you are enjoying the park with friends or family, ask them if they’re interested in waiting on the Single Rider Line. You’re not guaranteed to ride together however it’s a great way to save time if the regular queue has a high wait time or if you weren’t able to snag a Fastpass+.
Although do keep in mind: Single Rider Line means no car design option! If that bums you out, then try to schedule a Fastpass+ for Test Track at Epcot to save time without missing out on the fun.
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2. Car Design is Optional
As we just discussed, one of the coolest parts about this ride’s redesign is the rider’s ability to “customize” their car. This means that as you experience the ride, your car’s specs are put to the test!
It is a cool idea in theory…but hear us out…
If you’re a ThemeParkHipster who’s looking to make the most out of your time in Epcot, know that you can opt to skip this part of the line, whether you’re in the general queue or FastPass+ line.
It’ll probably save you a good 5-10 minutes of waiting in line, or even more if it’s a busy park day.
If you choose to skip out on this option, know that physically the ride will be exactly the same for you. Just some of the graphics during your ride will be different as they “test” out a random automobile’s specs as opposed to the ones you chose.
In essence, the same ride experience, just with randomized numbers instead of ones you picked yourself.
To skip this part of the line, just let a Disney Cast Member know you’d like to proceed in line without designing the car and they’ll happily direct you to the next portion of the queue.
3. A Good FastPass+ Choice
Time and time again, Test Track ranks as a crowd favorite in Epcot. Likely because it’s a thrilling, fast-paced ride that is still fun for the whole family!
However, as always, a popular ride comes with a price…long wait times! As we discussed earlier, you can get around this by hoping in the Single Rider Line or skipping the car design area of the queue.
But of course, if you have a FastPass+ to spare and aren’t looking to use one of those other hacks, Test Track is a great place to use it. (And so is Soarin’ and Frozen Ever After!)
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4. Make it Your First Ride of the Day!
Typically, the front part of the Epcot park, known as Future World, opens an hour earlier than the back World Showcase area.
Because of this, we *highly* recommend taking full advantage of the Future World area first thing in the morning so that you can be one of the first to hop right into the World Showcase!
A great way to make this happen is to get to Epcot for park opening. As soon as you’re allowed in, head straight to Test Track!
Hipster Power Tip: Don’t get distracted by Spaceship Earth aka the big golf ball/globe ride and go there first! #RookieMistake That ride never has a long wait time and can always be revisited.
Instead hit up those big rides like Test Track, Soarin’, and Mission Space before most park goers even get out of bed!
Frequently Asked Questions about Test Track at Epcot
Is Test Track at Epcot scary?
We’ll be honest. Anytime you pass by Test Track at Epcot, you’re likely to hear people screaming.
…BUT, not so much because the ride is actually scary. More because it’s thrilling and surprising!
Yes, the ride does reach a peak speed of 65 miles per hour, which may sound fast…but let’s break it down. We’ve all driven that fast, if not faster before.
It’s really the same sensation as hitting the highway with the top down, and if that doesn’t sound like loads of fun, then we don’t know what does!
Additionally, a large portion of this ride takes place in the dark, surrounded by fluorescent lighting while you’re experiencing quick twists and turns. Again, it’s no insane roller coaster, but it does have a little bit of a family fun thrill factor!
Should I go on if I have back or neck problems?
Due to many unexpected twists and turns, it’s probably not advised to go on Test Track if you experience severe back or neck issues.
Again, it’s not meant to be an intimidating or frightening ride, but the surprising and sudden movements of the vehicle might catch you off guard, especially if you have physical ailments to worry about.
Can I bring stuff on the ride with me? I.e. Backpacks, lunchboxes, and/or souvenirs?
Yes! One of the best parts of the Test Track vehicle design is its rather generous legroom and storage pockets.
Every rider has a large storage pocket in front of their seat which can easily fit most backpacks, lunchboxes, or bags full of Disney goodies and treats!
Where in Epcot is Test Track located?
Test Track is conveniently located in the front of the park. Once you enter Epcot, walk straight past the large globe and keep going.
Soon enough, you’ll come to a large fountain. Once you see that, turn left and you should see the big blue Test Track arches to your right in no time!
Hipster Power Tip: In case you like to plan your park experience down to the minute, it’s about a 5-7 minute walk from the park entrance.
Final Thoughts About Test Track at Epcot
Overall, Test Track is one of the most…if not THE most…memorable ride(s) at Epcot. With its immersive queue, thrilling twists and turns, and awesome technological feel, it definitely shouldn’t be missed!
If you plan on riding Test Track at Epcot, go first thing in the morning, unless you can snag a FastPass+ or are willing to go in the single rider line.
If you’ve ridden on Test Track before and have any other additional tips or tricks, let us know in the comments below!
Or better yet, tell us your favorite part of the ride! We love to hear what makes our fellow ThemeParkHipsters tick.
Anyways, thanks for reading and be sure to check back next week for more ThemeParkHipster exclusive content!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
About the Author
Gina is a former Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line Cast Member who enjoys reliving the magic by writing helpful tips and tricks for future guests!
Check out more about her Disney adventures and writing endeavors at www.ginaarfi.net.