Friday, December 21, 2012

Walt Disney Imagineers Explain How Video Games Influenced New EPCOT Test Track Attraction

The new Test Track was inspired by Disney’s TRON universe, as well as video games. In fact, the new ride offers guests the ability to create their own virtual concept before riding their SimCar through a series of performance tests. Walt Disney Imagineer David Hardiman, who’s a gamer, explains what role video games played in creating this very cool new attraction in the video:

“Our goals were to give the guests an experience that allowed them to take the role of automotive designer, while leveraging new technology here in the pre show that allows them to design their own concept cars and then they’ll be able to test those designs on the rides and play with them in the post-show,” said Hardiman.

Test Track guests enter an all-new, interactive pre-show area that includes concept cars like the Miray roadster and the Chevrolet EN-V, as well as dynamic media displays that include models and sketches of vehicle design possibilities.

“As a gamer from my own childhood and parents of teenagers who game, we realized that there’s a strong desire in our park-going public now to enjoy interactives wherever they can,” said Hardiman. “So we’ve added short-range RFID association with guests where they will basically take a room key and associate their designs with a database.  That will allow us to pull their design up later for them to see on the attraction, as well as interact with in the post-show.”

Just as WDI magicians designed a cool way for kids to interact while waiting for Dumbo in the new Just as WDI magicians designed a cool way for kids to interact while waiting for Dumbo in the new Fantasyland, the long lines for Test Track are partially offset with design kiosks. While waiting to board the six-seater vehicles that will travel up to 65 miles per hour, guests can interact with rows of touch screens. These computers become canvasses for amateurs to learn about automotive design. Available in six languages, these interactives have been created for solo designers or families to work together. It’s a great way to help keep busy while waiting for your car to be ready.

At the end of the ride, there are opportunities to take digital photos with the car you designed, and just raced through the Test Track in. Inside the ride, the world of TRON comes to mind with the cool interior color schemes and neon glowing colors amidst black backdrops.

The vehicles featured in this attraction are the first generation of the technology WDI improved for the Disneyland Resort Cars Land area of Disney California Adventure. Radiator Springs Racers brings guests inside the 3D computer-generated world of the Disney Pixar Cars movies. Walt Disney Imagineer Mike Kilbert details that ride in the video:

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