Test Track Soft Opens With New Automotive Design Theming – Part 3

Epcot attractions must deliver the message of creativity, knowledge and above all else it must inspire both young and old alike.  And upon entering the first room of the queue that is exactly what we encounter.  As we turn the corner and enter a much smaller space, we wrap around what looks like a clay model, but is really just a futuristic-looking car mold with a material that supremely allows for projectors to draw images upon its form.  This is one my favorite effects in the entire new attraction.  For me it captures the essence of an Epcot attraction.  In the effect we see the car form illustrating the various steps of car design from hand drawn sketches with pencil to more elaborate presentations all taking place before our eyes.  With the pencil marked lines being drawn over the vehicle we truly get a sense for the design-minded work that the automotive industry entails and with the projected screen behind the car model displaying video of car designers walking us through the process, we are left wanting to learn more.  Sadly, my only grievance with the car model experience is that it is so short that you can’t truly experience it unless for some reason the queue is backed up and you happen to be in that small space.  But in truth the issue is not with this effect, it’s that this type of educational learning experience ends largely with this step of the queue.  From then on, the ride is arguably entertaining but minimally educational and only slightly inspiring.

It begins with the next large room which is basically a loading bay where guests are funneled into separate lined queues in front of the doors they will be entering to design a vehicle for themselves.  The problem lies with the fact that this room is a completely barren experience.  Save for a couple of video screens above the doors mentioning the process that we are about to undertake designing our vehicles there is absolutely nothing gripping about this space and it feels quite disjointed from the areas we just left.  Enough so that for me it is jarring.  I understand that in an area where Disney needs to have guests divvied up into their queues before they enter the next room and probably didn’t want them to be distracted with anything but the room is unnecessarily lifeless and nearly kills all the momentum the attraction’s queue had built up in the first two rooms.  Disney should put a little more faith in their guest’s ability to both walk up to a queue holding spot and be mesmerized by a pervasive and evermore expansive design world storyline presented in another gripping fashion. Luckily the next room does a much better job of being entertaining and fitting with the ride’s overall message.

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