Monday, August 27, 2012

Today's Chat with Walt Disney Imagineer Melissa Jeselnick about the NEW TEST TRACK at Epcot!

Today's Chat with Walt Disney Imagineer Melissa Jeselnick about the NEW TEST TRACK at Epcot!

[Q] What kind of changes can we expect in the queue area?

[A] The queue, the whole attraction is completely reimagined. The queue will look like nothing our guests are used to seeing it look. We'll use the space to introduce guests to Chevrolet’s Automotive Design process - how it starts with a line and ends with the cars you can buy on the showroom floor. We'll have actual items, sketches, cars, models from GM that have never been seen before by anyone outside the Chevrolet family. It's basically changing from testing to design.

[Q] How are the vehicles customized? To better explain my question, say the ‘Killian’ party customizes their ride. If the ‘Connelly’ party comes later and uses the same ride vehicle, but customize it differently, how does that work? Or am I misunderstanding this?"

[A] Let's talk about the Design Studios. In the studio, you have a chance to design your own custom concept vehicle. That design follows you into the ride, which is still the same physical ride that our guests know and love. You'll ride in our sim car. As you move through the space, your custom design will be scored in areas such as Capability, Efficiency, Responsiveness and Speed.

[Q] "First off, is the ride being re-branded as strictly Chevrolet? Second, can we get an explanation about how the vehicle customization is going to work? And the last one is just me being a dork…can you divulge what vehicle(s) built by GM gave inspiration for the new vehicles and the old ones?"

[A] Yes. The new attraction will be sponsored by Chevrolet. It's been great working with the dedicated Chevrolet team members and as Imagineers, we've learned a lot. They're really integrated members of our creative team. It's not Disney's creative take on Chevrolet; it's a real partnership.

[Q] How will the new "Customize your car" feature going to work? Wont there be multiple parties in one car at a time?

[A] It's an interactive design kiosk, so in the full experience you can start from a line, then shape your vehicle and add attributes - pick the colors, the tires, and make it truly your dream vehicle.

Everybody in the vehicle will have their ride design, whether they designed individually or as a group. As you move through the four groups, you'll see how the design stacked up against the sim car design.

[Q] How many different customization combinations are possible?

[A] The possibilities are endless.

[Q] What is something new and exciting we should be looking forward to in the reimagined Test Track?"

[A] I think the coolest thing is how we integrate the pre-show with the experience, and then in the post-show, your ride vehicle travels through the entire experience with it. And you can keep interacting with your ride vehicle after.

[Q] "What kind of experiences should we expect for the new post-show that will replace the automotive plant/vehicle showcase?"

[A] The post-show will kick off with a scoring opportunity, not just with the guests in your car, but guests throughout the day. From there, we'll move into other opportunities to play with your design with multiple interactive elements. The show room space will still be there with the Chevrolet cars, and we'll have our own photo ops with different concept cars.
[Q] Are you recording all new music for the attraction? Any details?

[A] It will be futuristic. We'll have a whole new soundtrack that will not only compliment the attraction with music, but special sound effects too.

[Q] Are there going to be any new show scenes?

[A] Let's talk about the four show scenes in more detail. Capability is where your car is tested for rough road and weather conditions. Efficiency tests your car design's environmental footprint. The Responsiveness phase tests maneuverability, and finally, Speed is tested.

[Q] To what extent will the scenes and visuals of the new Test Track be "virtual" versus props, set pieces, etc.? How much time will riders spend looking at screens instead of real-world items?

[A] We talk a lot about being in the digital space, but it's still a physical experience. We're using a lot of new technology to tell the story, but it is still a dynamic physical experience.

[Q] Can you divulge what vehicle(s) built by GM gave inspiration for the new vehicles and the old ones?

[A] It wasn't a single vehicle, but more like the process. Our custom design studio reflects the entire Chevrolet design vocabulary, not just specific models.

[Q] Will fastpass still be avaliable when the attraction opens back up?

[A] Yes. The full experience allows you to do a lot of customization with your vehicle; the FastPass and Single Rider lines allow for an expedited queue experience and select you a custom vehicle of your choosing to take with you on your ride all the way through the post show.

[Q] What are you personally most excited about with this new redesign?

[A] My favorite part is the first day guests get to experience what we've been working on for months and months. It's always a great day. The team will be around!

[Q] Can you tell us more about the technology used in the attraction?

[A] Our team is so excited to bring new interactive technologies to the guest to enhance Future World and put the guest at the center of the experience. All of the software is custom for this attraction.
[Q] Will this overhaul make the updated Test Track feel more like a dark ride compared to before?

[A] The experience will be dark, but more importantly, I think we're pushing the envelope as far as the use of new technology, so it's not really a traditional "dark ride."

[Q] How specifically has your team been working with Chevrolet?

[A] It's back and forth. We send people to Detroit, they send folks here. The attraction reflects the Chevrolet aesthetic and Disney storytelling.

[Q] What is it that you hope guests will take from this newer experience?

[A] I think the world of digital design is exciting to our Imagineers as designers and storytellers, so I hope our guests come away with some insight into what that process entails, and maybe it will excite some future generations of Imagineers to join us.

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