Two months ago, Disney re-opened the long-awaited reimagining of one of Epcot’s most popular attractions, Test Track. The ride was awesome as it was, so when the upgrade was announced, a lot of people (myself included) panicked a little. They (we) worried changes would mess up a good thing. You know the old maxim, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” And we doubted Disney.
Silly, silly us! Have you seen the new Test Track? Did Disney mess up? No!
The track itself is still the same, but the theming has been updated and yes, improved. No longer is Test Track simply a vehicle testing facility; it is a car design center in which you are the designer! You create a virtual concept vehicle in the Chevrolet Design Center and then take a thrilling, high-octane spin in a 6-passenger simulation car to make sure your new ride sets—and passes—the standards of capability (handling), responsiveness (maneuverability), efficiency (fuel-saving and environmental friendliness), and power (speed) to become the next big thing in the automotive industry.
On the test drive you will discover how well your custom concept vehicle performs as it travels rough terrain and handles surprise obstacles along the circuit. Zoom straightaways, steer switchbacks, hug 50-degree angled curves, and scale 3-story-high hills, then zip around the nearly mile-long speedway at peak speeds of 65 mph for a thrilling ride that will satisfy your need for speed.
As you exit, take time to examine prototypes and concept cars in the Test Track Presented by Chevrolet showroom. You can also participate in interactive experiences with your vehicle design: 1) see how your vehicle scored during the test drive, 2) make a 15-second commercial of your design and email it home, 3) put your vehicle to the test at a virtual test ground, and 4) pose for a picture with a Chevrolet dream car or your concept vehicle against one of three dramatic backdrops.
Design a wooden model car and put it to the performance test in a pinewood derby! Have each child design their vehicle on paper first. If they’re not too artistically inclined, print off a template from The Blueprints for them to trace and embellish. The Blueprints have hundreds of designs from trucks to trains to cars and tanks! (They even have drawings of human anatomy if you need that for your science classes!)
For a good example, here’s a 1968 Ferrari Dino 246GT:
Once their drawings are in order, purchase an inexpensive pine derby kit from your local hobby store and help your kids bring their creations to life! Paint them, Sharpie them, stencil them, sticker them…and once they’re done, race them down a hill at the park of your own backyard slide.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Art, Auto shop
SKILL LEVEL: All – you can vary the difficulty by your child’s abilities
Add MAGICAL MOUSE SCHOOLHOUSE to your home library!