Test Track To Be Updated

Here is a piece I just received about the GM Test Track attraction located in Epcot.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Jan. 6, 2012 – Disney and General Motors have renewed their long-term business relationship with a new multi-year corporate alliance.

As part of the new alliance, GM will be actively involved with Walt Disney Imagineering in the development of a re-imagined, design-centric Test Track experience. The refurbished Test Track will be presented by one of GM’s most famous brands, Chevrolet. As Chevrolet marks its 100th anniversary, the new alliance agreement enables General Motors to tell its story in new and exciting ways to millions of Guests from around the world and continue as the official vehicle sponsor of Walt Disney World Resort.

“We are excited to renew our long-term alliance with General Motors,” said George Aguel, Senior Vice President, Corporate Alliances for the Walt Disney Company. “This unique agreement extends collaboration between two of the most recognized brands in the world, a relationship that spans over 30 years. The re-imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will continue our shared goal of providing unique and innovative experiences that engage Disney guests in exciting and interactive ways.” ”

“As a global brand, Chevrolet is looking forward to welcoming Guests from around the world to the re-imagined Test Track,” said Joel Ewanick, Global Chief Marketing Officer for General Motors. “The best of Disney and the best of Chevrolet will come together to bring Guests an immersive experience in the design process of the vehicles they see on the road today and will see in the future.”

Plans call for closing the current GM Test Track in April 2012, with an anticipated opening of Test Track Presented by Chevrolet scheduled for fall 2012.

As part of the re-imagining, the Future World attraction will feature a sleek new “Chevrolet Design Center at Epcot” immersing Guests in the fascinating world of automotive design. Amid upbeat music, engaging media, dramatic lighting and a collection of Chevrolet concept cars and model vehicles, guests themselves will become automotive designers – and peer into the future of personal transportation in the process.

At interactive design and styling workstations, Guests will be able to create their own custom concept vehicles. The adventure will then shift into high gear as Guests buckle into their 6-person “SimCar” ride vehicle and put their design through its paces on the exhilarating hills, switchbacks and straight-aways of the Test Track circuit.

Their performance testing complete, Guests will move into a post-show area filled with special effects and be scored on how well their custom concept vehicle did. And of course, Guests will be able see the very latest Chevrolet vehicles in an all-new state-of-the-art showroom.

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Disney And Clean Energy

For many years I have been amazed by what the power of the sun can really do for us.  Many years ago I started going on the Epcot attraction “Universe of Energy.”  This ride is partially powered by solar electricity.  This saves some serious money as far as I am concerned.

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The original Universe of Energy pavilion itself was an innovation in energy technology, as the entire roof was covered in 80,000 photovoltaic solar cells that partially powered the ride vehicles. Visitors were transported through the pavilion in large battery-powered “traveling theatre cars” that followed guide-wires embedded in the floor as opposed to riding along conventional ride tracks. The original attraction featured numerous films that presented information on the subject of energy in a serious fashion as well as a ride through a primeval diorama complete with animatronic dinosaurs.

So why hasn’t Disney put more solar into their parks?

I am sure that there must be some reason that Disney hasn’t implemented solar into the parks, but they have not released any formal answer to this question.  From everything that I have read the only “Green” thing that they have accomplished to date is the replacement of light bulbs with LED bulbs.  This is a big savings.

I am taking the leap ahead with solar.  I started by checking out all of the options for New Jersey energy savings.  I couldn’t afford to purchase the system, so I am doing a lease.  I still get all the benefits of lower priced electric.

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What Will Become Of Captain EO?

I know that it was rumored that Disney had originally brought back Captain EO for a limited time.  We took my daughter to see the show last time we were in the parks because she had never seen the show before.  There was something different, or maybe I am wrong.  The show was the same, but I think that maybe they did something to the theater when it went to “Honey I Shrunk”.

Has anyone else been to the show?  Were you at the show in its beginning?  Did you find anything different?

On a side note… Why is it that Michael Jackson seems to get a lot of things named, and termed after him now that he is gone?  I have seen so many different things that seem like they are just money makers for the Jacksons.  There are even Thriller radii shoes that resemble shoes like MJ had in one or two of his videos.

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Disney Segway Experience

During our last trip to Epcot in Disney World my wife, and I gave the Segway vehicles a try in the Innoventions pavilion.  Both of us had a fun time, but getting used to the balancing was an experience for both of us.  Once we got the hang of it we did just fine.  Our little one was a little upset that she couldn’t try them out, but she understood that she wasn’t old enough to participate.  They have a few prototype models on display, and one of which I would love to get my hands on.  I used to do a lot of atv riding.  This one looks like a atv.  Being it is electric I could ride it around my neighborhood without issue.  I think it would be a rather cool thing to have.

When you are at Disney World be sure to stop by Innoventions, and give the Segway machines a try.  If you think you are experienced enough, then you can also take a Segway tour.  You must be at least 16 years old, and admission into the park is needed.  This is a 2 hour experience.  At first you are given a training class on the operation of the Segways.  After that you are taken around World Showcase.

Read more about it at the Official Disney Site by clicking HERE.

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Captain EO Grand Opening Guests

ALL YOU NEED IS GLOVE: Comedienne and Academy Award-winning actress Mo’Nique poses July 2, 2010 with a pair of 3-D glasses and one Mickey Mouse glove — a la Michael Jackson — as she prepares to visit “Captain EO” on the film’s grand re-opening day at Epcot.

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