Pros:High-speed handling runs are worth the waiting time
Cons:Breaks down frequently, lines can be oppressively long
The Bottom Line: Test Track is a must-see at Epcot; if only it loaded faster and didn't break down constantly, it would easily be my favorite ride at Disney World.
For our honeymoon, my wife and I decided that we wanted to do something that was a lot of fun, so instead of going off to some foreign country, we decided to visit Walt Disney World instead. She'd never been (growing up in Southern California, she had just gone to Disneyland instead) and I hadn't been to most of the World since I was a little kid, so this would be a fun adventure for both of us. Epcot was the part of the park that I was looking most forward to, and the new ride that I really wanted to go on there was Test Track.
Test Track is sponsored by GM (and they don't let you forget it, between the tons of product placement before you board and the all-out showroom that you're herded into after you get off the ride). The basic idea is that you get to ride along in a series of automobile tests and experience the grueling experiments that new cars endure before they're let out onto the road proper. Specifically, you experience a high speed hill climb, some rough road conditions, environmental chambers, brake tests, and high-speed handling loops. The actual ride itself is a ton of fun; we went on it twice because we simply couldn't get enough of it, and it was even more fun the second time around because we were prepared for the "surprises" and could relax and enjoy the ride.
Specifically, the outdoor handling runs that the car does at the end of the ride are absolutely worth any amount of time you spend waiting for the ride to start. The sheer thrill of going 65 miles an hour through sharply banked turns is an incredible feeling. Even if you're roller coaster shy, you'll probably still enjoy Test Track; I'm fairly skittish around roller coasters (my wife had to practically push me onto Big Thunder Mountain the first time around), and I absolutely loved Test Track from start to finish.
Well, almost from start to finish, I should say. I didn't like when the ride broke down in the middle. This happens frequently, apparently; over the two times we rode Test Track, the ride broke down at least three times that we knew of, and breakdowns while you’re on the ride generally result in a hard stop which is none too much fun to sit through. Not only does this increase the overall wait dramatically, but it also interrupts your riding experience, and in a high-speed ride like this, that can make or break your enjoyment of the ride.
Keep in mind for an Epcot trip that Test Track is easily the most popular ride in the park, and, as such, the day really needs to be planned around it if you plan to ride (and you should). Standby line wait times can exceed an hour or more, and that's assuming that the ride is fully operational the entire time. You can obtain a FASTPASS for the ride (which is highly recommended), but if you choose to go that route, you need to make that your first priority upon entering the park; the supply of FASTPASS tickets for Test Track is often gone by 12:30 PM, and even if you get a FASTPASS that late in the day, your scheduled time may not be for several hours later. The other alternative is to go on as a single rider, where you exchange the ability to ride with your group for about a halved wait time; my wife and I did this both times and it was well worth the slight inconvenience of not being able to ride together.
All in all, Test Track is worth planning your day at Epcot around. It's easily the most exciting ride in the park, and even if you end up waiting in the long standby line, you'll be glad you did.
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