Monday, January 28, 2013

Who wants to hear my thoughts on the new Test Track?

A few weeks ago, I met my parents up at Epcot.  Our number one thing to do?  The new Test Track of course!

We got in line at 9:30am, the wait time said 60 minutes, so we waited it out.  Shouldn't be too bad.  Of course, that assumes that the wait time is accurate.  While we were in line (which went way out of the queue) the wait time went up to 80 minutes.  Still not bad.

Of course, since I'm telling you about the wait, it was clearly not accurate.  We wound up waiting close to 2 hours instead.

My parents had done Test Track back in December, but did it with a Fastpass.  They said with the FP, the options when you design your car are very limited, which is partly why we decided to wait it out in the normal line.

When you finally go through the line, you're handed a blank card, which has an RFID tag in it (I'm going out on a limb to say that once the My Magic Plus stuff is done, it'll probably be your park ticket or your room key instead) and asked to stand at a particular number on the floor.  In front of you are two rooms, each with about 30 spots each.  Your number corresponds with a screen in the room once you're let in.  Part of the problem is that they were only allowing about 12 people in at a time.  I don't know if they were having problems with the machines or what, but it seemed a bit ridiculous when the line was that long.

Once you entered the room, you go to the corresponding screen.  From there, you tap your card against the RFID reader and you're walked through the process of designing your car.  It's a touch screen and fairly easy to learn how to navigate and control it.  (My parents didn't have a problem, and the kid behind me didn't either...though it did take ME a while to find the next button...but I got it eventually.)

My Car
Your car gets different scores in 4 categories: power, responsiveness, capability and efficiency.  Clearly I went for power.  You'll notice that the pictures have a time listed on them.  You get a really long time to design your car.  Everyone who was in the same room as us finished with a good 2 minutes to we were left hanging out and waiting for the doors to open.  Once they did, we were able to walk right to the top of the ramp.  So I'm really not sure why they weren't filling the room up.

Anyway, the loading area looks identical to the old Test Track, except there are now RFID readers before your get into the car.  Of course, it didn't appear that mine was working (really, only a month after they opened it??) and the only reason I knew that I had to tap my card against it was because my parents had been on the ride before.  No one told you to do it!

Mom's Car
Once on the ride, it's identical to the old Test Track.  But quite frankly - a little more boring.  There wasn't as much dialogue or music. Also, after each section, there were screens that were supposed to rank the cars performance under that particular test.  And they weren't synced up, so we were getting the results for someone else's car.  My parents said the same thing happened on their last ride.  Frustrating to say the least.  Now, for fear of this whole thing getting overly negative, the loop outside is still a lot of fun.

Overall, I was disappointed in the ride.  I feel like with the technology that's available today, it could have been a lot better.  Here's some of the things I would change: for starters, instead of needing to rely on designing your car before the ride, I would set up kiosks around the parks, have an app and/or a website for people to design the car before they ever get in line.  Everyone these days is used to creating a user name and password for things (or have an option to tie it into your Facebook account and post your car design for your friends to see!)  The time given in the queue is far too long and clearly if it wasn't working properly, you reduce your capacity and the wait time is ridiculous.

Dad's Car
Second, I would have the RFID readers in the car.  Have a slot for you to put your RFID card.  Right now, you have six people who are holding onto them through the just seems like an accident waiting to happen.  Plus side - the car could communicate to the boards during the ride so you're never out of sync.

I feel like there were a lot of short cuts taken to get the ride back up.  I would rather see it down a little bit longer if it means it's going to be right when they're done.  The idea is there, the execution is not.  And I really don't think it's a "must do."


No comments:

Post a Comment