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Old 02-18-2001, 06:27 PM   #1
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February Trip Report -- Part 7: Pulling a Test Track

February 5, 2001

The cast:
Me (the 28 year old)

I arrived at Epcot at around 11:30 am. I tried my annual pass and the machine accepted my finger imprint, but I was not let in again. The Cast Member reset my annual pass and I would have to get a finger imprint again. I would like to stick another finger in the finger reader!

I headed to Test Track, but the information board said the ride was delayed. I’ve seen Test Track break down or have technical difficulties out of nearly every ride I’ve been on. Spider-Man used to break down a lot, but it seems a lot more reliable recently. Now every ride that breaks down will be described as “pulling a Test Track!”

I headed to Ice Station Cool, but it wasn’t open until noon. I headed over to the Living Seas to take a look at the manatee exhibit. It probably wouldn’t be as good as Sea World’s exhibit, but it was something to pass the time until Ice Station Cool and Test Track are open.

Before hitting the Living Seas, I stopped for something to eat. I was getting hungry. I ate at the Pasta Piazza in Innoventions. At 11:45, there were very few people eating. I had the spaghetti with meatballs. I did not order beans because I would have to ride the Hydrolator shortly. The Cast Member who took my order asked where I was from. I told her and she said that I was “not a local, but close enough.” The food was good, but it did not fill me up. That’s the problem I have with Disney food. It never fills me up. I’ve rarely had that problem with Universal food. Disney food is a little cheaper, but the portions aren’t as big. Maybe I am just a big eater!

I headed to the Living Seas. It took me about 10 minutes from time I entered the queue to the time I got into the main aquarium area. I wish Disney would just take out the Hydrolators and make it a walk-through attraction. I just don’t buy the deep-sea theming. Just say it is a big aquarium – there is no shame in that!

I saw the manatees and I was right – it was not as good as Sea World’s. It was nice to see another manatee exhibit, though. I had taken a flash photo of a manatee and then I read the sign saying no flash photography. Oops! I walked around the aquarium area and stayed there for about 30 minutes.

I stopped by Ice Station Cool for some free Coke. Sure, they were from another country, but they were free! You can’t get too many free things from Disney! I drank to my heart’s content. The attraction probably makes money off the Coke items sold in the gift shop, but I did not see too many takers. I headed out to see if Test Track was running.

Test Track looked open. I could hear the cars whizzing by. The regular wait was about 45 minutes, so I took the single riders line. The wait was a few minutes. I’ve never been in a Test Track line that short, even the single riders line. The Cast Member handed out a Test Track single riders pass. It looked like a Cast Member did it up in Pagemaker and copied it onto orange paper. The passes have been through many hands since the paper was quite wrinkled. The doors and queue areas had big yellow signs saying, “Single riders only.” Still, even with the signs, I bet a guest has gotten confused and wandered into the single riders line by mistake.

I was in the same car as five middle-aged women. One of them said that they would treat me like their significant others. They would be backseat drivers and yell at me for not asking directions. I’m glad that I was sitting in the back seat! Actually, that was the first time I’ve ever been in the back when I used the single riders line. One of the seat belts in the back was really loose. The woman pulled and pulled on the belt, but it would not stay snug on her. We had to get out at the seat belt check area and wait a few minutes for an empty car to come up. The broken car got moved to the back. When the Cast Member moved the car, she switched tracks. A circular thing on the track turned to the alternate track and the car moved on. Finally, we loaded in and our seat belts worked properly now. The middle-aged women screamed for joy as the car raced outside.

I was in and out in about 10 minutes. Even with the car breakdown, that was the fastest I’ve ever done Test Track. Usually, my wait in the single riders line is usually 30-45 minutes (from getting in line to getting out of the car). The regular line is about 2-3 hours long. I can only ride Test Track in the single riders line because it is the quickest. Fast Passes are good, but they have a tendency to run out in the late afternoon. I can’t fathom why anyone would wait 2-3 hours for a 3 minute ride. That’s like ¼ of your day! I hope someone can explain why!

Since the Test Track wait was so short, I decided to go on another ride. As I was waiting, a call came out saying Test Track was experiencing technical difficulties. Why am I not surprised? A few minutes later, it was up and running. I think I waited about 15 minutes in the single riders line. From the time I got in the line to the time I departed from the car, it was about 30 minutes.

That was all I really wanted to do at Epcot, so I took the bus back to Disney-MGM Studios and it was pretty packed. I left for home at around 3 pm.

Next visit will be in March and we will be having a large meet!

Barry Hom
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Old 02-18-2001, 06:43 PM   #2
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We rode Test Track in January 1999 - we spent a total of about 3 hours and about 5 different attempts over two visits before the ride worked long enought for us to actually make it on. We were SO disappointed. My husband and son said it is scarier and more exciting to ride with me on the freeway (they were joking I'm sure ).

Thanks again for all of your reports. It was fun to read them.

Donna R.
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Old 02-20-2001, 12:25 AM   #3
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I think I read that Test Track will be down when we are there in March, so I guess it will be one
of the things I never get to ride!

Barry, can you describe in detail the HRH room?

Mahalo for the great reports!
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Old 02-20-2001, 02:21 PM   #4
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Very good trip report and ive really enjoyed reading them. Its sounds like you had a good time,escpecially with the help of the Davs's.Isnt front of the line great, now thats magic.
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Old 02-20-2001, 04:22 PM   #5
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I think I would be afraid to ride something that breaks down that much. Going in May and I think my hubby and I will skip this one. Looks like we will be saving ourselves a few hours of time as well.

"Tootles", uneamie :D
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Old 02-21-2001, 06:18 PM   #6
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It is the only worthwhile attraction at Epcot. Do not miss it. If you go, the key is to ride on the SINGLES LINE!!! It is always a 0-15 min. wait for the singles line. Plus many times you actually end up sitting right behind the person you are with in the same car!!

I have also noticed that the posted wait time at Test Track is almost always double what the actual wait time is. It is the only new major attraction at Epcot in the past 10 years so I think they purposely inflate the wait time to encourage people to go to other rides. Another tip is that sometimes Test Track stays open an hour after Illuminations. Ask a Test Track castmember if they are going to stay open late that night. If it is open after Illuminations, go check it out because the waits will be minimal.
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Old 02-21-2001, 07:21 PM   #7
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Singles line or Fast Pass is the way to go on Test Track. The line really moves at a snail's pace (sometimes even slower), so be prepared for long waits.

Barry Hom
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