Chevrolet and Disney tapped their best design talent with expertise ranging from industrial and automotive design to architecture and animation. The design collaboration began 18 months ago with a few guiding principles – create an experience that is personal, future-focused and optimistic.
The two teams met regularly throughout the development process in both GM’s Design studios in Warren, Mich., and at Test Track in Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The collaboration allowed for the greatest level of innovation yet ensured the values of both brands were accurately represented in the new attraction, while allowing both teams to learn from each other’s expertise.
“At Chevrolet, the diversity of talent on our team allows us to consistently produce sophisticated, refined and detailed design – but we don’t typically design through the eyes of a 12-year-old,” said Jeff Mylenek, GM Design manager, Global Exhibit and Merchandising Design. “Working with Walt Disney Imagineering, we were inspired to see our brand story from a more youthful perspective and really opened the parameters on how to approach this design challenge.”
The result is a unique experience that gives an authentic, inside-the-studio look at the actual automotive design process, while empowering guests themselves to create their own designs, possibly inspiring the next generation of automotive designers.
“The re-imagined Test Track portrays an optimistic view of the future, and reflects the deep collaboration between Disney and Chevrolet on both the design and the overall experience,” said Eric Jacobson, senior vice president, Walt Disney Imagineering. “It’s a thrilling attraction supported by rich exhibit displays and interactive elements that bring guests directly into the design process – with a few surprises thrown in.”
The teams used multiple mediums throughout the re-imagined attraction for storytelling, including:
- Visual cues inspired by Chevrolet’s expressive vehicle design language throughout the architectural elements in the space as well as in the interactive displays; speed forms and concept vehicle displays, like EN-V and Miray, provide a glimpse into the future of Chevrolet design.
- Advanced computer technology – similar to that used by Chevrolet designers every day – powers the guest design experience, while radio frequency technology allows them to take their unique vehicle design with them through the entire ride.
- A thrill-ride that provides the test experience where each guest’s vehicle design is evaluated.
- Social media sharing extends the experience beyond the day at the park.
- First, guests will have the opportunity to design their own vehicle – car, truck or crossover – with some helpful hints from the Chevrolet designers built into the process. “Designing a successful vehicle requires some careful thought about how to balance capability, efficiency, responsiveness and power – some of the key elements that Chevrolet designers must consider with every new vehicle they imagine,” said Mylenek.
- Next, they will have the chance to test drive their vehicle design, through the ride, on track surfaces that simulate the actual vehicle validation process that Chevrolet engineers use to ensure every new vehicle meets the highest performance standards. Each guest’s vehicle design will be evaluated and scored based on how well their design balanced the core attributes.
- Finally, guests have the opportunity to race their vehicle over changing terrain and extreme conditions on a digital driving table, produce and share a TV commercial starring their custom vehicle and pose for action shots in front of their design.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
About GM Design
The first and largest global automotive OEM design function, General Motors has a network of ten Design Centers in seven countries around the world. The GM Design team is made up of designers from a variety of disciplines, not just vehicle design specialists. Designers from architecture, fashion, ceramics, graphic and interior design fill the studios globally, sharing expertise, new approaches and perspectives.
About Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous, nearly 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation destination featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); two water adventure parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon); 35 resort hotels (25 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, includes seven Disney Vacation Club resort properties); 81 holes of golf on five courses; two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Downtown Disney, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex. Walt Disney World Resort is also included in vacation packages of Disney Cruise Line. Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971. Open daily, year-round.