Friday, December 21, 2012

Theme Park + Video Games = Disney

It's not TRON until we get our Lightcycles.

Disney has been undergoing a transformation to update their park and meet with the 21st Century technology. I remember when the Epcot Center was the place to be in the early 90’s. It was the coolest part of Disney. And the characters were dressed up in these cool space suits. Their interpretation of the future was really unique.

But I think we can all agree, as does Forbes, that Epcot is out of date. The original Epcot opened in 1982 and hasn’t been through many changes since it arrived. “People will no longer need to walk and can use conveyer-belt like platforms!” Been there. Done that. Didn’t care to see the movie. Because of the massive changes in technology and innovation within the past few years, it’s prompting Disney to push forward with their updates to the main Epcot Center and Future World starting with their Test Track ride.

Working in conjunction with Chevy the new Test Track has been inspired by TRON (though it looks more like TRON on drugs because there are too many curves, not enough straight lines), and video games. The idea is to allow gusts to create their own car and drive it through multiple simulations. In doing so they can learn about how designing a car works, the math and science involved, and all of that learning stuff people keep trying to force on us. :D

How do video games play into this? It’s not just that guests get to test the cars, but they can reference score boards to see how well their car performs amongst others. They will also have take-home RFD chips so you can keep a virtual version of your customized car. Eventually this could lead into a video game designed just for Disney and this ride. But for now, you can take your car on a ride at the kiosks in the Epcot Center while waiting on your “real” test car to be built. Even race it against other guests.

Disney is still pushing the boundaries on theme parks. Thank you technology on making these visits cool again.

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