General Motors will bring the wonder of fuel cell technology, hybrid vehicles and ethanol-powered cars and trucks to life with the newly opened “Fuel For Thought” display at Walt Disney World Resort’s Epcot® theme park near Orlando, Florida. The exhibit features unique, interactive components to provide edutainment for visitors of all ages about advanced automotive technology and the road to a greener future.
“Epcot® is an amazing imaginative theme park,” said Betsy Lazar, executive director of advertising and media operations for General Motors. “With the addition of ‘Fuel For Thought,’ visitors will now have an opportunity to explore innovative aspects and applications of automotive technology through a fun-filled experience.”
“Fuel For Thought” is comprised of interactive kiosks and games, a special floor projection, plasma wall elements, bright graphics and messaging, vehicle displays with information conveyed through lighting and video, and live narrated presentations.
The walk through “Fuel For Thought” begins down a livegreengoyellow.com pathway designed with brilliant graphics and a plasma wall with an expansive photo of a cornfield. As visitors pass by, they will see the cornstalks parting in a wavelike fashion. The opposite wall is dotted with porthole-like windows that provide an introduction to different GM environmental activities throughout the world.
The yellow pathway leads up to the exhibit’s open bi-level space filled with a variety of activities to enjoy.
Five touch-screen games are stationed in the backside of the porthole-like windows, including a trivia game about hybrid technology, a Stalk Car racing game, and a memory game where one matches the photos from a fuel cell marathon.
Three free-standing kiosks have numerous buttons, dials, video screens, lighting effects, factoids and more for interactive learning about fuel cells, hybrids and E85. The kiosks provide learnings such as how a hydrogen atom is used ultimately in a fuel cell stack to create energy and eventually exhaust made of water.
The main exhibit space floor is highlighted by a giant projected circular graphic controlled by motion sensors. At one point the circle appears to hold corn kernels and as someone walks across it, the kernels pop into popcorn while E85 messages traverse the area. The themed graphic also presents an electricity show while emphasizing hybrid technology and a pool of water is at the forefront when fuel cell messages are shared.
An actual FlexFuel E85 compatible vehicle is housed on the main floor for visitors to climb in and out of, while one wall houses a Chevy Tahoe chassis that demonstrates through vibrant lighting effects how a two-mode hybrid works.
Upon exiting “Fuel For Thought,” the future of the automotive industry is expanded upon with a display featuring the AUTOnomy. The AUTOnomy, first introduced at the North American International Auto Show in January 2002, marked a bold push from GM to reinvent the automobile. The world’s first vehicle designed from the ground up around a fuel cell propulsion system is viewable in a display surrounded by extensive graphics and looping video to watch, and features a live presentation narrator four times per hour.
“Epcot® is a place of endless possibilities for adults and children, and ‘Fuel For Thought’ provides a fun, interactive experience that shows the endless creativity of the General Motors team,” said Brad Rex, vice president of Epcot®. “We share GM’s passion for preserving our environment and are thrilled with this wonderful addition to Epcot®.”
The “Fuel For Thought” exhibit is easily accessed upon exiting the thrill ride “Test Track presented by General Motors” in the park’s “Future World” section. Theme park admission is required to experience “Fuel For Thought.”
General Motors has been an active partner at Epcot® (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) since the theme park opened its doors October 1, 1982. Epcot® was the second theme park built at the Walt Disney World Resort.
The first thrill attraction at Epcot® – “Test Track presented by General Motors” – was added on March 17, 1999. Test Track takes riders through the hair-raising world of auto testing on one of the longest, fastest attractions in Disney history. The ride races up a bumpy terrain, roars around hair-pin turns, travels through freezing cold chambers, and rushes onto 50-degree banked curves at 60 miles an hour. “Fuel For Thought” is the most extensive interactive exhibit attached to “Test Track presented by General Motors” to date.