Two Disney World rides to close temporarily for Tron construction

August 10, 2018, 12:51 PM · Two popular attractions at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom will close within the next few months, as the park works on building its new Tron-themed roller coaster.

The Tron coaster is expected to be a clone of the Tron Lightcycle Power Run that opened to rave reviews with Shanghai Disneyland in 2016. The Florida installation is going in next to Space Mountain in the Magic KIngdom's Tomorrowland, which will disrupt the operations of two rides in that area during construction.

The Walt Disney World Railroad will close first, "pausing" its Grand Circle Tours of the park and parking a train in the Main Street station, starting in December. There's no work yet from Disney on how long the trains will be parked. Disneyland recently parked its Railroad attraction for a year while it rerouted the train track around the Rivers of America to accommodate the construction of that park's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land, which opens next summer.

The Tomorrowland Speedway also will close for an as-yet-unannounced amount of time next year to reroute that ride's track to clear space for the Tron coaster construction. Disney says that the Speedway will reopen by summer 2019, however.

Replies (30)

August 10, 2018 at 1:03 PM

"The Tomorrowland Speedway also will close for an as-yet-unannounced amount of time"

Fingers crossed that it's forever. Why Disney insists on keeping these inefficient, slow-loading, smelly relics open is beyond me. Disney should have replaced these with either electric cars or some other type of attraction decades ago. It's TOMORROWLAND - not 1970's-LAND!!

August 10, 2018 at 1:09 PM

Interesting to have both in Tomorrowland but it can be a major addition thanks to how cool it looks.

August 10, 2018 at 1:16 PM

It's a shame that the railroad always seems to get in the way, maybe while its down reroute it doesnt interfere with construction all the time

August 10, 2018 at 1:27 PM

The reason they keep it open is kids love to drive those cars. My children love being the ones to drive and it was a right of passage when they were finally old enough to drive with Dad riding along.

August 10, 2018 at 1:59 PM

I agree that the Autopia type rides will always have a place in theme parks. Adults should never forget how exciting it is for a youngster to get behind the wheel. I do, however agree that a new technology is needed. But - will the silence of an electric car have the same magic to a small child as the rumbling sound and smell of a gas engine? I don't think so.

August 10, 2018 at 2:16 PM

As pointless as the Autopia is to us as adults, when I was at the park recently with my 9 year old nephew he was pleading to drive them, and was through the moon excited about it even after the drive. And besides... for kids it is futureistic because in the future they'll be adult and able to drive cars.

August 10, 2018 at 2:17 PM

guess the smoker's park area will also be closed and eliminated for Tron?

August 10, 2018 at 2:21 PM

Kids better enjoy while they can because by the time they are old enough to drive all cars and trucks will be driving themselves.

August 10, 2018 at 2:24 PM

"But - will the silence of an electric car have the same magic to a small child as the rumbling sound and smell of a gas engine?"

But chances are increasing that kids learning to drive on the Tomorrowland Speedway and Autopia will be driving electric cars when they get a driver's license. The generation of kids beyond that probably won't even drive at all in the real world as autonomous vehicles fill an increasing role in our transportation network.

I agree that they've become a "rite of passage", but there have been plenty of those that have gone the way of the dodo over the past generation.
Not to mention the time investment in taking a spin on these outdated attractions can be monumental because of their slow throughput. The attractions also take up large swaths of valuable real estate, particularly in space constrained Disneyland, that could serve as the setting for a more modern attraction. Tron probably wouldn't fit into the TS footprint without still extending outside of the train track, but it wouldn't require such an extensive walk beyond the main paths to reach the new coaster as the currently planned location will.

Honestly, TS and Autopia aren't even particularly nostalgic anymore with their outdated "future" design that's nothing but a joke on what 70's society thought the "future" would look like. Legoland's Driving School is superior in every way aside from capacity, which I'm sure Disney could improve with some Imagineering know-how.

August 10, 2018 at 3:22 PM

Wow you seem to be kind of one sided about the cars . You work for tesla ??

August 10, 2018 at 5:11 PM

Any idea when the closures will start? We'll be there September 12-18 and were hoping to squeeze those attractions in before the big upheaval...

August 10, 2018 at 6:08 PM

"But chances are increasing that kids learning to drive on the Tomorrowland Speedway and Autopia will be driving electric cars when they get a driver's license."

But the vehicles that their parents currently drive(probably) aren't electric. Their is a large market for toys and experiences that allow children to act like their parents.
I used to love going on the speedway when I was little, the smell, sound and rumbling make it feel like a real experience. At such slow speeds an electric version would offer no feedback whatsoever and to me it would diminish the experience. What would then make it different from going on dodgems(bumper cars)?

August 10, 2018 at 6:59 PM

I agree. I will always remember the speed track as a child....back when you needed a ticket to ride. My daughter rode those cars every trip with her father which was no less than 6 times a year. And now my grandson rides with my husband almost monthly. Don't misunderstand me, at 12yrs old nothing holds a candle to "Flight of Passage" except maybe those old smelly memories....both of which are part of his Disney's Must Do list.

August 10, 2018 at 7:38 PM

Let's hope for some energy efficient cars comin in!

August 10, 2018 at 7:50 PM

Because those of us who were there on 10/1 want to take their grandchildren on it. All you Johnny come latelys néed to stop and think about what Walt wanted and not the shareholders .

August 10, 2018 at 8:26 PM

I wonder what HKDL did with the electric cars when they closed their Autopia attraction?

August 10, 2018 at 9:02 PM

Why are they parking the train? Why not just run it back and forth between main Street and frontier land?

August 11, 2018 at 1:39 AM

The Tron coaster was a blast, and I'm so glad Disney is bringing it stateside, for all of the people who can't/don't want to go all the way to China for it.

I don't like Autopia, personally. But I don't have any strong feeling on what they oughtta do with that area of the park. If they demolish it and make way for something else, I'd be thrilled. If they just reopen it later, that's fine too. I don't really pay it any mind, but it seems the kids like it.

August 11, 2018 at 6:43 AM

I don't do most of the coasters so I love the cars. I love to drive. It's a bit slow, yes, I wouldn't mind if it was made to go faster and it would be nice if they operated it with all lanes, so the line wasn't as long. Something more modern wouldn't hurt, like hover boards, but I like it and it's not a waste of time.

August 11, 2018 at 11:12 AM

People are always so negative about the Tomorrowland Speedway. There are people who enjoy it, so they keep it around. If you don't like it, don't ride it.

August 11, 2018 at 12:50 PM

The Speedway is my 4 year old son's favorite ride in the entire park.

August 11, 2018 at 3:46 PM

It's not that people don't like speedway or that it's not fun. It's that it needs refurbishing and also a change to more environment friendly cars. These things use more gas than an atv which is more fun. There are plenty of replacements that are electric. It's called common sense.

August 11, 2018 at 11:32 PM

The Tron ride will be a welcome addition to the park. The unusual ride position may not be for everyone, though. It's a bit rough on your neck because you have to hold it at an odd angle to look forward. I would recommend a few pre-ride neck stretches before boarding. : )

August 12, 2018 at 3:58 AM

I would happily give up WDW's Tomorrowland Speedway for Tokyo Disney Sea's Aquatopia! A more dynamic ride cousin to the original Speedway. Sometimes rides are ready for the their sunset swan song and Speedway is no different.

August 12, 2018 at 7:07 AM

Give the Autopia a Futuristic Setting(perhaps Tron-Like) and Yes, Add Electric Cars. For the Silence of the Cars and On The Track, Just Add Music and Sounds Around the Track and/or The Car Itself!!! Win Win! Everyone Gets a New Attraction and Disney is Helping the Enviroment.

August 12, 2018 at 11:23 AM

Spoken like a true millennial...
The Speedway is an iconic attraction that is as much a part of that park's history as the carousel. Of course, the attractions can be updated and added to in order to reflect new technologies. However, hearing the sound of those engines in TL helps define that area and is, indeed, part of the experience.
Of course, today's beta-males that consider the Speedyway "inefficient and smelly" wouldn't understand that kind of boy-to-man thing anyway.

August 13, 2018 at 10:45 PM

The Tomorrowland Speedway is not very big, so there’s little reason to close it. At Disneyland, they should remove the entire thing and the Submarine Voyage for a Fantasyland expansion. A smaller more modern version can be built in the hopefully upcoming total redo of Tomorrowland, that will be completely different besides keeping Space Mountain.

August 12, 2018 at 3:54 PM

I love the Tomorrowland Speedway!! I can't wait to take my Lil one on it and let him Drive. My Dad let me Drive starting when i was 4. The TRON Coaster is gonna b AWESOME.

August 12, 2018 at 4:11 PM

The Tronmorrow Land Speedway will have glowing,electric,Tron themed vehicles when it reopens. That'sthe rumor.

August 12, 2018 at 8:16 PM

Sure kids love them but can we at least eliminate the fumes. For scent sensitive people it makes getting into tomorrowland a nightmare

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