The Walt Disney World Resort announced today that TRON Lightcycle Run will open officially at the Magic Kingdom on April 4.
The second installation of Disney's TRON coaster from Vekoma has been a long time coming to Florida, with construction having been delayed during the pandemic. But fans soon will have a opportunity to enter The Grid and race for Team Blue against the computer's Team Orange on TRON's iconic Lightcycles.
The original TRON coaster opened with Shanghai Disneyland in 2016 and has been one of the biggest hits at the park. Even our coaster skeptic Laurie loved the ride. [See her trip report, A visit to Shanghai Disneyland, part 2.]
The Magic Kingdom installation has been going in next to Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, creating an impressive one-two punch of roller coasters at Disney's most popular theme park. According to Disney's backstory for the attraction, the TRON coaster's storyline begins after the events of 2010's "TRON: Legacy," when Kevin Flynn's son, Sam, has opened a second gateway into the digital realm of The Grid in Florida, after the original in Shanghai.
Cast member previews will begin "in the coming weeks," according to Disney, with a public soft open likely after that.
Disney World also announced this morning that the Happily Ever After fireworks and projection show will return to the Magic Kingdom on April 3, meaning that the current Disney Enchantment show will close on April 2.
Over at Epcot, Harmonious also will close April 2, with Epcot Forever returning for a limited time until the premiere of Epcot's new World Showcase nighttime spectacular later this year.
Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary Celebration ends officially March 31, so with two nighttime spectaculars returning and TRON opening the next week, Disney is wasting no time in keeping the party going after its current big event concludes.
For more information about visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks, including our reader rankings for attractions at each, please visit our park listing pages:
And for more theme park news, please sign up for Theme Park Insider's weekly newsletter.
Also notable here is Disney's confirmation that they will require guests use lockers for bags and loose articles. It's unclear if guests will have to walk through metal detectors like at some Universal coasters, but the common practice from WDW guests to bring their backpacks, bags, purses, and other loose items onto attractions will not be allowed here. It's also not clear how big the lockers (reported to be "pass through" lockers like at Velocicoaster and Steel Vengeance) will be and what guests with bags/items too big or awkwardly shaped (i.e. lightsabers) for the lockers will need to do with their larger items. The riding position and train design make it virtually impossible to bring bags/backpacks onto this attraction, and as with many Disney coasters, guests will not be boarding the coaster on the same station/platform that they get off and won't simply be able to drop their bags where they board.
WDW has always been super accommodating for guests with bags and other loose items, so the procedures on this new coaster will be a big change for guests.
I've said it before and I'll say it again...what's great about this ride is children who were born on the day it was announced will be tall enough to ride it on the day it opens. LOL.
I wish the ride had more to it. It looks cool, sure, but there's not much beyond that. Just a smooth, leisurely ride-around a few banked turns for a short period of time. The Incredicoaster is a wild thrill ride by comparison.
“creating an impressive one-two punch of roller coasters at Disney's most popular theme park”
^ I think the front part of that statement is a bit generous.
But nevertheless, it’s good to see it finally opening.
I don't like to see any videos of any attractions I've yet to experience in person but not clicking on the Tron video is very difficult at the moment.
This seems like a winner. An E-Ticket ride to absorb some of those large crowds at MK while offering a fun ride.
I'm a huge fan of Cosmic Rewind at Epcot, my new favorite ride in all of Disney World, so it will be interesting to see how this stacks up against it. I'm assuming it will bump Seven Dwarfs Mine Train from Individual Lightning Lane status to Genie+ and Tron will now be the ILL option for MK. Possibly with a virtual queue.
@Manny - I think there's little doubt Tron will be on a virtual queue (with ILL) for the first couple of month of operation, which will likely continue through the middle of the summer and perhaps beyond considering GoTG:CR has been on VQ for nearly 9 months now.
The lockers are at the rides merge point right before you get on the ride and are double sided so you walk by your locker again when you get off.
I wouldn't count on a soft opening, the leadup Disney's big new attraction openings nowadays are completely filled with cast previews (keep in mind this is 70,000 people and their guests so it takes a long time), then DVC and AP previews, then it opens with virtual queue. This pretty much negates the point of a soft opening.
The lights are cool but compared to Hagrids not much going on and Incredibly it only took 8 years to build !
@the_man - The location of the lockers just before the load platform could be an issue, because if they are not large enough for all of the loose stuff and bags people typically bring with them into a Disney park, it will create a bottleneck and frustrated guests who waited in line and then have to figure out where to stash there stuff that won't fit into the locker. CMs at the queue entrance will need to be extra vigilant to observe bags/backpacks coming into the line to make sure guests are not faced with a capacity issue when they reach the lockers.
At Universal, it's policy that bags are not permitted on high intensity attractions (aside from the water rides at IOA), so the double-sided lockers are only needed for attractions where guests need to empty their pockets (RRR, Hulk, and Velocicoaster). Stashing bags before riding has not been something guests are used to doing at WDW (and thinking about what they bring into the parks - I know I've changed what I take into UO nowadays after they shrunk the size of the free lockers), so it will be a big change in mentality for this one attraction.
@thecolonel having been to the one in Shanghai, it's definitely smooth, but it's only a true beauty at night. The daytime ride, which I had first was very lackluster. I'd definitely put Cosmic Rewind above Tron as CR was at least a little thrilling.
@sxcymike that's what it looks like from the video. Still excited to ride it, but odd they didn't decide to do more with it.
Coming in with the facts.
Though seriously, why did this thing took so long to be build? There’s been whole theme parks that took less time to build(Shanghai’s version took less time and it isn’t because it’s a smaller length track than MKs).
Tron in Shanghai has lockers out in front of the attractions similar to Universal, but that's really not what you want to do because for one it separates people from their stuff while they wait in line, and also it creates a situation where if its busy you run out of lockers and then are SOL. It was such a dissatisfier in Shanghai that they no longer use them and now use laundry baskets to move the bags between the load/unload platforms. You are definitely right about people bringing more "stuff" to Disney than they would a normal amusement park and if the bags don't fit in the locker I think they will probably end up having to do something similar to Shanghai anyway with the laundry baskets.
Each seat on Tron has a compartment for things like wallets/keys/phones etc.
Lockers are an unfortunate necessity with a ride like this, but as has been shown on rides like VelociCoaster, it isn't too difficult to create a locker area that has minimal impact on the throughput of the ride itself. Theoretically, it should be even easier here since they're only for items that can't be safely carried aboard the vehicles.
As for the coaster itself, the consensus I've heard from those who have ridden in Shanghai is that this will be Magic Kingdom's best coaster, but likely won't be the best coaster at Walt Disney World. Intensity-wise, it was said to be more intense than Space or Thunder but less intense than Everest, which puts it clearly into the family category when compared to coasters in general. To me, it looks better from a coaster perspective than anything else at Walt Disney World except perhaps Everest, but it does seem more or less like a modern take on the dark coaster concept of Space Mountain. I still think it's a bad fit for Magic Kingdom and should have gone to another park (either Epcot instead of Guardians or Hollywood Studios which lacks a proper family coaster), but perhaps I'll be proven wrong. I'm planning to get out to Florida this year to try it out, and now that we know for sure when it's opening, I just have to decide between May and September.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
I'll be there in mid-March, so let's see if we get lucky re: soft openings!