Walt Disney World Reveals the Rules for Its New Coaster

January 27, 2023, 11:19 AM · Walt Disney World's new roller coaster will use a virtual queue and a double-sided, free locker system when it opens on April 4.

TRON Lightcycle Run brings Disney's popular SciFi-themed coaster from Shanghai to Tomorrowland in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Riders will straddle motorcycle-like Lightcycles and enter the Grid for a race representing Team Blue, inspired by Disney's TRON movies.

Here's the on-ride video from the Shanghai original.

In Orlando, riders will need to use either the Walt Disney World app's virtual queue or buy an Individual Lightning Lane spot in order to ride TRON Lightcycle Run when it opens in April. No standby queue will be offered, at least initially.

If the TRON virtual queue operates the same was a Disney's other VQs, including Epcot's Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, there will be two opportunities to enter the queue daily, at 7am and 1pm. Guests will need a Magic Kingdom reservation for the day to enter the queue in the morning, and be inside the park to enter the afternoon opening.

Individual Lightning Lane may be purchased on the day of your visit through Walt Disney World's My Disney Experience app, though quantities will be limited. Prices will vary by date, though you should expect to pay north of $20 per person. You can use the Lightning Lane just once per day.

Once in the queue, however you get there, riders will need to store most items in a free locker before boarding the ride. Disney will provide double-sided lockers that can be activated by your MagicBand or park ticket. (Think of the system that Universal's Islands of Adventure uses for Jurassic World VelociCoaster.)

You can bring a mobile phone onto the ride to stash in a small storage area on your cycle. And you will need to bring that phone with you if you want to take advantage of Disney PhotoPass for your on-ride picture, if you are not wearing a MagicBand. If you are bringing your phone, it will need to be logged into My Disney Experience, with Bluetooth activated and with the phone not in battery save or low power mode to get your on-ride photo automatically associated with your Disney PhotoPass.

But if you've got a MagicBand on you, the PhotoPass process should work like any other ride in the park.

Again, TRON Lightcycle Run opens officially on April 4 at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The height restriction will be 48 inches. No word yet on soft openings before that date, but they are expected.

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Replies (17)

January 27, 2023 at 1:08 PM

So sad. The opening of a cool new ride and my first thought is to assume Disney will limit the number of free riders so they gouge people into paying $20 a head to get ILL.

It instantly puts a bad taste in the mouth. The THOUSANDS I'm paying to be there isn't enough, Disney, you have to squeeze another $80 out of my family to ride the new ride one time?

Good riddance, screw your new ride, I hope a light-cycle cuts in front of the train. Money grubbing a-holes, Disney's name is mud to me. And no, it doesn't matter that they've done this before, every time they do it is just that much more obnoxious.

January 27, 2023 at 1:15 PM

noooo not more virtual queues

January 27, 2023 at 1:21 PM

And, @thecolonel, in reference to what you said about Disney doing this before, that's why they're doing it again. As long as people will pay you can bet Disney will charge extra. They have a mindset of "if it worked before, it'll work again...." that they use to price gouge their visitors.
I love Disney and am excited about this ride (the need for lockers gives an idea as to how wild the ride could potentially be), but I'm worried that every E-ticket to come will follow the precedent of penalizing the people who aren't willing to fork over extra cash to experience it.

January 27, 2023 at 1:23 PM

I actually think it's very good that instead of a 5-hour line for a decent but not great roller coaster I can just get into a boarding group on my phone.

January 27, 2023 at 3:02 PM

Sure, the boarding group is great, no problems there. But it's free, yes? And egalitarian, everyone has an equal chance. Stop there and I'm fine with it.

But Disney doesn't have an initial period where it's fair to everyone. From the minute the ride opens, people willing to shell out BIG MONEY for a single ride (you get the whole park for $110, but this ride costs $20??) take precedent. Despite claims that ILL passes are limited, we know Disney will gleefully sell as many ILL passes as they can, taking away that many rides from the free rider pool. Is anyone aware of ILL passes ever maxing out on any ride?

I get you, Spider, people pay it so why not. But we expect more from Disney, which is my gripe.

January 27, 2023 at 3:45 PM

I'm actually surprised Universal doesn't do the same! I mean Velocicoaster and Hagrid's would make a killing if they upcharge "express" for those rides individually. Great way to make extra money but I'm glad they don't.

January 27, 2023 at 4:00 PM

No surprise here, but like I said previously, I don't consider the ride open until it has a standby line that may be freely entered. As someone who would want to ride both Tron and Guardians multiple times, having a restrictive virtual queue is a dealbreaker when it comes to considering a WDW trip. It made sense on a highly unreliable attraction with a maximum throughput of 1,400 riders per hour, but even with the demand that comes with a new attraction, doesn't make sense on rides that have been proven to reliably move around 2,000 guests every hour and is just a dirty way to make the newest ride a pseudo upcharge.

January 27, 2023 at 5:22 PM

"Greed is Good."
Bob Chapek, Robert Iger, Gordon Gecko.

January 27, 2023 at 8:55 PM

"Greedo is Bad."
Han Solo.

January 28, 2023 at 4:21 AM

Yawn - this ride doesn’t excite me whatsoever .. basically a poor attempt and shorter version of Hagrids with just LED lights and absolutely no tricks

January 28, 2023 at 3:47 PM

I see you Robert!

But which version of Greedo are we talking about here? Original theatrical or 1997 special edition? Ah hell, I’m already exhausted. Han shot first, but Greedo is also bad

January 30, 2023 at 8:11 AM

Robert doesn't provide pictures here, but I've seen some photos of the locker banks, and they are much larger than I expected. Given Disney's recent thirst for supplemental revenue, I kind of expected them to use lockers similar to many of the free lockers used at Universal Orlando that cannot accommodate large backpacks and satchels. However, these look to be large enough even for medium-large sized diaper bags and purses.

It seems dirty to allow guests to purchase access to a ride's VQ, but so long as those spots are limited and it's reasonable for guests to access the attraction through the free process, I don't have an issue with it. That has been my impression of the system, particularly since most of the ILL reservations for VQ attractions are sold out BEFORE the VQ is even full. If you don't want to pay for ILL, the fact that it sells out instantly is an indication that guests would rather pay to guarantee access then take their chances with the VQ, leaving more free spots for guests not wanting to pay extra.

Certainly charging for access to individual rides with demand exceeding supply is nothing but a money grab from Disney, but for most of the VQ attractions Disney has offered so far, letting people purchase ILL has actually made it easier for guests to access the free VQ, so I'm not sure why anyone would complain about that. Let the rich people buy their front of the line pass, and do the work to secure a boarding group at rope drop, then take that $20+/person and buy yourself a nice lunch.

January 31, 2023 at 7:29 AM

Not sure how you come to that conclusion Russell Meyer.

If people pay for a ILL there is less places available on the VQ

January 31, 2023 at 8:00 AM

@Del69 - Not necessarily. For simplicity's sake let's say the attraction can take 20,000 riders per day with an estimated 55,000 guests entering the MK on an average day. Now, the height restriction will naturally reduce the number of guests that can ride the coaster with another chunk of guests self-selecting themselves as not wanting to ride. For the sake of argument we could assume somewhere around 30,000 guests WANT to ride the coaster and will compete for those 20,000 spots.

Now, if all those spots are put into a free VQ system, all 30k of those guests will want to do their upmost to get their spot on the ride, giving advantage to guests who are quicker on the trigger or know the tricks to secure their spot faster (connecting to park WiFi, being logged in ahead of time, refreshing the app at the right time, etc...). No matter what, there will still be 10k unhappy people, many of whom will probably not get their spot because they're late logging in, have technical issues, or simply don't understand the process to get in the VQ.

Now let's assume that Disney sets aside 5,000 of those 20,000 spots for ILL to generate additional revenue, meaning there's still 15,000 spots available for free. The guests who are willing to pay for their spot or just have money to burn will buy one of the 5,000 ILLs, which is 5,000 fewer people trying to secure their spot in the regular VQ. That's 25,000 guests vying for 15,000 spots (a slight decrease in your overall percentage of scoring a spot 60% compared to 66.7% with no upcharge). However, a larger percentage of knowledgeable and experienced guests are likely to go for the ILLs, meaning less intense competition for the standard VQ because you still need to know about and log onto MDE early in order to get those ILLs before they sell out. Even if you think ILL won't dilute the pool and reduce the competition for free VQ spots, ILL probably doesn't impact the overall odds of securing a VQ spot that much (likely less than 10%). In the end, there are STILL 10,000 unhappy guests who don't get to ride.

January 31, 2023 at 11:08 AM

Right, the only way ILL reduces capacity is if there are hundreds (or thousands) of tickets available at the end of the day that go unused — thus "robbing" guests who just want a free virtual queue spot of the opportunity. That's certainly possible, but based on my experience with new attractions at Disneyland (Spider-Man and Rise), it's certainly not a common experience. I've always been able to get a free virtual queue spot. It's not until the virtual queue went away that I began to be tempted by ILL.

February 1, 2023 at 8:24 AM

Disney wouldn't be charging $20 if it didn't think people would buy it.

So basically this is going to be set up like Guardians with VQ and LL. Fine. Not great, but fine. We can live with that

February 2, 2023 at 12:01 AM

I loathe the virtual queues. I haven't wasted the last several years playing on smart phones, thus I'm at a huge disadvantage against the "fast finger" crowd. I hear that boarding groups fill up in two seconds. Oh joy, I'd love to get up at the crack of dawn just to get shafted.

I just pray we can get an ILL. That'll be our only chance to ride this.

BTW, does anyone know if Disney is finally ditching the damn boarding groups for GOTG? It's high time for a standby line.

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