Disney World Imagineers continue to make progress on the construction and safety testing of the new TRON ride in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Here’s what we know about it so far, from the opening date, answers to frequently asked questions, and video updates from Disney.
What is the new Tron Ride at Disney World?
Lightcycle Run (sometimes also called Lightcycle Power Run) is the new TRON ride Disney World. It is a roller coaster-type attraction that will be behind Space Mountain in Tomorrowland. Bob Chapek, Disney’s current CEO, announced the development of the ride at the 2017 D23 Expo. It seems like it will be an exact copy of the popular ride in Shanghai Disneyland that opened in June of 2016.
Riders will mount a two-wheeled, motorbike-style vehicle. They’re similar in design to the ones on Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom. Imagineers modeled the bikes after the lightcycles seen in the TRON movies. Riders will straddle the bike, lean forward, and hold the handles. A back pad behind you will secure you in place on the bike. You will go through a digital-style, futuristic setting at up to 60 miles per hour. The 3,169 foot long track is partially indoors in the dark and partially outdoors, covered by a light-changing canopy.
Imagineers have given us a bit of a sneak peak of the details and what we can expect from this ride. So far, they have released what the ride vehicles and cast member costumes will look like. Following Disney’s social media accounts is a great way to stay up to speed. They give regular updates on their Tik Tok, Instagram, and YouTube.
If you want to see it for yourself, you can get a birds-eye view of the progress via the People Mover in Tomorrowland. This slow-moving attraction overlooks the construction site.
The original version of this ride in Shanghai Disneyland has a height requirement of about 48 inches (122 cm). Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, and Flight of Passage currently have the highest height requirements in Disney World at 44 inches each. This means that, assuming this ride has the same requirement as Shanghai’s, Lightcycle Run will have the tallest requirement out of all the rides at Disney World.
Read also: Best Rides for Toddlers at Disney Worlds
What can we expect from this TRON ride?
Fans of the original TRON movie and the more recent TRON: Legacy will notice some film references in the storytelling of this ride. You may recognize terminology such as “The Grid” or “Team Blue.” According to the description of the ride in Shanghai, riders will,
“Experience high-speed thrills and chills as the Grid comes alive in a heart-pounding race for survival. Created as a friendly way for “Programs” and “Users” to interact, the Power Run pits team against team in the quintessential quest to capture 8 Energy Gates and triumph over opponents.
Prepare for digitization after entering the portal—this is your access into the energy, lights and excitement of TRON’s high-tech universe. As you leave the real world behind, you’ll proceed to the games as a member of Team Blue, ready to compete against some of the Grid’s most menacing Programs.”
The description also gives us some beginning-to-end insight on this attraction. The experience starts in the Sync Chamber, where “Users” synchronize with their very own lightcycles. You’re then propelled into the Launcher-Upload Conduit, which features flashing lights and techno music. Finally, you reach The Grid. Here’s what the description of this attraction in Shanghai has to say about your experience in The Grid,
“Filled with brilliantly illuminated shapes and sleek, color-changing TRON iconography, this game-world “gravity box” seems to rev harder with enhanced energy as Lightcycles catapult past each Gate. Will Team Blue capture them all and take the championship? See if you can defeat the Programs, survive the Power Run and make your way back to the real world!”
Of course this is all based on what we know about the original Lightcycle Run in Shanghai. There could definitely be some differences in Disney World’s version to appeal to a different audience. However, this attraction does seem like it will be extremely similar to Shanghai’s version.
When will Tron coaster Disney world open?
TRON Lightcycle Run was originally expected to open for Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration in October of 2021. However, the opening date has been postponed indefinitely due to Covid-19 delays. According to the ride’s Executive Engineer Jerold Kaplan, Imagineers are currently putting the ride through “push/pull” testing. This is where the vehicles travel across the track at different speeds. These tests ensure the ride’s safety before it’s tested by people, and make sure there’s enough clearance at all points of the ride. Though it once felt like the construction would never end, this stage of testing is a good sign that the wait may not be much longer. If this pace continues, it seems like an early 2023 opening might be the most likely. However, we don’t know an exact time frame for sure.
Since this ride will sit beyond the The Walt Disney World Railroad tracks (just like Space Mountain does), the train in Magic Kingdom is still temporarily closed. It should reopen as soon as it can do so safely with the opening of this ride.
Until the opening of Tron roller coaster Disney world Lightycle Run, you can look forward to another coaster coming soon. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is another thrill ride that will open in Epcot this summer.