Disney World's New 'Tron' Roller Coaster Is Opening Very Soon
We got a preview of the new attraction before its April 4 opening date inside the Magic Kingdom.
We've officially entered the grid with the opening of Disney World's newest roller coaster, TRON/Lightcycle Run.
The highly anticipated thrill ride is opening its dark, computerized world at Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom on April 4 and we got a sneak peek, courtesy of Disney. Here's what to know before you go.
What to expect
Fans of both TRON and the 2010 sequel, TRON: Legacy, should be ecstatic about the attraction. From the second you enter the queue, you feel immersed in the digital world created by Kevin Flynn over 40 years ago. Steven Lisberger, the creator and director of the original 1982 film, told Thrillist "the digital world is so ginormous and the ride is ginormous, so it's symbolic of what we're all experiencing."
And if you're like me—just recently familiarized with the TRON movies and franchise, but a sucker for a great rollercoaster—you'll love it just the same.
Take a closer look at our experience via the Thrillist TikTok channel right here:
After the success of its sister ride at Shanghai Disneyland, Walt Disney World Imagineers spent five years creating another "gateway," or as Julia Soderstjerna, Walt Disney Imagineering's show mechanical engineer, put it, a continuation to the story that began in Shanghai and picks up in Orlando.
How fast does it go?
Offering a new way to ride, guests will be situated on a lightcycle, which we would compare to a bike, where you lean forward and feel every twist and turn. The lightcycle allows guests to feel completely immersed in the world of the movie and we were impressed by the bike-like technology and features that are new to a Disney World coaster. Admittedly, this new ride technology took a few minutes of getting used to and comfortable on, but once I figured out how to get as snug as possible on my new whip, we literally launched into the world of TRON.
Perhaps the best part about the ride is the launch, which propels you at close to 60 mph into the outdoor canopy portion of the ride. Pro tip: Riding at night allows for enhanced viewing of the visual effects that light up the ride. "The lights chase the ride vehicle and it really is so reminiscent of the film," Soderstjerna explained.
Justin Springer, producer of TRON: Legacy, has a similar sentiment. "Launching out into the real world … there's something that's so metaphorical about it," Springer explained. "Also there's a lot of dark rides where you spend the full time immersed in that world and the way they built this ride so you can pass through the real world and then go back inside is very cool."
Fans of TRON and its sequel TRON: Legacy are going to go absolutely crazy for this ride. From the digitization into the world of TRON which you go through on the queue to the launch into the canopy, there's no denying the stunning detail that went into creating this world. "It's so beautiful only Disney could've made a ride this beautiful," Lisberger said.
It's not just the imagineering that makes the ride exciting, but the story of the movie itself. “Disney is so good at making sure not only do these rides have story but the story fits within the mythology of the larger franchise," Springer added.
How to get tickets
So, how can you ride? When the attraction opens, guests will be able to enroll in a virtual queue via the My Disney Experience app. A standby line will not be offered. Alternatively, guests can purchase an Individual Lightning Lane to ride. Even with the virtual queue, given the popularity of the TRON franchise and the anticipation for the ride itself, we do expect riders to have some sort of wait for the ride. But, is it worth the wait? We think so!
As for a possible TRON-themed coaster coming next to Disneyland in California? Well, they can't exactly promise anything, but isn't the grid always expanding?
Disney World is revving up for other new openings in addition to TRON/Lightcycle Run.
The new Roundup Rodeo BBQ featuring authentic barbecue offerings inside Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios is set to open March 23. Additionally, some Disney favorites like the Happily Ever After Fireworks show at Magic Kingdom are returning—with some key updates—on April 3. "It's the same show that our guests have grown to love, but the projections are going to be extended to all the buildings on Main Street USA," Nathaniel Palma, ambassador at Walt Disney World, told us.
For tickets and to plan your trip to ride TRON/Lightcycle Run, visit Disney World's website.
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