Just the other day we told you that construction on the show building for the…
The Magic Kingdom is finally upgrading its Tomorrowland as the Tron Lightcycle Power Run roller coaster is officially coming to Walt Disney World! Please tell me this isn’t a dream! In fact, the immensely popular TRON roller coaster from Shanghai Disneyland is coming stateside and we can’t wait to ride it!
In this article, we are going to share everything we know about the Tron Lightcycle Run Roller Coaster so far including the location, ride vehicle, height requirements, the opening date and any news and updates about this attraction.
Riders will board trains of two-wheeled Lightcycle bikes for a thrilling race through the digital frontier. Read more detailed info below!
TRON Lightcycle Power Run Overview
- Location: Tomorrowland in Disney’s Magic Kingdom (Walt Disney World)
- Status: Under Construction – Opening Date (TBD – 2022)
- Ride Type: Roller Coaster
- Thrill Level: High
- FastPass: TBD
- Ride Length: 2 Minutes
- Height Requirement: 48 inches (Shanghai Version)
- Capacity: 1,680 riders per hour
To start off, we just want to say how excited we are for the Tron roller coaster to be coming to Walt Disney World. Some Disney fans have been pretty negative about some of the upcoming attraction choices in the parks, but we on the other hand couldn’t be more excited, and we think Tron might just be the best of the bunch.
Even though it had been rumored for some time before, when the Tron coaster was announced back at the 2017 D23 Expo we lost it. Knowing what a popular and thrilling ride it already is overseas, we couldn’t wait to get in a U.S. Disney park. And we think it’s going to be a HUGE game-breaker for the Magic Kingdom especially.
This will be the fastest and one of the most thrilling roller coasters ever to come to Walt Disney World. It might even be the most thrilling ride in any Disney park worldwide.
To find out more about the TRON Roller Coaster opening date and all the other information about the ride, please keep reading further down where we explain it in greater detail.
(NEWS: 1/3/21) – TRON Lightcycle Run Coaster Delayed Until 2022
With recent announcements from Disney, it looks like the TRON Lightcycle Run Coaster in the Magic Kingdom has been delayed until 2022.
After the long closure of The Walt Disney World theme parks and the shutdown of construction across the property, it was pretty obvious that all the current projects will be delayed compared with their original estimated opening dates.
Some new developments, as well as comments from Disney hint that TRON Lightcycle Run will be delayed even further than originally hoped.
Originally, it was thought that the project could be finished in late 2021. However, now it looks like the TRON Lightcycle Run coaster will not open until 2022.
The outside of the construction site after all looks to be pretty far along at this point in time.
This may seem strange to you since construction has been ongoing for months now, with visible progress being made on the canopy and the external of the attraction. Looks can be deceiving at times, and even though the outside looks pretty far along, construction on the ride in early 2021 is coming to a halt.
Disney’s plan is to seal of the rest of the attraction show building and the outdoor canopy, and then halt construction until sometime in 2021, maybe even as late as the Fall.
The main reason behind this new delay for the TRON coaster is a lack of funds. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said a few months back that many projects are being delayed due to the $700 million budget cut Disney took on all construction projects in 2020. Some are being delayed while others cut entirely.
When talking about these projects, President of Disney Imagineering, Bob Weis said that some of the projects will resume construction immediately, while others “will be picked back up in stages.”
Among the attractions listed in that category was the TRON roller coaster coming to the Magic Kingdom. So while it did start back up immediately, it was likely to bring the project to a certain point where they could then put it on hold until additional funding comes in.
In fact, if you look at the outside of the Tron Lightcycle Run show building, you can see the tunnel is now closed where the track comes into the show building after launching and going under the canopy.
Disney completely closing the tunnel to the outside signals they aren’t expecting to do any work on that area of the project for quite some time.
Not only that, all mention of the TRON coaster has been removed from Disney’s latest press release listing the upcoming attractions coming to the parks in 2021.
What does all of this mean? It means that TRON Lightcycle Run will most likely NOT be ready in time for the start of the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, where it was supposed to be the headliner attraction for the celebration.
Since the 50th celebration will carry on into 2022, it will likely be ready later on in the celebration.
Disney hasn’t made an official announcement about this yet, but it looks all but inevitable at this point. Stay tuned for more Tron Lightcycle Run details soon.
In the meantime, keep reading to learn everything we know so far about this groundbreaking new attraction coming to Walt Disney World.
What is Tron Lightcycle Power Run?
Get excited people, because the Tron roller coaster, Tron Lightcycle Run, Tron ride or whatever you want to call it, is coming to Walt Disney World! What exactly is it, and why does it have such a long name??
The proper name for the attraction is: Tron Lightcycle Run. It’s a futuristic roller coaster based off the TRON franchise and has guests climb aboard the iconic two-wheeled “Lightcycles” as they race and speed through this mind-bending roller coaster track in “The Grid.”
That’s right, generic future themes are played out. The digital frontier is where you are going on Tron.
It is an indoor-outdoor coaster, which is covered by a huge hanging canopy marked by its changing colors. It will be a dominant fixture on the the Magic Kingdom skyline when opened and will attract guests from all around the park.
What Parks is the Tron roller coaster coming to? While initially there were rumors that the ride might make it to multiple U.S. Disney theme parks, the Tron Lightcycle Power Run is only coming to Tomorrowland in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park.
The Tron ride will be located right next to Space Mountain, and behind the Tomorrowland Speedway. In fact, since the attraction is beyond the original park berm, a significant amount of land clearing had to be done before construction began
It was thought that it might also come to another park like Disney California Adventure, but The Walt Disney World location will be the only one for the time being.
Why is TRON Coming to MK?
Let’s face it, even though Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park is the best park in Disney World for “rides,” they’ve been in sore need of more attractions due to the high number of guests all the time in the park for years now.
When the majority of the best attractions in the park (Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Pirates) are all 25+ years old or more, you know you need some new additions.
This is a perfect storm for the Magic Kingdom because the Tron roller coaster is being built for the park’s 50th-anniversary celebration, and it will be the centerpiece of the many enhancements Disney is trying to make.
I’m also happy that Tomorrowland will finally get a little love, as it currently looks like anything but a vision of the future. The TRON franchise, while maybe not the traditional princess franchise that is so often found in the Magic Kingdom, actually fits in really well in Tomorrowland. It might have worked in Hollywood Studios or Epcot too, but in my opinion, this was the best home for it.
Tron is an imposing, dominating and very attractive figure on the Shanghai Disneyland skyline, and it will have the same effect here in the Magic Kingdom too. Its bright lights and friendly screams will attract guests from all over the park and serve as the new Tomorrowland icon.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom is also the best fit for the Tron coaster because the park needs more thrill rides. The Magic Kingdom has been falling out of favor with teens in recent years due to the Animal Kingdom (Flight of Passage) and Hollywood Studios (Galaxy’s Edge) both stepping up in the thrill ride department.
Even Epcot is adding a revolutionary new Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster which will also be a big hit. Since it doesn’t look like we’re getting that Fire Mountain roller coaster anytime soon, Tron is a crucial piece of the Magic Kingdom’s evolution into the next decade and beyond.
Is this the Same Ride as in Shanghai Disneyland?
The TRON coaster is a copy of the version already in Shanghai Disneyland which opened in 2016. It quickly became one of the most popular rides in the park according to guests and a park icon.
The track layout for the Tron coaster, the ride vehicles, and the canopy structure will all be the same in the Magic Kingdom when built as they are in Shanghai Disneyland.
While we can’t say right now that every, single piece of steel will be 100% the same, it sure looks like that will pretty much be the case.
The only slight difference we know about so far is the attraction name. In the Shanghai version, it’s called: “Tron Lightcycle Power Run” whereas in Disney World it’s called: “Tron Lightcycle Run,” dropping the word “power” from the title.
So what is the ride system like? Tron Lightcycle Power Run is a is a semi-enclosed launched steel motorbike roller coaster. We say semi-enclosed because it’s not totally an indoor roller coaster like Space Mountain, but more like an outdoor coaster that’s covered by a canopy.
The version in Shanghai was developed by the famous roller coaster manufacturer Vekoma, who is also (not coincidentally), designing the Guardians roller coaster in Epcot.
What makes this roller coaster system special is the canopy and the many digital lighting and sound effects throughout the ride. It feels like you are really entering the grid from the TRON films
The layout of the actual roller coaster track and the ride system itself are awesome, but it’s the unique lightcycle bike ride vehicles that really make the Tron coaster special. The ride vehicles are a clone of the lightcycle from the TRON films and were specially created by Disney Imagineering to further enhance the riding experience.
The way you sit in the ride vehicle is more like a motorcycle than a normal roller coaster car. You lean forward and hold the grips like motorcycle handles, and are secured with a support locking you in from the back. Think of this as Flight of Passage on a roller coaster track.
The coaster trains stand out from far away as they light up and have several different light sequences they go through during the ride, changing colors and coming to life.
The vehicles are very comfortable and even have a convenient storage bin for your phone and glasses, which you will not want to lose. Each bike is equipped with a killer onboard sound system further enhancing the ride experience.
They were even put on display in Disney’s Magic Kingdom for guests to see:
The Tron lightcycle bikes are quite possibly the coolest ride vehicles of any Disney attraction, ever!
Even though Tron Lightcycle Power Run is a beloved attraction, the one complaint guests have in Shanghai is that it’s actually a pretty short roller coaster. The official ride length is only 2 minutes long.
That is pretty short even for Disney coaster standards. For example, Space Mountain is 2 min 30 seconds, Expedition Everest is 2 min 50 seconds and Big Thunder is 3 min 25 seconds. It is however still longer than Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster which clocks in at a measly 1 min 22 seconds.
While it would be awesome if the Tron coaster was longer, it’s such a fun ride and doesn’t feel that short when you’re up there. Keep in mind this is an intense ride, so not something you’d be able to handle for 5 minutes straight anyhow.
While Disney hasn’t yet announced what the height requirement for Tron Lightcycle Power Run in the Magic Kingdom will be, it’s safe to say it will be right around the same as the 48-inch limit in Shanghai Disneyland.
There are only 2 Disney World theme park attractions that have a 48″ height requirement, Primeval Whirl and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Tron would join that group.
Nothing is written in stone yet so we’ll have to wait for the official word from Disney to what the height restrictions will be for this attraction.
How Scary is the TRON Coaster?
I’m usually a person that encourages everyone to try every attraction, at least once, but there is no doubt that the Tron roller coaster is definitely going to be scary for some guests.
Tron Lightcycle Power Run will immediately become one of the most intense rides in Disney World the minute it opens due to high speeds at which the trains travel, and steep turns and drops. It also reaches heights of up to 70ft off the ground, so definitely not for the faint of heart.
How Fast is Tron Roller Coaster?
To quote Top Gun: “I feel the need, the need for speed.” If high speeds are what you want, then this is going to be the ride for you. Just how fast is the Tron roller coaster ride?
The Shanghai version of Tron Lightcycle Power Run reaches speeds of just under 60 mph (95 kph), making it the fastest Disney roller coaster in the world. Since the Magic Kingdom version of TRON is an exact copy, we can expect the same top speed.
If so, it will instantly make the TRON coaster, the fastest roller coaster in Walt Disney World, faster than both Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Expedition Everest.
Does the Tron Roller Coaster go Upside Down?
If you are afraid of loops, there is no need to worry, the Tron roller coaster doesn’t have any inversions or go upside down. That being said, it’s still one of the most thrilling Disney roller coasters and could hold its own in any theme park around the world.
Ride Layout and Walkthrough
Even though the Tron ride isn’t open yet in Disney World, we pretty much know already what it is going to be like by looking at the Shanghai version. Let’s walk through the entire ride layout starting from the outside of the show building, to the indoor queue and finally the Tron ride experience.
From the Outside
Not only is TRON: Lightcycle Power Run one of the coolest ride experiences anywhere, the incredible attraction starts well before you even make it into the ride queue.
The imposing structure with its futuristic canopy will be seen from far away and will call guests to enter. This experience is taken to the next level at night when the whole canopy lights up in a never-ending color show of lights and sound as coaster riders whizzes by overhead.
Honestly, one of the coolest things to do in Shanghai is just standing underneath or to the side at night and watch the riders go by. This will instantly become one of the coolest places to take pictures at night once open.
Latest Concept Art
So here we have the new, updated TRON Lightcycle concept art from the 2019 D23 Expo:
At first glance, the attraction might seem the same, but there are some vast differences between this new concept art and the old one.
Here is the old TRON Lightcycle concept art:
So the first difference you’ll see is that the TRON marquee was on top of the structure previously, hanging above the entrance to the ride. Now the marquee is on a stand on the ground in front of the entrance.
Another really cool feature is that the Walt Disney World Railroad (which is currently closed due to the TRON construction) seems to now pass under the TRON Lightcycle Run in a tunnel and not exposed as it was previously.
I’m not sure I like this idea because it would have been really sweet to look up and see the coaster above. However, for the guests on the Tron ride, it would break the theme a little bit to look down and see a train from the 1800’s passing underneath.
A further look at the walkways in front of TRON Lightcycle Run shows they are also completely different than the previous art.
Before there was stair/escalator bringing you up into the ride queue. Now it looks like there is just a ramp that winds up around the building and brings you to the entrance.
Also, the other walkways around the coaster are designed differently.
Once you’ve had enough of the sights and sounds from outside Tron, you enter the ride queue…
The beginning of the Tron queue starts out as nothing special with your typical back and forth lines inside the canopy. After a while though you move inside into the attraction show building and this is where things start getting cool!
Many of the walls inside are covered in screens, with many different lighting effects displaying throughout the halls.
The coolest part of the queue though is when you are directly above the launch tunnel. There the wall transforms transparent and you can see down at the lightcycle trains making their launch. The room it happens in is awesome with tons of flashing lights.
Here is what the Tron coaster queue looks like in Shanghai, which we can assume will be very similar to the Disney World one:
There isn’t a super elaborate pre-show, but as you get close to the loading area, there is a video that explains the ride and shows you how to get on the ride vehicle.
The loading area continues the futuristic theme from the queue and you enter the room from the top where you can see other riders boarding their lightcycle bikes down below. Once you go down the ramp you are ushered over to the bike loading area.
Once there, you jump on your lightcycle bike, fasten yourself in and are slowly brought through other rooms where the best part is about to happen.
Riding TRON Lightcycle Power Run
Now that you’re actually on your lightcycle and ready to go, this is where the magic happens. Like many great roller coasters, Tron gets you off to a quick start with a launch directly from the tunnel. Hold on tight to the grips, lean forward, exhale and you’re off into the grid!
The music that blares with the launch is awesome, with heave bass vibrations filling you head and shaking your body. Tron wastes no time to get you up to top speed, hitting 60 mph right at launch.
The portion that rider find themselves in though is what makes this really special. If you’ve been on Flight of Passage before, then imagine that, but on a roller coaster track!
The ride is very smooth with no shaking or rattling action, making it an incredibly comfortable experience. The turns are fast and you’ll find yourself starring at all the effects throughout the canopy and the show building as you race the other train through the course.
My favorite effects of all though are when the lightcycle bikes themselves light up every time you pass through a gate, indicating your lightcycle has been successfully recharged for the next stretch. The whole thing is mesmerizing and will leave you in awe!
Ride it at Night!
While Tron Lightcycle Power Run is definitely a cool experience in the day, nighttime is where this ride really shines and it’s to a whole other level of fun.
Riding at night blocks out most of the surrounding area and helps you to be totally immersed in the grid with the lights all around you. Everything from the launch to the twists and turns under the canopy help you to see the lights and the hexagons in the ceiling much clearer. It’s Disney ride magic at its best.
In fact when we put together a rope dropping and FastPass guide for Tron, we will definitely suggest to do it after sunset, especially if you will only get to ride once during your visit.
Will Tron Lightcycle Power Run Have FastPass?
The Tron roller coaster will definitely have FastPass+ available at some point, but whether it will be available immediately at the ride’s initial opening is another story.
The latest trend in Disney E-Ticket rides is to not make the FastPass+ option immediately available at the ride’s opening. They did this with Flight of Passage, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
The reason behind this varies, but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to open Tron: Lightcycle Power Run without FastPass either at first and then introduce them later on.
At this point, Disney World has suspended use of the FastPass+ system and we don’t even know if any attractions will be using it when TRON opens. Disney may opt to use the Virtual Queue system instead, for TRON like other rides. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear more.
Cast Member Costumes
Also revealed at the D23 Expo are the cast member costumes for Tron Lightcycle Power Run which were on display. They are in sync with the ride’s colors highlighting the black and teal blue colors:
They look pretty sharp and are one of the more attractive costumes you’ll find in a Disney park.
The Tron Lightcycle Run ride is not currently open in the Magic Kingdom so we haven’t had a chance to review this specific attraction yet. Once it opens we will have a full review ready for you!
While we’re still waiting for this new ride to come to the Magic Kingdom, you can watch one of the amazing videos showing the TRON roller coaster in action in Shanghai Disneyland…
Try to watch that and not have a huge smile on your face!!
Ever since the original announcement for the Tron roller coaster in Magic Kingdom, it’s been a blast to watch the construction updates from week to week. Things are really progressing nicely and by now the entire track has already been laid down, and work is continuing on the Tron show building as we speak.
It will be harder to see all the work once the canopy is up, but for now we still have a nice view of the project.
Not long ago we reached a milestone in the TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster construction as the attraction’s famous canopy is being lifted into place.
Disney Imagineer Zach Riddley shared the update in his Instagram account the other day with photos and now he has included a brand new video of almost 40 pieces of the curved canopy going into place.
Each section is strategically preassembled before installation, including alignment of the steel, welding, grinding, some painting and electrical work. It’s an intricate process and something we’ll get to see rise before our eyes over the coming weeks and months.Zach Riddley, Disney Imagineer
The canopy is known as the “Upload Conduit” and it will cover a long dramatic bank that the roller coaster does in the outdoor part of the ride before swooping guests inside into “The Grid.” The canopy lights up and is going to be a major part of the Magic Kingdom skyline once complete.
With the most recent update, the frame of the canopy is almost entirely in place and ready to be covered. However, rumors are that construction on the TRON roller coaster are coming to a halt soon and not starting back up until sometime in 2021. Budget cuts are making the project go on hold.
In fact, the tunnel has been sealed where the coaster track leads into the show building, indicating Disney won’t be doing work there for some time. We’ll be sure to update you as soon as we have more.
For the very latest and to see the project in better detail check out our TRON Roller Coaster Construction updates page which we add to.
Walt Disney World Railroad Refurbishment
Unfortunately as part of the Tron ride construction in the Magic Kingdom, some attractions have to be temporarily closed. One of the closed attractions is the Walt Disney World Railway.
The Railroad travels on the outside edge of the Magic Kingdom, and ran right through the area where part of the Tron attraction is being built. The tracks even had to be diverted slightly for the new retention pond which has been installed.
In fact, if you look at the concept art, you can see the train running underneath the coaster. There is even a tunnel they are adding there to conceal the train. As you can see, it was impossible to keep the railroad open at the same time Tron is being built.
Right now the Walt Disney World Railroad its still closed, and Disney hasn’t yet given a reopening date, just that it will remain closed into 2020.
When is the TRON Roller Coaster Opening?
The question on everyone’s mind is: When will Tron Lightcycle Power Run open in Disney World?
Right now, Disney hasn’t shared much specific information yet on when the opening date will be. In fact, we are still too far out from the completion of the ride, and too many things can happen between now and then to know for sure.
We do know that the Tron roller coaster was originally supposed to be ready in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary in 2021, but Disney never announced an exact date. The official date for the 50th anniversary is October 1st, 2021, so the plan was to have it ready by then.
Disney takes its time to announce opening dates for its rides because problems and setbacks can come up. For example, we still don’t have opening dates for many of the new rides coming to Disney World in 2021, let alone 2022 or beyond.
Even the opening for the Rise of the Resistance ride was only announced a few months before the actual opening.
Things got more complicated in 2020 with the parks shutting down for months and construction completely stopped on all projects. While construction on TRON Lightcycle Run did restart with the Disney World reopening, it now looks like it will be getting put on hold in early 2021 and it won’t start up again until later in the year.
Recent comments from Disney Imagineer Bob Weis stated that Tron Lightcycle Run will be started back up in stages, and it wasn’t listed as one of the “main priority” attractions being built right now. That means it might take longer than we originally thought.
Our best guess for the Tron ride is that it will open sometime in Early 2022, with a with a Spring opening being ideal. If that is the case, that means it won’t be open in time for the start of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration.
However, since the 50th celebration will carry on into 2022, it will be part of the phased-openings Disney is planning and it will attract more guests later in the year.
Everything depends on these construction delays and budget cuts. The ride was already behind schedule before the park closure, and now with the project getting put on hold, that means even more time.
We’ll update you more on the Tron Lightcycle Power Run roller coaster opening date as soon as we have more information.
Will there be Soft Openings for TRON Lightcycle Power Run?
Disney from time to time has opened new rides early either to Annual Passholders, Cast Members or to the media, to preview attractions before they open to the general public.
Cast Members will almost surely get to ride Tron before the opening, because some live testing of the ride is required. However, it’s been hit or miss for annual passholder soft openings recently so there is no guarantee Disney will have them.
Again, we are still too far out from the opening to know right now, but as soon as Disney announces it, we’ll let you know!
The ride isn’t finished being built yet, but a Tron-themed roller coaster is currently under construction at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
The Tron coaster is located in Tomorrowland, next to Space Mountain and behind the Tomorrowland Speedway.
The Tron Lightcycle Run roller coaster opening date has been delayed and will not likely open until 2022.
No, the Tron roller coaster doesn’t have any loops or go upside down.
It reaches just under 60mph at top speed.
Make sure to read about all the new Disney World rides coming in the next few years, it’s gonna be insane!
I want to know what you think about the Tron Lightcycle Run roller coaster coming to Walt Disney World…
- Are you looking forward to this new ride?
- Which new attraction coming to Walt Disney World are you looking forward to most?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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