TRON Lightcycle Run is an indoor/outdoor roller coaster under construction right now in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. It’s a clone of the TRON Lightcycle Power Run currently open at Shanghai Disneyland*.
The attraction is based off of Walt Disney’s popular TRON franchise. TRON, the original film, debuted in 1982 with the sequel, “Tron: Legacy,” opening in 2010. A 2012 animated television series called “Tron: Uprising” was set in the world of Tron: Legacy, but it only ran for one season.
Of course, there were also video games, comic books, and more. So while the third film may never get made, there’s already a lot of story to draw from.
You’ll find TRON Lightcycle Run nested directly next to Space Mountain in Tomorrowland along the path toward Storybook Circus. This is different from Shanghai Disneyland, where the attraction is the center of attention in Tomorrowland.
Guests will climb aboard ride vehicles that are designed to look like the famous bikes from the TRON video games and movies. You’ll have to ride them astride like a motorcycle and a restraint will press down on your back, sort of like Avatar – Flight of Passage.
Disney Imagineers recently shared video of the first high-speed test launch and outside run for the highly anticipated new attraction. That’s a good sign for fans. Once testing begins, they’ll start to get an idea of when they can schedule the official opening date.
A video tour of construction
We stopped by the Magic Kingdom last weekend to check in on the progress of the TRON roller coaster. Alas, we didn’t see any test runs in progress, but there was still a lot to see.
Check out our video, including a ride-by on the Peoplemover, here:
Note: just yesterday crews have begun to re-lay the train tracks at the Storybook Circus station for the Walt Disney World Railroad.
Things to note:
The massive inflated plastic canopy that will cover the outdoor portion of the roller coaster is now nearly complete.
Work has been nearly completed on the tunnel for the Walt Disney World railroad and work has begun on relaying train tracks in Tomorrowland leading toward Main Street.
Construction on the pedestrian overpass looks to be nearly complete. Now crews will move on toward connecting the pathway to Storybook Circus and back into Tomorrowland. Next Disney’s will call in the horticultural experts to put back in some of the greenery they took out from the area.
You can also see the entrance to the interior queue where Lightning Lane and standby users will enter the world of TRON.
Disney has released some updated concept art that shows the attraction at night. You can see the marquee at the base of the bridge, the railroad tunnel, and a hint that maybe Magic Kingdom’s TRON canopy will illuminate differently than the Shanghai Disney Resort version.
The canopy also serves another important purpose in Central Florida. It should allow the attraction, which has a portion of track that goes outside of the show building, to run in the rain. An improvement over Test Track, which is known to shut down in severe weather.
You will also notice that work has begun on the exterior of Tomorrowland’s Light & Power Co. building (aka the Space Mountain Gift Shop). The pillars on the outside have been removed to attempt to widen the walkway. That area is bound to see a lot more traffic as guests move in and out of the TRON attraction.
It still feels like that might become a choke point, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see other options explored here, such as funneling exit traffic through the store.
When will TRON Lightcycle Run open?
There’s a lot of speculation about this right now. I think the big question is will Disney race to open as soon as possible, or focus on a meaningful date. The 51st Anniversary is October 1, 2022. They might also just shoot for the Holiday season. Add your guesses in the comments below.
*Alas, Shanghai Disneyland is currently closed due to pandemic related restrictions.