A new roller coaster is opening soon at Magic Kingdom and cast member sneak-previews have already been going on for a few weeks! The Tron Lightcycle/Run motorcycle roller coaster is a clone of the state-of-the-art attraction constructed in Disney’s Shanghai Disneyland Park and has gotten rave reviews so far!
With an official opening date set for April 4th, 2023, there is a lot of anticipation to try out the new coaster. As with most of Disney’s ride openings, the new attraction is sure to draw a lot of guests to the park. Disney has already announced that the ride will begin with a virtual queue only, meaning that it may be difficult to secure a spot in line for the ride. For more details on what the ride is like and how to ensure a ride during your visit, keep reading for all the information you need to know.
The Ride Theme & Experience
The ride is themed after a lesser-known cult classic film called Tron. The science fiction movie was originally released in 1982 and features a story about an arcade owner and computer guy named Kevin Flynn who ends up being pulled into a digital world and must compete in challenges in order to escape back to real life. The movie also has a sequel, Tron: Legacy, which released in 2010. The sequel follows the son of the original main character when he is also transported into cyberspace to help save his father and bring him back to the real world.
The movies are filled with colorful and iconic imagery which the new roller coaster ride borrows from. The cyber aesthetic and blue vs orange theme offer a backdrop for riders to understand the story of the ride, which will, of course, take guests into the same cyberspace realm known as “The Grid.” When you ride, you will be a member of team blue and race on the motorcycle-type vehicles to defeat the villain program’s team orange. Even if you know nothing about the movie, you should get a good idea of what’s happening as you progress through the ride queue and absorb plot details.
The ride itself is relatively short, so the impressive visual effects and lighting throughout much of the queue is a big part of the experience. Be sure to take a minute to take in your surroundings, especially when you enter the room with views of the coaster launch (you will know when you see it)!
The roller coaster attraction will be Magic Kingdom’s most thrilling ride ever created. With a top speed of just under 60 miles per hour, it’s a bit more intense that Disney’s typical family roller coasters. For in-park reference, the next fastest roller coaster will be the nearby Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train in Fantasyland, which tops out at a max speed of 34 miles per hour. The ride is very quick, which contributes to the low total run-time, but is very smooth. It does not have any inversions (no upside-down), so it isn’t too scary for most riders. All in all, it will be a thrilling addition to Magic Kingdom that is still accessible to most guests.
The Tron Ride and Motorcycle Seating
Since the roller coaster is themed after the motorcycle vehicle from the movies, the seat is much different than you see at any other Disney World ride. You will sit on the ride as if sitting on a bike with your legs straddled over the seat. You will also be leaning forward to hold onto the handlebars, halfway between lying on your stomach and sitting up. Leg and back restraints come up behind you, pressing on your back and legs to secure you in place.
Since this seat is different than most others, it has caused a bit of controversy from Disney fans. Larger guests have reported not being able to fit into the seat at all, and are then forced to ride in a special car with a normal bench-type seat in the back of certain vehicles. If you are on the larger side, be sure to test out the vehicle seating located in front of the ride before going on it. Take your time adjusting yourself and your legs so you understand how the system works and can do a better job squeezing in. A cast member out front will be there to assist you, but knowing how the seat restraint mechanisms work will save you a lot of stress caused by holding up the line once you’re getting on the real ride.
Where is the Tron Roller Coaster Located?
Tron is a new addition in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland right next door to the classic attraction. If you are a bit nervous of the ride, be sure to check it out in Tomorrowland to see it for yourself. The ride has a large outdoor section where riders will soar by guest pathways, allowing you a preview to get a good sense of the ride you’ll be heading on.
Will Tron be Replacing Space Mountain?
Have no fear, Tron is not replacing the classic Space Mountain ride. Though we have recently lost Splash Mountain to a retheme, Disney has no plans to change or replace Space Mountain.
Additional Ride Details
The ride requires a minimum height of 48 inches, so keep an eye on the height of your kids at the time you visit. Since the ride has a unique style and travels over guest pathways, it will be Disney’s first attraction that requires the use of lockers. These locker rentals are part of the queue itself and will be free to rent during the time you ride. Everyone is required to place large items into the lockers and can retrieve them after the ride. You can, however, hold onto smaller items, since the vehicles have small containers to store items. These on-ride containers are a bit bigger than you might think, and are large enough to store a phone, wallet, keys, and sunglasses. Anything bigger will need to be kept in the lockers.
When the ride opens, it will have a virtual queue only. This means that if you want to snag a spot on the ride, you will have to wake up at 7am and head to the My Disney Experience App to reserve a spot in line later in the day. Once these reservations fill up, there are no actual lines to join, and you won’t be able to ride unless you pay the $20+ per person Individual Lightning Lane fee. Unfortunately, with the virtual queue system, you can’t really control what time of day you will be visiting the ride. At nighttime, the LED lights across the ride are simply spectacular, and offer an amazing view of the park. Even if you don’t get to ride at night, be sure to swing by after dark to get a glimpse of the awesome lighting effects!
If the Disney World Vacation you’re planning is later on in 2023 a few months after the ride opens, you should keep an eye out to see if Disney changes from the virtual queue to a physical queue. In my estimation, the ride’s queue has plenty of space for a lot of people, so I expect Disney to change to the traditional waiting queue by the end of the summer in 2023. Keep in mind that that’s just my best guess!
Is the Ride Something Everyone Will Enjoy?
Frankly, the ride is excellent, but leaves something to be desired from the ride time. With the actual ride being under 2 minutes total, it’s an awesome zip around the track, but might feel too short if you’ve waited all day for the ride. As I suggested earlier, I recommend taking in the impressiveness of the queue and treat it as part of the ride experience to have a better overall time. Short roller coaster ride times are the norm everywhere aside from Disney, which has always found a great balance of thrilling fun, long rides, and great theming that an entire family can enjoy. Tron pushes towards the “thrilling coaster” category, but still is meant to be an attraction most visitors can ride and enjoy.
Is It Worth The Long Wait?
If you’re a first-time visitor to Disney World, riding all of the other classic Magic Kingdom attractions will be a more rewarding experience than spending a big chunk of time waiting for the newest and more impressive Tron roller coaster. Instead of waiting 3 hours to ride, you could hop on Big Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and take a train ride around the entire park! On the other hand, the Tron Lightcycle/Run is a fun and unique coaster that will surely leave you smiling after the ride, and is something any returning guest should make an effort to see. With the addition of the Tron Roller coaster in Magic Kingdom, it’s a good idea to spend 2 vacation days in the park to ensure you have enough time to see and do everything!
About the Author:As a local and former Disney Cast Member, I know EVERYTHING there is to know about Disney World and the company. I have a masters degree and frequently write within my full-time job. I write articles for fun and to ensure people get the best information or opinions they can on all things Disney!