LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Set to open officially in Walt Disney World on April 4th, TRON Lightcycle/Run brings high-speed thrills to Magic Kingdom as the Happiest Place on Earth closes out its 18-month-long 50th Anniversary Celebration.
The roller coaster, originally found at Shanghai Disney Resort, brings the world of Grid from the TRON film franchise direct to Tomorrowland. High-speed thrills and next-level technology are at the forefront of this ride, with a unique ride vehicle that pushes the idea of what a roller coaster can look and feel like.
TRON Lightcycle/Run is far from the only new attraction to light up Walt Disney World in the past few years. Disney has been busy bringing new rides, restaurants, and entertainment to its guests across all four theme parks, with TRON being perhaps the most eye-catching as you approach.
What TRON Brings To The Table
With top speeds of just under 60 miles per hour, TRON Lightcycle/Run is one of the fastest rides in Walt Disney World and certainly the fastest roller coaster you will find in Magic Kingdom. For comparison, its neighbor Space Mountain reaches half that maximum speed at 27 miles per hour.
In fact, Greg Johnson, Show Technical Production Manager at Walt Disney Imagineering, shared that TRON Lightcycle/Run is “the fastest roller coaster we’ve ever built at Walt Disney Imagineering,” tied only with its twin Shanghai coaster.
The beginning of the ride features an intense launch as guests soar into the outdoor portion of the ‘Grid,’ the term used in the TRON universe to describe the computer platform designed by Kevin Flynn (played by Jeff Bridges in TRON and TRON: Legacy). From there, guests zip along a dark indoor coaster, passing through eight Energy Gates, racing as Team Blue versus Team Orange along the way. Thanks in part to its speed, it may feel to some like it is over just as it begins.
If you decide to skip TRON Lightcycle/Run as a rider, it still has something new to offer guests from a simple visual standpoint. The new attraction electrifies the Tomorrowland skyline, with shimmering hues of blue and orange reflecting off its outer white shell at night.
Imagineer Kerry Milligan notes for Disney Parks Blog that TRON “itself is incredibly dynamic,” adding more elements of kinetic energy to the land. She personally enjoys the fact that by standing in one spot along the ride’s concourse, “you can see the Lightcycles coming around the track, the Tomorrowland Speedway, and even the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.”
One of the most unique aspects of TRON centers around the ride’s vehicles: Seven rows of side-by-side motorcycle-style seats make up the Lightcycle. Johnson explains, “The Lightcycles…are very key to the movies, and we knew that guests had to experience that. Pure fun, pure adrenaline.”
For guests who may feel uncomfortable in the motorcycle-style seating or just wish to experience the ride differently, the attraction does offer traditional bench-style seats located in the back row of two Lightcycles.
When the attraction opens, guests will be able to access it via the TRON virtual queue or by purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane.
Other High-Speed Thrills At Disney World
If you find yourself experiencing a need for speed after riding TRON Lightcycle/Run, several other Walt Disney World attractions will scratch the itch. While Disney Imagineering noted that TRON is the fastest roller coaster they have ever built, there is one ride found at EPCOT that tops the list.
Here are the fastest rides at Walt Disney World:
- Test Track (65 mph)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (60 mph)
- TRON Lightcycle/Run (60 mph)
- Rock ‘N’ Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith (57 mph)
- Expedition Everest (50 mph)
- Slinky Dog Dash (40 mph)
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (39 mph)
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (36 mph)
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (34 mph)
- Space Mountain (27 mph)
This list also gives you a good sense of how the speed of each ride compares to one another, especially if you are planning a vacation with children who might feel a bit weary conquering those bigger attractions.
Plenty of Other New Walt Disney World Rides
TRON Lightcycle/Run joins a lineup of several new Disney World rides and attractions that have opened in the past three years. It comes right off the heels of the fan-favorite indoor roller coaster Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT, with its reverse launch and rotating vehicles.
Also new to EPCOT is the completed expansion of the France Pavilion, with its new headliner, the family-friendly dark ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
Speaking of family-friendly, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in March 2020, just one week before Walt Disney World closed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With TRON Lightcycle/Run debuting at Magic Kingdom, that leaves the transformation of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure as the final remaining ride currently confirmed by Disney to be coming to the Florida theme parks in the next couple of years.
Other Big Walt Disney World Happenings in 2023
TRON is not the only new addition to Walt Disney World in early 2023 guests can look forward to while planning when to visit Disney World. The addition of the attraction brought with it a new quick-service dining kiosk called Energy Bytes, with a menu that features “Power Cycle” savory dumplings and “End of Line” desserts.
The Roundup Rodeo BBQ also officially opened in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on March 23rd. The family-style barbecue restaurant brings table-service dining to Toy Story Land for the first time.
As the 50th Anniversary Celebration comes to a close, Walt Disney World sets its sights on the next round of festivities: the Walt Disney Company’s 100th Anniversary. Those celebrations have already kicked off at the Disneyland Resort, but it was recently revealed that EPCOT would be the home for all things 100th anniversary in Florida.
TRON Lightcycle/Run joins an already impressive lineup of new roller coasters around Orlando. The ride is in good company, with big hits like VelociCoaster at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure, and the aforementioned Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT.
While TRON clocks in with a much shorter ride time than those other two coasters, it still delivers big on what some may consider a much-needed element of thrill in Magic Kingdom.
Video of Bob Iger’s 2023 annual shareholder meeting remarks: