Fellow Gen Xers (and their kids) are going to love this … The original gamer-movie TRON, followed by the cult-classic TRON Legacy, has manifested itself into what’s now the fastest coaster at Walt Disney World® Resort. It’s your turn to ride the grid on your own Lightcycle!
I prepared my 11-year-old daughter by watching both movies before we went to experience the new TRON Lightcylce / Run ride during the soft opening at Magic Kingdom Park. The futuristic ride, that is located in Tomorrowland (just to the left of Space Mountain), officially opens on April 4, 2023.
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The first thing you’ll notice as you make your way toward Space Mountain, just off to the left is a massive “curved wave” canopy. As you walk under the awe-inspiring structure, Lightcycle trains seemingly appear out of nowhere, making high-speed twists and turns as they launch onto the Game Grid. The experience is even more dramatic after dark as patterns of light and color create a powerful visual for riders and bystanders alike.
This ride does not currently have a traditional stand-by line. TRON Lightcycle / Run is only available by requesting access through the My Disney Experience app’s Virtual Queue (check at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.) or by purchasing a Lightning Lane pass on the day of your visit. The Virtual Queue and Lighting Lane passes are both limited, subject to availability and are not guaranteed.
Once you get a reservation to ride … Walt Disney World guests, also known as Users, are digitally scanned into a mysterious game world — with a killer music soundtrack! As members of Team Blue, guests board high-speed Lightcycles for a thrilling race through a dark, computerized world, facing off against a fierce group of Programs known as Team Orange.
To prepare for upload onto the Grid, guests will input bags, purses, hats and other items into double-sided lockers that are opened and locked using a MagicBand or your park ticket. If you don’t have any of those, you can ask a cast member for a temporary card to access a locker. Smaller items such as cellphones, sunglasses or wallets can be placed into a small compartment located near the handle bars on each Lightcycle. Following the race, guests will return to the real world and retrieve their belongings.
The beginning launch onto the Grid feels like the fastest part of the ride for Users as their powerful Lightcycles arc smoothly beneath the towering attraction canopy and then charge into a mysterious game world of light, sound and speed. It reminded us of the powerful acceleration on the Test Track ride at Epcot.
The way your body grips the Lightcycle makes for an unforgettable ride experience. I was a bit concerned at first about the bike-style seating feeling too restrictive (as I’m prone to claustrophobia issues on certain rides). Thankfully, there was a “test vehicle” you can try out near the queue, which help put me at ease. Once you sit on the bike and put your legs and body into position, you pull back on the handle bars until it feels comfortable, to firmly lock your legs and body into place. The back plate was what I was most worried about, but it wasn’t too tight and seemed to make me feel secure without being too constricting.
My daughter is hesitant on coasters so she opted to ride the optional seated car that’s located in the back of some of the Lightcycle trains. These cars have upright bucket seats with a lap bar — a more traditional seat for those who can’t or don’t want to ride the bike-style seats. Make sure to ask for this option when you enter the queue. There may be a longer wait as they are very limited. There’s only one per train but not all trains have one.
We hear there is going to be some great merch inside the Tomorroland Launch Depot. This all-new retail experience will be the place to gear up for the Grid with racing-themed apparel, collectible pins, must-have toys and light-up accessories all inspired by the TRON films and the new attraction. Guests can also purchase and customize their own TRON action figures and identity disc.
Energy Bytes, a new quick-service kiosk near TRON Lightcycle / Run, has both savory and sweet items. Selections include:
- Digital Dumplings – Choose from Buffalo Chicken: Chicken Dumplings, Blue Cheese Powder and Cayenne Pepper Broth; or Beef & Broccoli: Beef Dumplings, Broccoli Pesto and Ginger-Soy Broth
- Strawberry IceOform – Strawberry Ice Cream Mochi, Graham Crackers and Cheesecake Foam
- Watermelon Refresher – A frozen beverage with Yuzu, Ginger and Pop Rocks
- Chocolate Doughnut Holes with Mocha Sauce
- Joffrey’s™ Cold Brew Coffee with Mocha Sauce
With Disney PhotoPass, Users have many ways to commemorate their experiences on the Grid with special photo and video effects, including Magic Shots.
To experience TRON Lightcycle / Run, guests must be at least 48 inches tall.
Geek-Out with TRON Terminology:
- Digitizers: Two chambers where the Shiva laser performs a “digitizing procedure” on Users, sending them into the world of the Grid.
- Energy Gates: Digital markers that Users and Programs compete to “capture.” The first team to capture all eight Gates by passing through them is declared the winner.
- Programs: Digital beings who live on the Grid, they are created by humans through written computer code. Programs are opponents of Users on TRON Lightcycle / Run.
- Shiva laser: The ENCOM SHV 20905 is the conduit by which human Users pass from the real world into the digital world of the Grid.
- Sync Chamber: The load station where Users board Lightcycles, “syncing” their bodies with the vehicles.
- The Grid: The digital world created by Kevin Flynn.
- The Game Grid: An arena of competition within the larger digital world of the Grid, where competition takes place.
- TRON Plaza: The area around and encompassing TRON Lightcycle / Run, mostly covered by its distinct canopy structure that is an expression of biological and technological harmony.
- Upload Conduit: Beneath the canopy of TRON Plaza, this section of “track” carries data being uploaded from the Launcher to the Game Grid, much like a fiberoptic cable. This one-of-a-kind piece of technology, co-created by Sam Flynn, enables digital information traveling along its lines to be seen by outside “real world” observers and vice versa. This is why onlookers in Tomorrowland are able to “see” a train of Lightcycles speeding along, and Users can catch glimpses of the surrounding area from their vehicle.
- Users: Human beings who must be digitized to visit the Grid and compete in TRON Lightcycle / Run.
- Team Green Post-Show Space presented by Enterprise: After competing in an epic race and returning to Tomorrowland, Users are introduced to a bold new race team and their powerful, state-of-the-art Lightcycle that offers an opportunity to capture an incredible photo.
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