Attention, Programs. Are you ready for a heart-pounding, out-of-this-world adventure unlike anything else at Walt Disney World? Then grab your identity disc and get ready for the grand opening of TRON Lightcycle / Run, the new TRON roller coaster coming to Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland on April 4, 2023.
But exactly what can you expect during your digital journey to the Grid? We’ll go over everything you need to know about Disney World’s newest ride, including the attraction’s story, adrenaline-fueled details like top speed and track design, and, most importantly, what it’s going to take to get on TRON Lightcycle / Run. (Sorry, folks, a standby line won’t be an option.) Let the games begin!
A Crash Course on the TRON Ride, Disney World’s Futuristic Roller Coaster
“The Grid. A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer. What did they look like? Ships? Motorcycles? Were the circuits like freeways?” Kevin Flynn discovered what the digital realm called the Grid looked like when he created it in TRON, and soon, starting April 4, 2023, Magic Kingdom guests can finally find out, too. Here’s everything we know about the highly anticipated attraction coming to Tomorrowland this spring.
What is TRON Lightcycle Power Run?
TRON Lightcycle / Run is a semi-enclosed steel roller coaster with a high-speed launch and motorcycle-like ride vehicles known as lightcycles. Unlike its Tomorrowland neighbor, Space Mountain, which takes place entirely indoors and in almost complete darkness, the TRON coaster is only partially enclosed, with a portion of the track covered by a glowing, neon canopy known as the Upload Conduit. The whole pulse-racing adventure is set to a techy, bass-heavy soundtrack that is sure to have you feeling the futuristic vibes.
Although the attraction will be a new ride to Magic Kingdom, it isn’t completely new to Disney theme parks. The original attraction, which is known as TRON Lightcycle Power Run, actually made its global debut in Tomorrowland at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Not only did the attraction’s popularity help to bring the ride stateside, but the TRON rollercoaster has even earned accolades from adrenaline junkies around the world, claiming the 35th spot in the list of Top Steel Roller Coasters in 2019 for the Golden Ticket Awards, which are handed out annually by Amusement Today.
Where is TRON Lightcycle / Run in Magic Kingdom?
TRON Lightcycle / Run is located in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland next to Space Mountain behind the Tomorrowland Speedway. Part of the track for the Walt Disney World Railroad also runs through a portion of the attraction. Although you can reach the new ride through Tomorrowland, a walking path will also be available from Storybook Circus for those coming from Fantasyland.
What is the TRON roller coaster about?
TRON Lightcycle / Run is based on the 2010 live-action Disney film TRON: Legacy, transporting riders to a neon-heavy digital realm called the Grid. As the attraction’s story goes, while the original entrance to the Grid was created by Kevin Flynn, the portal from Magic Kingdom was opened by Kevin’s son, Sam Flynn. (However, as we mentioned earlier, this is actually the second gateway to the digital world. The first is located at another Disney park, Shanghai Disneyland.)
From Digitization to Launch
Throughout the futuristic experience, Disney shared, you’re supposed to feel as if you’ve been digitized and whizzed into a flashy, computer-generated dimension. If the Shanghai version, TRON Lightcycle Power Run, is any indication, then you can expect the second gateway at Magic Kingdom to the Grid to be every bit as transportive from the moment you step into the ride’s immersive queue.
Along with the glittering canopy of the Upload Conduit, expect to be dazzled by a sleek, ultramodern aesthetic dripping with bright blue neon with a pulsing, Daft Punk-like soundtrack to match. You’ll be treated to a sneak peek of the roller coaster’s initial launch sequence, as well as a “live” lightcycle race. Other elements from the ride’s immersive queue will likely include interactive screens and other high-tech details.
Join Team Blue for a Special Lightcycle Race Against the Grid’s Menacing Programs
The new attraction pits riders against Team Orange, challenging eager park-goers to a high-stakes race across a computerized world. It’s up to you and the rest of Team Blue to survive the games. Should you lose, you’ll be subject to immediate derezzing (AKA de-resolution). Luckily, thanks to a little help from Sam Flynn, Kevin’s son and the main character from TRON: Legacy, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll make it out and back to the pixie dust and DOLE Whips of the Magic Kingdom in no time.
A High-Stakes Race Through Eight Energy Gates
Alright, Programs, it’s go time. As part of Team Blue, you’ll climb aboard a unique, motorcycle-like ride vehicle before blasting off on a special lightcycle race through the Grid. For anyone who has ever soared through the air on the back of a banshee on Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the ride vehicles feel somewhat like that. Only instead of being stationary in front of a massive screen, you’re hurtling along a steel track at some of the company’s fastest top speeds of any Disney Parks worldwide.
Your formidable opponents are Team Orange, menacing Programs who you’ll face off against multiple times throughout the ride. Your mission? To beat them through eight energy gates. Fortunately, with the help of a blast of energy from Sam Flynn’s identity disc, which launches you through the Upload Conduit and onto the Grid, you’ll get a decent head start.
How fast does the TRON rollercoaster go?
So far, Disney has played it pretty coy when it comes to the exact top speed of the TRON Lightcycle / Run, saying only that it will be one of the fastest roller coasters at any of the company’s theme parks. That said, if we use TRON Lightcycle Power Run at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort as a benchmark, then eager park-goers looking for an adrenaline rush should be able to expect speeds of around 60 miles per hour.
For comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at the high speeds of other Disney World roller coasters. Like the TRON ride, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at Epcot also tops out at a speedy 60 miles per hour, while Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is only slightly slower, clocking in at 57 miles per hour. Other roller coasters at Walt Disney World put the breaks on even more, including:
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain – 50 miles per hour
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Slinky Dog Dash – 40 miles per hour
Magic Kingdom Park
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – 36 miles per hour
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – 34 miles per hour
- Space Mountain – 27 miles per hour
- The Barnstormer – 25 miles per hour
Does the TRON ride go upside down?
Nope! Unlike Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there aren’t any inversions on the new TRON roller coaster coming to Magic Kingdom. This makes it a great thrill ride for folks with a need for speed but a wariness of going upside down.
Is the TRON coaster scary?
As one of the fastest roller coasters at any of the Disney Parks worldwide, TRON Lightcycle / Run isn’t for the faint-hearted. And the fact that it is relatively dark through much of the ride and features a more unique ride vehicle certainly adds to the intensity. Not to mention, since Disney is providing lockers to stash your stuff while you race across the Grid, we can only assume that ride will be one of the most intense attractions at any of the company’s theme parks. Having said that, since the TRON coaster doesn’t go upside down, the ride should appeal to both experienced and aspiring adrenaline junkies alike.
Uploading Yourself to the Grid: How to Ride TRON Lightcycle / Run
All of that sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? If you can’t wait to take the new TRON rollercoaster for a spin, here are some things you should know.
What is the opening date for the TRON ride at Magic Kingdom?
The official opening date for TRON Lightcycle / Run in Magic Kingdom Park is Tuesday, April 4, 2023. Keep in mind that valid theme park tickets and park reservations are required if you want to experience the ride, which are already booking up as we speak. In fact, although Park Pass Reservations are still available for regular theme park guests and those staying at the Disney World hotels, park reservations are currently filled for all levels of Annual Passholders.
What’s more, the TRON rollercoaster isn’t the only highly anticipated attraction coming to Walt Disney World that week. Two nighttime spectaculars will be making a comeback the day before on April 3, 2023: Happily Ever After, the popular fireworks show at Magic Kingdom, which will feature updated projections, and Epcot Forever.
Will there be soft openings for cast members, annual passholders and eligible Disney Vacation Club members?
Of course, while the grand opening date may be set for April 4, as with other new rides at the Disney Parks, you can also expect a series of preview events for TRON Lightcycle / Run, which allow cast members, Club 33 members, annual passholders and eligible Disney Vacation Club members a sneak peek of the attraction. The soft opening for cast members is scheduled for February 6 to March 3, 2023. Previews for annual passholders and DVC members should start shortly thereafter and run on select days over the next few weeks. So, be sure to keep an eye on your email if you belong to one of those lucky groups.
Who can ride the TRON rollercoaster?
Due to the high speed and thrilling nature of TRON Lightcycle / Run, there is a height requirement to experience the attraction. In general, guests must be at least 48 inches (122cm) or taller to go on the roller coaster. However, just because your child might be too small to ride doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy the TRON coaster.
As with all other Disney World attractions with height restrictions, you can always let a cast member know that you’d like to do a parent swap (also known as child swap or rider switch). This allows the little one’s guardians to “swap” places and enjoy the attraction while the other one waits with the child.
Virtual Queue or Individual Lightning Lane: Which is better?
Valid theme park tickets and park reservations aren’t the only things you’ll need to ride TRON Lightcycle / Run. Once the opening date for the TRON rollercoaster finally rolls around on April 4, you’ll also need to secure your place in line by utilizing one of two methods: Either by joining one of the virtual queues or paying to fast-track your trip to the Grid with Individual Lightning Lane access.
Sadly, as we hinted at earlier, no standby line will be available. This is in line with another of the company’s fastest roller coasters and most popular new rides, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. So, which option is best for you and your fellow racers? Let’s take a look.
How to Join The Virtual Queue for TRON Lightcycle / Run
On the one hand, a virtual queue has the upside of being completely free to join. However, as anyone who ever tried to snag a spot in the virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, it can feel frustrating at best and downright impossible at worst.
Take a look at the basic steps for joining a virtual queue below. Then, check out our handy-dandy how-to guide on guaranteed virtual queue boarding groups to make sure you don’t miss out. Please note that you must be inside the park to book a virtual queue.
- Open the My Disney Experience app.
- Tap the hamburger menu ☰ in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- Scroll down and select Virtual Queues from the left-hand side of the screen.
- Hit the plus sign + in the upper-right corner or select Join Virtual Queue.
- Select Magic Kingdom from the list of Disney Parks with virtual queues.
- You should then see TRON Lightcycle / Run. If the queue is open, hit Join Virtual Queue. Otherwise, make a note of the time that the next queue opens and be prepared to return to the app a few minutes before.
- Edit your party members if you haven’t already done so.
- Click Join Virtual Queue once more.
- With any luck, your slot will be secured. If so, simply wait for a push notification from the app when it’s your turn to ride.
Purchasing Lightning Lane Access for the TRON Roller Coaster
If you’re thinking, “Gosh, that sounds like a whole lot of hassle. There’s gotta be a better way!” then you’re in luck. However, it’s going to cost you, and it probably won’t be cheap. Individual Lightning Lane entry allows you to buy access to Disney’s line-skipping service—for a price, of course. Unfortunately, we don’t exactly know what that price will be.
Individual Lightning Lane access utilizes demand-based pricing. In other words, the service will be more expensive on busy Magic Kingdom days when demand is high (such as the attraction’s opening date and in the months following), especially for new rides, and lower on slower days. Naturally, due to the anticipated popularity of the TRON ride, we expect the surge pricing to extend far past April 4. Nonetheless, for many, it’s a small price to pay for convenience, especially if you’re a fan of the films.
Is the TRON ride coming to Disneyland Resort?
As of right now, the only places you’ll be able to experience the TRON roller coaster are Disney World and Shanghai Disneyland. But that doesn’t mean that TRON Lightcycle / Run won’t ever make its way to The Happiest Place on Earth. There have been rumors swirling around that the attraction could eventually be built in Tomorrowland at Disneyland or possibly even rethemed and added to Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park. For right now, though, they’re just that: rumors.
Well, Programs, we’ve come to the end of our guide, and that means it’s game over. Will you be headed to Magic Kingdom for the opening date of TRON Lightcycle / Run? What are you most looking forward to for the newest addition to Disney World? Let us know in the comments! Then, learn how you can free up some space in your travel budget for Lightning Lane access with our discount Disney World tickets.