TRON Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom will debut in Spring 2023 in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom. Previously, the expectation was that the new Walt Disney World E-Ticket would be given a specific opening date during this Christmas season, or an opening season in 2023. It turns out the latter was correct.
This announcement was made during the “A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products” presentation at D23 Expo 2022. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro shared the news and a brief video of him riding the attraction, which he indicated is nearing completion. (Based on the video footage, it appears almost done.)
The delay is more about when it’s most financially advantageous to open another headliner ride after Cosmic Rewind. Spacing them out in different calendar years would prompt some fans to take two trips instead of one, allowing Walt Disney World to benefit from two distinct marketing pushes.
This is hardly unprecedented. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was originally going to open in early Summer 2020, and could’ve been done by August or September of that year even accounting for the closure. Disney ended up holding it back for another full year until October 1, 2021.
Speaking of which, both TRON Lightcycle Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind were originally slated to open in time for the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary on October 1, 2021. Cosmic Rewind was delayed by about 6 months, which actually wasn’t half bad given the disruptions.
By contrast, TRON Lightcycle Run is being held back for another 18 months or so from its original delay. This is entirely purposeful, so the attraction has maximum impact in terms of marketing and bookings. At this point, the pace of construction is dictated by the planned opening date, not the other way around.
In case you’re unfamiliar with it, the attraction is officially known as TRON Lightcycle / Run (or Tron Lightcycle Power Run) and is a semi-enclosed launched steel motorbike roller coaster attraction. The seats are similar to those on Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom; riders sit on individual lightcycles, lean forward, grip a set of handlebars, and a pad behind the seat comes down and snuggly secures the rider in place.
The roller coaster is a clone of an attraction at Shanghai Disneyland, which is an opening day attraction there. The roller coaster starts with guests entering a huge gravity/show building where they step onto the Grid and board their own cycle. Like Space Mountain or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, much of the ride is in a darkened show building, but unlike those, the climax of the attraction is a loop underneath a large color-changing canopy, which is also the iconic feature of TRON Lightcycle Run’s exterior.
TRON Lightcycle Run is technically an expansion of Tomorrowland, located behind Space Mountain and the Speedway. It’ll also connect to Storybook Circus and is beyond the berm of Magic Kingdom thanks to flyover walkways that guide guests above the Walt Disney World Railroad, which has been closed pretty much since construction started.
If you’re wondering when TRON Lightcycle Run will open, specifically, it’s likely you’ll have to wait a bit longer. Now that the announcement isn’t being made at the 2022 D23 Expo, it’s likely the next possibilities are during the Thanksgiving special or Christmas Day Parade on ABC. If you want to be notified when that’s revealed (or any other Walt Disney World news, discount releases, etc.), sign up here for our FREE Disney newsletter here.
What do you think of TRON Lightcycle Run? Are you excited for this new Magic Kingdom roller coaster, or does it not interest you? Disappointed that it won’t open in 2022, or is Spring 2023 fine by you? Thoughts on how the aesthetic will fit into Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World? Any questions? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!