TRON Lightcycle Run Opens in 2023
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.
For more info, see Everything We Know So Far About TRON Lightcycle Run.
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.
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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!
Tom, any guess when this will open? Is it going to be after Easter 2023?
Chapel & crew have shown one thing over and over, they don’t care about people just $$$$$$$$$!
Sorry, meant Chapek, I don’t think he goes near a chapel
i think it’s the fact that people can plainly see the ride, yet it isn’t opening until later are what makes people mad (great analysis though. doesn’t mean anyone has to like it, but the reason is the reason). and like others, i think may be more interested at this point in when the railroad will reopen. there’s a whole generation of toddlers who don’t even know one exists there.
If it’s almost ready to open, then can’t the part near the railroaded finished so THAT can be opened?
The launch outdoors is the beginning of the ride, but you say “the climax of the attraction is a loop underneath a large color-changing canopy.” Maybe the thrilling beginning of the ride, but not the climax. I think you meant to say something else.
What about the railroad reopening?
Bummer, was hoping this would be ready for our December trip 🙁
Thanks for all of the great updates from today! Sorry we won’t get to ride Tron during our Christmas trip this year.
Tom, what do you think are the chances that GOTG will keep a (free) VQ open until Tron opens, as opposed to switching over to an ILL by Christmas?
GOTG opened up with an ILL option. The question is when the free option will convert from a virtual queue to a standby line, since I don’t think it’s likely to have its paid option become a Genie+ choice any time soon.
(My guess is January, assuming they want to get past the busier season of Oct-Dec.)
I feel like the opening date will tell us a lot about whether Disney’s top goal is pleasing guests or extracting revenue. Opening before spring break would show they care about making the major spring break season better for fans (more rides, lower waits, etc.) but if they want more revenue, they’ll wait until late April or May, in hopes of getting those of us who loved Tron in Shanghai (or have just always wanted to try it) to return again in late Spring, early Summer.
Our family is taking a Disney cruise in April. I’m going to book a couple night stay at WDW, but probably will cancel is the new rides aren’t open, and I’ll catch them on the next trip to FL.
I have a feeling they’ll wait til April or May, partly to help summer crowds spread out across the park; and also to have the 50th end.
I JUST WANT THE RAILROAD BACK FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!!
I am looking forward to when it opens. We are at WDW now and just the anticipation is the killer.
How many high tech rides have opened at Universal since Tron was started? The continued delay of a ride that is a duplicate of one at another park is honestly inexcusable.
I couldn’t agree more. It took 410 days to build the Empire State Building that was the tallest building in the world at the time. Disney is playing us to make the most money they can. That’s ok, they are a business after all. All people want from a business is to feel appreciated and valued. Don’t get that feeling anymore.
The part that disappoints me the most is that they announced it would be a winter opening hinting at the Xmas season so we booked in January hoping that would be extra time in case of a delay and now this new idea to just hold off after completion until they need another carrot to dangle. It’s disappointment after disappointment lately. Our family is considering cancelling and waiting a few years to return. Wonder how many are starting to feel this way?
Let’s hope it’s before spring break season
Any hope for the railroad this year?
Any more news about the railroad opening sooner?? Our first trip to Disney my son was 5 and I was bummed the train was shut down. Would never have dreamed he would be 8 and still waiting to ride!
Go to Disneyland instead, it is a much better experience on the railroad (and overall)
Lame it is going to be May I bet a full year after GOTG. Super disappointing, but oh well see you at the AP previews and will be excited none the less LOL
If it’s pretty much done then they’re clearly sitting on it as something “new” beyond what has been a very embarrassing lackluster 50th at Magic Kingdom.