By Soarin’ Diva
If you follow Walt Disney World news in any way, shape, form, or capacity, you have heard about the upcoming opening of their newest attraction, Tron Lightcycle Run. The ride officially opens on April 4, 2023, and scores of people are excited to get to ride this new thrill ride finally.
Construction on Tron Lightycycle Run began back in February of 2018. It was originally slated to open for Magic Kingdom’s 50th anniversary, in October of 2021. However; Covid happened. It shut down construction for quite a while, and once everything reopened, it seemed to be a plodding pace set for the construction of Tron, much to the frustration of many Walt Disney World guests waiting anxiously for this ride to open. It took a total of 1,875 days, that’s five YEARS, to build and complete this ride. Wow. Thankfully, we have finally seen the completion of the build and are now in a phase of soft opening before the official April 4th opening.
I had the opportunity to ride with my husband during the Annual Passholder Previews, so I would love to give my perspective on it. Let’s just go ahead and start with a little bit of background. Tron Lightcycle Run is based on the 1982 Disney film titled Tron, starring Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner. This Sci-Fi film revolves around Flynn, a brilliant video game maker, who hacks into the mainframe of his previous employer to find proof of nefarious doings. Flynn gets beamed into the game he had been designing for the company and must find his way out. Of course, there are lightcycles involved!
Let’s have a look at a few stats now. There are height restrictions. You much be 48″ or 122cm or taller to safely ride the cycles. PLEASE do NOT try any of the ridiculous TicTok trends going around to fudge your child’s height so they can ride, you are literally putting your child’s life at risk by doing this. The height restrictions are there for safety reasons. There is regular seating for those who cannot ride the cycle for any reason. These are located at the back of the ride train, as I call it. They are not on every ride train, only certain ones, so you may be asked to step aside and wait for the correct seating to become available. From what I observed, loading happens very quickly, so the wait shouldn’t be long. Tron Lightcycle takes off with a zoom, not unlike Rockin’ Rollercoaster, but in my opinion, it doesn’t seem as fast as Rockin’ Rollercoaster on the takeoff. Once you are in motion, it slows down a little. I had seen several people comment the ride was a total of 45 seconds. This is false. I timed from when we took off until the ride actually ended, and we were in motion for two minutes. Not a long ride, but not the ridiculously short 45 seconds people were claiming either.
Once the ride opens, and even now, during the soft opening, you will only be able to access it through Disney’s Virtual Queue or by using the paid Individual Lightening Lane. Be warned, both of these options have been going quickly, within less than a minute for the virtual queue. You have to be quick. Disney Resort guests will be able to utilize both of these options at 7 am, which gives them an edge over non-resort guests, who won’t be able to try for a virtual queue time until the park opens. There will also be a 1 pm option to try for a virtual queue as well. It’s worth noting, many have become used to the virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, where CM’s will allow you to enter the ride even if you are hours late for your return time. This has not been the case for Tron. Most people who have arrived late for their virtual queue time are reporting that they are being turned away. Make sure you can arrive DURING your return window! In my opinion, this is most likely to avoid having a huge crowd of guests put off their time to ride until night, when the ride looks the coolest, causing a huge backup in the evening hours. I can’t blame the CM’s for this at all, and please don’t take your frustrations out on them if you are turned away for being late for your return time. They are only doing their jobs.
The queue was divided into two lines. DAS was sent to the far right where there was a ramp leading to their entrance. Everyone else was on the other side of the divider next to the DAS line. From the entrance of the queue, it seemed like an incredibly long line, but it honestly moved very quickly. We were really impressed by how quickly it moved.
We also loved having the Tron cycles zoom overhead as we made our way further into the queue lines. The coolness factor was dramatically amped up since we were riding at night when the lights make the most impact. When you reach the end of the outside queue, you will be sent through a doorway. Ours had a sign above that read Team Blue Users. I’m not sure if there is another color team, I only saw another Team Blue sign over another doorway, so maybe we are all Team Blue. From there, we walked down a narrow hallway filled with the blue lights associated with Tron and a robot-style voice over the speaker warning the guests that this IS considered a thrill ride and if you can’t handle sharp turns, you may need to exit.
After the hallway, we were ushered into a medium-sized holding room. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but Disney did it again with how cool this room is and what you actually experience. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t ridden, but you could literally hear every person in the room gasp and exclaim how cool it was. Next, we go down another walkway where we finally enter the room for the lockers to drop off your bags. This is a genius way to do the lockers in my opinion. As you enter, you choose which locker you want, scan your magic band, and open the locker. Put away what you need to, they were large enough to fit my husband’s backpack. I could have fit my bag in his as well, but I chose to use my own locker. This is where I made my mistake. I forgot that they had included a small compartment on the cycles if you want to store your phone there, so I stuffed my phone in the locker. That means I couldn’t take any pictures from here on out until I exited the ride. Darn it! What was I thinking? I was just so excited about riding, I wasn’t using the ole noggin’!
From here, we were assigned our rows and loaded onto our cycles. I’ve heard rumors about how uncomfortable they can be for people with thicker calves. I did see them send one guest to wait for the regular seating to ride, I’m not sure if they were too uncomfortable to be loaded on the cycle or not. I didn’t find it uncomfortable at all and neither did my husband. Soon, it was time to zoom away on our lightcycle. Now, let me answer your burning question…YES, you absolutely CAN ride with your hands raised if that’s your thing. I chose to keep my hands on the handlebars, but my husband rode most of the way with his arms raised. There will also be ride photos. I can’t say where they are, they did not have them implemented yet when we rode, they saved that for a few days after we had our ride of course. I have seen that there will be cameras on both sides of the cycle though, so that’s a cool new addition.
As I said before, the ride was two minutes long. When our ride ended, we unloaded and found ourselves on the other side of those lockers where we stuffed our belongings. Remember your locker number folks! I have a terrible memory, but I at least managed to remember my locker number. I scanned my magic band & we grabbed our goodies. After this, we strolled around and explored a little. Some useful things we saw…there are bathrooms at the exit and there is a water fountain with a water bottle filler close by, which is great. Disney needs to install those water bottle fillers in a lot more areas, but we’ll take what we can get. I did also notice there was a large area to park those scooters and strollers. We got a nice selfie with a coaster going overhead as well after we exited.
Overall, we loved the ride. Disney did not disappoint in graphics, in the way they immerse you into the ride and movie, and in the excitement of it all. I also want to add that it seems like the plagues that affect Rise of the Resistance and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, has not affected Tron Lighcycle Run. I have only noticed this ride down one time, which I think was probably done on purpose to allow the teens attending Disney Dreamers Academy a chance to ride it. This has probably been the smoothest testing of a new ride that I have ever seen since it hasn’t been constantly going down and the loading seems to be done very quickly. I will admit, I still find Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to be my favorite ride at Walt Disney World right now. It has a lot more thrills to it than Tron, but I definitely loved the Tron ride as well. Well done, Imagineers!
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