“The Grid. A digital frontier. I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see. And then one day… I got in.”
Those words spoken by Kevin Flynn introduce “Tron: Legacy,” a film that has begged to be transformed into a Disney theme park ride since its 2010 release. When the new Test Track recently debuted at Walt Disney World, fans immediately saw extreme similarities between its new look and the digital aesthetic of “Tron: Legacy.” Though the ride still revolves around the notion of designing and testing cars, its visuals appear to present a different story, one of the Grid, light cycles, and a digital frontier – almost a “Tron” ride, but not quite.
I created a custom audio file to be enjoyed while riding Test Track at Epcot, an overlay of sorts to the ride experience, turning it into a Tron attraction through new music, sound effects, and dialogue from “Tron: Legacy” that synchronize perfectly with the ride’s visuals.
The video below depicts the enhanced experience, featuring a full ride on the new Test Track 2.0 at Epcot with the “Tron Track” audio, to create a story and experience fitting of the ride’s new digital aesthetic:
Video: TRON Track at Epcot – Custom audio for Test Track 2.0
But the experience goes far beyond this video.
Use the links below to download the full “Tron Track” audio file, then load it onto an MP3 player, bring it to Epcot, and listen via headphones while riding Test Track, transforming the attraction into the Tron ride it appears to be.
DOWNLOAD: “Tron Track” custom audio for Test Track 2.0 (MP3, 8.5mb)
For those who only want to add a bit of Daft Punk’s excellent “Tron: Legacy” soundtrack, I’ve also made a music-only version, still synchronized to the ride’s movements:
DOWNLOAD: “Tron Track” custom music for Test Track 2.0 (MP3, 8.5mb)
To properly synchronize this audio while riding, press play on the audio file after the seat belt check, immediately when your vehicle begins moving.
Provided that the ride doesn’t unexpectedly stop at any time, all audio should match what is seen while riding through. And for the best “Tron Track” experience, it’s recommended to listen at full volume to cover up the existing sound of the ride, which can be rather loud at times. In-ear headphones will work best, such as these.
TRON Track Story
While compiling and editing clips, I made sure their flow through the ride not only matched its visuals, but also formed a somewhat cohesive story. My “Tron Track” story treatment:
Before disappearing into the world he created, Kevin Flynn, former ENCOM CEO and programmer of the Grid, sent lifelong friend on the outside Alan Bradley an encrypted message containing instructions on how to safely bring visitors – users – into the digital frontier. Bradley founded Tron Track, a facility designed to bring Flynn’s vision to life. Narrated by Flynn himself, Light Cars are self-guided onto the Grid via a giant portal. Through a custom program, Flynn recounts the events that have nearly led to the destruction of the Grid. Flynn describes his nemesis, Clu, which he created in his own image to oversee the virtual world when he couldn’t, who ultimately went rogue. Tron, the warrior programmed by Bradley to fight for the users, was missing, unable to stop Clu in his takeover.
Visitors first travel through the outlands off-grid, home to Kevin Flynn after he is trapped inside his computer world when the portal closed him inside. But they’re spotted. Clu steps in and his rebellion is immediately obvious, derezzing imperfections across vast digital landscapes while transforming Tron City into his own dictatorship. But a challenge affords a chance for rebellion, as visitors are equipped with Identity Discs and Light Cycles, battling Clu across the Game Grid. Just as Clu thinks he has the upper hand, aiming to derez visitors with a Light Truck, Tron returns to rescue them, disappearing as fast as he emerged.
After that harrowing close call, visitors are treated to the lighter side of the Grid with the eccentric Castor serving as host, offering a portal back to the real world, but not before sending visitors on “quite the ride.” Blasting off the Grid, visitors launch through high-speed twists and turns in a final upbeat Light Cycle ride before returning to reality.
The creation of “Tron Track” required careful editing of small clips of sounds and music, as shown in its Final Cut project:
But the hours of labor were worth the enjoyment for any “Tron” fan in further enhancing the new Test Track.
The updated Test Track attraction offers many exciting new features, such as the ability to design your own custom vehicle then have it scored while riding. But it’s the ride’s new look that’s getting the most rave reviews. After riding it multiple times yesterday using my custom soundtrack, I will rarely experience it any other way. So download, hit the single rider line, and fire up your headphones to finally enter the Grid.
Music by Daft Punk. Dialogue starring Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn and Clu, Bruce Boxleitner as Tron, Beau Garrett as Gem, and Michael Sheen as Castor. Audio and music editing by Ricky Brigante.