TRON Lightcycle / Run opens to the public on April 4, 2023, in Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World. Cast Members and Annual Passholders have been previewing the ride for weeks now, with mostly positive reviews. However, today was the preview day for the media and already they’ve received some backlash.
The event took over the entire Tomorrowland area in the Magic Kingdom, effectively shutting the area down for day Guests right at the start of the spring break season. As posts have started to circulate on social media about the experience, one Twitter user and Disney blogger,@ivebeenjack, expressed his disappointment in the event.
If the whole point of a Disney media event is to promote a ride/show etc… Then just give the media the authentic experience.
Not something with bespoke props and sets that the average guest will never see. As it sets up a false sense of expectation for the intended audience. https://t.co/FCw8s1qWBq
— Jack Kendall (@ivebeenjack) March 14, 2023
The attraction has gone viral over the fact that it will be a strictly virtual queue attraction, meaning Guests won’t be able to wait in a standby line for a chance to ride. As such, there’s minimal theming in the queueing area, and Jack points out that the inclusion of experiences like the lit hallway gives people the wrong impression.
“To many casual Disney fan stumbling across the coverage of this media event on Twitter/Instagram/TikTok, they’ll see a lip of the corridor and be like “Wow, what a cool queue for the ride” only to then be disappointed that this lighting tunnel isn’t in the ride.”
He lambasted the decision of Disney’s marketing team to build custom props and sets in an effort to promote the ride that only exist for the media event.
Another user, @writerguyfl, responds with
“The whole point of any media event is not about presenting the authentic experience. Rather, it’s solely about generating publicity.”
The TRON media experience is certainly doing its job, drumming up publicity and buzz around the upcoming attraction. But as @ivebeenjack points out, it’s giving Guests false expectations. With a ride as big as TRON, that’s taken years to be built and is the largest ride unveiling in recent years, Guests have a certain level of expectation. With this being the first time many fans are seeing information about the ride, it can lead to a false sense of hope.
While media events often include specific offerings and experiences, it’s disappointing that Disney went to the effort of building out a themed arcade and light queue only to not have it be a permanent fixture of the ride.
Are you excited to ride TRON Lightcycle / Run? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!
Please note that the story outlined in this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.