“That’s It?” Fans Severely Disappointed With Disney’s New Ride

in Walt Disney World

JoJo Siwa rides TRON with Imagineers.

Credit: Disney

A few months after opening, Disney fans and Guests alike have some harsh words for Florida’s newest addition.

cosmic-rewind-at-epcot
Credit Disney

Over the last several years, the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, has expanded in some very exciting ways. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now home to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, an immersive land for fans of Star Wars to get totally lost in. The Park also features Toy Story Land, a fun and colorful area inspired by Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story franchise.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guests will find Pandora – The World of Avatar, a land inspired by James Cameron’s incredibly successful Avatar films. While this land opened in 2017, it still feels fresh and new, especially after seeing Avatar: The Way of Water. 

This sequel was a huge success, bringing in over $2 billion at the box office. These numbers certainly pleased Cameron and Disney alike, with Disney CEO Bob Iger revealing Disney has plans to bring an Avatar experience to the Disneyland Resort.

Kid riding Avatar Flight of Passage in Pandora: World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: DIsney

Over at EPCOT, a complete and total transformation is happening. Guests will notice constriction walls are up everywhere, making the theme park incredibly hard to navigate in certain areas. Eventually, EPCOT will look entirely different and feature brand-new lands and areas.

The Park will also house a few new attractions, one of which opened last year to much acclaim. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is an incredible attraction featuring everyone’s favorite group of Marvel misfits, The Guardians of the Galaxy. This ride marks EPCOT’s first-ever roller coaster.

An attraction themed around Disney’s Moana franchise is also coming to EPCOT, though this will not be a ride or attraction in the traditional sense. Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana, will allow Guests to go at their own pace and discover an entirely new area at the center of EPCOT.

In 2019, Disney announced this all-new attraction themed after the story of Moana would be arriving at EPCOT. The new attraction will be called Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana and, according to Disney officials, will be the “first-ever experience inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hit film [and] will let Guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.”

A rainbow crosses the sky over Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

And finally, at Magic Kingdom, Guests will find some new and exciting experiences as well. Firstly, Guests will notice one of Disney’s most iconic attractions is now missing from Magic Kingdom. We, of course, are talking about Splash Mountain, a ride that permanently closed earlier in 2023.

This attraction was closed due to its problematic nature, with Disney revealing its plans for a replacement several years ago. Soon, Spalsh Mountain will become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, an all-new experience centered on Disney’s 2009 animated film The Princess and the Frog. Disney announced that Splash Mountain would close forever and transform into a completely new experience, one that will feature Princess Tiana from Disney’s 2009 animated feature film The Princess and the Frog. Disney first revealed that it would be closing the two versions of Splash Mountain in America in order to once and for all let go of the troubled history associated with the 1946 Disney film Song of the South. This film has been essentially forgotten and swept under the rug by Disney, with many calling out the film’s racist and extremely problematic themes, characters, and setting.

The new ride is set to open sometime in 2024 at the Walt Disney World Resort, with the version found at Disneyland opening shortly after. The version of Splash Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland is not expected to undergo this change.

However, one of the most controversial additions to the Walt Disney World is already up and running.

splash-mountain-disneyland
Credit: Disney

TRON Lightcycle/Run is one of the more infamous attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort, but probably not for the reason you suspect. Guests and fans alike have made fun of the new roller coaster for how long it took to create. Disney first announced the coaster back in 2017, with TRON Lightcycle/Run not officially opening until April of 2023, marking a nearly six-year construction time.

Of course, COVID-19 did not help with the construction of the ride, but at the time of the original COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, it had already been three entire years since the coaster’s announcement. The construction took literal years, and because of the footprint of TRON’s structure, this meant that the iconic Walt Disney World Railroad was offline for roughly the same amount of time.

Guests visiting Magic Kingdom in the last five years surely noticed all of the commotion at the Park.

TRON Lightcycle/Run is located in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kindom, right next to perhaps what is Disney’s most beloved roller coaster: Space Mountain. In Tomorrowland, you can take a ride on Space Mountain, hit up the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover for a look at tomorrow’s future today, and take a “spin” on Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. While the land may look and feel dated, it’s still an incredible place to immerse yourself, especially at night.

TRON Lightcycles moving through the Upload Conduit
Credit: Disney

TRON Lightcycle/Run is not a new creation, however, with the first incarnation of the roller coaster first opening at Shanghai Disneyland in 2016. Eventually, Disney announced that the ride would be brought over to the U.S. Parks and while it’s only been confirmed for Walt Disney World in Florida, we can’t say we’d be surprised to one day see it at Disneyland in California.

Based on the popular film franchise, TRON Lightcycle/Run in Orlando will be heavily influenced by the TRON Lightcycle Power Run coaster at Shanghai Disneyland. This ride’s official description reads:

Experience high-speed thrills and chills as the Grid comes alive in a heart-pounding race for survival. Created as a friendly way for “Programs” and “Users” to interact, the Power Run pits team against team in the quintessential quest to capture 8 Energy Gates and triumph over opponents.

Prepare for digitization after entering the portal—this is your access into the energy, lights and excitement of TRON’s high-tech universe. As you leave the real world behind, you’ll proceed to the games as a member of Team Blue, ready to compete against some of the Grid’s most menacing Programs.

TRON Lightcycle / Run Lightcycles operating under the Upload Conduit at night
Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, not everyone has been enjoying the new ride in Orlando, with a few Guests and Disney fans sharing their thoughts online.

The Reddit thread begins with a Guest sharing their disappointment with TRON Lightcycle/Run.

“Finally rode Tron yesterday, and all I have to say was that it was just disappointing to me.” The Guest also compared TRON to other new rides in Orlando, like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT as well as Jurassic World VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at the Universal Orlando Resort.

In the end, the Guest states that TRON Lightcycle/Run “wasn’t worth the wait ” and feels like a “one-time experience.”

TRON loading area lights up blue at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

“Yep. “That’s it?” was my exact sentiment. It was quite underwhelming,” said one user. Another user said that they were “extremely disappointed” with TRON Lightcycle/Run. Another user said that “It would have been much cooler years ago.”

Another user said TRON Lightcycle/Run felt “unfinished.” Many complained that the attraction feels too short, though the coaster is considerably longer than Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Regardless, the general consensus was that while TRON Lightcycle/Run is fun, it doesn’t compare to other Disney coasters like Expedition Everest or the new Guardians of the Galaxy-themed ride at EPCOT.

We’re glad to see Disney investing in its Parks, specifically the American Parks and while this ride is certainly an exciting addition to the Walt Disney World Resort, it’s not a slam dunk for everyone. Of course, we don’t expect every ride to be popular among all Guests, but it’s a shame that the initial reception to Disney World’s newest attraction is so lukewarm.

What are your thoughts on TRON Lightcycle/Run at Magic Kingdom? What’s your favorite attraction at Walt Disney World?

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