Walt Disney World’s Latest Attraction Already “Underwhelming” After Years of Delays

in Walt Disney World

Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Cesira Alvarado via Unsplash

Walt Disney World’s latest attraction, TRON Lightcycle / Run was originally expected to be a feat of Disney Imagineering, based on the Tokyo Disneyland attraction of the same name. However, the attraction has been plagued with issues even prior to its official opening and seems to have fallen out of favor within just a few months of its debut.

The attraction first opened in April of this year, and early previews implied that there was much to be desired for the futuristic roller coaster. Guests complained that the attraction was size restrictive, due to its locking mechanisms going around the size rather than the waist like most of Disney’s other attractions. Unfortunately, this meant many excited guests were unable to ride the ride and has led to complaints that Disney is no longer a size-inclusive theme park. TRON is also one of the only attractions in Disney World to require guests to leave their belongings in a locker before riding which has caused some confusion and concern.

TRON Lightcycle Power Run at night at Shanghai Disneyland, where a guest claims taking photos without his permission violates his privacy
Credit: Disney

More recently, guests have complained about the fact that TRON is a virtual queue-only attraction, meaning that many guests have been unable to ride the ride due to failing to secure a virtual queue for the day. It’s also seen changes and damages to the queue, like the removal of the futuristic ambient lighting in the line, with many of what made the attraction exciting and entertaining having disappeared in the last couple of weeks.

According to the Disney website for the attraction:

“Leave the real world behind and join Team Blue in a quest across the Grid—the dark, computerized world with no horizons from TRON. Here, there’s no limit to the excitement. Climb aboard your very own Lightcycle and take off on a high-speed adventure, racing against the Grid’s most menacing Programs. Surge past your fierce opponents as you attempt to cross through 8 Energy Gates and secure your team’s victory. TRON Lightcycle / Run is one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park in the world.”

TRON Lightcycle / Run Sign
Credit: Disney

The attraction is based on the live-action Disney film of the same name, which was released in 1982 and saw a sequel release in 2010 with TRON: Legacy. In a recent Reddit thread, u/Nicklovesweed asked something many Disney fans may have been wondering: “Why does Tron feel so underwhelming?” They go on to explain that “We have always fastpassed the shit out of a trip, or we buy genie. Virtual queue was still an atrocious wait on a not-so-scary night for 30 seconds of something that doesn’t even hold a candle to Guardians.”

TRON is the second major roller coaster to come to the Walt Disney World Resort in the last few years, joining Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which is located at EPCOT. The coaster was first announced in 2017 and is a copy of the ride that guests can find at Shanghai Disneyland. Unfortunately, when building the attraction in Orlando, Disney encountered a series of issues and challenges that delayed the ride’s expected opening and cast doubt on the park’s ability to build such an advanced attraction.

Shanghai's TRON attraction
Credit: Disney

The comments under the Reddit post were generally mixed, although many agreed that it was a disappointing experience. “Because almost nobody cares about Tron. We aren’t invested in it, so it’s lackluster. The original appeal of Star Tours wasn’t a motion simulator ride. It was getting to step inside of a beloved movie franchise. Every detail was amazing, because it made a place you had dreamed of for so long seem real…Tron is a fun little coaster. We’ve just come to expect a far more emotional experience,” offered u/NothingReallyAndYou.

“I think lots of anticipated something really groundbreaking given how long it took to build. The last few new rides have been pretty unique and I would consider winners – rise, flight, guardians – so I at least expected a lot out of Tron. It’s not bad, it’s just not a home run. Too short and felt like a pretty standard coaster with a unique way of riding. Can’t say it’s bad, just not what some of us hoped,” explained u/drRATM.

The loading dock for TRON Lightcycle / Run
Credit: Disney
“Everything about the ride is “been there, done that”. The fact that it opened about a year after Cosmic Rewind doesn’t help,” stated u/WorldlinessThat2984. “You have to remember that, while new in WDW, this is a clone of a 7 year old ride. By opening after Guardians, it really shows it’s age vs truly new rollercoaster technology,” u/harmacist87 agreed. “If it had another exciting loop or entered a new scene where it ends it would have been one of my favorite coasters. It was too short and underwhelming is the issue (and the subpar IP). It’s fun but seems to end right when it’s getting going. It doesn’t have a pay off,” said u/auteur555.
Despite the fact that it took almost seven years to open, or maybe because of it, TRON Lightcycle / Run seems to already be lackluster and controversial, just a few months after its opening. It has a barrier of entry to many guests between the virtual queue requirement and problematic size restrictions and opening after something like Cosmic Rewind, which is one of the most popular attractions on Walt Disney World property, many claim “it just doesn’t hold a candle.”
Could Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Be Getting a Standby Line Soon?
Credit: Disney
However, it’s undeniable that TRON is a major step forward for Disney World, introducing another major roller coaster to the parks that have been long considered “kiddie” or just “family friendly.” With Disney’s disappointing lack of future competition with the upcoming Epic Universe at Universal Orlando, the park desperately needs a to get ahead of the game when it comes to their attractions and projecting how well they may be received by guests.
Have you ridden TRON Lightcycle / Run? Do you think it’s a great addition to Magic Kingdom or was it underwhelming? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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