By Alison Stateman
TRON Lightcycle / Run presented by Enterprise® welcomed guests to the Grid when the attraction officially opened on April 4 at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort. Inspired by the groundbreaking movie TRON (1982) and its sequel TRON: Legacy (2010), the attraction is among the fastest roller coasters in any Disney Park—reaching a top speed just shy of 60 miles per hour.
So, before you take part in a high-stakes race as a member of heroic Team Blue against villainous Team Orange aboard a Lightcycle, here are a few scintillating facts that may surprise you.
1. The story behind TRON Lightcycle / Run takes place after the events of TRON: Legacy.
The attraction picks up where moviegoers last saw Sam Flynn, son of computer genius Kevin Flynn, and Quorra, the Isomorphic Algorithm he rescued and brought back with him to the real world. The couple are now creating permanent gateways to promote and support increased interaction between Programs and Users, also known as humans.
2. TRON Lightcycle / Run is the second Disney Parks coaster inspired by the groundbreaking film.
The first coaster dedicated to the sci-fi classic, TRON Lightcycle Power Run,debuted with the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort in 2016, following a nearly decade-long development process. “The beauty of this attraction is yes, there is a sister attraction that exists,” Chris Beatty, Portfolio Creative Director for Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), shared. “So, we always like to say that’s the first portal into the Grid in Shanghai, and the second one is here in Orlando.”
3. The past and future intersect at TRON Lightcycle / Run.
The Walt Disney World WDI team was guided by the work done by Imagineers behind the Shanghai attraction, but there were changes needed to bring the attraction to Florida. Chief among them was the fact that the Walt Disney World Railroad—the painstakingly resorted vintage steam train attraction dating back to the park’s opening in 1971—cut through the site. In order to accommodate the Opening Day attraction, the building site had to be raised about 10 feet so the train could run under and then through TRON Lightcyle / Run. Jerold Kaplan, Executive Ride Project Engineer, WDI, shared “Most of the changes were made to things that are blind to the guest. Subtle changes to the structure that help our maintenance crews keep the reliability up to where we want it.”
4. A whole new score.
The attraction’s location in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Park required the WDI team to create additional music to help differentiate it from neighboring Space Mountain. Fun fact: The team enlisted composer Joseph Trapanese, who worked with Daft Punk on the Grammy®-nominated TRON: Legacy soundtrack as well as the music for the TRON attraction in Shanghai, to create the new soundtrack.
5. This race is a team sport.
In the TRON films, riders compete as individuals on their own Lightcyle, but for the attraction it’s a team sport. This was done to avoid long wait times for guests. Fourteen guests ride on each train of Lightcycles which are paired side-by-side. Three transfer-accessible vehicles enable guests with disabilities to board and enjoy the attraction as well. Lockers are available for guests to stow larger items before boarding, with compartments available on board to secure smaller items, such as phones and glasses.