Article written by Katie Penn
Header Image from Kimi Silverman
Facts at a Glance About Tron Lightcycle / Run:
|Park: Magic Kingdom. Location: Tomorrowland Height Requirement: 48″ (122 cm) or taller Genie+: No. Individual Lightning Lane: Yes (approximately $20).|
|Quick Notes: Guests “leave the real world” to enter a computer. This is A high speed coaster that runs both inside and outside, mostly inside in the dark. It has a unique seating system. Seats are straddled like a motorcycle, with the need to step over the vehicle to sit down. Guests lean forward on a chest/stomach pad.|
|Disney Warnings: Tron Lightcycle / Run is a high-speed, roller coaster-type thrill ride on motorcycle-style vehicles inside a dark, computerized world with sharp turns, sudden drops and stops. The seating and restraints on this attraction may prohibit Guests of certain body shapes or sizes from riding. For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride.|
|Our Additional Cautions: Drops, high speed twists and turns. Launch from standstill to nearly 60 mph (97kph). Dark section. Sudden change of dark to outside light and back again. Seating is restrictive with back and leg restraints, stomach pad, handle bars to be gripped. Guests must lean forward throughout the ride. Flashing lights. Sense of being high up.|
|Length: About 2 minutes.|
|Special Needs & other info: Must Transfer from your ECV to a wheelchair to go through the queue, and then you must transfer from the wheelchair to the ride seat. See the accessibility info below for details. A transferable vehicle is available which provides a bench seat with lap bar. The seating and restraints on the regular ride cars may prohibit guests of certain body shapes or sizes from riding. All loose articles must be stored in the lockers or left with a non-rider. No items can be carried on the ride. Children under age 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older. Audio Description, Video Captioning available. Service animals not permitted. Tron does allow for Rider Switch.|
Overview of Tron Lightcycle / Run
Found in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Tron Lightcycle | Run is a new style coaster that replicates the “Lightcycle” vehicles from the 80’s sci fi movie Tron: Legacy. In this World riders can enter the computer game world of “the grid”, board a Lightcycle, and join the Blue Team to compete against others.
At only under 2 minutes long, this is a short but very fast, and very intense coaster ride. In fact, it reaches approximately 60 mph which means that it’s the fastest Disney World ride. The race is on!
Disney’s page for Tron is particularly loaded with information, such as the Virtual Queue rules.
Test Seats: Before you enter either line there is a chance to try the ride seats. They are near the entrance to the lines. Try the seats before joining the line if you are unsure that you will fit. Or, test out the feel and experience of the ride seat if you have health issues.
The test ride seats are to the left of the entrance way with the lightening lane touch points. This will usually mean walking past the start of the virtual queue which is to the right. Sometimes there are cast members there to assist, but they are not always there.
Types of Tron Queues
At time of writing there are two ways to ride Tron. You can join the Virtual Queue at no additional charge, or pay for the Lightning Lane. The lines are roughly the same experience with the exception that the virtual queue will have a long period in the sun before entering the ride building. And of course, it will have longer wait times inside the corridors that form the line inside the building. We’ll go into both of these queue options.
Tron’s Virtual Queue:
Rules for registering for Tron’s Virtual Queue can be found on Disney’s site here. This includes info on Extended Evening Theme Park Hours rules and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party rules.
At 7 am and 1 pm on the My Disney Experience app, guests will be able to enter a “virtual queue” that will give them a “boarding group” number.
There is also a 6 pm sign-up which is only for those guests who have access to the Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.
Where must you be to register for the Tron Virtual Queue?
For the 7 am queue, you can join from anywhere, including your hotel room. For the 1 pm queue, you are supposed to do this from within the Magic Kingdom. However, according to wdwprepschool.com, they’ve found that you can join from anywhere as long as you’ve checked into the Magic Kingdom park at some point during the day.
Tron’s Virtual Queue continued:
Boarding groups are called to enter the queue one at a time and contain a certain number of people. This is similar to the way some airlines will board flights by calling groups of guests based on row number. The later the boarding group, the later the time guests will ride. It is important to be ready to book your boarding group right at 7 am, as the boarding groups are usually full in a matter of minutes. If you don’t get in, you can try again at 1 pm.
Joining the virtual queue does not mean you will have a wait-free/walk-on experience. Wait times can be between 60-120 minutes, so guests who cannot wait in long lines should not use this option to ride. It should also be noted that a large portion of the virtual queue is outside, where guests stand on concrete in direct sunlight. You must be prepared for this. There are overhead fans.
Once you’ve joined the virtual queue, guests can see a rough estimate of the wait time until their boarding group is called, and they can come join the line. This can be seen in the My Disney Experience app. There is roughly a one hour window to join the line once the boarding group is called.
The Tron Lightening Lane:
The Individual Lightening Lane offers a shorter wait time – roughly 15-20 minutes. At time of this writing, the Tron Lightning Lane is not included with Genie+. You will have to pay for the Individual Lightning Lane which will cost around $20 per person. (Individual lightening lane costs vary by day/season so always check before purchasing).
If this ride is a priority for you, and you want to be sure not to miss it, it might be a good idea to buy an Individual Lightning Lane.
The Tron Queue Experience
Upon entering the building guests walk down a fairly narrow, black walled corridor. It is well lit, but the color scheme is dark and oppressive. The walls have what look like lines of blinking computer lights. This corridor funnels guests into a preshow room.
How much guests see of the pre show depends upon their position in the crowd. You’ll see more if you go all the way into the room.
Preshow & Queue Experience Continued
In this preshow you’ll enter a small room with a screen. The room it is dark. It’s meant to simulate your becoming “digitized” and entering inside a computer system. There is one wall that is entirely video screen. A video plays on the screen, and after a big flash of lights, the screen “opens” or clears to reveal a Lightcycle launch bay below. You can see the Lightcycle’s launch. Standing in the front towards the screen will get you the best view.
Guests who are sensitive to flashing, bright lights and motion sickness may experience discomfort in this room. Guests with vertigo may be uncomfortable if standing too close to the screen when the launch below is revealed below. It is totally enclosed, but the glass clears to suddenly reveal guests are standing high above the load area.From the preshow room guests exit onto a balcony that runs above the track from the load area, where it is possible to see the vehicles on the track. There is a glass balcony wall that extends from the floor to about waist height. Guests who do not like heights may find this section uncomfortable.
Next, this section of the line leads into the locker room. This is a wider corridor space that has one wall lined floor to ceiling with lockers. These lockers are opened using a magic band, park ticket, or phone wallet (however you entered the park). The lockers will accommodate a small sized back pack. Guests are not permitted to take anything unsecured on the attraction including bags, hats and mouse ears, mobile phones and cameras. Everything except clothing must be left in the locker.
TIP: There are 900 lockers and most guests tend to stop right in the 100s. So, keep walking and there will be plenty of lockers in the 600’s, 700’s and 800s!
TIP: The lockers open from both sides. Whatever you put into the “back” of the locker when you fill the locker will be at the front when you open the locker after riding. For this reason make sure any smaller items that are put in last, such as sunglasses or fans, are removed from the back of the locker when emptying it.
TIP: The picture and video on this attraction uses the RFID in magic bands, so make sure you are wearing yours to automatically get the media on your My Disney Experience.
Boarding & Seating
From the locker room guests enter the boarding area via a ramp. On either side of the ramp there are tracks and loading areas. Cast members will direct guests in order to keep the line moving as quickly as possible.
The surfaces in this area are dark, and although the area is well lit, it is designed to feel like being inside a dark world.
At the middle of the line guests will be split and sent to one side or another, to the next available track. The line is then arranged into two by party, into odd and even group sizes. This allows cast members loading the attraction to fill one train with even numbered parties – needing no single riders to fill empty seats. Then one train is filled with odd numbered parties. The odd person in each group will be sitting with an odd person from another group to again fill the train.
The loading area for each pair of bikes is one gateway with two distinct spaces. This is one space for each bike. There are signs that clearly show how to board. One person boards the nearest bike, the other person boards the farthest bike by walking around the back of both bikes and boarding on the off side, rather than crossing the car like a traditional coaster.
To sit on the bike, riders swing their inside leg over the seat. Some of their weight will be in their seat as they sit on the bike. Due to the forward leaning nature of the position, some weight can be placed on the chest pad. Guests who cannot have pressure on their chests should request the bench seat vehicles.
Try the test seats outside before joining the line if you’re unsure about managing with the pressure.
Handle bars extend in front of the bike and riders are instructed to pull these towards themselves. As the handle bars slide down towards the rider, the back and leg restraints comes up behind them. The back and leg (calf) restraints lock in place, to hold riders in place. Guests who do not like to be restrained should not ride, or you can request the bench style seats which only have a lap bar.
Accessibility information for Tron:
Guests must Transfer from a wheelchair to the ride seat. You’ll need to take a couple steps to the ride car. Seats are straddled like a motorbike, with the need to step over the vehicle to sit down. Guests lean forward on a chest/stomach pad. The seating and restraints on this attraction may prohibit guests of certain body shapes or sizes from riding.
Alternative Transfer Access Vehicles: Some of the ride cars have bench seat vehicles in the last row. The side door opens and allows for transfer. You must take a couple steps, and a small step upward. The bench seat has a lap bar. You’ll be sitting upright, rather than leaning forward as on the standard ride cars. The seats are separate, but side by side.
This type of ride car can work for some of those who do not fit in the standard ride seats, who prefer to sit upright, or who do not feel comfortable with the calf and back restraints.
Using this ride car may lead to a longer wait since there are only a small number of them.
Tron Lightcycle | Run Feel, Experience, Details & Tips
During the ride the train will reach speeds of approximately 59 mph, however the ride is a smooth gliding sensation, not a ‘clickety-clack’ ride that you may find on an older coaster. There is a zero launch, so after the train leaves the station it turns a corner into a tunnel of blue flashing lights. The train will stop momentarily before a 0-60 mph launch.
TIP: The camera takes your picture at the launch and there is a camera on either side of the train so both sides are captured evenly.
The first part of the ride after launch is the outside part of the track that can be seen from Tomorrowland. Riders are propelled up and around under the canopy before entering the main ride building.
NOTE – riding in the front row gives the feeling that there is nothing in front of you throughout the ride. It does feel like a private ride. However, some of the detail on the inside part of the ride is missed because the front of the train has already passed before the graphics are at their optimum point. Also, there is no windscreen like in test track, so there is a lot of wind resistance.
Riding in the back row allows a view of the entire train in addition to the graphics but does feel slightly slower due to the lessened wind resistance. The rows that are not back or front offer very similar experiences, and there are not really any bad seats.
The initial section climbs up and the train enters the ride building at the top, and then drops down into the building. The remaining section of the ride is in the dark, with light up computer graphics, “gates” for the train to pass through, and glimpses of the opposing team approaching, and crashing out. It is fast, smooth and over fairly quickly. There are drops, banks and turns but the ride does not go upside down. The seat type and restraints hold riders securely so there is little movement.
To exit the ride, there is a reverse of the boarding process. The unload area is separate from the loading area. Guests slide the handle bars away to push up on the restraints. The inside leg has to be swung back over the bike and riders on the far side need to cross behind both bikes rather than crossing over.
After leaving the unloading area guests enter a “reverse” locker room where the lockers are once again opened, but from the opposite side, for guests to retrieve their items.
Check out other rides in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom:
Main Street USA
SEE RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS IN THE OTHER PARKS:
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