Thursday, March 16th, 2023
I admit it, a week ago I didn’t even know what the heck ‘the Grid’ was. I saw it all over Disney’s marketing for their brand-new TRON Lightcycle / Run attraction at the Magic Kingdom, but I had no clue of its meaning.
So, when invited to attend the media event for TRON, I decided to do a little homework the night prior and watched the 1982 film of the same name. It was as every little bit ‘80s as you would expect it to be. Featuring a very young Jeff Bridges with his ever flowing, great hair, a lot of Sci-Fi with a little bit of War Games thrown in.
The basis of the film is that Jeff Bridges’ character (Flynn) is a computer programmer and video game developer who is transported inside the world of a mainframe computer (otherwise known as the Grid). Flynn interacts with various programs and video games in his attempt to escape. It has without a doubt, some of the cheesiest graphics I’ve ever seen in a movie. It really is amazing how far special effects in cinema have come since then.
I quickly learned where the concept of TRON Lightcycle / Run originated. It’s a video game Flynn developed that he also plays inside the Grid in an escape for his life. Lightcycles are futuristic style motorcycles, players ride without crashing into one another, the outer walls or the light trails left behind by the vehicle itself.
TRON is located inside the Magic Kingdom and its futuristic theming fits in flawlessly to Tomorrowland. The internet tells me that this experience is an exact replica of the attraction of the same name in Shanghai, Disneyland. I’ve never been, so I will take Google’s word for it. The attraction canopy lit up a nighttime makes it by FAR the best exterior addition to a Walt Disney World Theme Park since Toy Story Land. I loved standing there just watching the Lightcycles zoom by overhead.
The look of the Lightcycle vehicles themselves are VERY cool. Sleek black with blue lights, making this attraction a must do at nighttime. As a Walt Disney World theme park first, complimentary lockers are offered before boarding your Lightcycle for storage of your personal belongings. However – what I absolutely loved is that your Lightcycle offers a small compartment to store your mobile device in – so plenty of opportunity to get those selfies for the ‘gram!
TRON boasts being ‘one of the fastest’ roller coasters at any Disney Theme Park. Which leads me to one of my favourite coasters in the Orlando area due to its sheer speed; VelociCoaster over at Universal Studios. While TRON doesn’t compete in this department (60 mph vs VelociCoaster’s 70 mph), what it has over VelociCoaster is the sensation. On TRON, you’re not sitting in a traditional style coaster car, but rather you’re straddling the ride vehicle, leaning forward. Due to the difference in the coaster car, TRON feels much faster than it actually is. If you’ve ever experienced either/or, the Lightcycles felt like a mix between the ride vehicles for Avatar – Flight of Passage and the motorbike on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
Those of us who were born before the original TRON movie debuted, may have some difficulty lifting your leg and/or bending your knees comfortably to get into the Lightcycle. But the great news is that once you’re in, it is far more comfortable than it looks. However, if you have a challenge getting in (there is a test Lightcycle outside), you can still experience TRON. The attraction offers a handful ‘chariot’ seats that you can ask a Cast Member to ride in instead. Thrill seekers on the other hand will want to ask for the front row!
It’s soooooo smooth. So smooth in fact, that if you suffer from head or back aches from Rock n’ Roller Coaster or any other similar attraction, I highly recommend giving this game changer a shot. It’s fast, exhilarating and a must do for thrill seekers. It’s difficult to compare it to any other attraction, but the coaster track is a much, MUCH faster Slinky Dog Dash with a LOT more thrill.
My only complaint is that it is short. Too short, actually. I wouldn’t be too happy if I waited in a 2-hour line up for that less than 60 second ride. But even so, the ride is a do not miss experience. So personally, I will opt to pay for an * Individual Lightning Lane on this attraction for as long as Disney offers one for it.
With Avatar – Flight of Passage (Disney’s Animal Kingdom), Star Wars – Rise of the Resistance (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (EPCOT) opening over recent years, TRON is truly the much needed/thrill seeking addition that the Magic Kingdom so desperately needed.
Interestedly, TRON is situated right beside the fan favourite classic attraction, Space Mountain. Seeing these two attractions side by side, I couldn’t help by recall visiting the Magic Kingdom as a child in the early 1980’s, when Space Mountain was the ‘newest and fastest roller coaster’ in all of Walt Disney World. And not unlike the computer graphics of the ‘80s TRON – boy oh boy – have Walt Disney World imagineers come a VERY long way since then!
– Christine Fiorelli
Ready to Join Team Blue? Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to enter the Grid, Today!
(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
12598 Highway #50 Bolton ON L7E 1T6
* When TRON opens to the public on April 4th, 2023, there will be no stand-by queue. You must either successfully book a spot in the virtual queue and/or purchase an Individual Lightning Lane to experience it.