LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WFLA) — A new thrill ride debuted at Walt Disney World on Tuesday.
Tron Lightcycle / Ride opened in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom. The attraction’s storyline follows the plot of Tron: Legacy, in which the protagonist enters the digital realm through a gateway called the Grid.
Riders mount a Lightcycle before blasting off, reaching top speeds near 60 mph as they fly through the outdoor portion of the Grid.
The Tron coaster is one of Disney’s fastest attractions. Its neighbor, Space Mountain – which opened in 1975 – fails to reach 30 mph, even at its fastest point.
A race ensues between Team Blue and Team Orange, where riders must, “surge past your fierce opponents as you attempt to cross through 8 Energy Gates and secure your team’s victory,” according to the attraction’s description on the Walt Disney World website.
The ride features a carefully choreographed sound and light show as guests soar through the virtual world. An Imagineer told the Orlando Sentinel they faced some challenges in designing the on-board audio system, but it went off without a hitch.
“There is an amazing team that put together the onboard audio system that plays back, day in and day out, with incredible fidelity,” John Dennis, executive creative director of music for Walt Disney Imagineering and music supervisor and producer for the Tron coaster, told the Orlando Sentinel. “Think about that ride vehicle moving around, so quickly. … Wind in your ears, you’re out in the open, you’re exposed. They had to create a sound system to deliver the music, the sound effects, consistently and dependably day in and day out.”
The Magic Kingdom coaster is the second Tron ride in Disney’s arsenal of attraction. Its predecessor “Tron Lightcycle Power Run” opened at Shanghai Disneyland in 2016. The Tomorrowland attraction’s opening date was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.