When it comes to vacations, a lot of people like to talk about unplugging and getting off the grid. However, those headed to Orlando should do the opposite. They should most definitely do their best to enter the Grid.
The TRON Lightcycle / Run attraction and ride officially launches in Magic Kingdom® Park’s Tomorrowland at the Walt Disney World® Resort April 4, 2023 … but we at ALG Vacations® were fortunate enough to get to preview it for their soft opening media launch in March. Here’s everything you need to know.
Where to Stay
Disney’s Contemporary Resort is your most convenient option for best access to Magic Kingdom, which is refreshingly walkable from this property. This is where we stayed, and it’s hard to beat for views and ease of transit. The monorail takes off directly from the fourth-floor atrium, where there’s a buffet and café for sandwiches and snacks, as well as some light shopping. The top floor has the California Grill, which serves up an excellent three-course prix fixe along with outstanding views. Steakhouse 71 for breakfast offers the most outstanding prime rib hash that’s not to be missed, but for a quick bite, Joffrey’s Coffee by the lobby has those cult-following oversized doughnuts and specialty coffee drinks.
How to Plan for Access
First, you’ll need a ticket to get into the Magic Kingdom, whether it’s a standard (single) park or Park Hopper® ticket. Make sure to join the virtual queue on the free My Disney Experience app, which opens up at 7 AM. Your next chance will be to hop on the virtual queue at 1 PM or later while in the park. You can’t do it remotely. However, the best thing to do is to sign up for fast-track Lightning Lane access to skip what’s already anticipated to be extremely lengthy lines.
How to Find It
If you’re familiar with where Tomorrowland is, head toward it, then bear left. You won’t be able to miss the enormous nest-looking cage building with the ululating roofline. At night, it sparkles with blue lights beneath the white frame, which makes it stand out all the more. If you aren’t familiar with where this part of Magic Kingdom is, you’ll want to head toward the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the Mad Tea Party, or Dumbo the Flying Elephant as your classic landmarks. This will take you to either the Tomorrowland Speedway to the right or the TRON ride to the left.
What to Bring
Whatever you’re planning on walking around with, go ahead and bring it. This high-speed thrill ride has a locker room with complimentary units that can easily hold a small or medium backpack. You’ll make your way to this hallway mid-queue before you get on the ride.
Anything that’s larger than a cell phone must be stowed here for safety, as there’s nowhere to store your belongings on the ride. However, it’s super easy to use and the lockers lock automatically and will reopen with a swipe of your MagicBand, so all you’ll need to do is remember your unit number. Plus, when you finish your ride, the locked ones are lit up while the remaining locker numbers are dulled, so it’s easy to use process of elimination to find your locker. If you’re still fuzzy on where you put your things, there’s tech that allows you to swipe your band to reveal your locker number, and when I went, there was also an attendant with a master pad on hand.
What to Expect
Each of the seats are cued up in pairs, with plenty of room between each passenger. You ride these in a forward leaning position, almost as if you were riding a sport bike-style (vs. chopper style) motorcycle, and you can test these before committing too deep into the line at the ride. Your knees rest on very plush, extremely comfortable padding, and the soles of your feet bent on the floor. There are two sets of textured metal handles toward the front, which you’ll need to pull down to lock the also-comfortable leg bars and back support restraint behind you. Once locked in, you can choose to grip whichever feels most natural to you. They also have accessible bucket-style seats with traditional lap bars in the last car for anyone who can’t remain in the locked-forward position.
The takeoff is a fast leap, and there’s only one slow-down point in a tunnel before you’re plunged back into the framework and the fluorescent lights that shine like laser shapes through the darkness. These are solid and don’t pulse wildly, making it suitable for those who are bothered by lights that do. What’s really cool is that even in the open-air sections, you’ll be so immersed in the ride that you won’t even register the crowd beneath you or the outdoors around you!
There’s no spinning – the entire ride is based on a natural-feeling forward propulsion, so don’t be worried about motion sickness. The position you’re riding in combats that, too. And the fresh air of the wind in your face helps as well, and provides a wonderful shift from the climate-controlled darker parts of the ride, and opens up another level of sensory overload. The curves are smooth and glide seamlessly and there aren’t any upside-down portions, but the position of leaning forward is a freeing, joyous kind of exhilaration, giving you the impression of going very fast … but also the feeling that you might not mind going even faster.
It’s not scary – nothing jumps out at you or anything – and the size and shape of the seats are nicely inclusive for most sizes and abilities. The only limitation is height, as all passengers must be at least 48 inches tall to safely buckle in.
If you’re a thrill-seeker, go. If you’re a fan of TRON, go. If you’re going to Disney anyway, go. To paraphrase, if you are a User (that follows this guide!), then everything you’ll have done has been according to plan.