Magic Kingdom Parks & Resorts Walt Disney World Resort

CONFIRMED: TRON Lightcycle Power Run Rollercoaster to Replace Tomorrowland Speedway at the Magic Kingdom

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In October of 2016, we told you that Walt Disney World was eyeing the addition of the popular TRON Lightcycle Power Run attraction from Shanghai Disneyland, and in April 2017 we updated our rumor when preliminary budgeting teams from Florida were sent out to Shanghai to take a look at the attraction. Well, with the D23 Expo just days away, it now seems certain that the attraction will be announced on Saturday, July 15th.

TRON Lightcycle Power Run, already one of the most popular attractions in Shanghai Disneyland
TRON Lightcycle Power Run, already one of the most popular attractions in Shanghai Disneyland

TRON Lightcycle Power Run will open at the Magic Kingdom just before the park’s 50th birthday (probably 2020/21), replacing the Tomorrowland Speedway attraction which opened in 1971 as the Grand Prix Raceway. The Speedway will likely close sometime in 2018 to make way for this construction.

PHOTO BY JEFF GRITCHEN, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

We feel fairly confident about calling this announcement “confirmed” since several unrelated sources within the Walt Disney Company are now providing this information.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.

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Leave a Reply to Candie Cancel reply

      • Just like CNN calls an election result based on their own internal algorithms before it is confirmed by election officials, we are calling this confirmed now according to our own algorithms, before it is announced by TWDC.

      • Do you remember when in Disneyland they tried to make a “high speed” with their people mover….. Because of the way the track is set up it can with stand speeds faster then the current people mover. Look at all the rides that have a speed to them all the turns are banked and wide, if it happens there is alot more work to be done then what meets the eye.

  • I really like this decision. I am a HUGE nostalgia person when it comes to Disney World, so the end of the Grand Prix Raceway stings a bit, but this is a much needed upgrade/addition.

  • I say build the coaster AND keep the Speedway. The coaster is elevated, right? They can even retheme the Speedway cars to a Tron theme. Pipe dream, I know. But it would be cool.

  • I agree that it is coming to WDW but I think its going to Epcot’s future world. the large size of the ride would fit Nicely on that side of Epcot. last year there height balloons being tested in that area of future world.

  • Awesome! I honestly have faith in the Clickbait Coreless confirmation. The placement of the attraction makes sense. The only thing that upsets me is that this gives me a little less motivation to visit Shanghai Disneyland. I wish Disney did a better job of keeping attractions exclusive, or even distinctively different, around their global portfolio of theme parks. Not just bring out the cookie cutter.

    • not everyone can, or wants to, travel to the other side of the world though. The purpose of the international parks, is to allow different parts of the world to also have the Disney experience. For me? If an international ride is doing well and looks cool, and there’s an old ride that needs to go, why can’t we have it?

      • completely agree with you on this one! I will probably never have the money or the time to fly internationally to simply visit another Disney park, so I want to see the best attractions stateside. There are a lot of international attractions that I would love to see in the World or the Land.

    • Disney wants to make money. It doesn’t matter if you spend it in Shanghai or here. Well, actually it does…they will make more money off your money here because they have full ownership of the domestic parks. But anyway, they aren’t concerned with moving people around to different parks, they just want butts in seats (or hips through turnstiles?).

  • I am concerned about the Peoplemover!!! I am praying that they can find a way to work it into/around the Tron building. I bet it would be easy to make it breathtaking!

    • The people mover in no way impedes on the area, so I’m sure it’s safe. If anything, they could make it longer and go through the building ala Space Mountain.

  • Yes I never understood how gas powered racing cars fit into a “Tomorrowland” theme. Still I suppose if the drivers are underage …driving IS mostly in their future…then there’s autonomous driving which might be a pretty boring attraction…but they do have the people mover which is autonomous…but doesn’t get you anywhere but back where you started. This mindset one of the many reasons why I am not an imaginer.

    • I had long hoped they would wise up and make electric cars instead–show the real future in automotive. But that would have relied on a related company sponsoring the attraction, and right now, the oil and auto industry is not pushing electric, so they never would have gotten a brand to back it.

  • No one needs to worry about spacing issues. The Tron coaster in Shanghai is significantly smaller than the show building, itself. It will fit within the perimeters. There’s also room across the train tracks.

  • Can you link to some of the sources you say are confirming this? I can’t find anything about it in my usual searches.

    • This site doesn’t confirm sources – just ask all the WDW guests with locked accounts that have been banned after misuse of Fast Pass. Oh wait, that’s right, there weren’t any wide-spread reports, just a click-bait article that was picked up by all WDW fandom sites.

      • I don’t know specifically what you’re referring to, but the recent changes to the FastPass system designed to specifically thwart misuse seems to support there was widespread enough abuse to warrant changes…?

        • There haven’t been any changes, you heard a rumor that was “confirmed” and you fully believe it’s in effect, but it’s not, you just think it is because Tom said it was.

  • There’s so much in flux on these projects. Don’t expect any announcements this weekend for the Domestic parks. I’ve heard from Jim hill all new projects are really in flux due to a massive International drop due to a combination of Brazil and Britain’s Economy being in the toilet and possible changes in who needs Visa’s due to Trump. I think we have to see a good 3-5% growth in WDW attendance to get this built. Don’t expect anything until 2018 or 2019 when they make the 50th Anniversary announcement.

    • Hi, one small correction: Britain’s economy is not in the toilet and is doing quite well thank you. The poor £/$ exchange rate is the issue for a lot of UK tourists, making a holiday in the USA very expensive at the moment.

  • Hearing word that Lightcycle is indeed coming, but it will not replace Speedway, but will (somehow) be put behind Speedway). Speedway will stay with a new theme.

  • Insiders are confirming the coaster, BUT that the speedway is safe and will be re-themed. The coaster is going BEHIND the speedway.

  • I think you are going to be disappointed when the Tron Coaster doesn’t get announced at D23. Better start getting your retractions ready. There will be Walt Disney World announcements though, just not this one.

    • Not to mention the modernity of the Tron aesthetic next to the vintage “future” of Space Mountain…they would clash so badly. Would be so much better in Future World at Epcot, unless they find some clever new ways to make the building fit in without overshadowing older and less splashy building designs.

  • This same site also announced more than 2 years ago that both Imagination and Indiana Jones should have closed by the end of 2016. So please be careful using “confirmed”.

  • How many extra seated cars is the US version going to need?

    In Shanghai, there aren’t nearly the number of people on ECVs or other mobility aids, so the one “accessible” car per train is enough.

    And that’s just for mobility needs, not to mention the fact that a good chunk of the guests likely won’t fit on the motorcycles.

  • They should keep the speedway and redesign it at NASCAR and Cars, and get NASCAR to sponsor it.
    Then the NASCAR champion drivers could come make appearances like the MVP athletes do.

  • If you’re going to use the word “confirmed” in your headline, make sure it is “confirmed” by the official source – that is Disney. Otherwise it is clickbait.

  • While a lot of people are excited about this, it’s an unfortunate move, if true. The speedway needs an update, to be sure, but it’s a threshold experience. You only drive for the first time once, which is what makes it so important. (Like Peter Pan, otherwise nothing special, but you get to fly.) The imagineers are delivering thrills, but often forget about the experience.

  • Why would they build another coaster right next to Space Mountain. Further, Disney has recently made massive investments in the Magic Kingdom with the Fantasyland Expansion. Add that to the fact that they are already commited to investments in Disneyland and Hollywood Studios. The Magic Kingdom is the park which needs the least amount of investment outside of rehab, infill, and decanting current dated attractions to more sensible locations. And the raceway is hugely popular with children, Disney’s most important audience. I expect an announcement for a significant rehab, maybe involving futuristic electric cars.

  • To anyonesaying Tom doesn’t know what confirmed means…..

    “We feel fairly confident about calling this announcement “confirmed” since several unrelated sources within the Walt Disney Company are now providing this information”

    Stop being arrogant jerks, go somewhere else, or you know READ THE DAMN ARTICLE!

  • Good riddance!

    Tomorrowland Speedway is stinky, slow, waste of space that would even be outdated at a Six Flags park.

  • Awesome to see they are willing to add another thrill ride to Orlando and get greener in Magic Kingdom. The only thing that worries me is Tron overshadowing Space Mountain. Both buildings could literally be sitting right next to each other.

  • My two hopes for this:

    — Keep PeopleMover involved. Have the new ride go over or around or under it — as the Speedway does now. I’d like PeopleMover to stay integrated into everything in Tomorrowland.

    — Keep that quiet path from the Circus area of Fantasyland to Tomorrowland. It may not be as quiet anymore, but don’t lose it entirely.

  • Yes, several source are saying TRON cycle for Tomorrowland.

    But… are several sources also saying Speedway is a goner?… not so fast… better double check your sources there.

  • I won’t lose any sleep over the speedway going away if this pans out.

    Plus it would be stellar if they did decide to run the people mover through it and do something similar to the old speed tunnel from the people mover in Disneyland as a homage to that.

  • This is terrible. Know a lot of Disney fans, nobody ever said “I want a Tron ride”. Let’s just go ahead and take “magic” out of the name of the park now. Marketing Kingdom would be more accurate

    • Basing a ride on 2 movies that were not super successful is not a marketing ploy. It’s simply a good concept for an attraction and at least it’s an original Disney property and not something they bought or got the rights to.

      • When they’re trying to reboot the franchise and attaching Jared Leto to it, then yeah, it is. If it’s not why is Tron even in the name?

        • Plus I think you’re over estimating the theme parks as a promotional tool. If making a ride was such a marketing bullseye, every new movie would have a larger presence in the park. They build attractions based on what will get people into the parks, not what attractions will get people into theatres. As Flynn lives said, there’s a large enough fan base of the movie, plus a large enough fan base of the ride itself that it will bring people into the park.

  • All of these rumors that are spread on these websites makes our jobs even harder as CM’s. Instead of focusing on the safety of our guests while they are boarding our rides, we are answering questions of “oh I hear your closing soon” and “I read this online that says guardians is coming here”. I spend more of my day telling guests that as of now this is all false and rumors. Disney will tell us at the same time they tell you, maybe an hour earlier because of social media. Rumors take away from the magic we create for guests, especially when sites such as this one are telling the world that something is true when there are no legitimate sources named.

    • The people asking those questions are typically big Disney fans, have heard the safety spiel a hundred times already, and the magic is not spoiled for them via such a conversation. You job as a CM (former Disneyland CM myself) is to interact with guests as much as your position allows, in order to make their day better. If that involves answering questions related to rumors, so be it. You can always politely say you don’t know, but then strike up a conversation, or at least make a comment connecting to them in some way. I loved when I could interact with guests, and loved whenever they asked me questions, even if it was the 30th time that day I pointed someone to the nearest restroom (with the Disney point of course.) You should pretty much accept that in today’s age, this is going to be a daily part of your job, and make the best of it. For your sake and the guests.

  • @Dan I think you greatly underestimate the Tron fandom out there. I know a lot of Disney fans to and a lot of them are saying yes! Please!

    Look at Avatar. It might have made elevenity-billion $’s in theaters but I don’t know many “fans” of it and look at how Pandora turned out.

  • Confirm it AFTER the announcement otherwise it’s just speculation. I’ve also heard rumor that it’s not replacing the Speedway but rather going behind it across the tracks next to Space Mountain…

  • So is it “CONFIRMED:” Like it states in the title or “We feel fairly confident about calling this announcement “confirmed” since several unrelated sources within the Walt Disney Company are now providing this information.” I think you are misleading your readers!

  • […] WDWNewsToday is claiming that the popular Tron Lightcycle Power Run attraction, which opened last year at Shanghai Disneyland, will be coming stateside to Walt Disney World Resort. It has been rumored for some time now that the Tron rollercoaster could be part of the upcoming Epcot remodel, but this new report claims that the coaster will be officially announced at the Parks and Resorts presentation at D23 Expo. The report claims that the new ride will open at the Magic Kingdom just before the park’s 50th birthday, replacing the Tomorrowland Speedway attraction which opened in 1971 as the Grand Prix Raceway. They predict that the Tomorrowland Speedway will close sometime in 2018 to make way for the construction and that the new coaster could open in 2020 or 2021. […]

    • I don’t usually comment on these things, but CONFIRMED would mean your entire post was confirmed, and it was not. The DISNEY released info, including the sketch clearly shows that the speedway is not touched by adding the Tron attraction.

  • I love updates at Disney. Just tired of crowds. Building new rides and new resort hotels are great ideas IF you also add more standing room. Fireworks at Magic Kingdom have become a nightmare of waiting and defending your space. I just hope that TRON is built with surrounding space for movement. I will miss one of the few quiet paths (back of SM and race track) if that is replaced by TRON, but I love the new ideas announced.

  • According to FloridaToday.com, the Tron ride “…will not, as rumored, take over the space of one of the resort’s original attractions, Tomorrowland Speedway”.
    NICE!