The landscape of Tomorrowland has long been centered around Space Mountain as one of the busiest rides at Magic Kingdom. All of that is about to change as another E ticket thrill ride is added to the land. Disney first announced the TRON attraction coming to Magic Kingdom in July of 2017. Nearly six years later, it’s finally time for what the company calls the fastest ride in Disney Parks history to open. I think everyone collectively cheered when Disney shared there would be quite a few preview opportunities before the ride officially opens April 4th. If you think you might be eligible for a TRON preview, we’ve got all the latest information here. If you love keeping up with what’s going on at the most magical place on earth, you’ll love our monthly Disney news and updates posts.
3/17/23 Update: TRON Lightcycle/Run Soft Opening Announced!
With all previews complete weeks ahead of the TRON Lightcycle/Run grand opening on April 4th, Disney has announced a soft opening for the attraction! The TRON Lightcycle/Run soft opening will happen March 20th through April 2nd. Tron will seemingly then be closed on April 3rd before it officially opens to the masses on April 4th. It looks like Tron will operate without a standby queue, even for the soft opening. In order to ride, guests will need to have a ticket and park pass reservation for the day and use the My Disney Experience app to book a spot.
A virtual queue will be available starting at 7:00 a.m. This one can be booked from anywhere. Then another virtual queue sign up will open at 1:00 p.m. but guests must be in the park to sign up for this one. On nights when extended evening hours are available to deluxe resort guests, a third virtual queue opens at 6:00 p.m. This is the same operating procedure we’ve been following for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
An individual Lightning Lane may also be available for purchase for the TRON Lightcycle/Run soft opening period. These are secured in the My Disney Experience app as well and prices vary by the day. You can select which members of your party will ride if not everyone is up for the thrill.
Tron may have taken a lot longer to complete than originally anticipated due to the pandemic and construction delays. However, when it comes to the opening process, I’ve been really impressed with how things have gone. There were an abundance of Tron previews for groups who should be prioritized because they are the people that care the most. This included DVC Tron preview dates.
First, there was a Tron Cast Member preview where they were welcomed with their guests. They are the magic and deserve to enjoy all the fun! Cast Members should also be able to experience attractions themselves first in order to help with the guest experience. It’s incredibly helpful to ask a Cast Member a question about a ride and get a detailed answer in response because they can pull from their own experience.
Then there were Tron pass holder previews. Again, another group of guests who certainly care. The Disney annual pass 2023 price is wild and special preview opportunities like this can help add value.
The DVC Tron preview dates have also passed along with the D23 Tron preview event and any other previously scheduled opportunities to see it before opening. While the information below is accurate and helpful if you got to it in time, these opportunities have now passed. However, knowing how these things might work might help you plan for future openings.
The soft opening, while not always a guarantee, is a great way to get to experience TRON Lightcycle/Run before it’s an official offering at Walt Disney World Resort. Soft openings add a great element of surprise and delight for visitors. See you on the grid!
Everything You Need to Know About TRON and Previews
The TRON Lightcycle / Run attraction has been in Cast Member previews since the beginning of February 2023. If you fall into more than one of the preview categories, you can preview the attraction more than once! Each of the TRON preview opportunities outlined below has different specifications. What applies to all preview opportunities is the height requirement and locker set up. If you’re bringing a smaller guest with you, know that they must be at least 48 inches to ride TRON Lightcycle / Run.
How do TRON Lockers Work?
Let’s talk about the TRON locker situation! TRON Lightcycle / Run is the first attraction at Walt Disney World Resort that requires to use a locker for your belongings while you ride. You could also have a non-rider in the party hold all the things. This is just the first time there isn’t an option to stow your bags at your feet. There is a space on each Lightcycle to store something small like a phone or your ticket. For everything else, you can store it in a locker that’s inside the building.
You will need your MagicBand, park ticket or to use one of the cards provided to access your locker before and after the ride. The TRON lockers are free. The TRON locker set up features a double sided design. You put your stuff in on one side and remove it on the other side. Whatever you use to get a locker, your MagicBand for example, can be assigned to one locker at a time.
TRON Ride Vehicle Details
The TRON ride vehicle is something to consider before riding. It’s unique but similar to the Avatar Flight of Passage ride vehicle. Unlike Flight of Passage, TRON is not in front of a show screen but, instead, moves swiftly along a track. Guests can expect to see test vehicles outside of the attraction. This gives everyone an opportunity to make sure they are comfortable riding on this motorcycle style bike. The difference between a motorcycle and the TRON vehicle is, like Flight of Passage, you don’t step onto to something with your foot when you board. It’s more like you haul your knee over the vehicle and place your weight on your shins. Like a motorcycle, though, you can lift your torso as you ride.
Many have said it’s a bit awkward to get on and off of. Once you’re seated you need to pull the handlebars forward with both arms until the back restraint meets you. Some say it’s heavy and can be hard to pull. Maybe that’s because it’s brand new but a Cast Member will help you during loading, of course, and check that it’s secure. This ride can also knock you around a bit if you lean forward too much. I don’t think it’s meant for you to ride with your chest down though the vehicle can make you feel that way.
There is a more traditional, alternative ride vehicle that’s like a seated car for guests who would be more comfortable in this position. There are far less of these though. If you try the traditional ride vehicle out front and decide it’s not for you. Talk to a Cast Member about the process, and potential additional wait, to board the seat car.
Is there a gift shop at the TRON exit?
This might shock you but TRON does not have a gift shop at the end. Surprising, right? We’ve been trained to expect an opportunity to pick up a t-shirt for our favorite ride as soon as we get off of it. We do know that the shop at the exit of Space Mountain has been under refurbishment for quite some time. We now know that the shop, formerly known as Tomorrowland Light & Power Co., has been refurbished into a joint gift shop for Space Mountain and TRON Lightcycle/Run. It’s here, now called Tomorrowland Launch Depot, where guests can find TRON merchandise.
TRON Passholder Preview
Annual Passholders are being treated to a TRON preview. An email was sent out on Monday February 13th stating that the TRON passholder preview signups would take place soon. The email states you should, “Be on the lookout for an email when registration opens on February 16.” This email does not share when TRON passholder previews will happen.
Update for 2/16: Emails have gone out, many have signed up and many are in a digital queue for the TRON passholder preview registration page that states there is currently more than an hour wait. If you are getting to this later in the day on 2/16 or after, the TRON passholder preview will probably be full. Tron passholder preview dates are March 4th through the 6th and 8th through the 12th. You must pick a day that you have access to the park meaning if your pass is blocked out you can not attend.
TRON DVC Preview
Disney Vacation Club Members may also get a TRON preview. There is a catch though. Members must not only be eligible for all Membership Extras, you must also be staying at a resort using your Membership according to a Facebook post from DVC. It’s awesome that there are perks for DVC Members but when they are so limited like this, it makes DVC resale even more appealing. It may not come with all Member benefits but those aren’t guaranteed no matter what kind of Membership you have.
The official wording is, “Eligible to Members who booked a resort reservation using their Membership on an event date.” So the stars pretty much need to align for the DVC preview. You need to be a Member who qualifies to attend special events like this, unfortunately that does not include resale DVC Members, but you also need to have a stay booked on your points. When DVC shared this information on February 13th, it did not specify when the preview dates would be.
Update for 2/16: Reporter Scott Gustin shared on Twitter the TRON DVC preview dates are March 4th through the 6th and that registration opens at 11:00 a.m. ET on 2/16. Check your email for a sign up but this link for the Disney Vacation Club TRON preview registration should work too.
TRON D23 Preview Event
D23 Gold Members can purchase tickets to a TRON preview that will be held on Saturday, March 18th. Tickets go on sale Wednesday February 15th, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET. The price for the TRON D23 preview is $50 plus a $7 processing fee. Here’s what included with the TRON D23 preview:
- Complimentary parking at the Transportation Ticket Center
- Park admission with park reservation to Magic Kingdom after 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, 2023
- Light refreshment for all Gold members in attendance
- Exclusive entry to preview of TRON Lightcycle / Run on Saturday, March 18, 2023
- Commemorative keepsake from the Grid
Here’s more on the TRON D23 preview time from Disney:
Check-in opens at the Transportation Ticket Center (TTC) from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with park admission beginning directly after Gold members receive their credentials and continue to Magic Kingdom Park via monorail or ferry. Gold Members can explore the rest of Tomorrowland up until the event begins at 6:30 p.m. where they will be able to enter the entrance to the attraction. From there, D23 Gold Members can experience TRON Lightcycle / Run until 8:30 p.m.
See more about the TRON D23 event on the official page.
What is TRON Lightcycle / Run like?
Ok, so you’re aiming to go to a TRON preview but what is this ride actually like? First of all, if you see weird writing surrounding TRON online, like “LIMIT: NOT FOUND_”, know that it’s on purpose and part of the theming. The Tron movies are about a digital world that takes place on what’s called the Grid. Disney says you can “Climb aboard your very own Lightcycle and take off on a high-speed adventure, racing against the Grid’s most menacing Programs.”
While the ride vehicle system may be more limiting than other more traditional seated styles, this is meant to be a family experience. Disney states this is one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park in the world. If you’re a true thrill seeker that has enjoyed high speed rides at other theme parks, TRON will not be the fastest ride you’ve ever been on. It still maintains that family coaster feeling but you do feel the speed.
How to Ride TRON at Magic Kingdom When it Opens
When TRON Lightcycle / Run opens you will need to have one of two things in order to ride: a complementary virtual queue reservation or a purchasable Lightning Lane. Both are acquired in the My Disney Experience app. Both are limited in quantity. We anticipate the virtual queue to work like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at Epcot.
How the TRON Virtual Queue Works
This is a guess for now until it’s confirmed but TRON will probably have you sign up for a virtual queue at 7:00 a.m. on the day of your park visit. It’s one of those things where you’ll want to be signed into your Disney account in the app and check that you are using the fastest reception whether that’s the wi-fi or your cell service. The first set of virtual queue spots usually goes in under a minute for new popular, attractions. It’s possible there will be another afternoon signup that will require you to be in the park. Remember you’ll need a ticket and park pass reservation to even have the opportunity to try to ride when it opens. There will be no standby line.
How TRON Lightning Lane Works
With the TRON Lightning Lane, those are sold until they are filled for the day. The number available is not shared. You can assume if the return times are only showing availability later in the day, they might be nearly sold out. Lightning Lane prices vary based on Disney’s perception of demand. It will probably be the most expensive when it opens, on weekends and during the busy seasons like spring break, Christmas week and long holiday weekends. We’ve seen Lightning Lanes for as high as $22.
Note that you can select who in your travel party is going to ride with the Lightning Lane. Everyone doesn’t have to go. For other attractions, guests have been able to ride using the virtual queue and then purchase a Lightning Lane. You can usually only ride via virtual queue once and Lightning Lane for an individual attraction once. The exception is when Cosmic Rewind added a third virtual queue signup for extended evening hours for select resort guests. That includes Disney Vacation Club Resorts. We’ll find out more about TRON before it opens I’m sure. It’s also possible that the standard operating procedure will be adjusted to best accommodate guests as the ride opens and starts to operate.
DVC Resale Experts Make Magic
Want to visit Disney World theme parks every year? Disney Vacation Club is the flexible, point-based Disney timeshare that allows you to book stays at deluxe tier Disney resort hotels. It’s possible to get the Disney timeshare at much better rates when you purchase a resale contract. Resale refers to a contract that is sold by a Member and not Disney Vacation Club directly. It’s possible to save thousands on resale and book the same great vacations. Resale contracts mostly work the same way when it comes to booking but just don’t include all of the extras like discounts and access to Member lounges. DVC Members get to pick a home resort where they are eligible for an earlier booking window than others. If you can see yourself traveling to Disney destinations every year, you may want to consider joining Disney Vacation Club.
DVC Resale Experts is a licensed real estate broker with a team that specializes in resale DVC contracts. Our professionals have decades of experience selling DVC. The Experts once worked for the mouse as Disney Vacation Club Guides. Now, as independent, licensed real estate agents, they provide pixie dusted service and helpful insight. See our current resale DVC listings for a look at pricing and availability. Have questions? Our team will be happy to help you find the right fit. Don’t see the contract you’re wishing for? Join the DVC Resale Experts Buyer Wish List and you’ll be contacted when one magically appears on the market.