Whenever a new ride is announced for the Walt Disney World Resort or any of the Disney Parks around the world, it sparks emotional excitement among the would-be Guests eager to experience a new kind of magic. Construction sites arguably become more popular focal points than their Parks’ own official icons and help boost the excitement as Guests tolerate the closed-off walkways, shops, and other negative impacts on their overall experience in the hopes that whatever new ride that opens will be well worth it. But there comes the point when it is almost not worth the wait anymore, and my fear is that TRON: Lightcycle Power Run is reaching that point at the Magic Kingdom.
While, yes, one can blame how Disney reacted to covid-19, the construction process of the new roller coaster has still taken far longer than any other Disney attraction that has come before it. Magic Kingdom Park itself took less time to build. It is one thing to wait a long time for a new ride, but it is another when the construction of that ride has continuously affected the Disney World Guest experience. In the case of TRON, the Walt Disney World Railroad has been shuttered since 2018. With the train out of commission, Guests don’t only lose a ride that helped cut down the amount of walking, but the Park as a whole loses a brilliant crowd control tool. The Guests that would have opted to take the Walt Disney World Railroad from Main Street, U.S.A., to Frontierland or Storybook Circus have been required to walk that distance and add to the congestion of the thoroughfares beneath the simmering Florida sun. TRON construction also arguably was behind the temporary loss of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. While not fully admitted by Disney, certain segments of the PeopleMover’s elevated track gave a clear look into the construction grounds that were blocked off from any other Guests’ perspective.
Now, the lingering construction has arguably resulted in the closure of Space Mountain’s gift shop, Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. That shop which also played a significant role in crowd control by offering Guests an air-conditioned distraction from immediately emptying back out into the Themed Land, is closed indefinitely for “refurbishment.” Concept art allows me to speculate that the refurbishment is connected to the completion of TRON’s walkway, which is set to run past it.
First announced in 2017 at the D23 Expo, Walt Disney World’s TRON coaster is a recreation of the original built for Shanghai Disneyland, and its opening is expected to be a topic of conversation at the upcoming 2022 D23 Expo next month. While set to be one of the fastest coasters in Florida and offering a cool seating design, the track seems rather mild.
After five years of continuously having a negative effect on Guests’ experience, I have to wonder if it is even going to be worth the wait anymore. It better be the most amazing roller coaster yet.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole.