Walt Disney Imagineers have begun the next phase of testing for the upcoming rollercoaster Tron Lightcycle Run. Updates regarding the attraction, set to open in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, were featured in a video released by the company which saw Imagineers testing weights, adding and removing trains, and other construction-related tasks.
Jerold Kaplan, Executive Ride Project Engineer, introduces the ride by claiming they are officially moving into Phase Two of the project, which will see Imagineers begin various tests in order to assess the coaster. The primary focus will center around push-pull tests, a method where trains are pulled along the track by a machine. As Kaplan goes on to explain, this slow mode of traveling is used to make sure trains are fitted correctly to the tracks, as well as confirming the appropriate clearances for riders and vehicles are in place. Due to much of the ride taking place outside, underneath a lighted canopy, this testing will be in full view of everyday guests.
After the push-pull tests have been completed, the crew will begin testing the launch system. The launch will be tested at incremental speeds until it reaches full velocity and human-like test weights can be added. According to Kaplan, the entire testing timeline could take months as the crew ensures the attraction is safe for guests. But for Tron and Disney World fans, the testing alone comes as good news for the coaster. Though construction broke ground in 2018 with a promised opening date of August 2021, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic severely delayed plans and resulted in the project being put on hold for nearly a year. Construction resumed at a slower pace in May 2021.
Tron Lightcycle Run is based on the Disneyland Shanghai attraction of the same name. Guests are loaded onto futuristic motorbikes as they take off on a high-speed adventure. In contrast to most mainstream coasters, Tron Lightcycle Power Run does not feature vertical seats. Instead, guests are made to lean forward and grip the handlebars, keeping their bodies close to the bike. A secure pad is situated behind guests, keeping them in place. These motorbike coasters are not incredibly common- less than 20 exist in theme parks across the world- and only three companies manufacture the system. Universal’s Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, for example, is considered a motorbike coaster, but it does not lean guests forward as dramatically as Tron Lightcycle Run will.
“People always ask what your favorite memory of every attraction,” Kaplan states, “It is coming out on opening day, watching guests experience it, the smiles, excitement, the memories they’re gonna build with their family, it’s just awesome.” As phase two gets underway, the excitement for the immersive coaster is sure to only grow. No opening new date has been released for Tron Lightcycle Run. You can check out the behind-the-scenes video below:
You may know her as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
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