Over the weekend at the D23 Expo we learned that Tron: Lightcycle Run, the new Magic Kingdom roller coaster, would open in the spring of next year. While some fans were hoping the new Tron ride would open sooner, many are just glad to see the end in sight. However, Universal Orlando Resort is here to remind theme park fans that not every roller coaster needs to take like five years to complete.
New theme park attractions are massive undertakings and roller coasters especially can take a lot of time, but they're popular rides, so they're investments worth making. Both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort began construction on new roller coasters a few years ago, but as Universal reminded us on Twitter, one of them, the Jurassic World Velocicoaster, has been done for a while.
Rome wasn't built in a day, but she almost was. pic.twitter.com/bRSB5bxoOpSeptember 12, 2022
While Walt Disney World and the Tron coaster are not mentioned by name, the tweet is clearly a reference to the speed with which Velocicoaster. one of the most popular new roller coasters in recent memory, was completed. It would be one thing if the Velociacoaster wasn't as big or as detailed as Tron: Lightcycle Run, but the new coaster did not cut any corners.
Construction on Jurassic World Velocicoaster began in early 2019, although Universal Orlando did not confirm what the attraction actually was until more than a year later. The new coaster was officially open to the public on June 10, 2021 (it had actually soft opened on April 30). That's especially impressive considering there was a little thing called a global pandemic that shut down the theme parks entirely about a year after construction had begun.
By comparison, Tron: Lightcycle Run's construction began in early 2018, about a year before Velocicoaster got underway. And while a Spring 2023 grand opening for Tron doesn't tell us exactly when the ride will be open, it will probably be slightly less than two years after Velocicoaster opened, probably more than five years in total, compared to just over three years for Velocicoaster.
Certainly, the pandemic played a part in the delay, but it impacted both resorts equally, so that can't really be blamed for Tron taking so long. There's a large canopy over the Tron coaster that Velocicoaster didn't have to build, but Lightcycle Run is actually the second Tron coaster built. The one at Magic Kingdom is, as far as we know, a carbon copy of the version at Shanghai Disneyland, so the feeling from many was construction would go faster as they'd already built it once before.
Tron Lightcycle Run has certainly taken its sweet time getting here, but in the end most fans will likely simply be happy when it arrives. It's completion will mean not only a new roller coaster but, at some point, the reopening of the Walt Disney World Railroad. These two things can not come soon enough.