The Magic Kingdom has officially opened its newest attraction after weeks of previews for Cast Members and select Guests, but many Disney fans have expressed concerns over what riding the attraction will be like going forward.
TRON Lightcycle / Run, a new version of the original coaster from Shanghai Disneyland, is now open in Tomorrowland adjacent to Space Mountain. Like many new attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort, including rides like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in EPCOT, TRON opened with no standby line.
The latest addition to the Magic Kingdom is only accessible by scoring a boarding group in the virtual queue or purchasing an individual Lightning Lane, as TRON Lightcycle / Run is not included in Disney Genie+. While this is all rather standard for new Disney attractions as of late, the company just made one major update to TRON’s queue process that you will need to be aware of before your next trip.
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How to Ride TRON Lightcycle / Run
There are three ways for Guests to experience TRON Lightcycle / Run: Virtual queue, individual Lightning Lane purchase, or via an additional virtual queue drop during extended evening hours in the Park (available to Guests staying at Deluxe Disney Resorts only).
Guests will be able to join the virtual queue (or purchase individual Lightning Lanes) beginning at 7:00 a.m. on the day of their visit. Today, for the ride’s official opening, the first drop of virtual queue boarding groups filled up almost instantly. Another drop of virtual queue groups will be available daily at 1:00 p.m.
During early previews of TRON Lightcycle / Run, some Guests noted that they were not being accommodated for late arrivals about 45 minutes to an hour beyond the time that their boarding groups were called. While many fans hoped this would be remedied by the time the ride officially opens, this is unfortunately not the case given the latest update to Disney’s website and the My Disney Experience app:
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Prior to the launch of Disney Genie+, individual Lightning Lane selections, and virtual queues, Disney did not “officially” accommodate late arrivals with FastPass+ selections. (We say “officially” because the rules of the program technically stated that Guests needed to arrive during their chosen windows, but it was much easier for Cast Members to accommodate late arrivals then.)
The problem with not allowing for late arrivals with virtual queues vs. FastPass+ (or now Genie+ and Lightning Lanes) is that the time to board the attraction can change. When Guests enter a virtual queue, they are given an estimate of what their wait time will be, followed by an alert from the app letting them know when it is time to ride.
This means that the time a boarding group will be called can actually be sort of unpredictable. Unpredictability with no accommodations for late arrivals can pose quite a challenge in a theme park where it can take at least 30-40 minutes to travel between Parks, and where Guests are pre-booking things like dining reservations 60 days out from their trips.
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Moreover, nearly all Guests hoping to ride TRON Lightcycle / Run will attempt to enter the virtual queue right at 7:00 a.m. For someone who is accepted into the queue at 7:00, given a roughly three-hour wait in the virtual line, and then an update that their boarding group is actually being called at 9:00 when they are not yet at the Park…the updated policy on late arrivals could mean this Guest would miss their chance to ride.
Whether or not Disney fans prefer virtual queues to standby lines is often a mixed opinion at best, but updates like this one will certainly not sway those who would rather wait in a traditional line.
Since today is only the first official day of operation for TRON Lightcycle / Run, it is always possible that this policy will be modified if it continues to cause issues for Guests. We at Disney Tips will continue to monitor updates to the new attraction and will be back with more information as it is available.