When Tron: Lightcycle Run opens at Magic Kingdom next year it will be a big deal. The construction was a massive effort, that due to the pandemic has taken much longer than expected. But the coaster's construction had additional ramifications in the park. Several Magic Kingdom attractions had to close because the build was going to interfere with their normal operation. In most cases that only meant closing for a few month, but for the Walt Disney World Railroad, it meant closing down for over four years. However, the long wait is over as the railroad is returning to operation.
On December 3, 2018 The Walt Disney World Railroad shut down because the construction of the Tron coaster was actually going to be going over the track. The tunnel has appeared to have been completed for some time, and in recent days people had seen the railroad running in a test mode, so it seemed like the closure might have been coming to an end, but Disney World has surprised folks announcing the attraction will open this holiday season, which is only lasting for a few more days
During the closure the train and the tracks underwent maintenance. The tracks are 50 years old now, just like the rest of Walt Disney World, and the train is a 100-year-old vintage model, so clearly taking the time to work on it wasn't a bad idea. In addition to fixing the old stuff, the Railroad will now include new stuff, as the voiceover that gives guests the grand tour of Magic Kingdom has been re-recorded. One assumes that the railroad needed at least one new voiceover, to reference the Lightcycle Run coaster, and so everything needed to be re-recorded to match.
The Walt Disney World Railroad, in addition to being a fun attraction, is also one of Magic Kingdom's modes of transportation, which is part of what made its loss for all this time so hard. While it certainly wasn't the fastest way to get from one part of the park to another, it would get you there, and in a way that let you rest your feet and see the park in a new way.
The railroad is an iconic part of the park because its existence can be traced back to Walt Disney himself. Walt loved trains, even building a small scale train in the backyard of his own house. The train surrounding Disneyland was one of the earliest elements included in the park and it's reported Walt would occasionally take over as conductor when he was visiting the park, without the guests ever knowing they were being driven around by the boss. While Walt Disney never saw the Disney World version of the railroad, its presence there was never a question.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis. Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.