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Wishful Fans Hoped The New Tron Coaster Might Open This Year At Magic Kingdom. Why It’s Not A Huge Shock It’s Coming In 2023

Tron Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom
(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

This past weekend at D23 Expo we were finally given our first information on when Tron: Lightcycle Run will finally open to the public. While no specific date was given, a window of Spring 2023 was announced. This disappointed some fans who, seeing how well testing on the Tron coaster seemed to be going, thought we might actually get the attraction later this year.

While that may have been technically possible, it was never all that realistic to believe we would have seen Tron: Lightcycle Run this year. Even if the ride could open this year, there are plenty of reasons for Walt Disney World to hold off until 2023.

Walt Disney World Already Opened A New Roller Coaster This Year, And Nothing So Big Planned For Next Year 

The theme park model, that Disney helped invent, is based on continuous innovation and iteration. Disney World tries to have at least one major new addition to the parks each year as a way to entice guests to come, and to come back. The vacation kingdom has already made its big new attraction opening this year with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind which opened in May.

If Disney World made the call to open Tron Lightcycle Run in 2022, the fact is that the resort wouldn’t have much left to promote in 2023. The long and frustrating Epcot construction, and the Moana: Journey of Water attraction are set to be completed next year, but Moana appears to be a simple walk through attraction, which may be awesome, but will not sell tickets. Tron’s opening will be the thing that Disney World 2023 marketing is focused on.

Disney Will Have No Problem Filling The Parks For the Rest Of 2022 

The opening date of Spring 2023 makes a lot of sense because the period between the Christmas holidays and the summer vacation season tends to be a slower period for theme parks. There is no real slow period at Walt Disney World, but early in the year is the closest you get. The holiday season is actually one of the busiest times of the year, so why would you open a new attraction then?

The point of new attractions is to sell tickets and Walt Disney World is already going to be super crowded at the end of the year. Opening a major E-ticket attraction would certainly have the desired impact, more people would come, but all that would mean is that Magic Kingdom would become super crowded, resulting in a lot of guest dissatisfaction, which is exactly what Disney says it's trying to avoid with the reservation system.

There May Still Be Work To Do With Lightcycle Run

And of course, while Tron: Lightcycle Run may be very close to being ready to open, it likely will still need more testing and tweaking before it is actually ready. Even if they expect the ride to be ready sooner, and wanted to open it sooner, announcing an earlier date, and then needing to push it back because something takes longer than expected, is less desirable than building in that time early just to be sure it opens when you say it will. 

We still don’t know exactly when Tron: Lightcycle Run will open, but we’ll get a specific date before too long, likely after the first of the year. We’ve waited this long for Tron, we can wait a bit longer.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.