When visiting Magic Kingdom recently, we noticed something odd at the TRON Lightcycle Run construction site – the building was sealed off right over the portal opening and roller coaster track.
As a refresher, the TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster essentially takes place in two sections – the launch/outdoor section, and the indoor dark portion. Ever since Disney started constructing the actually big, blue building that we see in the photos below, our visibility into the dark, indoor portion of the ride has obviously been obstructed. Here’s a look back at a set piece being installed before the building was closed off.
Thus, our photo updates have consisted of checking in on the construction of the canopy that will illuminate when the sun sets as well as provide cover from the elements. As you can see in this file photo, the outdoor section of track connects to the interior portion of the attraction via a hole in the building. In the story of this attraction, this hole is the upload portal to “The Grid”, which is the interior portion of the ride.
With a little bit of the background taken care of, let’s jump into the latest construction photos and why they might be of interest to the rumor mill. As you can see in the photos below, that portal has been completely walled off – something that will need to be reversed in the future.
It’s a bit surreal to see the once open hole/portal to the interior of the ride completely sealed off, but there could be a few explanations as to why Disney has taken this step.
According to rumors back in October 2020, Disney is now targeting a 2022 opening date for the TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster, which would be a departure from their previously announced summer/fall 2021 timeline.
The rumor said that Disney is going to “weather-seal” the building as they hit the pause button on construction over the spring and summer before possibly restarting construction in fall/winter 2021 for a 2022 opening. So why is this latest construction significant in the context of that rumor? It looks like Disney really is “weather-sealing” the building by taking what appears to be the extreme measure of closing off what was once an opening to the building and creating a wall in front of roller coaster track.
Elsewhere, we see that Disney is sealing off other parts of the building too. Just below the track piece above, we can see that Disney has sealed off the gift shop/exit to the attraction as seen in the photo below. We can see the outline of where the exit would be, but it is completely sealed off.
Thanks to a photo from bioreconstruct, we can see that Disney appears to be sealing off the main entrance to the attraction as well, which can be seen in the middle-right of the photo below. A single doorway appears to be open, but there should be multiple doorways here if the attraction is similar to the Shanghai version.
Of course, there is another possible reason that the track has been sealed off like it is. It’s possible, but perhaps less likely, that Disney is attempting to protect the brake run that sits just inside the building from continued construction on the exterior canopy. As you can see in the photo above, the canopy is slowly approaching the building and construction will soon make its way towards the portal opening. Of course, if Disney was concerned about debris at the portal opening, they could have just installed a screen or tarp like they did with other sections of the track.
Either way, the installation of a wall over the roller coaster track is a bit surreal.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!