Also in this edition (at the bottom): Be sure to check out the details of the “What’s the Attraction?” discussion thread scheduled for this Friday and please plan to join us and share your story about your first roller coaster ride.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Rode it! Loved it!,” a once-a-month exploration of one of the many rides and attractions I’ve experienced through the years that is exclusively for paid subscribers like you. (And if I have not said it lately, thanks for being a paid subscriber.)
Let’s kick it off with TRON Lightcycle Power Run, which I was fortunate to ride at the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland a few years back. With the second iteration of the themed coaster expected to open soon at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, I’d imagine lots of stateside folks are curious about the highly anticipated attraction. (We just learned at the D23 Expo that despite its long gestation period and that it appears just about ready to roll, we are going to have to wait a bit longer–spring 2023 to be exact–for the new TRON coaster to open.)
There are many things that distinguish the Shanghai park from its sister Disneyland parks. Tomorrowland, for example, is due west of the castle. There is no Space Mountain looming there (nor does the mainland China park offer “it’s a small world,” Haunted Mansion, the Jungle Cruise, or a number of other standbys). Instead, TRON’s curvilinear canopy dominates the skyline, and the screams of passengers who race up and into the formidable structure every few minutes echo across the land.
It is an impressive Imagineering achievement, buoyed by a smooth and fairly potent (by Disney standards) launched coaster experience from Vekoma, the same ride manufacturer responsible for the breakthrough Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind that recently opened at Epcot. TRON is certainly one of Shanghai Disneyland’s highlights. (Although I’d put its extraordinary Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure ahead of it.)
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