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TRON Roller Coaster Was Originally Planned For United States, May Still Appear There Someday

By TronFAQ on Thursday, January 07, 2016 at 3:31 PM
Today I stumbled across a very illuminating report published by the California Polytechnic State University, shared under Digital Commons. Which is a way of promoting free access to content and information.

It seems that the Walt Disney Imagineering team, responsible for the rides and attractions at Disney’s theme parks, decided to add their report about the TRON Roller Coaster’s early planning and design to the University’s digital archive, and the University has now shared it with the public.



The coaster was originally called TRON 2.0: The Experience, hinting at how long it’s been in development. I’ve only skimmed through the lengthy, very technical document the Imagineering team published. But key takeaways are the following.

  • The coaster was tentatively proposed to first be built in Magic Kingdom Florida, becoming part of the Autopia attraction. With a possibility of it also being built at Disneyland in California. Obviously, plans changed. The upcoming Disneyland Shanghai park in China got the coaster first. Interestingly, the U.S. design differs quite a bit compared to what we're seeing from the China design.


  • Three possible designs were proposed. Light Plane (sic) aka Light Jet, Light Car (sic) aka Light Runner, and Suspended Rail. The Light Car/Runner design was ultimately chosen. Though, it apparently changed to Light Cycles for the Shanghai coaster.

  • The report hints that a TRON Roller Coaster may still be built in the U.S. eventually, but China was clearly selected to be first.

    “... plans for a TRON-themed roller coaster were announced during the summer of 2015 in preparation of the new Disneyland Shanghai theme park. This further confirmed the notion that TRON could work as a marketable subject for WDI to install seamlessly into one of its theme parks.”

    In other words, the Coaster in Shanghai paves the way for further development at another location, in the future.

TRON 2.0: The Experience Roller Coaster concept art



July 16th UPDATE: There is now a rumor circulating that a TRON roller coaster — similar to the Light Cycle coaster in Disneyland Shanghai — will be built to replace the Body Wars ride in the closed down Wonders of Life Pavilion, at EPCOT's Future World in Disney World Florida. Florida was the Disney Imagineering planning document's proposed first pick, as a location for building a TRON roller coaster in the United States.

Thanks to TransAm_Paul and UnitedTronArmy on Twitter for making me aware of this rumor!
 
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