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Walt Disney World Railroad & Tomorrowland Speedway to Temporarily Close for Tron Coaster Construction

Earlier this weekend Disney gave an update on the Tron Coaster that is coming to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.  While the update was fairly light in Tron Coaster details, it did hold a few nuggets of information about two attractions in Magic Kingdom.  We’ll cover these updates in this short post, as well as give a few thoughts on if this should affect your vacation plans.

First, the Tron Coaster, which will be a part of Tomorrowland by Space Mountain, will debut in 2021 in time for Disney World’s 50th anniversary.  This has been known for a while but confirmation from the horse’s mouth was appreciated.  They have started to clear the land where the attraction will sit and I expect to see vertical construction beginning early next year.  The Disney update was actually more about the billboard you can see in Storybook Circus.  I don’t care about the billboard and also don’t know why it’s put in Fantasyland but I digress.

Disney also hasn’t called this new attraction Tron: Lightcycle like the attraction in Shanghai.  Being years from the opening likely just means they haven’t picked a name for it but I’m curious to see if it will be an exact replica.  I’m guessing not exact but pretty darn close.  Either way, I think the facade of the coaster and the energy it provides will be a major positive for Tomorrowland.

Via Disney Parks Blog

In order for construction to progress, two of the older attraction in Magic Kingdom will temporarily shut down.  Walt Disney World Railroad is the attraction that will shut down the longest, beginning this year in December and no reopening date given.  The concept art shows the railroad smack dab in the middle of the Tron Coaster, so I’m guessing that it will be at least all of 2019 and may sneak into 2020, as well.  In the meantime, guests will be able to get close to the railroad with unique photo areas.  When the Disneyland Railroad shut down for a while a few years ago, several stations were open to explore and there were conductors out eager to answer any questions.  I’m guessing this will be a similar experience at Magic Kingdom, at least I hope it is.

The other attraction set to close is Tomorrowland Speedway.  This has a shorter closure window as it will reopen mid-2019.  The announcement made it seems as if the only change happening to Tomorrowland Speedway was a track altering so it won’t infringe on the Tron Coaster.  I hope that an aesthetic change is also going to happen, if not during the shutdown then later, to better match the future Tomorrowland.  Honestly, I’m ready for the Tomorrowland Speedway to go away but a major update to the attraction could make it worthwhile.

With two Magic Kingdom classics shutting down for the better part of a year, you may wonder if 2019 is still a good time to visit Disney World.  Our take is pretty boring as we don’t think this affects Magic Kingdom one way or the other.  While the Walt Disney World Railroad is nice and historic, it is inferior to Disneyland’s and isn’t a major loss.  In fact, we are hoping that the railroad receives a plussing, in the form of a show scene or better scenery, while being down.  Tomorrowland Speedway being down makes us like the park a little more, as that area is loud and hot.  All in all, I don’t see these closures being much of a detraction to Magic Kingdom.  We’ll miss the train but enjoy the Liberty Square Riverboat as an attraction in that same vein.

What do you think of these temporary closures and the Tron Coaster?  Let us know in the comments!  If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, check out our planning guide!  Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney, if you enjoy the blog please subscribe and like our social media pages.  You can find both of those items on the right side of this page.

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