With the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World in 2021 quickly approaching, it’s all hands on deck at Disney to ensure that all their planned updates are finished on time.
Over at the Magic Kingdom, the Main Street theater project has been postponed
, but the TRON coaster in Tomorrowland is quickly moving forward, with vertical construction soon to be visible from within the park.
A new billboard
announcing the attraction was recently installed along the train route between Storybook Circus and Tomorrowland, even though guests won’t be seeing the sign for long.
Disney has now confirmed
that both the Walt Disney World Railroad and the Tomorrowland Speedway will be temporarily closing to allow for construction
of the new indoor motorbike coaster that is believed to cost
somewhere in the ballpark of $350-400 million.
The Walt Disney World Railroad will close this December for an extensive downtime. Renderings released by Disney show the cloud-like, LED-lit, translucent TRON building roof structure stretching over the railroad tracks, with the TRON queue on a second level above the railroad.
While this building is under construction, the train will be on display at the Main Street Station allowing for guests to take photos with
the parked train.
Rumors pre-dating the TRON announcement included a new “scene”
along the train ride, though details on what this may be have not been shared. One possibility in a themed area below the TRON queue where the train passes through.
That same rendering released by Disney showed a slight realignment to the Tomorrowland Speedway track. At the time it was unclear if this was just an artist’s interpretation of the speedway or if this realignment was actually happening. Late last week in a post
on the Disney Parks Blog it was confirmed that this realignment would take place in early 2019. The blog post noted that the Speedway would “reopen as the same attraction our guests know and love in the summer of 2019.”
The first part of the statement is significant, since there have been numerous rumors
of an update headed to the Speedway. For years many insiders pointed to the Speedway as a likely candidate for an update ahead of the 50th Anniversary. Many of the rumors have the Speedway getting a TRON overlay with new electric karts and various TRON themed scenery along the track. Those rumors quieted down after karts from Tokyo Disneyland, who used the same style gas powered karts as Orlando, showed up backstage
after the Tokyo attraction closed. In that park, a ride similar to the recently opened Alien Swirling Saucers but themed to Big Hero 6
is currently planned for the space
where the Tokyo speedway was formerly located. Those karts have since disappeared, and the speculation of a Tomorrowland Speedway updated has once again ramped up.
With the indefinite postponement of the Main Street Theater, its believed Disney will be using the funds from that project to finance a desperately needed update to Tomorrowland. That same TRON rendering that features the now confirmed train pathway and Speedway realignment also shows a noticeably different Tomorrowland aesthetic. The 1994 Buck Rogers-meets-steampunk design is gone, replaced with a sleek mid-century design way of an Apple store with whites and blues now filling most of the visible areas of Tomorrowland. Again, at the time it was unknown if this was just artistic license in showing the land or a sign of things to come. With all other aspects of the rendering now confirmed it’s like that this too is an accurate design of what to expect in the area come 2021.
Both the PeopleMover and Space Mountain have noticeable changes. At Space Mountain, both the FastPass signage and the exit gift shop doorways are missing. Space Mountain’s exit pathway is currently under renovation
with guests now exiting behind the train path and crossing over it at grade. It is possible Space Mountain may see a new standby entrance, FastPass entrance, and exit queue as part of the Tomorrowland update, as the artwork seems to indicate.
Disney has yet to confirm any of the Tomorrowland updates outside of the updated go-kart track and the new TRON coaster, but with all of this rumored to be happening before 2021, it’s likely that if it is accurate we should see confirmation announcements very soon.
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