Thursday, November 23, 2017
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Could a Tron coaster replace Disney's Tomorrowland Speedway?

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Is a high-tech coaster based on Tron replacing the very low-tech Tomorrowland Speedway in Disney's Magic Kingdom? The rumor mills are buzzing.

The announcement is expected to be made official at the D23 Expo July 14-16 in Anaheim, Calif., but Disney fan sites such as WDW News say they hear from multiple sources that the news is coming.

D23 is the official Disney fan club, named in honor of the year 1923, when Walt Disney left Kansas City and headed for Hollywood. The biennial expo events are often used to announce major company news and attractions.

THEME PARK GUIDE: Everything you need to know to hit Florida's parks in 2017

TRON Lightcycle Power Run is a semi-enclosed roller coaster attraction that has been a huge hit at the newly opened Shanghai Disneyland.

Based on the Tron series, it takes riders through the Grid on their own light cycle. The ride's track travels both inside and outside the attraction's building, reaching speeds of more than 60 mph — the fastest for any Disney roller coaster. The ride debuted when Disney opened the park in China on June 16, 2016.

Even though Tron the movie was a bit of a flop that gained cult status years later, this ride has been lauded for its groundbreaking computer animation and brilliant visual effects that make riders feel like they are inside a video game.

The Tomorrowland Speedway was one of the original attractions when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971 near Orlando. It was then known as the Grand Prix Raceway, with gas-powered cars "roaring" around a track at less than 10 mph. It was expanded in 1973 and remained unchanged until the 1994 remodel of Tomorrowland. The name was changed to Tomorrowland Speedway in 2008.

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