TRON Lightcycle Run is a big hit at Magic Kingdom, making it on most people’s “must-do” list at Disney – ours included!
With its completely immersive ambiance, impressive queue area, and butter-smooth track, we think TRON is totally worth the hype. Our only (minor) complaint is we wish the actual ride were a teeeeeny bit longer. Not much of a gripe, really, because we still love it!
Who Should Ride
Everyone! Although we think this ride is perfect for rollercoaster lovers, teens, and older kids (or brave young ones).
For those who are ride-hesitant, the position of leaning forward on the “bike” can be a little intimidating at first, but it adds so much to the overall excitement of the ride. TRON is a great intro to bigger rollercoasters.
But, as with anything mega-popular at Disney World, actually getting to ride can be a bit of an ordeal.
Knowing your options to ride a headliner like TRON is important, but knowing the strategic how-to’s will get you on the ride.
How to Ride: ILL vs VQ
There is currently no standby line offered for TRON. If you want to ride, there are only two ways to make it happen:
- Individual Lightning Lane (ILL)
- Virtual Queue (VQ)
They each have pros and cons, and deciding which one depends on how big of a priority it is for your group to ride.
Individual Lightning Lanes (ILLs)
ILLs are purchased passes for certain attractions throughout Disney World in which you’re given a specific return time, allowing you to bypass the standby line (when one is offered) or VQ line when it’s your turn.
Pros of ILLs
- Get a specific return time and bypass the other line.
- Shorter in-line wait times.
- “Guarantees” you’ll ride (barring technical issues or ride shut-downs).
- Doesn’t always sell out right away, depending on the time of year. We’ve seen availability into the evening during moderate to slower seasons!
Cons of ILLs
- Typically expensive (~$20+ per rider) and charged in addition to Genie+ if using.
- Sells out quickly during busy times of year (holidays and Spring Break, for example).
- Requires knowledgeable use of the My Disney Experience (MDE) app and sometimes getting up early in the morning on vacation (something we personally resent… take note, Disney).
Virtual Queue (VQ)
Virtual Queues allow you a ticket to queue for the ride, since there is no standby line offered. These (free) virtual passes are given on a first-come, first-served basis, are limited in number, and notoriously “sell out” quickly at certain times of the day.
When you secure a VQ pass, you’ll be assigned to a Boarding Group (BG) so you know when it’s your turn to ride.
FYI: The Boarding Group gives you a narrow 1-hour return window.
Pros of VQ
- No extra charge (Which doesn’t come often at Disney, lol)
- Multiple opportunities to try and secure a Boarding Group (see further below).
Cons of VQ
- Requires knowledgeable use of the My Disney Experience (MDE) app and getting up early in the morning on vacation (something we personally resent).
- Anxiety-inducing AF due to many early VQs “selling out” within seconds or milliseconds.
- Not guaranteed to ride, even if you are assigned a BG (it depends on which group number you’re assigned and how late into park hours the ride can run). Although typically, you’re going to get to ride, unless the ride has extreme technical difficulties throughout the day.
- Waits after your BG is called can often be 45 minutes (average) or longer (1+ hours), depending on crowd levels.
Pro Tip: If you’re willing to pay for an ILL, we recommend having someone in your group grab the VQ while the other person goes for the ILL (from separate My Disney Experience accounts – the potential glitches aren’t worth it!).
It’s worth a shot to potentially ride twice or – worst case scenario – secure one over the other.
VQ Drop Times & Strategy
As we mentioned, there are several opportunities to snag a Boarding Group to ride TRON. It helps to know which ones are offered so you can best plan your day.
7 AM Virtual Queue
If you can plan to be up on time, the 7 AM VQ gives you your best shot at riding.
Prep in the morning by selecting your Boarding Group (who will ride with you) and be ready to refresh right at 7 am – or really, a millisecond before – to try and grab a Boarding Group.
Note: There truly is a strategy to this because the faster you get assigned a Boarding Group, the earlier your Boarding Group will get called, ultimately improving your chances to ride.
If you want the exact step-by-step video overview so you don’t miss out on riding TRON, we include all that info (and a lot more!) in our Parks Strategy Playbook!
1 PM Virtual Queue
This drop is a good backup for those who missed out at 7 AM or those who’d rather not get up that early.
To qualify for this VQ drop, you must have already scanned into Magic Kingdom for the day. You don’t HAVE to physically be in the park to participate, as long as you have already entered earlier.
Example: You leave Magic Kingdom at 12 PM for lunch and a nap at the resort. You can still join at 1 PM!
Depending on the crowd levels and season, this VQ drop can last a few seconds but often lasts a few minutes. There are times we have seen availability into the afternoon a bit, but we still plan on trying to grab it on time.
6 PM Virtual Queue
This VQ is primarily available only during Extended Evening Hours or special events like seasonal parties (although we don’t know yet about the fall/winter parties of 2024).
Availability can last seconds or minutes, depending on EEH and time of year, but always be prepared for it to go quickly.
By using the same strategy mentioned in the 7 AM VQ section, we’ve been able to snag a super early BG at 6 PM on a busy Halloween party night and ride TRON within minutes – and with ZERO wait or lost party time. Talk about a Disney win!
Note: For the 1 PM and 6 PM VQ drops, we like to set multiple vibrate-only alarms leading up to the drop. That way, our alarm isn’t going off during a show or dinner, but we’re still giving ourselves an hour’s notice to keep us on track. And then we set a few alarms closer to the drop time so we can start getting ready – both physically and mentally!
Looking for more insider tips like these to plan your next Disney vacation? Check out our Complete WDW Parks Strategy Playbook – it has every tool you need to master the art of skipping long lines, creating the perfect itinerary, and making your trip planning fun again!