Is TRON Lightcycle/Run the Shortest Thrill Ride at Disney World?

Upon it’s opening in 2023, TRON Lightcycle / Run — a clone of Shanghai Disneyland’s TRON Lightcycle Power Rum which had opened in 2016 — immediately became the newest thrill ride in Walt Disney World, and the first to open in the Magic Kingdom in years.

TRON Lightcycle / Run

The roller coaster-like experience has been met with mostly positive reactions. However, there has been one major complaint about the attraction: its duration. Many guests have complained that it’s runtime is too short, especially compared to Walt Disney World’s other thrill rides. Is it true that TRON Lightcycle / Run is the shortest thrill ride at Disney World? Let’s find out. 

First off, while we’ve gathered a list we believe covers all of the bases, the concept of a “thrill ride” is somewhat subjective. A ride that one guests is thrilled by might bore another and vice versa. Secondly, these times are approximate.

TRON Lightcycle/Run: 60 Seconds

Based on the TRON film franchise — most specifically 2010’s TRON Legacy — this roller coaster puts riders on a titular Lightcycle on a trip through the “grid” that makes up the franchise’s main environment. The attraction’s runtime depends on where one begins counting. While it can be argued that the full experience is about two minutes, the time from the ride’s launch to completion is closer to 60 seconds. 

Now that we’ve established TRON Lightcycle/Run as a baseline, let’s see how it compares to Walt Disney World’s other thrill rides.

Magic Kingdom

Space Mountain: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

The Magic Kingdom’s original, oldest, and arguably most popular thrill ride is located right next to TRON in Tomorrowland. The iconic indoor coaster, which mimics a trip through the cosmos, clocks in at nearly two and a half minutes, a veritable eternity compared to its new neighbor. 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: 3 minutes 25 seconds

The “wildest ride in the wilderness” is also one of the longest thrill rides in Walt Disney World. This iconic western coaster, designed by Tony Baxter and based off of concepts from Marc Davis’ abandoned Western River Expedition attraction, still holds up as one of the resort’s more fun coaster experiences as well. 

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: 2 minutes 30 seconds

This is one of the more borderline entries on our list, as many hardcore thrill-seekers would likely scoff at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train being a thrill ride by any means. However, given its status as one of the few (mostly) outdoor roller coasters in WDW, as well as its strong popularity, we decided it merited inclusion. Plus, it (somewhat shockingly) comes in at the same length as Space Mountain. 


Test Track: 5 minutes

The opening of the original Test Track in 1999 marked a sea change for EPCOT, as it was the first thrill ride in the park’s history. Both the more realistic style, vehicle test-based 1999 version of the attraction and the somewhat more futuristic current version which opened in 2012 clock in at about five minutes 

Test Track

Mission: SPACE: 5 minutes 38 seconds

EPCOT’s longest thrill ride is the ever-controversial Mission Space. The more thrilling mission of the centrifuge-powered simulator attraction mimics a trip from the Earth to Mars and comes in over five and a half (some would say nauseating) minutes. 

Soarin’: 5 minutes

While Soarin’ may be somewhat more gentle in the way it moves riders, the attraction which simulates a hanglider ride around the world suspends riders high in the air for nearly five minutes. 

Cosmic Rewind

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind: 3 minutes 20 seconds

Prior to the opening of Tron Lightcycle/Run, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind was Walt Disney World’s newest thrill ride. The revolutionary MCU-based “omnicoaster” thrills riders for three minutes and twenty seconds, which is pretty lengthy by Disney coaster standards. 

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Star Tours: 5 minutes

Star Tours was Hollywood Studios’ original thrill ride, and the current “Adventure Continues” iteration still uses the same thrilling bones of that original attraction for its approximate five minute runtime. 

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: 5 minutes

Arguably Walt Disney Imagineering’s magnum opus, at least when it comes to thrill rides, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror changed the game for the Studios when it opened in 1994. The ever-popular (and ever-spooky attraction) clocks in at roughly five minutes. 

Hollywood Studios

Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster: 1 minute 22 seconds

When it opened in the late 1990s, the Rock ’N’ Roller Coaster was different than anything Disney had ever one before. It’s was the company’s first ever inverted coaster in the U.S., the fastest ride they’d ever built, and it’s Aerosmith soundtrack embraced pop culture in a way the company never had in its parks before. It’s still a thrilling experience today, and clocks in a one minute and twenty two seconds. 

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run: 4 minutes 30 seconds

Flying in the Millennium Falcon was arguably the dream of anyone who saw the original Star Wars trilogy, and in-turn one of the biggest wants amongst fans when Disney announced they were building fully immersive Star Wars lands. While reaction to Smuggler’s Run has been… mixed overall, there’s little doubt that the four and a half minute attraction is certainly thrilling. 

Slinky Dog Dash: 2 minutes

Much like he aforementioned Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, it could be argued that Slinky Dog Dash is more family attraction than thrill ride. However, we’d contend that the launches alone justify the two minute long experience’s place on this list. 

Animal Kingdom

Dinosaur: 3 minutes 10 seconds

Originally opened as Countdown to Extinction along with Animal Kingdom in 1998, Dinosaur is the original thrill ride at Animal Kingdom. The experience, a ride system clone of Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure, clocks in at just over three minutes. Word to the wise however, if you’re yearning to ride Dinosaur, it might be wise to take a trip to Animal Kingdom sooner rather than later. Rumors say the attraction may be extinct soon. 

Kali River Rapids: 3 minutes 30 seconds

Clocking in a three and a half minutes, Kali River Rapids is one of Animal Kingdom’s more popular attractions during the summer months. That tracks, since while the attraction isn’t all that different from other rapids rides at parks around the world, it still provides a drenching respite from the Florida heat. 

Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest: 2 minutes 51 seconds

Since it opened in 2006, Expedition Everest has been Animal Kingdom’s most visible E-Ticket ride. Housed in a massive mountain exterior, the coaster is a thrilling experience… despite it’s yeti animatronic not quite working as it should. The experience is also relatively long for a coaster, clocking in at just under three minutes. 

Avatar Flight of Passage: 5 minutes

Located in the lush land of Pandora, Flight of Passage is a thrilling simulator attraction that takes guests on a five minute journey through the film’s alien world. 

TRON Lightcycle Run

Looking over the list, it’s clear that Tron Lightcycle/Run is indeed one of the shortest Walt Disney World thrill rides in duration. Does that make a difference to you, or is the coaster thrilling enough as is? Did we miss any WDW attractions you’d consider thrilling? Let us know in the comments below. 

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