Disney World has always been more about family rides than thrills. Magic Kingdom has its “mountains” (Splash, Space, Thunder) and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but these are pretty mild thrill rides compared to, say, Universal Studios Incredible Hulk or Hollywood Rip Rocket at the Comcast (CMCSA) – Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report company Florida theme parks.
And while Disney (DIS) – Get Walt Disney Company Report has the Aerosmith Rockin ‘Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, its most-recent rides have been about story and not thrills. Stars Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios and Avatar: Flight of Passage offer some thrills and incredible effects, but they’re certainly not thrilling as many Universal Studios rides.
Universal Studios, however, has not skimped on the roller coasters with its latest additions. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Islands of Adventure takes Harry Potter themed and adds it to an innovative roller coaster, while the same park’s Jurassic World VelociCoaster uses the popular movie franchise for the unabashedly thrilling coaster experience.
Disney hasn’t really had the answer to those rides, but over the next few months, that’s going to change.
Why Do Roller Coasters Matter to Disney and Universal?
Magic Kingdom has always been more of a family / little kids park. Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at least give older kids and thrill seekers something to do other than tame dark rides, parades, and character pictures. The problem is that none of these rides holds up well next to what Universal Studios offers.
That makes Universal Studios more appealing to families with older kids. It has story-based rides for the whole family (Spider-Man, Transformers, King Kong) but it also has a lineup of roller coasters and drop rides that make Disney look like it’s for little kids.
And while even diehard fans won’t ride Jungle Cruise or Pirates of the Caribbean more than once or twice, roller coasters and thrill rides offer more chances for repeat riding. It’s not that the story changes – it’s fast and stomach-churning plummets remain fun (for people who like those things) time after time.
Disney seems to have gotten the message, and it has two new rides coming that finally answer Universal’s unspoken challenge.
Enter Tron: Lightcycle and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Disney World has two major roller coasters planned at its Florida theme parks. The first, Tron: Lightcycle Run, is a similarly named clone ride at Shanghai Disneyland. It’s a semi-enclosed launched steel motorbike roller coaster attraction, Disney Tourist Blog reported.
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“As the name suggests, the roller coaster is based on the Tron films. It starts with guests entering a huge gravity / show building, where they step on the Grid and board their own motorbike or lightcycle,” the site shared.
“Like Space Mountain or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, much of the ride is darkened in show building, but unlike those, the climax of the attraction is a loop underneath a large color-changing canopy, which is also the iconic feature of the attraction’s facade. “
In grand Disney fashion, it’s a thrill ride, but one with heavy themes (albeit tied to a movie franchise that wasn’t exactly a huge hit).
Disney hasn’t said when the Tron ride will open, but it has begun testing it and completion appears near.
The second roller coaster will mark a major first for Epcot. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind marks the park’s first coaster. In addition to being the first Epcot and the first Guardians of the Galaxy Ride at the Florida Florida theme parks, it’s also the first reverse launch for a Disney coaster.
“Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be one of the longest fully enclosed coasters in the world, housed in one of the largest show buildings ever built for a Disney theme park,” the company said on its blog. “By volume, four Spaceship Earths would fit inside the attraction’s massive new show building.”
The ride replaces the decidedly unthrilling World of Energy (which had been branded to Ellen Degeneres in its last run).
“Located in the park’s newly renamed World Discovery neighborhood, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be the first” other-world “show pavilion at Epcot,” Disney said.
“Xandarians traveled from their homeworld in the Andromeda galaxy to Earth – or Terra, as they call it – to build this Wonders of Xandar pavilion, inviting Epcot guests to learn more about their people and their advanced technologies. anyway, and adventure ensues. ”
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind debuts May 27 at Epcot and passholder previews will take place before that.