A nostalgic attraction has been closed at Disney World while enabling the construction of a thrilling new feature.
When you make plans to visit Walt Disney World, it’s always a good idea to check which attractions are scheduled to be open and which are closed while you are visiting.
A prospective Disney (DIS) – Get Free Report guest making a trip to the theme park, only to find an attraction they are looking forward to experiencing is not open, can feel a bit of disappointment. It’s an expensive trip, so you want to get as much bang for your buck as you can.
Ever since Disney World opened in Orlando in 1971, the company has been remodeling and revitalizing its attractions. The changes are part of a strategy by Founder Walt Disney, who understood that the parks would always need to be reinvented to remain attractive destinations to new and returning guests.
In general, the best time for renovations is after peak tourism season in the summer. The chilliest two months in central Florida are January and February, which are often the periods of fewest visitors and are consequently prime times for facelifts and maintenance.
Scheduling such overhauls is a major undertaking because much of the park still needs to remain open to adequately entertain guests during those months. Closing some attractions temporarily means that during those downtimes other attractions get more patrons.
But sometimes, on rare occasion, an attraction is unavailable for not just a few weeks or months, but years.
The Walt Disney Railroad Returns for the Holidays
After being closed for more than four years, the Walt Disney Railroad is officially open again, the company said on Dec. 23.
It was out of commission for so long because its route was interrupted by the construction of a major new attraction.
“Listen to the clamor of the engine, the chug of the wheels and the call of the whistle as you travel aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad,” the company writes on its website. “Take your seat on one of four meticulously restored, vintage narrow-gauge steam trains — originally built between 1916 and 1928 — and enjoy a relaxing 20-minute, 1.5-mile scenic round-trip tour.”
The Walt Disney World Railroad was active on the day the park opened on Oct. 1, 1971. It had only one stop at the time. Other stops have been added periodically.
The railroad runs four trains. Disney bought the locomotives in 1969 and restored them for use at the park.
Disney to Open New Roller Coaster
The new attraction that held up the train’s runs for more than four years was the construction of Tron Lightcycle / Run, a new roller coaster now scheduled to open this spring.
The ride is based on the 1982 Disney film “Tron,” the first production of its kind to mix live action with computer-generated visuals and backlit animation, according to Disney.
“Lean forward into the ultimate race of survival!” writes the company on its website. “Leave the real world behind and join Team Blue in an epic quest across the Grid — the dark, computerized world with no horizons from Tron.”
The roller coaster is modeled after the existing one at the company’s Shanghai property and will be one of the fastest at any Disney theme park in the world.