Recently, Walt Disney World announced that the Tomorrowland Speedway will temporarily shut down from early 2019 to the summer of 2019. During this time, Disney will adjust the path of the track to make room for the new Tron roller coaster. The Tomorrowland Speedway will reopen as the same the attraction we’ve been experiencing since the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. You can check out the full Disney Parks Blog article here.
You look left, you look right, everywhere you look there is construction at Walt Disney World (and on I-4, yuck!). This is great news for this Disneyphile. Disney is working on two, that’s right, two brand new roller coasters for their 50th Anniversary in 2021, Tron and Guardians of the Galaxy. (You can check out our piece on the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster update here.)
Let the rumors start flowing around the Tomorrowland Speedway. Once the ride shutdowns, everyone will still start wondering what it will look like once it reopens in the summer of 2019. What does Disney exactly mean by “same attraction”? Do they mean the same ride design where you can drive a vehicle around a track, or do they mean the exact same attraction that has been part of the Magic Kingdom since opening day? We will have to wait and see, but it doesn’t mean we can’t dream. 😉
Hopes, Dreams, and Reality
This Disneyphile hopes that Disney takes the opportunity to modernize this classic attraction. At the moment, the Tomorrowland Speedway doesn’t really fit with the retro 80’s theme direction of Tomorrowland. With some small changes Disney could retrofit the cars to have a similar look as the upcoming Tron coaster. It is time for the speedway to take a step forward with a new theme, as well as an update to the mechanics of the cars. One great way to improve the mechanics would be to mirror the new technology of the automotive industry, electric cars. How great would it be for the future drivers of the world to be driving the cars of the future?
Let’s take moment and let our minds wander and dream a bit. If I could create any type of attraction in the place of the Tomorrowland Speedway, what would it be? Hmmm. Well let’s put one parameter in place, it should have similar in design to the current attraction, ie a driving attraction. Immediately, my mind goes to one place, an attraction themed around the Sugar Rush Racers in the Pixar movie Wreck-It Ralph. It complements the new Tron coaster well, as both attractions would be based on a “video game” type of feel. Similar to how Disney created Radiator Springs from the Pixar movie Cars in Disney’s California Adventure, they could recreate the track from Sugar Rush Racers in Disney World. Based on the success of the first Wreck-It Ralph movie and the upcoming sequel, this could be a huge hit.
The reality is with Walt Disney World gearing up for the 50th anniversary in 2021 the most we should expect is just an updated track, and fresh coat of paint. Why you may ask? For a couple of reasons, first is that the Tomorrowland Speedway is one of few original attractions left from opening day. It should definitely be part of the celebration. The second is the amount of effort it would take to retrofit the attraction. Let’s just say the construction business in the Orlando area is booming thanks to Disney, and that other park down the road. Rumor has it there are no more construction teams available to start a new project. Lastly, Walt Disney World is projecting record crowds from late 2019 through the 50th anniversary – largely due to a whole new galaxy opening up in Hollywood Studios in late Fall 2019. Disney will need all attractions ready to go to handle the large crowds.
After the celebration of the 50th we more than likely see an update for the Tomorrowland Speedway. Or who knows, Disney may have a magical trick up their sleeve and surprise us all in the summer of 2019. Can’t wait to see what happens!