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Beloved Ride Coming to Walt Disney World

The theme park company isn't known for thrills but that may change soon.

While Walt Disney (DIS)  parks are known for everything from childhood memories to Minnie Mouse ears, the one area in which it lags behind competitors is thrills.

Even "big kid" rides like Space Mountain and Expedition: Everest pale in comparison to the loops, drops, and speed offered at other theme parks. Comcast's CMCSA Universal Studios has a variety of roller coasters including the Incredible Hulk and the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit which make Disney's rides look pretty tame.

Disney won't ever be a theme park company designed to compete with the thrills offered at a Six Flags (SIX) or even Seaworld's (SEAS) , which has pivoted its model away from sea animals and aquatic shows to thrilling roller coasters.

Where Disney can compete is its ability to offer themed rides that up the thrills of its previous rides. That's exactly what it's doing with a new ride coming to Magic Kingdom that just got a little bit closet to reality.

Disney TRON Lightcycle Roller Coaster Lead JS

A New Coaster Ride Is Coming Soon

One much-awaited change has been the Tron Lightcycle Run roller coaster in Walt Disney World. 

A clone of the coaster that was first launched in Shanghai Disney, the 60-mile-per-hour coaster travels through a 3,000-foot track amid changing lights and and overhead canopy.

Built to run between the park's Tomorrowland Speedway and Storybook Circus in Fantasyland, the coaster has been in construction for the last five years. It was originally set to launch for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in Fall 2021 but, amid construction and testing delays, was pushed back to 2022.

But despite the delays, the ride is now one step closer to being open to the public. 

Last week, the Walt Disney Imagineering team announced that it would start testing the coaster through a "push/pull" process that would be visible to park guests as the empty seven-car train is dragged through the racks.

"You're going to see us dragging a train up and around the track and making sure that everything fits [and] we've got appropriate clearances in every place," Jerold Kaplan, executive ride project engineer for the coaster, says in the video. "It's going to be completely visible to our guests which is somewhat unique for testing."

Once that step is complete, the engineers will start launching the cars at incremental speeds before getting it up to full speed.

Are Disney Fans Ready For A Scary Coaster?

In the last year, multiple amusement parks have upped their coaster game — in 2021, 

Universal Studios opened both the 155-foot-tall Jurassic World VelociCoaster in the Islands of Adventure park and the Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

To keep up with the Joneses, Disney is currently building the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster for Epcot. It's the theme park's first coaster but it is very much a family-themed coaster that anyone over 42 inches can ride.

SeaWorld  (SEAS) , which launched its new Ice Breaker roller coaster last month, had previously adjusted the height requirement from 48 to 54 inches.

More details on Disney's Tron Lightcycle Run will be known in the coming months but the park has big shoes to fill when it comes to offering scary rides — a large number of Disney fans looking for thrills are anxiously tracking every development.