Tron: Legacy from a Theme Park Perspective


TRON:Legacy made it’s debut over the weekend, and while it had a strong debut at the box office ($43 million) it fell shorter than what Disney had hoped it would do. Critics also lambasted it for having no story line, and being too shallow. If you remember back almost 30 years ago, you’ll see that the original TRON had it’s share of critical bashing, and yet here we are with a sequel years later. And what about that Theme Park attraction?

TRON, if you are a child of the 80’s like myself was a wonder of the time. It was “futuristic” it was fun, and it had to do with the budding of infant video game industry. If you look at it now, quite frankly it hasn’t aged well, and frankly it’s pretty terrible. TRON:Legacy managed to take what we loved about the original film and crank it up to 1080(i). It still has the lightcycle races, even now more amazing than before with the advance in computer animation, it still has the great Disc battle. Now it has even more to a world that now in comparison seems painted on.
Just like AVATAR before it, it has a very familiar story. Father leaves mysteriously, son must defeat the fathers demons in order to redeem his father. In fact it plays out a lot like Star Wars. People seem to be bashing it because maybe they wanted some big deep meaning from Legacy like they got from the original TRON. The deep meaning is there, it’s just buried in the stunning visuals and amazing music from Daft Punk. It’s an all out argument about information, whether it should be free to roam wild and expand at it’s own will and free for everyone to access and use, or should we contain it. Should corporations be allowed to control that information and charge for it as the latest and greatest advances come in to play.
But that aside the film is visually stunning, stimulating and thought provoking. Is it a masterpiece? Not by any means, but it’s a fun ride. Which brings me to my main point. Disney better not screw this up.
The ideas to make this jump from the big screen to reality are endless. But with Disney’s current view of “make a ride and slap a name on it” gives reason to worry. Could we end up with a clone of some other ride, with a simple “TRON” paint job and some Daft Punk music in the background? You know we most likely will. However, the one idea that springs to mind is one that should be realized.
The Grid-An indoor section of theme park housing all the attractions and rides. At the heart, naturally would be the lightcycle duel. A pair of dueling Moto-cycles that have several different launch points. It doesn’t have to be very thrilling, it just has to be fast, have some great lighting effects near the track, and come within inches of hitting the other coaster (or at least give that illusion).
I haven’t seen it yet myself, but I hear that Disneyland has done a great job with ElecTRONica, their nighttime dance party. Let’s expand that and make it bigger. Then of course there’s the TRON dark ride, a mix between Spiderman, Harry Potter, and an electronic acid trip that would bend your fragile little mind.
The film has already been option for two sequels, if this one does well, and if that happens you can bet we will see some form of the film in theme parks. Let’s hope they do it right.
See the film in Theaters.

Tell us your thoughts on what you would like to see in a TRON theme park attraction in the comments below.