Yesterday marked the first day that the Walt Disney World Railroad was closed to make way for Tron roller coaster construction, or “Tronstruction” as I call it. The new roller coaster, scheduled to open by 2021, will have a large section built right over the railroad path. Cast Members have been told the railroad will not be running for “at least a year.” While it is closed guests can get up close to one of the trains that will be parked at the Main Street Station during this time. This makes for a great photo op.
Also closed due to Tronstruction, is the pathway behind the Tomorrowland Speedway that goes from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland. A new exit ramp is finally complete at Space Mountain, and they’ve added a Single Rider line to the ride (sort of). We’re checking in on these changes and more below in today’s photo update. And stay tuned for more theme park news and updates coming soon!
Let’s start our travels at the Main Street Train Station. There are no markings to indicate that the train is not running until after you climb the stairs yet, which was leading to some grumbling guests after they arrived upstairs. There is a sign letting you know on the station door upstairs. It says you can get up-close views of the authentic WDW train, but again, doesn’t say the train is not running. Personally I liked being able to take my time and look around the train and grab some photos. It’s nice to at least have this if the railroad is going to be closed for so long.
The Lilly Belle, train number 2, is the one parked at the station and on display.
There are three train cars attached at the station, and while you are allowed to climb into the guest cars you cannot enter the train engine. (You can at least lean in to grab a photo though.)
There are signs up at the Frontierland and Fantasyland station entrances to let guests know that the railway is not running during this time. And again, Cast Members say they do not know how long the trains will not be running, but it could be a year (or longer)!
Nearby the Fantasyland Train Station, behind the Barnstormer kiddie coaster, we can see the future site of the Tron coaster. A sign is still up promoting the future expansion, and we can see cranes and some land clearing work being done between the trees. Mostly water drainage ponds are being moved around back there on this side for now.
The pathway behind the Tommorowland Speedway between this area and Tomorrowland is now closed for construction as well. This former smoking area was a convenient shortcut I’m sure many folks will miss. Some construction equipment can be seen parked behind this wall.
On the Tomorrowland side a wall is up blocking the path near the Space Mountain exit gift shop. Soon the Tomorrowland Speedway will also close for track changes in this area to reroute away from the future entrance to the Tron coaster.
The walkway can be seen from the People Mover, and nothing has changed so far on this now closed path.
Let’s also take one last look at this back section of the Speedway, before the track is shortened (once again).
Moving on, inside the Space Mountain queue a new sign has appeared. It instructs parties of one to let a Cast Member know you’re flying alone. If you tell the Cast Member near the second FastPass scan point, even if you’re in standby, they will instruct you to take a separate back part of the queue, essentially skipping the last 5 minutes of waiting before load. This should help Cast Members at load to help fill empty seats, but unfortunately doesn’t cut much out of your wait.
Now, let’s check out the completely redesigned exit out of Space Mountain. For months the attraction was rerouting guests outside and over the railroad tracks while they re-did the exit. Gone is the moving walkway, now replaced with a regular walkway and some ramps. All of the existing scenery has remained, as well as the starfields above near the end. The walkway is now a little wider, and the ramps near the end are very low grade, making them ADA accessible.
The starfields in this section have remained, but the green screen and camera area up ahead where you can see yourself on TVs has been removed.
This last section involves some ramps with a low incline, making it easy to walk without the aid of the moving walkways. This area is much larger than the old straight line exit ramp, and it takes up much of the old arcade area that hasn’t been used in years.
Elsewhere in Tomorrowland, the temporary Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor sign is still being used, but the chunk of roof above it has been filled in. A few months ago the large decorative UFO piece was removed from this street, where the old Monsters Inc. sign was hanging.
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