Used go-karts at Magic Kingdom fuel speculation of an update to the Tomorrowland Speedway

click to enlarge IMAGE VIA DISNEY
Image via Disney
For some time now, speculation of the Tomorrowland Speedway at the Magic Kingdom was pointing to it being removed for a new TRON attraction.

The TRON attraction was confirmed in July at Disney’s biennial D23 convention, but instead of replacing the go-kart attraction it would be placed behind the track with the majority of the ride building being outside of the Magic Kingdom’s berm.

Artistic renderings of the new TRON attraction that were released by Disney show the speedway directly in front of it with what looks to be an updated, realigned track.

Now we have more details on the future of the Tomorrowland Speedway. Tokyo Disneyland closed their speedway, known as the Grand Circuit Raceway, in January of this year to allow for a new Fantasyland expansion. The Grand Circuit Raceway uses cars that are nearly identical to the ones at the Magic Kingdom attraction. Now those cars have shown up backstage near Space Mountain visible from the PeopleMover ride.

Strong rumors point to the cars being used as backups while the current cars go down for a significant overhaul that would include an entirely new fully electric engine, similar to the cars that were used at the Hong Kong Disneyland park before their speedway closed in last year.

The fumes from the gas-powered cars at Magic Kingdom’s track drift throughout Tomorrowland, and the noise from the engines can be easily heard from nearby attractions. The shift to electric engines while using the same car shells wouldn’t be that difficult but would require numerous cars to be taken off line as they get the update.

Last year Honda took over sponsorship of Disneyland’s Autopia go-kart attraction and various upgrades, including the addition of an animatronic ASIMO robot, were added to the ride. At that time there were numerous rumors of a new sponsorship deal in the works for the go-karts at the Magic Kingdom, but no deal has yet to be announced.

One current rumor states that as part of the redo that will be happening in the coming years due to the TRON ride being built nearby the Tomorrowland Speedway will be getting a TRON theme as well with the cars having a sleek TRON style paint job and the speedway getting various props around the track. Currently, guests are mostly forced to drive past well-manicured shrubs and large swaths of painted concrete.

Disney has yet to comment on why the Tokyo cars are now sitting backstage at the Magic Kingdom or on any speculation regarding the future of the speedway. If any updates do occur, they will most likely be done by the WDW 50th Anniversary in 2021.