Adventures of a Lost Boy in Disneyland (Part 14): ElecTRONica

Unfortunately, this is the second to last adventure in Disneyland for my summer trip, but there will be weekly content like this coming after the adventures cease.

I love TRON and TRON: Legacy. Both are fantastic movies, but their park involvement has been exceptionally limited over the years. The original TRON only got a small makeover to a section of the Disneyland PeopleMover when it was released and then it quietly disappeared from the parks and from people’s memories until the sequel was released 28 years later. TRON: Legacy got a bit more shown off with the TRONorail on the EPCOT Monorail line at Walt Disney World and California Adventure got the first full TRON related “attraction” in the form of a nighttime dance party, ElecTRONica.

Glow Fest, the first of these nighttime dance parties, premiered with World of Color on the complete opposite side of the park in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot in order to try to keep portions of guests away from the new nighttime show to make those crowds manageable. The attempt worked, but Glow Fest never really got away from the fact that it essentially was just a psychedelic-themed night club. It wasn’t anything special, but it was a place where people could drink and dance in a Disney park, and the novelty was definitely there and it did keep the entirety of the crowds in California Adventure from descending upon the very small World of Color viewing area every night.

Glow Fest came and went within the same summer as crowds went away during the slow fall season, but it was quickly realized that California Adventure would need something come the busy Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, and there was this new film coming out around that time that was already getting a massive amount of hype and advertising, so why not take the same idea of the surprisingly successful Glow Fest and re-do it with the theme of TRON: Legacy? They ended up doing just that, but turned the idea on it’s head.

Instead of just being a nightclub in the middle of a land, ElecTRONica also involves a lot of extra entertainment. There is still dancing and drinking to be done, but it is broken up with shows by Laserman (which is something that needs to be seen to be believed, it’s sort of like a man fight0-dancing with lasers shooting out of him. It’s really fun to watch), Flynn’s Arcade (with the world’s only operating Space Paranoids game, along with other 80’s arcade games), and a show involving the opening of the Grid for all to enter into the world of TRON. It all adds up for a very entertaining experience.

The biggest thing here is the nightclub section of the party. There is a massive DJ set up that plays mostly electronica and techno (go figure), platforms for Sirens to dance on (which is honestly a sight that I never thought I would have seen at a Disney park), plenty of lasers and lights, and a giant Recognizer that occasionally “scans” everyone on the dance floor. It’s all a very cool idea, and the projections of light cycles running along the buildings are very fun to watch, but I really wish that Disney would have done all of this in one of the empty sound stages in the Backlot area instad of just doing it out in the open. This would have allowed them to have a much larger amount of control over what the area would have looked like rather than just having to assimilate to the structures already there. If this were a permanent attraction, it would have been awesome to see a full replica of the End of Line Club as the dance area rather than a structure that only suggests the club like there is now (it’s where you go to buy your various glowing and absurdly expensive beverages).

ElecTRONica would have been something I would have wanted to see in Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World if it hadn’t closed, it’s a very cool idea, but a more controlled environment would have done the idea more justice. A lot of what I am saying sounds very negative, and it’s not really supposed to be. ElecTRONica was very fun despite the fact that I wasn’t able to spend much time in it, I really don’t want to see it go away in the Spring for the Mad T Party (which is sounding like it’s just going to be another Glow Fest except loosely themed around Alice in Wonderland).

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