Tron Legacy Marketing: Disney Changes Monorails Into Lightcycles.

Even though Tron: Legacy (the sequel to 1982s Tron) will not be released to theaters until December 17, 2010, the Walt Disney Corporation is continuing its odd, global, fan-driven marketing campaign.

And it must be working because the movie is up in popularity on the Internet Movie Database by 796% as of this writing.  That's... well, that's crazy...  And yeah, you read that right... 796%!

In my article Tron Legacy Uses Viral Marketing to Build Fan Awareness
I chronicle how the first taste of this film came via an online "trailer."  This thing was so over-the-top geek cool that it sparked a ton of interest in the fan community.

I've watched it around 20 times now.  It's still cool.

Then there was a big convention display, followed by a series of "newspaper articles" about the fate of the main character from Tron.  Then there was a global online contest that started with a long, abstract countdown clock.

Now we have this:

That, for you people who have never been to a Walt Disney World theme park, is a monorail.  It is one of the signature vehicles of the Walt Disney parks-the thing that gets you from the ticket terminal to the parks themselves.

(And don't rail (Get it?  Rail?  Ha!  I'm here all week!  Check out the roast beef!) on me for defining what these things are-I know plenty of people who've never been to a Disney, EPCOT, or any other related park.  And I live less than an hour away from Orlando!)

These skins emulate the concept of the lightcycle, a virtual motorcycle that weaves trails of solid color light behind it.  These modified monorails should be visible around EPCOT starting around March 2010.  That's a good nine months of advertising to every visitor to that park.  Nice move there, Disney.

This coincides with rumors that Disney is planning a huge promo push-including a long-term presence of Tron in the theme parks.  Flynn's Arcade and a Tron: Legacy ride are supposedly coming to Tomorrowland.  This would be a welcome change-Tomorrowland has been looking more like World of the 1960s Future for several years.

And then there's the new Tron: Legacy theatrical trailer, which premiered earlier this month:

Yeah... It's working on the geek in me.  I'm getting excited.

SOURCE: Disney Parks