Disney is capable of making some incredibly smart moves. One of these was to open the night club / arcade / laser light show that is ElecTRONica in California Adventures. They promote the upcoming Tron: Legacy and draw crowds into the park. Win, win.
On weekend nights, pulsing lights and pounding music take over the otherwise sleepy Hollywood Boulevard area of the park. Visitors enter under a glowing ElecTRONica sign. You’re drawn in by the Grid-like light display running across the street beneath you and up the walls of the surrounding stores. The path leads you to an all-out dance club, complete with a bar. I saw ravers, women in snug black dresses, and parents pushing strollers across the dance floor. Loud music blared across the streets. The playlist ranged from Top 40 to electronica. Cast members dressed as sirens dance on elevated platforms above the crowd. Under the glowing blue light and fog choked air, you can almost believe you are in a club. That is, until you look up and see the sign for the Monsters, Inc. ride.
Once you push past the dance floor and get your glowing Digitini martini at the End of the Line Club, you’ll spot the neon sign leading you into the arcade: Flynn’s. The arcade is blissfully simple. It’s almost the antithesis of the way Disney usually does things. The brick walls are only adorned with a smattering of neon lights. Arcade games from the 80s line the walls and are lined up in aisles throughout the room. Asteroids, Pac-Man, Tron. You can probably find many favorite games from your past. You can even play the only coin-operated version of Space Paranoids (the only other game in Flynn’s Arcade in Tron mythology) in the entire world. While you play, you get to rock out to classic 80s tunes. It’s a pretty perfect way to spend a Friday night.
Something else about this arcade is the antithesis of Disney: it’s only 25 cents a play. You change your cash into ultra-cool Flynn’s Arcade tokens. Regardless of how tempted you are by one more round of Donkey Kong, save a token, you’ll want it later.
I found that ElecTRONica had three types of people – club-goers, Tron and/or arcade fans, and families that wondered what the hell they had stumbled into. All of these groups were happily spending money on Tron merchandise and booze. Whichever group you fall into, check out ElecTRONica if you can. Chalk up one for the Mouse.
ElecTRONica is open Friday-Sunday from 7:00pm to park closing. The event is scheduled through April.