Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
|Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway|
|Disney's Hollywood Studios|
|Opening date||March 4, 2020|
|Replaced||The Great Movie Ride|
|Attraction type||Trackless dark ride|
|Designer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
|Theme||Mickey Mouse (2013)|
|Music||“Nothing Can Stop Us Now” by Christopher Willis and Elyse Willis|
|Vehicle type||Trackless Vehicle|
|Riders per vehicle||32|
|Riders per row||4|
Must transfer from wheelchair
Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway is a trackless dark ride located within Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida. A second upcoming location will be located in Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The attraction is the first ride-through attraction at a Disney theme park to be themed to Mickey Mouse. It is based on the stylized world from the character's 2013 television series.
The version of Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disney's Hollywood Studios was first announced in July 2017 at the D23 Expo as one of 23 planned changes to Disney Parks. The version at Disney's Hollywood Studios opened on March 4, 2020, within the park's replica of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, replacing The Great Movie Ride. The Disneyland version was originally scheduled to open in 2022. However, it was delayed to 2 years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting construction. (Like too long) 
The ride is themed to a film premiere of Perfect Picnic, a new animated short film from Mickey and Minnie Mouse. According to Imagineer Kevin Rafferty, guests will then pass through a simulated movie screen and experience a “zippy zany out-of-control adventure”. The objective is for riders to feel like they are being transported into the cartoon aboard Goofy's train.
Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway features new technologies developed in-house by Walt Disney Imagineering that Disney calls "2 and 1⁄2 D", which adds depth to 2D environments and makes them more 3D-like without the need to wear 3D glasses. It also includes more hidden Mickeys than any other ride anywhere in the Disney Parks universe.
For the installation at Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests enter through a full-sized re-creation of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. The line queue winds through the lobby before entering the auditorium, and the walls are adorned with a variety of film posters that depict fictitious Mickey Mouse short films that premiered at the theater. In addition, there is poster artwork depicting actual Mickey Mouse shorts: "Croissant de Triomphe", "Mumbai Madness", "Potatoland", "Split Decision", "Three-Legged Race", "Tokyo Go", "Wish Upon a Coin", "Wonders of the Deep", and "Yodelberg".
For the upcoming installation at Disneyland, the ride will be housed in a new building within Mickey's Toontown called the El CapiTOON Theater, a pun of the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood which in turn is owned by Disney. The queue for this version will feature an exhibit designed by the fictitious Toontown Hysterical Society, showcasing elements of the "toon world" including costumes and other props.
After entering the auditorium, guests are introduced to a new short film premiere from Mickey and Minnie called Perfect Picnic. The animated cartoon short begins with Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto preparing for a picnic at Runnamuck Park, singing "Nothing Can Stop Us Now". While packing Mickey's car, Minnie accidentally packs Pluto with the picnic basket in the trunk. The duo make their way to the park. Along the way, Mickey and Minnie drive alongside Goofy, who is operating the Runnamuck Railroad train that travels around the park. Their car hits a bump as it moves over a railroad crossing, popping open the trunk and launching Pluto along with the picnic basket into the air. Pluto manages to save the basket, but a pie falls out and lands on the train's smokestack. With the smokestack clogged, the train picks up speed. Goofy panics as the train pulls into a railroad barn, where an explosion occurs, causing a large, ragged hole to appear in the movie screen, thus literally breaking the fourth wall. When the smoke clears, Goofy lands on a loose board on the outside of the barn, sees the guests and invites them to ride with him on the train. He asks a nearby cast member to help the guests step inside the cartoon while he returns to the barn to fix the train just after he tells them he'll be back to pick them up. After walking through the movie screen, guests find themselves in the cartoon railroad station, and make their way to the loading platform where the train arrives.
Once the train stops at the loading station, guests board one of four cars behind the locomotive. The train then departs the station and makes a left turn, passing the park on a musical sunny day before entering a tunnel. Once inside, Goofy opens the locomotive's back window and asks the guests if they are ready for a tour around the park. Mickey and Minnie pull alongside the train and exchange greetings. Mickey parks next to a railroad switch lever and asks Goofy to take care of the guests. Goofy proudly exclaims, "Gawrsh, they're with me, what could possibly go wrong? Well, back to work." Goofy closes his window afterwards and begins to sing "I've Been Working on the Railroad" when the nearby switch lever falls, disconnecting the cars from Goofy's locomotive while Mickey realizes he drove into it. The locomotive makes a left, while the cars with guests make a right. Mickey and Minnie race after the runaway train.
The cars exit the tunnel into a desert with Mickey and Minnie on horses trying to round up the cars. They become tangled in their ropes as vultures swoop in to attack. The cars then enter an amusement park where Mickey and Minnie float in attached to some balloons. Before they can make their way down, the twister logo on the side of the park's wooden roller coaster comes to life, sending everything into a frenzy. Each car moves into a dark room with the tornado at its center. Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto are seen swirling around. In the next room, the duo lands on a tropical island where a volcanic eruption occurs. Each of the four cars enter a scene where Mickey and Minnie are shown to be caught in a rapid downstream heading toward a waterfall. Guests are seemingly following close behind and fall with them into the water, emerging moments later in an underwater reef. It is filled with a variety of animated sea life moving to music with some playing instruments and including a blue squid playing his trumpet.
The scene transitions into a sewage system where the water drains away, and the cars move into another room depicting the downtown of a large city at night. Pete can be seen with a jackhammer doing construction work and laughing, while Donald Duck is spotted in a delivery van honking at the traffic the train cars are causing. The cars veer left into a room designed as a dance studio, and Daisy Duck leads them into a waltz followed by a conga. The cars dance their way into a back alley and into a factory, as Minnie warns not to enter. The cars then appear to be stuck on a conveyor belt moving toward a smashing machine. Mickey and Minnie eventually manage to pull a switch that shuts down the factory and transforms it into a moonlit night at the park. The cars reverse and turn around, moving into another room where Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto are finally having their picnic. The lead car reattaches to the locomotive helmed by Goofy, who tells guests that his "guided tour" has concluded and thanks them for staying with him. Goofy waves goodbye, closes the back window, and is heard discovering a lever wondering what it does. Just before the train returns to the station, he pulls it, triggering a small explosion inside his cab followed by his signature holler, giving riders one last laugh. Guests leave the station and pass through the same movie screen returning them to the real world, which now shows "The End" title card.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, plexiglass was installed between rows to protect guests from exposure to COVID-19 and increase capacity. The pre-show was suspended and replaced by a voice-over while guests passed through the room.
Technology and effects
Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is one of Disney's technologically advanced rides. During the preshow, Goofy's train causes an explosion which tears a hole in the bottom of the screen. The screen is actually made up of various pieces with two black borders in the bottom, and is longer than it appears. During the explosion scene, the screen rises up to reveal the hole it is hiding while the borders move away, with colored smoke hiding the movement. Flaps also move toward the riders to simulate a torn-up screen. These flaps are thicker than they appear to hide motors used to move them. Similar to Rise of the Resistance, each vehicle uses an RFID puck system to move through the layout. The vehicles also use a charging pad in the load and unload zones to ensure they stay charged throughout the ride. A majority of the scenes use projection mapping to add in effects to simulate a cartoon world. The animatronics in the ride use internally-projected faces on frosted spherical globes. Each moving part uses motors. The effect used for Goofy in the locomotive and several other scenes is an LCD display with a transparent OLED screen behind it, with the OLED screen showing colors that are not black and the LCD screen showing black. During the track switch scene, the locomotive goes into a bypass room while the other cars go into the desert scene. The bypass room is used for the locomotive to connect to another set of cars in the final park scene. During the carnival scene, Mickey and Minnie animatronics are attached to a swinging pendulum rig that resembles a bunch of balloons. In the tornado scene, high-speed fans blow air into the riders to simulate being in high winds. The volcano and underwater scenes are actually in the same room, which simply changes to match the new scene. Each car goes into its own room with a dome screen in each to hide the changing room. The animatronic of Pete in the city scene consists of an internally-projected face, a moving hat on a stick, and spinning rocks with the props vibrating to simulate a jackhammer pounding the ground. In the dance studio, flowers appear in the mirror using a one-way mirror effect. The factory scene features a transforming effect where some of the equipment turns into trees, these are actually folding screens.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.|
- Fickley-Baker, Jennifer (December 3, 2019). "Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway Set to Open March 4, 2020 at Disney's Hollywood Studios". Disney Parks Blog.
- MacDonald, Brady. "First Mickey Mouse ride heading to Disneyland's Toontown in 2022". The Orange County Register. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- Knapp, JD (July 17, 2017). "Disney World: Mickey Mouse, 'Toy Story,' 'Guardians' and More Score Attractions". Variety. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
- Wisel, Carlye (July 18, 2017). "Disney Just Unveiled Its First-ever Mickey Mouse Ride". Travel + Leisure. Archived from the original on July 19, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
- Smith, Thomas. "First Mickey-Themed Ride-Through Attraction, Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, Coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on July 15, 2017. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
- Levine, Arthur (July 18, 2017). "Disney announces 23 wild new developments for its theme parks". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on July 19, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
- Lambert, Marjie. "4 new rides coming to Disney World: Ratatouille, Tron, Mickey Mouse, Guardians of the Galaxy". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- Kubersky, Seth (July 15, 2017). "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is replacing Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios". Attractions Magazine. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- Bevil, Dewayne. "Coming to Disney World: Tron, Guardians of the Galaxy ride, 'Star Wars' hotel". OrlandoSentinel.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- Ramirez, Michael. "Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway to Roll into Disneyland Park". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- "Disneyland's Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Delayed Until 2023". Blog Mickey. September 1, 2020.
- Poling, Monica (July 17, 2017). "Disney announces dozens of new attractions at D23 Expo". Fox News. Archived from the original on July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
- Macy, Seth (July 15, 2017). "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Train Announced for Disney's Hollywood Studios". IGN. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
- Lambert, Marjie (December 3, 2019). "From Great Movie Ride to Rise of the Resistance: How Star Wars changed a Disney park". Miami Herald. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Smith, Thomas (March 4, 2020). "Exclusive Poster Series Celebrates Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disney's Hollywood Studios". Disney Parks Blog.
- Ramirez, Michael (August 25, 2019). "New Details Unveiled for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, Coming to Disneyland Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
- Amusement Labs (April 12, 2020). (Remastered) How Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway Works. Retrieved December 13, 2020 – via YouTube.