Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad

November 18, 2019, 2:50 PM

If you look at the history of Disneyland, and Disney World, majority of the rides they share, opened at Disneyland first. Other than the original rides from 1955, rides such as Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Soarin’, The Little Mermaid, Space Mountain, It’s a Small World, and Millennium Falcon, all opened at Disneyland first.

It surprises me that Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad will open a full two years at Disney World, before it opens at Disneyland. I know there have been rides that opened at Disney World first, before they opened at Disneyland. But typically, it’s the other way around. Why did Disney World get the green light before Disneyland?

Replies (5)

November 18, 2019, 5:01 PM

It comes down to who needs what more at what time. Sometimes rides are designed for certain parks because they need the ride, and ends up getting cloned to the other park because its popular (or expected to be popular). Something like Star Wars Land obviously had a bigger agenda.

Also the Florida Space Mountain opened in 75 and the (original) California one opened in 77

November 18, 2019, 6:17 PM

the_man, I see what you’re saying. My fault on the Space Mountain opening dates. I feel like Toon Town would need the ride before Hollywood Studios. The Great Movie Ride was one of my favorites growing up. But it was outdated. So I see why Florida wanted to update in the park. But other than Roger Rabbit, I feel like Toon Town would need the update more. When I’m in Toon Town, in Disneyland, it feels like such a mess.

November 18, 2019, 6:20 PM

Also, Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy's Edge is schedule to open at WDW is December, a moth before the Disneyland version....despite Disneyland's land & construction on the ride, starting before WDW.

DLR "JUST" got Mickey's Philharmagic this year!!

This isn't quite the same as it was decades ago....WDW has 4 parks now, vs DLR 2, but ultimately, the attraction needs are different when looking at the overall resorts. Ride openings are geared to either resorts specific needs....(which include factoring in space, weather, etc.)

November 18, 2019, 6:41 PM

Jay R. yes, Rise of the Resistance is scheduled to open in Florida, before it does in California. Also, yes, Mickey’s Philharmagic just came to California Adventure this year. Which I’m still curious as to why they brought it over? It’s been at Disney World for many years. Why bring it over now? But that’s besides the point.

You are right, that each resort has different needs. Whether it’s factoring in space, or what each park is looking for specifically. As far as weather, both California and Florida are warm all year. I don’t think that would matter as much.

All I’m saying is this...if you look at the history of the two resorts, the attractions would usually open at Disneyland first. Then would be brought to Disney World after. That’s what the statistics show. That’s all I’m trying to say. But yes, times have changed.

Edited: November 20, 2019, 10:13 AM

It's really all just a matter of circumstance. FWIW, It's a Small World first opened at the New York World's Fair in 1964 before the attraction was shipped to Disneyland (same for the Carousel of Progress, which was then shipped to WDW in 1975). Many of the other "Disneyland Original" attractions were built in Disneyland first because WDW didn't exist when they opened, with the WDW versions having distinct differences mostly based on the luxury of additional space in Florida compared to California - Disneyland's Haunted Mansion Stretch Room is actually an elevator while the version in WDW the ceiling goes up while guests stay on the same level where they started. Many of the WDW attractions were copied (inspired) Disneyland attractions because there was pressure to fill the Florida park with familiar rides.

Recently, the resorts have somewhat gone their own directions, but share attractions based on need and opportunity. For instance, WDW received a number of new attractions as part of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary. There was a large campaign throughout 2005 where cloned attractions were installed throughout the company. At WDW, DHS received Lights Motors Action from Disneyland Paris and Toy Story Mania from DCA while DCA got Turtle Talk, and EPCOT received Soarin'. MK got a gaudy, gold-accented castle with hundreds of characters hanging off of it.

More specifically to the initial topic, MMRR was only initially planned to be installed at DHS to take over from the sagging Great Movie Ride. As delays on the attraction mounted and costs ballooned, Disney recognized that there was additional space made available as part of the Galaxy's Edge expansion at Disneyland, and management chose to clone the attraction in California because of cost efficiency (it's not much more expensive to build 2 versions of the same attraction when you're building them around the same time, which is why Galaxy's Edge exists on both coasts and opened virtually simultaneously).

As far as Philharmagic, the theater where it is shown in DCA used to show Muppets 4-D, which was one of the original DCA attractions. However, as the popularity of that attraction waned, Disney shifted it to a rotating exhibition space for coming attractions. Ultimately, Disney took a gamble on installing Philharmagic in the theater as a more permanent attraction for the space that could be done with little financial risk, and it seems to have taken hold.

The only reason RotR is opening in Florida first is because it's rumored that Imagineers identified a flaw in the California installation that require a complete tear down and rebuild, while construction progress in Florida had not yet reach the point where the flaw could fixed without a tear down (reportedly the com lines and blocking segments in the concrete floor had to be completely redone in California, as well as a reported comment from CalOSHA regarding a safety element on the drop ride system).

Again, it has nothing to do with one resort traditionally getting attractions before another, it all has to do with circumstance, most often coming down to costs and specific situations unique to each resort. While the company works as a whole to develop rides and attractions, each park has its own specific needs and circumstances that dictate whether it will receive either the first version, cloned version, or a unique version of an attraction.

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