Let's take a first look at the plans for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway

February 12, 2018, 8:47 PM · Following today's announcement from the D23 Expo in Tokyo that Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway will debut next year at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida, we have an initial look at the blueprints for the first Disney theme park ride starring Mickey Mouse.

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway is themed to the current Disney Channel Mickey and Minnie series. You will start in a preshow theater where you watch a new Mickey Mouse Short featuring Mickey and Minnie heading out in their car for a picnic. Then, as Disney said in its reveal at the Expo, "one magical moment lets you step into the movie and on Goofy’s train for a wacky, wild ride."

Let's reveal what happens after that moment, shall we? Obviously, we depart now into spoiler territory, so you want the attraction to provide a complete surprise when you first ride it in 2019 (or whenever you visit Walt Disney World after that), we won't hold it against you if you bail out of our post now. Just head over to our Disney's Hollywood Studios pages and submit some ratings for the rides, shows, and restaurants in the park, perhaps?

Okay, for everyone else, gather 'round for our tour of the plans for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.

The new attraction is going into the Chinese Theater building that previously housed The Great Movie Ride. While Disney has changed the show inside, the building shell remains the same and the "track" layout of the Mickey ride is somewhat similar to that of TGMR. (There's a couple of changes in turns near the middle of the ride.) There are nine main scenes in Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, which will take you on some predictably wacky adventures on your way to that picnic.

After exiting the preshow theater (there are two, twin theaters, BTW), you will proceed through a load area queue before boarding your train. Disney has revealed the first look at the ride vehicle trains, which, as you can see, will be driven by Goofy.

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway

So what could possibly go wrong?

This concept image is from the first scene in the ride, in a park. We are going to make a hard left turn into that tunnel you see in Disney's concept art, in which will experience the ride's second scene. There's trouble in that tunnel, but once we are through, it's a right turn into the third scene... which is a stampede.

After escaping that predicament, we bear slightly left into the fourth scene, which is Carnival Chaos. We are continuing our left turn in this scene, which leads us into the ride's fifth scene, Twister. I doubt we will see Bill Paxton and his infamous blue shirt here. But maybe a flying cow?

The weather remains a problem as we make a sharp left into the next scene, which plays in multiple parts. We start in a Tropical Torrent, then there's a nifty effect that takes us Over the Falls. There are four alcoves off the main set in this scene, so it appears that each car on the train will be looking at its own screen here for what the scene name suggests will be a waterfall gag.

After our plunge, we drain into a culvert, through which will be be making an "S" curve into the seventh scene, which starts with a big city traffic snarl. To get out of that, we make a detour into a dance studio, then make a left turn into "Turn Back Alley."

This being a cartoon, of course we don't turn back, and instead we push straight ahead into the eighth scene of the ride, which is a "Factory Frenzy." This is the chaotic climax of the ride, where everything has gone terribly wrong, as it must in a slapstick cartoon adventure. But as we have come to expect from Mickey, he uses some magic to get us out of the jam, then we finally make it to that picnic.

It's a sweeping left turn through the final "Picnic in the Park" scene, before we reach the unload area and exit the ride.

The plans appear to call for a mix of screens and practical effects, the combination of which will help create 3D experiences without the use of 3D glasses. The ride will be open to all ages, with no minimum height requirement.

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway will open the same year as Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. There's no official word from Disney yet on specific opening dates for either attraction, but clearly, Disney is hoping that its new Mickey ride will help draw at least some of the crowd away from what promises to be human gridlock around the new Star Wars land in its initial year of operation.

But from a first look at the plans, Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway deserves its own place in the spotlight and not to be dismissed as a supporting act to the Star Wars land. MMRR looks like it will be a classic Disney dark ride with some modern twists... and plenty of good, old-fashioned cartoon chaos.

Replies (13)

February 12, 2018 at 10:35 PM · I detest the animation style and do not understand why the Great Movie Ride *had* to go. ?? Will never go on this ride.
February 13, 2018 at 5:42 AM · Hope it will be at least as good as "Get a Horse" that is part of the Pixar Film Festival at EPCOT.
February 13, 2018 at 6:23 AM · This was scooped by other sites backs in November, but I appreciate that you waited to verify this before putting it up. There are so many angry detractors over this attraction, but I think it's going to be a great addition to the DHS lineup. I think most of the people are upset over the fact that it's based on the newer Mickey shorts, but I would say it's really a necessity in the sense that "corporate icon" Mickey is not even remotely funny, nor is Brett Iwan as dynamic a voice actor as Chris Diamantopoulos. Mickey from the new shorts, with his dynamic vocal range, (especially when he freaks out), combined with the often Felix the Cat-like surrealist situations, simply lends itself better to the standard theme park "..And Then Something Goes Terribly Wrong Format".

As an attraction, I think it's going to bring something new to the table, whereas I think the stuff in Star Wars Land will be great, but not particularly new. I get the impression that the Millennium Falcon attraction looks like a souped-up DisneyQuest Attraction and that the First Order attraction looks like Spider-Man. I think the big deal about Star Wars Land, will be the land itself.

February 13, 2018 at 8:00 AM · I'm still not sold on this attraction. Assuming they're reusing the old GMR vehicles, the length of them will make a lot of these effects and illusions incredibly tricky to pull off. I'm expecting this experience to be like the USH Tram Tour without the gimble boxes, so Disney will have to be really convincing with their projections and transitions to the physical sets and animatronics (I'm expecting to be underwhelmed by the number and quality of the animatronics on this ride).

While Robert suggests this may be a foil to the uber popular Galaxy's Edge, I'm getting more of a mediocre-people-eater vibe from this attraction that will only be popular initially because guests won't be able to get into Galaxy's Edge, and will have to find something to ride in DHS while they wait to get into the new land.

February 13, 2018 at 9:10 AM · I think it's smart opening 2 (probably) disable rides.
Universal Studios did the same, before opening HP Diagon Alley they did a amazing job opening Transformers and it helped the pressure on Diagon Alley. Lets hope this does the same for Star Wars.
February 13, 2018 at 9:46 AM · I'd be very surprised if they reused the old GMR passenger vehicles. The whole idea of this ride is very different. The concept art shows vehicles nothing like the old ones and I suspect the movement will be much faster and more nimble. With more frequent dispatches a smaller capacity ride vehicle could still gobble up a lot of punters.
February 13, 2018 at 10:21 AM · Don't dislike the ride and sure it'll be fun, just hate having to lose such an iconic attraction as GMR to fit it in.
February 13, 2018 at 10:38 AM · Is it also double track? That's what I read somewhere. The park needs the capacity.

I read the "trains" are detachable and you can actually mix up the cars in the attraction layout.

February 13, 2018 at 10:48 AM · "Universal Studios did the same, before opening HP Diagon Alley they did a amazing job opening Transformers and it helped the pressure on Diagon Alley."

You've got your timing off there. Hogsmeade opened in Summer 2010. Transformers opened in Summer 2013, while Diagon Alley opened in summer 2014. Transformers had been open at USF for a full year before Diagon Alley debuted.

@David Brown - Everything I've seen is that the ride system will be the same as GMR - looks very similar in the concept drawing aside from the engine where Goofy is sitting. They are not installing motion bases on the "train" and the vehicles will go from scene to scene as Robert laid out, just as they did on GMR. The only unknown is whether the front to back double-load platform will remain and allow for the parallel tracking used on GMR's layout or if vehicles will be dispatched down a single course.

February 13, 2018 at 3:43 PM · @ Jeffery H.

I think you might be right about the newer Mickey shorts. I think it's because it's such a departure from corporate Mickey that it was jarring for some people. (Some of the character designs, specifically Goofy are drastic).

That being said, many of the shorts are funny without being "lightly offensive" (i.e. gross out gags). Just depends on which shorts people have seen. The Paris, Tokyo, Italy, episodes etc. are "squeaky clean" while a few of the others are a little more "edgy" (in terms of Disney's Fab 5)

The fact that they're basing the attraction on this particular Mickey means that this character design will be around for some time.

February 13, 2018 at 4:23 PM · @Russell Meyer, it's out there in other places that the GMR system has been completely chucked out the window and this is a trackless ride system. None of this would be possible with the GMR vehicles, and the concept art clearly shows smaller three-row cars on the train.

Personally, I'm incredibly excited for this. It's beyond time for Mickey to have a centerpiece attraction, DHS needs it, and it looks genuinely great.

February 13, 2018 at 6:45 PM · GMR represented the greatest disappointment for me when it opened. It probably had to do with pronouncements from WDI that it would rival Pirates in scope. The reality was far less ambitious. Clunky animatronics that didn’t generally didn’t look like the humans they purported to to sent, dinky sets that lacked any kind of creative staging (to be fair, I will omit the gangster scene from that statement), and uneven show quality that made the parking lot tram appear to be on lock all contributed to the lackluster outcomes. And the thing justdevolved as the years passed. I wanted to love it, but GMR refused to be lovable. I hope this Mouse ride comes through. It’s a glorious facade, in a park that once seemed to hang conceptually, in spite of its apparent lack of a master plan. I hope this 2.0 version finds its heart, and that Mickey is a big part of that.
February 14, 2018 at 12:21 AM · I'm allergic to spoilers so I skipped them. But I'm very excited about 3D without glasses, a combination of practical effects, AAs and 3D, and trackless vehicles. It sounds technologically advanced and sophisticated.

That, in combination with Toy Story Land and SW Land, will surely make DHS the most popular park in the resort, and, thus, probably the world. Who woulda thunk it?

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.