After nearly 65 years as the stars of Disney's theme parks, Mickey and Minnie Mouse finally get a ride of their own, as Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway debuts in Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort.
The ride officially opens to the public tomorrow, but I and other invited reporters are getting the chance to ride during its media preview today. Disney has asked that we do not film a POV, but it has allowed us to post a couple of minutes of video highlights from on the ride.
No attraction in theme park history more enthusiastically embraces the trope of "and then everything goes terribly wrong" than Runaway Railway. The show begins with a Mickey short entitled "Perfect Picnic," in which Mickey and Minnie sing about their upcoming day in the park, when nothing can wrong and nothing can stop them now.
So of course you know what's coming next. That they've chosen Goofy to drive the train that will take us along to their "perfect picnic" only seals our fate.
Still, Runaway Railway consistently manages to surprise with how it delivers those things gone horribly wrong. It starts in the preshow, which ends with a delightful surprise that leads us into the ride portion of the attraction.
Once on board, the surprises continue as our railroad train - the ultimate in a tracked vehicle - splits apart to become a series of trackless ride cars. Like in a cartoon, throw away your expectations for how physics should work, for we're on an adventure where, as Disney says, "Mouse rules apply."
Or, as another Disney character might have said, "Forget it Eddie, it's Toontown."
There's plenty of media here, but much of it is projected upon three dimensional surfaces or - appropriate for Disney - multiple planes, rather than single flat screens. That helps to create the illusion that you are in a cartoon, rather than watching one. The dynamism of the trackless ride vehicles also reinforce a physical sense that you cannot expect what will happen next in this chaotic world.
Of course, in the end, it all works out fine and we reach our destination to enjoy that "perfect picnic." And it is perfect... because we all had one heckuva a time getting there.
Update: The five-minute ride portion of the attraction varies considerably based upon which of the four cars you ride in. The first two cars give you the best view of Goofy at the beginning of the ride, but the back two cars pick up some detail at the tail end of initial scenes that you will miss from the front two cars.
The cars switch positions several times during the ride, so you aren't always first or last into a scene. Personally, I preferred the first car overall and thought the last car the weakest experience, with cars two and three somewhat interchangeable. But they're all a wonderful ride, so no seat here is worth rejecting.
For more on the creation of the attraction, please see my interview with Imagineer Charita Carter.
And here is the opening moment:Tweet
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