Disneyland Announces Runaway Railway, New Show Openings

October 6, 2022, 12:08 PM · Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway will open January 27, 2023, kicking off The Walt Disney Company's 100 Years of Wonder anniversary celebration at the Disneyland Resort, the company announced today.

The trackless dark ride will open in advance of the reimagined Toontown around it, which will debut later this spring. Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway originally opened at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios in March 2020, but the Disneyland installation is getting a plussed queue for its "El Capitoon Theater" setting. [See Disneyland Looks to 'Toon' Up Its Runaway Railway.]

Elsewhere around the resort on January 27, Disneyland will premiere its new nighttime spectacular, Wondrous Journeys. This show will feature a new original song, "It's Wondrous," along with projections on Main Street USA, Sleeping Beauty Castle, It's a Small World, and the Rivers of America. On select evenings, the show will include fireworks as well.

At Disney California Adventure, the new "World of Color – One" show will debut the same evening. Also featuring a new song, "Start a Wave," the latest Wold of Color production will "tell a new story of how a single action, like a drop of water, creates a ripple that can grow into a wave of change," according to the park.

World of Color - One
Images courtesy Disneyland

Later, "in time for spring," Disneyland said, the Magic Happens parade will return for the first time after its brief run of less than a month leading up to the pandemic closures in March 2020. [We reviewed that show here: 'Magic Happens' with Disneyland's next-generation parade.]

At the heart of it all, Sleeping Beauty Castle is getting some anniversary drip, with platinum banners and bunting as well as the installation of the three Good Fairies above a new cabochon atop the castle's passageway into Fantasyland.

Sleeping Beauty Castle for Disney100
Sleeping Beauty Castle for Disney100

Disney will be releasing more details about its company-wide 100th anniversary celebration in the weeks to come.

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Replies (49)

October 6, 2022 at 12:52 PM

Pretty impressive that Disney can build and open this cloned attraction in the tight quarters and regulatory environment of Disneyland while it's taken them nearly double the time to do the same at MK with Tron.

October 6, 2022 at 12:55 PM

This would have made a good announcement at the D23 convention only one month ago.

October 6, 2022 at 1:10 PM

I suspect that Disneyland needed an inspection approval before they could announce the date. That didn’t come in time for D23 Expo.

I am curious to see how Disney manages crowd control for this with the rest of Toontown remaining closed. I fear a tight walk through a two-way passage between construction walls.

October 6, 2022 at 1:23 PM

At least it will only be for a short time, until the rest of Toontown opens in the spring. The winter months tend to be a little quieter anyway. It’s California’s “rainy” period, and they tend to have mudslides.

October 6, 2022 at 2:32 PM

I wonder if they'll use a virtual queue.

Plus as Robert brings up, I can't imagine they'll want a huge crowd hovering around a small tiny walkway in front of the attraction.

Also, has anyone heard if they're doing anything new with Roger Rabbit? Would hope they freshen up some of the attraction.

October 6, 2022 at 3:13 PM

The other thing I am curious to see is how this potentially affects Universal Studios Hollywood's opening date for Super Nintendo World.

October 6, 2022 at 3:23 PM

I would definitely anticipate a virtual queue for at least the first few months. I'm not sure what would need to be changed on RRTS other than a typical extended maintenance to ensure consistent operation. That attraction is pretty solid already (and frequently underrated IMHO), so it really doesn't need any major modifications even with a brand new ride going in next door.

I don't think the MMRR opening date will have much of an impact on Super Nintendo World. My guess is that USH was anticipating DL to open MMRR along with the debut of the re-envisioned Toontown in the Spring, so were probably targeting SNW to open late 1Q23/early 2Q23. Trying to debut an entire land 2-3 months earlier is probably not feasible, but perhaps they will bump up their soft-opening schedule to build buzz for the addition soon after MMRR debuts.

While both projects are clones, I think there's far more anticipation for SNW because the original land is in Japan, a country that has been unreachable for Americans for much of the past 2+ years.

October 7, 2022 at 2:12 AM

Im surprised that they are keeping Roger Rabbit in this PC crazy environment we live in, making it 2 solid D tickets in Toon town. Im always impressed how Disneyland is the smallest MK park, but has the most attractions.

October 6, 2022 at 5:42 PM

Just because an attraction was built previously in another park does not mean the task is significantly easier to build again. Because of multiple variables, building Nintendo at UEU is not easier because it was previously constructed elsewhere. If you disagree find me a quote from an experienced architect or construction manager that says otherwise.

October 6, 2022 at 6:15 PM

Case in point, TRON itself, which was first installed at Shanghai Disneyland.

The bigger issue is that Disney decided to pause the TRON project for a while during the pandemic, while DL MMRR stopped only while all non-vital construction in California was paused. WDW had plenty else in the mix as the parks reopened, while DLR always saw Runaway Railway as an essential counter to Universal's Nintendo land.

October 6, 2022 at 9:08 PM

Daniel, MMRR is an E-ticket attraction, no need to under cut this.

October 6, 2022 at 7:39 PM

@Daniel:

For the sake of curiosity, what about the Roger Rabbit attraction isn’t considered PC? Asking in earnest, I’ve only ridden once. And that’s been many moons ago…

October 6, 2022 at 9:28 PM

PC? As in Patty Cake? /s

October 7, 2022 at 2:29 AM

@fattyackin

I think the most would be the hyper sexualized Jessica rabbit. If you watch the film it should be pretty obvious. Its not a film that would ever be made today which is one reason I love it and am glad the ride is staying for now.

October 7, 2022 at 2:45 AM

This will be a great addition to DL's already fantastic lineup of dark rides. DL had a long stretch where it just kinda sat there while DCA was getting all the capital dollars, but with the additions of the two Star Wars rides and now this it is really putting DL Park back on the map as one of the best parks in the world (if not the best).

October 7, 2022 at 5:28 AM

RM: "Pretty impressive that Disney can build and open this cloned attraction in the tight quarters and regulatory environment of Disneyland while it's taken them nearly double the time to do the same at MK with Tron."

Me: What's your hurry?

October 7, 2022 at 6:18 AM

@Robert:

Well-played!

October 7, 2022 at 7:56 AM

Universal’s Nintendo world will absolutely be opening in the spring…There’s no way they miss the opportunity to connect it with the Super Mario Bro’s movie that comes out in April…First half of the year in the Southern California theme parks is going to be exciting…

October 7, 2022 at 8:07 AM

TH - My hurry is for purely selfish reasons, because if Tron had opened on a reasonable timeline, it would have debuted during WDW50, and our upcoming visit next week. I guess it's Disney's loss, because instead of spending multiple days at WDW (and likely staying at an on-site hotel), we're only spending a single day at EPCOT this trip. We probably won't return again to Central Florida until 2024 or we may even wait until 2025 when Epic Universe opens (assuming it still debuts on schedule).

October 7, 2022 at 10:40 AM

I also like it when attractions are open and not closed.

October 7, 2022 at 2:02 PM

"I am curious to see how Disney manages crowd control for this with the rest of Toontown remaining closed. I fear a tight walk through a two-way passage between construction walls."

In other words...Epcot?

October 7, 2022 at 5:15 PM

A little off topic but it sucks that Tron has been in construction since 2017.

So much time that-
-UO has built two coasters, refreshed a coaster, and build a stunt show
-the FL Sea World parks built three coasters
-some stuff at the FL Fun Spot parks (eh who cares tho)
-USH built an entire land which started in 2019
-DL revamped a whole land and added a D/E ticket

@Sneakertinker - Rumors and talks have been saying Nintendoland will open in Jan but anything could change. It'll be interesting to see how USH combats the MMRR announcement with the opening of Nintendoland. Wonder if they'll push it back to the opening of the movie or run full steam ahead.

October 7, 2022 at 6:56 PM

@Postcott ... Yeah and in/since 2017 Disney opened Avatar and Soarin' 2 and built the Coronado tower and built the Riviera resort and renovated the Caribbean and built a transportation Hub at DHS and built the Skyliner and built Ratatouille and built Cosmic Rewind and built the space restaurant at EPCOT and.managed renovations of the Grand Floridian and managed renovations at the Polynesian and introduced a new Cirque show and renovated the Contemporary and built Galaxy's Edge and built the star wars hotel and built Smugglers Run and built Rise of the Resistance and built Toy Story land and built MMRR at DHS and produced Harmonious.

October 7, 2022 at 8:30 PM

@Daniel:

She’s not bad, she’s just drawn that way…

October 7, 2022 at 8:59 PM

@TH- I understand that Disney world alone has built a multitude of world-class attractions and experiences since 2017. It's a given that such a big entity will continue to thrive and prosper and construct new things.

My argument lies within the state of one attraction. An attraction that, as far as innovation goes, remains lackluster in comparison to other attractions I could find in FL and even what is to be expected by Disney in 2023. Guardians is a fun, creative, and (for the most part) innovative attraction on Disney's part. It just baffles me that they wanted to speed-run Guardians, a seemingly more complex and intricate attraction than Tron. Why open a more inventive attraction and then the year after, open one that pales in comparrison? Guardians has a backward launch, controlled spinning vehicles, a pre-show, huge dome screens, etc. Tron launches you at an angle and goes indoors for 20 seconds. I might be wrong but from experiencing both, I find Guardians to be both more intricately made and complexly designed.

I am genuinely curious though- Do you think that Tron has been delayed due to a business reason or that Disney is trying their hardest to open this ASAP but outside factors harshly contribute to it's delay?

In addition, in my time on this site I have noticed that you have steered away from criticisms of the Disney parks department. I believe that some critiques and criticism can be healthy given the execution. I love the Disney parks but will admit that there is alot that needs improvement. I'm just wondering if you have any thoughts on the things the department, or company as a whole, could improve upon? I may have missed some of your critiques over the years but I would be interested in hearing what you have to say and have a positive and earnest conversation :)

October 7, 2022 at 10:47 PM

You will rarely ever see multiple major attractions open at the same time at any destination because they want people to come back over and over. Look at the Sea World Parks, most all of their new rides were able to open in 2020 but they decided to ride the first wave of pent up demand after re-opening that winter, then there turned out to be another wave of pent up demand in summer 2021 so they still didn't open any of the new rides, then finally decided to open them in 2022 to draw people back. In regards to Tron if they really wanted to they probably could have stepped on the gas and opened it a lot sooner but wanted the new rides at DHS and Epcot to open first since those are bigger length of stay drivers (they know generally most people go to MK if they are going to WDW).

In regards to him criticizing Disney, I think being a critic isn't really Robert's style, he's more of a reporter.

October 8, 2022 at 1:38 AM

Disney will also close down Harmonious before Tron opens…because it sucks. And the fountains on the barges never worked.

October 8, 2022 at 5:28 AM

Mickey Views on You Tube posted a video of the fountains working on the barges.

October 8, 2022 at 11:40 AM

That’s great news. Finally, it’s been a loooooong wait, and look at those fountains go. It’s gotta be the highlight of anyone’s EPCOT day. Pat the Imagineers on the back, they did it. And they are soooooooooooooooo attractive.
It’s like watching five oversized turds flushing down a toilet, just not as exciting.

October 8, 2022 at 1:05 PM

I think it is unlikely that the fountains would be the highlight of an EPCOT guest's day. There was an assertion made on the thread that the "fountains on the barges never worked". And it turns out that assertion was wrong.

October 8, 2022 at 2:23 PM

@the_man-

My post was directed toward TH, not Robert lol. I've seen Robert on both sides of the pendulum. Seeing that he never responded to it, I guess I should have made it more clear in my post, whoops.

Also, yes it makes sense that they would postpone it so that guests return at a quicker rate so they could make more money. My frustrations are that it's been in construction for the longest time; longer than any other attraction, land, or big-scale park that I've seen.

October 9, 2022 at 12:09 PM

EDIT: And the fountains juuust began working. At least they made it for EPCOT’s 40th. And now it’s time to tear down the barges (with working fountains) for Disney’s 100th…because they suck. Some gate crasher the barges turned out to be, huh TH?
It’s not you, TH, it’s Disney. It should have been a dealbreaker for Disney in whether or not to produce the show knowing that the barges were going to be seen throughout the day in World Showcase Lagoon because they were stationary and not mobile. It was a very bad decision by Disney. And the show isn’t good either.

October 8, 2022 at 4:01 PM

What were the repercussions of that "very bad decision" on their business model?

October 12, 2022 at 2:59 PM

Ok, TH, let’s play. The response by guests had to have been pretty negative if Disney is considering replacing a year old multi-million dollar “gate crasher” with a show that was produced specifically as a place filler. And that said ”gate crasher” was done with direct input from Disney’s current CEO. That’s negative value, the guests are not happy. Not very good for Disney’s business model because of their very bad decision.

October 8, 2022 at 5:08 PM

Which Disney CEO?

October 8, 2022 at 8:55 PM

Which Disney?

October 8, 2022 at 10:02 PM

Imagineer Steve Davison told reporters that Harmonious came from idea from Chapek.

October 9, 2022 at 6:12 AM

What do you mean by "came from Chapek"? He was not CEO when work on the concept began.

October 9, 2022 at 9:45 AM

Nice CEO, he doesn’t even understand (or care about) the concept of EPCOT, just throw more Disney at it. Ol’ Chapek the pencil neck should keep out of creative decisions - negative value.

NEXT!

October 9, 2022 at 10:38 AM

That's an interesting assessment. There's been discussions of how Mr. Chapek makes decisions based on data, which his predecessor Mr. Iger believes is a mistake.

From The Hollywood Reporter back in October 2021 "Masters reports that at an annual retreat for Disney executives in July, Iger told his subordinates: “in a world and business that is awash with data, it is tempting to use data to answer all of our questions, including creative questions. I urge all of you not to do that.”

I can't comment on whether or not Harmonious is a good show. I have not seen it. Perhaps Keith Schneider has and was disappointed.

And while I can't argue with the assertion that "The response by guests had to have been pretty negative if Disney is considering replacing a year old multi-million dollar “gate crasher” with a show that was produced as a place filler" I find it difficult to accept that the negative response has had any substantial impact on the company's bottom line.

Also I don't know why the term "gate crasher" is in quotes.

It seems to me that the purpose of the night shows is to keep guests in the park until the end of the day. By keeping them in the park they spend more money. I have not heard any reports that EPCOT is emptying out before show time. Also, EPCOT is doing a light-show thing on SSE at night which no doubt helps make guests stick around.

Of course, if there is a broad swath of guests giving the shows negative reviews, changing it would seem to be an indication that Disney is listening to its customers.

@ Keith Schneider Have you seen Harmonious? And if you have, did the park crowds seem lighter before the show commenced?

October 12, 2022 at 5:07 PM

Harmonious? What’s Harmonious?
TH is backpedaling and deflecting again. Unfortunately, he hasn’t even seen Harmonious, but makes comments like “I'm sure (Harmonious) will be a gate crasher. An absolutely enormous draw.” But you haven’t even seen the show. Your credibility has been lost in this debate, TH.
I’ve seen Harmonious twice (once at full attention and the other in passing), EPCOT Forever twice and Illuminations multiple times over the years. From what I saw, the crowds were bigger and more boisterous for EPCOT Forever than for Harmonious - negative value.

…next

October 9, 2022 at 11:35 AM

Wait, just because I haven't seen Harmonious I can't predict it will draw crowds? A Figment popcorn bucket caused people to stand in line for hours. People seem to flock to the Disney parks to see what's new. I mean, I have not ridden TRON but I think it's safe to say it will draw crowds.

And was my prediction wrong? If so, to what degree?

And I have no doubt previous shows may have been more popular with guests. Perhaps that's why Disney is changing the show.

But where is the quantifiable, negative impact? And that's an academic question. Will it be short term if the replacement is more popular? With the SSE show, the re-vamped Future World and the sustained success of Cosmic Rewind offset any repeat viewings of the show?

Speaking personally, I still look forward to seeing the show. After all, if it's so good Keith Schneider made it a point to see it twice, it must be good -- if not a "gate-crasher"

(Chuckle)

October 9, 2022 at 12:06 PM

Feel free to take the last word.

October 9, 2022 at 1:45 PM

You can predict all you want, TH, but you’d be wrong, and it wouldn’t be the first time.
Because you haven’t seen the show, you cannot assess the show’s value. The quality of product, as determined by guests’ that have actually seen the show, is poor, to the point were Disney is assessing how and when to replace your perceived “gate crasher”. Poor quality equates to poor value. Poor value will eventually translate to poor attendance, and this negatively affects Disney’s business model. Nobody is waiting in line for hours to watch Harmonious. In fact, many park goers are leaving World Showcase Lagoon before the start of Harmonious to be at the front of the park to watch Beacons of Magic, a much better show, though on a smaller scale, than your “gate crasher”.

…neeeeeexxxt

October 9, 2022 at 1:28 PM

Disney parks are amazing places to visit and have a great Day. However the debate about how Disney uses ( an perhaps abuses ) the data generated by costumers and how that impacts our experience in the park it's not a minor issue and the essence of the comments that Bob Iger made. He was pointing ( and I agree ) to the fact that the focus should be on enhancing the costumer satisfaction and not tracing every step to discover what they enjoy the most and then see how to monetize that aspect of the visit to the Park. Of course an argument can be made that some of those proyects started under his ternure as Disney CEO. Is he feeling regrets or merely deflecting the burden on somebody else? Who knows?? How ever costumers in that big a scale react very slowly, an corporations are similarly slow to react, as there are way too many parts in the machinery, in order to place budgets, time tables, and the work of too many People. The popularity or failure of a ride or a show depends on too many things, most of them very fickle or subjective. Our critc must be far more constructive, or be willing to front the Bill....

October 9, 2022 at 1:57 PM

@TH-

So I take it that your non-answer to my question directed towards you is your answer?

October 9, 2022 at 2:47 PM

Probably a bit of both.

October 11, 2022 at 2:24 PM

The people who created Harmonious have stated several times that the idea of the show was Bob Chapek's. It doesn't matter if Iger was CEO when it was first being developed, Bob Chapek was in charge of the parks at the time. Illuminations was well past its lifespan and when it finally became inevitable that it was going to be replaced, Bob Chapek was in the spot at the time to decide what should replace it, and he even said himself even said he thought the nighttime show of Epcot should be a concert of Disney music. Obviously it was a flop, which shouldn't surprise anyone, considering where the idea for the "story" came from.

That being said anyone who thinks decisions weren't being driven by data under Bob Iger doesn't know anything about how Disney works.

October 11, 2022 at 10:22 PM

I can never remember if it is pronounced data or data…

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