The new attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the first-ever theme park ride to feature Mickey Mouse and friends. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway transports riders into the whacky world of a Mickey Mouse cartoon. Disney has used a plethora of new technologies to make the ride an immersive experience. So, is Mickey and Minnie’s runaway railway good?
We think Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a stellar addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s an impressive landing for Mickey and Minnie and is an absolute hoot. The ride deploys an astounding array of technology and weaves a captivating story with tons of heart and personality. The experience stayed with us long after we exited.
Keep reading to find out what makes Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway such a fun ride and why you should go multiple times if you can.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway: A one-of-a-kind ride
Located in Hollywood Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a new attraction that debuted in 2020. It takes riders on a zany adventure through the world of cartoons. The cast of characters features timeless favorites like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto.
The ride is based on the new, award-winning, and tremendously popular Mickey Mouse animation shorts. The riders join a runaway train and embark on a whirlwind ride through a topsy-turvy world.
Disney has pulled off several technical feats in this newest attraction. If like our kids, your kids spend hours in front of screens watching the antics of Mickey and friends, they will absolutely love the unexpected twists and slapstick gags on this ride.
Along with the latest high-tech tools, Disney has used some tried-and-tested techniques to make Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway an instant hit. For example, some of the sound effects date back to the original animated films from the 1930s and were created on vintage equipment. The hand-drawn style mimics the look of the Mickey Mouse shorts that are so well-loved on the Disney channel. And along with new projection-mapping imagery, traditional technology is used to develop an immersive environment that transports riders into the world of Mickey and friends.
Are there any height restrictions on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is open to people of any height, which means fans of every age can join the fun, including preschoolers. The ride is available on FastPass+ as well as Standby.
What kind of ride is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a dark ride that uses a trackless ride system with 3D animatronics and high-tech projection screens. Riders are transported to a magical environment where they embark on a chaotic journey aboard a runaway train.
The train careens through various scenes such as a big city, a factory, a waterfall, and a carnival. The trackless train cars split apart and reconnect along the way with surprises at every turn.
An interesting feature of the trackless ride system is that you get four slightly different ride experiences based on the train you’re in. So, if the queues aren’t too bad and time allows, we think it’s totally worth repeating Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway when you visit Hollywood Studios.
What to expect at Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
Spoiler alert! Don’t read this paragraph if you want Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway to be a complete surprise.
The song “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” has been exclusively written for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The infectious tune plays all the way through the ride and we bet you’ll come out humming when you exit. The pre-show includes a transition into a mind-blowing loading station.
The ride opens in a placid setting at Runamuck Park. It’s a beautiful day and Mickey and Minnie are off on a picnic. The mountains and cloudy sky are constructed with multi-dimensional sets to give it depth and create a cartoon aesthetic. We immediately felt like we were in the middle of a Mickey Mouse short. In the distance, riders see a creek with flowing water and a carnival with a merry-go-round. We loved the fountain in the foreground which had amazing water effects!
Mickey and Minnie are going on a leisurely picnic in their sporty red convertible. The riders depart the park through swinging doors which reveal engineer Goofy commandeering a train. The backstory is set with Goofy asking, “What could possibly go wrong?”
No prizes for guessing… things go wrong almost immediately. Riders are thrown into a series of scenarios that defy physics. Inspired by the new-generation Mickey Mouse cartoons, the whirlwind of scenes includes the rocky buttes of the Wild West with Mickey and Minnie galloping past on horses, spinning lassos. Our kids also loved the carnival scene that takes riders racing along a track.
Donald Duck makes an appearance as the operator of a hot dog stand. Mickey and Minnie float past on a giant hot dog under a fantastic cluster of balloons. There’s no let-up in the energy, pace, and gags in the ride. We can’t remember exactly where, but somewhere in the ride, Daisy Duck got all the trackless vehicles to do a series of dance moves. At one point, riders find themselves in a twister with a spinning cloud funnel sweeping Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto. The effects are brilliant with riders getting blasted with a blustery wind.
Moving on, riders are transported to a thundering volcano and then onto a tropical island where they plunge over a waterfall. The underwater scene was breathtaking with animated fish swimming past and an aquatic band that included a trumpet-playing octopus.
The most dramatic part of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a transition into a big city sewer with water projected on the sides of a tunnel and the trackless vehicles speeding along with the current. The cityscape is exquisitely detailed with fire hydrants, construction barriers, and rattling trash cans as riders rush past. The ride ends with a near-catastrophic event in a factory with collapsing machinery. The final scene involves Mickey and friends enjoying a picnic next to a babbling brook as fireworks explode in the sky.
How does Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway compare to other trackless dark rides?
There’s a slew of trackless dark rides on offer at various theme parks in Orlando, specifically Universal Orlando which features several such attractions. Comparisons to other rides that rely heavily on projection screens are inevitable, but we think Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is unmatched in terms of being family-friendly (the other rides in this category can be pretty intense for younger kids).
The lowdown on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
The first-ever theme park ride dedicated to Mickey and Minnie Mouse and their friends was long overdue. It is a must-visit attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in our opinion. The iconic characters and the immersive, dynamic, rambunctious ride will appeal to all ages. We’ll go as far as saying it’s easily one of the most delightful and engaging rides that have been introduced in recent times. That’s no small praise given the glut of amazing experiences on offer in Central Florida.
It’s worth noting that Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has replaced the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios, which was an ode to classic Hollywood cinema with tremendous set design. So yes, some folks will be disappointed, but Disney probably felt the Great Movie Ride was past its prime and did not resonate with contemporary audiences.
For now, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is only available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. It is scheduled to open in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland California in 2022.