Through all of his many adventures, there’s one thing Mickey has never done: starred in his own ride-through attraction in a Disney theme park. That all changed on March 4, 2020, with the debut of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
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When Mickey Mouse burst upon the silver screen in 1928 as the star of “Steamboat Willie,” he changed the world of entertainment forever. With his childlike innocence, impish sense of humor and plucky attitude, Mickey is adored the world over and has become a cultural icon synonymous with Disney.
The new attraction is a bold and innovative new family adventure, where guests go through the movie screen inside the park’s re-creation of the Chinese Theatre and into the whimsical world of Disney Television Animation’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts. There they discover why “mouse rules apply” and anything can – and does – happen! With an original “Mickey Mouse” story by Walt Disney Imagineering featuring the new song “Nothing Can Stop Us Now,” Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a celebration of Disney heritage and a showcase for state-of-the-art storytelling and attraction design.
It’s a charming experience for the entire family – from grandparents to grandchildren and everyone in between – full of surprises and pure, joyous fun befitting those true originals, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
Anything Can Happen: The Story of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
The new attraction invites families to begin their adventure together at the heart of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They’re ushered inside the theater for the premiere of a new “Mickey Mouse” cartoon short, “Perfect Picnic,” written by Walt Disney Imagineering and produced by Disney Television Animation. In the story, Mickey and Minnie set off on a journey to find the best spot for a romantic picnic, taking their little red convertible for a drive through Runnamuck Park.
Little do they know Pluto has accidentally stowed away in the trunk of their car, so when the roadster hits a bump and the dutiful dog flies out … mayhem ensues. It’s at this point Disney magic brings guests through the movie screen and into the cartoon world, where they join Engineer Goofy on a train ride on the Runnamuck Railroad, following Mickey and Minnie through the park on their quest for that perfect picnic. And with Goofy at the helm, what could possibly go wrong? A lot, actually, as along their journey guests will:
- Stampede through the Wild West
- Visit a carnival
- Avoid a swirling twister
- Escape an exploding volcano
- Dive over a waterfall … and much more
It’s up to Mickey and Minnie to keep guests out of trouble, all while poor Pluto tries to catch up and bring them their picnic basket!
Classic Disney Storytelling, Driven by State-of-the-Art Design
The new attraction blends classic Disney attraction design with cutting-edge technology to turn a two-dimensional cartoon world into a rich, vibrant environment. The attraction features a combination of physical sets, Audio-Animatronicsfigures, animated media, and projection-mapping techniques, all synced in time with trackless vehicles and a jaunty musical score.
- The attraction experience is an all-encompassing environment full of rich and varied storytelling. Guests have the freedom to look in all directions and may see different details depending on which vehicle they ride in – and where they’re sitting within each vehicle.
- Several scenes make transformations right before guests’ eyes by combining theatrical effects in ways never seen before on a Disney attraction.
- Projections are used across multi-plane scenic flats and dimensional sets to provide a depth of field while still maintaining a cartoon aesthetic.
- Disney Imagineers experimented with new printing and painting techniques in ultraviolet light – mixing them with scenic elements and projections – to create an environment evoking the vibrant, hyper-reality of a “Mickey Mouse” cartoon.
- Trackless vehicles that carry guests through the new attraction are anthropomorphic; they become their own characters in the story, each reacting differently to the action as it unfolds around them with their own specific animation programming. In one scene, they scurry away in fear from a volcano, while in another they dance in formation to music.
- Audio-Animatronicsfigures appear throughout the attraction, giving guests up-close encounters with beloved Disney characters.
New Merchandise Collection Extends the Fun
The new attraction is the inspiration for a new line of fun Disney products evoking the attraction’s lighthearted spirit. They include:
- A whistle that re-creates the sound made by the Runnamuck Railroad locomotive
- A pull-back toy of the Runnamuck Railroad locomotive and ride vehicle
- A mug in the shape of the Runnamuck Railroad locomotive
- A light-up glow spinner featuring Mickey and Minnie that plays the attraction’s theme song, “Nothing Can Stop Us Now”
- A MagicBand featuring Mickey, Minnie, and the attraction logo
- An assortment of apparel and pins themed to the attraction
- A new Wishables collection featuring Mickey and Minnie, Engineer Goofy, Chuuby and more.
Also debuting in conjunction with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the latest headwear design from the Disney Parks Designer Collection. Imagineer Kevin Rafferty designed the piece featuring Mickey and Minnie in the setting of their newest cartoon from the attraction, “Perfect Picnic.” Launched in May 2019, the Disney Parks Designer Collection is a series of limited-release Mickey ear hats and Minnie ear headbands designed by notable celebrities and artists.
Mickey & Minnie’s Trivia Time – Mouse Rules Apply! in the Play Disney Parks App
The Play Disney Parks mobile app now features a new trivia game in celebration of the new attraction and the new Mickey Shorts Theater (also opening March 4, 2020, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). Mickey & Minnie’s Trivia Time – Mouse Rules Apply! gives guests the chance to play together and test their knowledge of Mickey and friends, featuring animations inspired by the “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts.*
Guests playing the game discover five trivia packs containing hundreds of questions – from “Steamboat Willie” all the way to today. Some of these trivia packs are available prior to arriving at the attraction to help guests prepare for their journey into Mickey & Minnie’s cartoon world, while others can be unlocked after experiencing the new attraction, extending the fun.
Guests can also earn special new digital achievements in the app, including the “Runner-Away” achievement at the new attraction and the “Short Stuff” achievement at Mickey Shorts Theater.
In Their Own Words: The Making of The New Attraction
“We’ve taken our whole grab bag of theatrical tricks and blended them together so seamlessly you won’t be able to tell what’s what. There is more happening in each and every scene than you could possibly have time to see in just one experience.” – Kevin Rafferty, Executive Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering
“We look at Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway as a musical. The melody of the attraction’s theme song, ‘Nothing Can Stop Us Now,’ takes on all the flavors of the different scenes as you progress through the experience.” – Kevin Rafferty, Executive Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime project. It’s an amazing opportunity that I’m honored to be a part of. We are inviting our guests into a Mickey and Minnie cartoon. There are endless possibilities – anything can happen! You have cartoon physics and cartoon logic … there is so much that’s possible.” – Charita Carter, Senior Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering
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