DISCLOSURE: I was invited by the Walt Disney World Resort to experience Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, but all opinions and over-use of exclamation points are 100% my own.
From the moment I stepped off of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I knew that it had just entered my top 5 favorite attractions at Walt Disney World.
I don’t take that place of honor very lightly, and this attraction deserves that ranking because it is full of fun at every turn and details galore.
And with so many details and fun facts about the attraction, I thought it would be fun to share them with you all today!
A ‘Fab’ Cast of Characters
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the first attraction to star Mickey and Minnie Mouse, is full of iconic Disney characters, including a new little bird destined to fly right into guests’ hearts.
Here is where you can find each of them:
- Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse – These true originals are ready to take their little red convertible for a leisurely drive through Runnamuck Park in search of the perfect picnic spot. What could possibly go wrong?
- Pluto – The dutiful dog just wants to bring Mickey and Minnie their lost picnic basket.
- Engineer Goofy – Mickey and Minnie’s lanky pal invites guests into the cartoon world for what surely promises to be an uneventful train ride through Runnamuck Park.
- Daisy Duck – The proprietor of Daisy’s Dance Studio is ready to teach guests some fancy new moves.
- Donald Duck – Everyone’s favorite hot-headed “problem child” is steaming again, as someone made off with the sign from his hot dog stand at the carnival.
- Jackhammer Pete – The big brute’s vibrations may have some unforeseen consequences for Mickey and Minnie.
- Chuuby (pronounced “choo-bee”) – This adorable little bird – created exclusively for the attraction – likes to sing and dance in Runnamuck Park.
All in the Details: An Authentic Mickey & Minnie Experience
Disney Imagineers watched every cartoon short in the latest “Mickey Mouse” series countless times while developing Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Imagineer Kevin Rafferty had a still from each one pinned to his office wall).
They wanted to soak up the essence of what makes the cartoons so fun and endearing, so they could then translate those fundamental principles into a ride-through attraction. Their research is just one facet of the total commitment to authenticity on display throughout Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
- Walt Disney Imagineering consulted with Paul Rudish and Joseph Holt – executive producer and art director, respectively, for the “Mickey Mouse” shorts – to ensure the attraction’s hand-drawn look is authentic to the cartoon. For example, Imagineers added extra floating “lines” around a cactus in the stampede scene that appear as if they’re standing alone in midair, emulating a common technique used in the cartoons to emphasize motion.
- Christopher Willis, award-winning composer of the “Mickey Mouse” shorts, composed the attraction’s soundtrack and co-wrote “Nothing Can Stop Us Now,” the exclusive theme song for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, with his wife, Elyse Willis.
- The attraction’s glamorous marquee features blinking bulbs and hand-crafted animated neon depictions of Mickey and Minnie. Its design cue comes from the extravagant marquees that were custom made for premieres of epic films in the mid-20th century.
- In collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Television Animation created 10 new posters that appear in the attraction’s queue; nine highlight existing “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts, while the 10th is for “Perfect Picnic,” the new short debuting in the theater.
- The attraction features several sound effects created by Disney Legend Jimmy Macdonald for Disney animated shorts dating back to the 1930s; some new effects were developed using Macdonald’s original equipment.
- The tri-tone whistle from Mickey Mouse’s debut cartoon in 1928, “Steamboat Willie,” was used to record the locomotive whistle sound for Engineer Goofy’s train.
- Special painting techniques were used on the attraction’s ride vehicles so they appear to be hand-drawn, as if in a cartoon.
Hidden Gems Abound
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is full of hidden gems that nod to Disney history. It will likely take many times through the attraction to spot them all, but here are just a few:
- A newspaper features the headline “Oswald Wins!” – a reference to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the cartoon character created by Walt Disney that predates Mickey Mouse.
- The Iwerks and Uwerks Waterworks water treatment plant is named for Disney Legend Ub Iwerks, the animator credited with sketching Mickey Mouse for the first time.
- The 1401 Flower Shop is an homage to Walt Disney Imagineering’s headquarters in Glendale, Calif.
- The numbers 1901 and 1928 can be seen inside the attraction; these are references to Walt Disney’s and Mickey Mouse’s birth years, respectively.
I cannot wait to ride again and again and again and again!!!!
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