A Closer Look at Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

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 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Matt Stroshane, photographer

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

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Kent Phillips, photographer


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 Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World
Here is a hint at where you can find one of these hidden details… Kent Phillips, photographer


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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Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris and help #ProtectThePride

Protect the Pride Kilimanjaro Safaris
Disney
DISCLOSURE: I was invited to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to help spread the word about how you can help #ProtectThePride, but all opinions are my own.

While I have ridden Kilimanjaro Safaris MANY times at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this was my best two week excursion yet, and I wanted to share it with you!

But that isn’t all I wanted to share with you…

Right now for every guest who rides the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in Florida during opening week of The Lion King film (July 19 – 25, 2019), Disney Conservation Fund will donate $2 (up to $350,000) to the Wildlife Conservation Network in support of the Lion Recovery Fund’s efforts to help double the number of lions across Africa by 2050. 

How awesome is that???

This is just one of many ways that you can celebrate The Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!!!

If you haven’t had the chance to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris, here’s what you can expect.

Onboard the Kilimanjaro Safaris you explore the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, home to 34 species living in 110 acres of picturesque open plains, shady forest landscapes and rocky wetlands. 

Your rugged safari vehicle is driven by an expert guide, who helps point out animals and shares fascinating wildlife facts during this extraordinary expedition.

On each expedition vehicle there is a listing of the animals you **may** see on Safari, but these are real animals who have minds of their own so every expedition is a unique and unforgettable experience. 

Be sure to keep your eyes open and have a camera ready—you never know what you’ll see on a Kilimanjaro Safaris outing.

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A Heartfelt Thank You

thank you

Today is the one year Blogiversary of the re-launch of On the Go in MCO, and I just wanted to take a moment for a few thank yous!

First off, I want to thank my husband David. Thank you for your unwavering support, your movie reviews that show how much you love being a wonderful Dad, and most of all your love. I wouldn’t have the confidence or the ability to do all that I do without you.

I especially want to thank the writers who make this site so awesome who continue to amaze me with their hard work and creativity!!!

Todd or should I say THE TODDDDDDDDDD!!!!!! You are my technical whiz, movie guru, sounding board, and most of all one of my dearest friends. I couldn’t have done this without your knowledge, patience, and drive!

Aurora, thank you for being you! Your spark and motivation know no bounds, and you are an amazing partner for all the varied events we get the wonderful opportunity to attend.

Beth, thank you for being a voice of calmness and strength on this sometimes crazy ride! You’re always there in a pinch with a great idea ready to do whatever needs to be done.

Betsy, my Mingo! You are always there with a joke, perspective, bad influence, and most of all your love and passion for sharing all that you can about Walt Disney World. I wish I knew half of what you did about the resorts…

Thank you so much Cheryl for all of your conspiracy theories, DVC knowledge, Google-fu, and most of all for being a kind voice. I can only hope to one day ‘think like you’!

Kelly you’re the new girl on the go, but it feels like you’ve been here for a long time…in a good way!!! Your videos and pictures have really helped move us in a great new direction, and I promise to let you post the bloopers! Maybe one day you’ll review a restaurant…

Also, I cannot forget to thank Shalon & Megan who are no longer with us on the site for their contributions!

It has been an amazing year, and I want to thank YOU most of all from the bottom of my heart for letting us share our crazy adventures, fun pictures, and general wackiness with you!

We have a lot of great new projects and additions coming to On the Go in MCO later this year, and I can’t wait to share all the news with you!

If this is our beginning, I can only imagine how much more fun there is to be had!

As always…

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