Disney fans have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Disney’s Hollywood Studios ever since the Great Movie Ride closed down in 2017. This is the very first ride-through attraction for Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and it’s now become the next big attraction Hollywood Studios!
In this post, we are going to share the latest news and updates on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway including a full review of the attraction, the ride vehicle, opening date, trackless ride system, FastPass information and even a full walkthrough of the attraction queue and the new ride itself.
We’ll also let you know if it’s worth coming to Disney World to ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in 2020, what kind of crowds you can expect and the best touring strategy for this ride.
Think of this post as “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway 101,“ where you can come to learn everything there is to know about this new attraction and get all of your questions about it answered.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is NOW OPEN so make sure to scroll down to see all the details about this attraction!
We have updated the ride walkthrough with a detailed scene-by-scene look at the ride, new photos, a look at the ride’s merchandise, hidden gems and secrets you will find and a complete review of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
(Updated 9/2/20) – Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Opening Delayed in Disneyland. Read more in the “NEWS” section in this post.
- Location: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney World) and Disneyland Park
- Status: Opened March 4, 2020 (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) – ETA 2023 in Disneyland
- Ride Type: Dark Ride, Trackless
- Thrill Level: Medium
- FastPass+: Yes
- Ride Length: 4 Minutes and 50 seconds
- Height Requirement: No Restrictions
- Capacity: 32 riders per vehicle. Hourly capacity TBD.
To find out more about the Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride and a full walkthrough of the attraction, please keep reading further down where we explain it in greater detail.
(NEWS: 9/2/20) – Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Opening Delayed in Disneyland
As you know, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is now open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and it’s been a big hit with guests so far. You may also know that the same attraction is also currently being built in Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, only now that project has been delayed.
Originally Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway was scheduled to open in 2022 in Disneyland, but due to construction because of the Disneyland closure, the opening has now been pushed back until 2023.
The news was shared on Instagram by Ken Potrock, President of the Disneyland Resort, and later on the WaltDisneyImagineering account.
Ken Potrock said: “I am thrilled to share my “Happiest View on Earth” with you today, a special peek outside a window at our Team Disney Anaheim building. This particular view offers a behind-the-magic look at a momentous milestone that happened today at Disneyland Park – the first steel beam has been placed for what will be the future Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction, scheduled to open for guests in 2023!”
Besides the announcement, they showed the latest construction progress of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, where the first steel beams just went up.
Overall, it’s no surprise that the attraction has been delayed some. Between construction shutting down for months and Disney spending less money on new projects right now the new opening date of 2023 makes sense.
Stay tuned for more updates, and continue reading for all the details of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios!
(NEWS): Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Now Open and Getting Rave Reviews
After almost 3 years of waiting, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is finally open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The long-anticipated and first Mickey Mouse ride-through attraction opened to thousands of eager guests in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on March 4, 2020.
Guests join Mickey, Minnie, and all of their friends on a wild ride aboard a runaway train where anything can and will happen.
Before opening up, many Disney fans were skeptical that this new attraction could live up to the memory of their beloved Great Movie Ride. While it may never fully replace one of our favorite attractions of all-time, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is definitely a smash hit and we loved every second of it.
We rode it 4 times in the first two days and can say that it will quickly become a fan-favorite. It’s already getting rave reviews from many theme park and entertainment publications. Down below we have our full review of the ride as well as all the other touring information you need when visiting.
What is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
If you haven’t heard of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway yet, it’s a new attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios which lets you step right through the big screen, and into the wacky world of Mickey, Minnie, and all their friends like never before. This newest attraction is based on the Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts where you’re the star.
That’s right, you can now ride on the first Mickey Mouse-based attraction in the world!
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses an all-new “breakthrough technology to transform a two-dimensional cartoon into an amazing real-world experience.” They are calling this 2 1/2 D (more on this later).
The Chinese Theatre serves as the magic portal through which you’ll step from the human world directly into the unforgettable cartoon world.
As Disney describes: “join Mickey, Minnie, and friends like never before – bursting into a world where mouse rules apply.“ This Mickey ride puts you in the middle of a wild and zany adventure where anything can happen!
Also, don’t think this is just some cute kids’ ride, Disney has pulled out all the stops for this Mickey Mouse attraction and appeals to guests of all ages. Walt Disney Imagineer Keven Rafferty describes it this way:
“This is one of the boldest…most impossible things I’ve ever worked on in almost 40 years of being an Imagineer. And you know what? That’s what I love about it. This is not going to be a small attraction, it’s going to be game-changing.”
Sounds good to us! It is a welcome addition to the lineup of Hollywood Studios attractions and we’re happy it’s now open!
What Parks is it Located in?
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway is currently located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World and is coming to Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California at a future date.
The Hollywood Studios version of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is located in the old Chinese Theater, former home of The Great Movie Ride and park icon. This is located right at the end of Hollywood Boulevard.
The Disneyland version is going to be located in the Mickey’s Toontown area of the park. It’s getting a brand new theater to house the attraction called the “El Capitoon Theater.”
What Did Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad Replace?
If you are a long-time Disney World goer, then you know that Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway may be going into the Chinese Theater, but it’s not the first attraction to call that building home.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway replaced The Great Movie Ride, which was the only original opening day attraction left in Hollywood Studios. The Great Movie Ride was a dark ride that took guests on a timeless journey through the silver screen and into the movies.
Some of the movies that were featured in The Great Movie Ride were:
- Indiana Jones
- The Wizard of Oz
- Mary Poppins, and more…
The entire show building has been emptied out and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is starting fresh. It’s using an entirely new ride system and entirely different show scenes. Most of the queue area, however, remains the same from The Great Movie Ride, only redecorated with a Mickey Mouse twist.
The Great Movie Ride was one of our favorite Disney attractions of all-time, and while we’re obviously sad to see it go, at least a ride based on Mickey Mouse is replacing it. If anyone can fill those shoes, it’s The Big Cheese himself.
Why Did They Get Rid of The Great Movie Ride?
There were many reasons why The Great Movie Ride closed and is being replaced by a Mickey ride. First of all, Disney didn’t own the rights to most of the movies featured in that attraction. They had to lease the rights to them, and when it closed, their contract was basically up. So Disney had to decide if it was worth it, and what they wanted the future of Hollywood Studios to look like.
A big part of that decision was that the ride was built around classic movies. Many of the films were from the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, and quite frankly, today’s younger generation hadn’t even heard of the majority of those films.
While The Great Movie Ride was a great opportunity to introduce those films to younger guests, the reality is that Disney wasn’t going to keep a ride in their park featuring properties that they don’t own.
How Much of the Hollywood Influence Remains?
Even though The Great Movie ride is now gone from the Chinese Theater, that doesn’t mean that it’s lost its identity and its Hollywood Roots. In fact, there is still quite a lot of the Hollywood influence remaining as it transitions into Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
On the outside, the Chinese Theater looks very similar, with only minor changes to most of the building. The big difference is the giant neon marquee sign of “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” hanging on the front of the Chinese Theater.
On the interior, Disney has kept around most of the old theming elements from the queue of The Great Movie Ride and uses them in Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway! Walking in you can see much of the original decor from the Chinese Theater is still there and has been cleaned up and retouched for the new ride.
In fact, most of the original lobby is exactly how it was before. Many of the doors, rugs, light fixtures and styling remains. Even its famous columns and tapestries that hung above the queue are still there!
Even though it retains its Hollywood glamour, the Chinese Theater has been given a “Mickey touch.” When you enter the theater there are digital Mickey posters hanging on the walls in video screens made specifically for this attraction. These posters are in the style of the new Mickey Mouse short films and show off some of the Mickey animated shorts.
There is another reason why the Chinese Theater is the perfect location for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. When Mickey Mouse starred in Mickey Steps Out all the way back in 1093, guess where it premiered at. That’s right… the real Chinese Theater in Hollywood. So Mickey and the Chinese Theater have a long history together and it’s going to continue that way.
This is the First Mickey Mouse Ride
What makes Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway so special is that it’s the very first ride-through attraction for Mickey Mouse. Yes, technically Mickey has been involved in other attractions in the Disney Parks throughout the years like “Mickey’s PhilharMagic,” but Mickey has never had his own ride, until now!
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway pays homage to the Mickey of old and the Mickey of today. Its unique connection to Disney history even includes the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon: “Steamboat Willie.”
In fact, the train in Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway uses the same tri-tone whistle as the original Steamboat Willie cartoon does!
We for one are happy about there finally being a Mickey ride in the theme parks, and even though it was sad to see The Great Movie Ride go, if there is one character that deserves their own ride in Disney World, it’s Mickey!
- TIP: Are you a big fan of hidden Mickeys? Make sure to keep an eye out for them on the ride as there are more hidden Mickeys in Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway than any other Disney attraction, in any Disney park worldwide.
Original Theme Song and Music
Music and the sound effects are a big part of the experience for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Disney Imagineers Charita Carter and Kevin Rafferty worked especially hard on giving this ride the best sound effects and noises possible.
Instead of being produced digitally, they recorded real-life sounds from props in a studio, giving it a bit of a more old-school, realistic sound. Everything was made to feel as authentic as possible and was made that way by the team of developers working alongside the creators of the Mickey Shorts Cartoons.
Chris Willis from the Mickey shorts composed the music for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and that includes a 65-piece orchestra as part of the attraction’s score. Disney Legend Richard Sherman even helped out a bit and was able to put in his two cents for the music.
Topping it all off, the attraction even has its own theme song “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” which will get stuck in your head and have you singing for days, I kid you not!
What Kind of Ride System Does it Have?
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a classic Disney dark ride, taken to a whole other level due to its new ride system and groundbreaking 2 1/2 D technology.
One of the things that makes this attraction special is the trackless ride vehicles guests ride in. These are the second trackless ride vehicles in Walt Disney World and they set up a whole bunch of zany fun as you go through the different attraction scenes.
If you aren’t familiar with how the system works, the ride itself doesn’t have any tracks that it rides on. Instead, there are high-powered magnets under the floor which propel the cars above forward, sideways or in any direction basically. This adds to the spontaneity of the ride and makes it more unpredictable than a normal dark ride.
They are extremely fun and one of the reasons this ride works so well!
If you’ve been on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance you will be familiar with it as Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses the same ride system as the main ride vehicle on that one (without the lifts and drops).
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot also uses almost the same ride system.
Is the New Mickey Ride 3D?
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses a new technology Disney Imagineering is calling “2 1/2 D.”
Don’t worry, there are no 3D glasses required, but Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses new technologies to turn, what is normally a flat cartoon world, into an environment that comes to life and can change extremely fast.
How does it work? Disney Imagineers have spent years making this new projection mapping technology, and when put into action, makes normal 2-D surfaces come to life and seem three-dimensional.
When you ride into a space in the attraction, the whole room changes form, almost the entire dimension, and perspective changes. Like 3D, but not. It allows you to go from one type of environment to another in the blink of an eye.
It’s something you really have to see to understand, but we promise it’s something you will find fascinating!
Is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway a Roller Coaster?
This is the biggest question we receive as apparently everyone was hoping for a Mickey Mouse roller coaster. If that is you, I have some bad news for you, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is not a roller coaster, but a trackless dark ride instead.
Ride Vehicle for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
As we explained above, the ride vehicle for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is trackless, but that’s only half the fun. As you might imagine, the ride vehicles are in the shape of an actual train, with the locomotive upfront and the guest cars behind.
Goofy is the driver of this out-of-control train, so you can imagine all the twists and turns you’ll be taking!
Each ride vehicle holds 32 people. The trains are broken into 4 sections of 8 people each. In each section, there are 2 rows of 4 people. That means the total number of guests in each train is 32.
Here’s a look at a model of the ride vehicle which was on display at the D23 Expo:
Besides being trackless, one of the coolest parts about these ride vehicles is that 4 sections of the train separate from each other during the attraction, and are then reunited at various points. We think this is an amazing feature and one that will definitely surprise you!
Speaking of ride vehicles, Disney Imagineering had to develop special paint to allow them to adapt in well with the surrounding scenes, whether they are in black and white or color.
The official ride length time for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is 4 minutes and 30 seconds. That is not including the pre-show and queue area, but from the time you step inside the vehicle and start moving.
When you factor in the pre-show film, this attraction comes out to be almost as long as a typical Mickey short, coming in at about 6 minutes total.
One thing is sure, it’s nowhere near as long as The Great Movie Ride was. That attraction was just about 19 minutes long from the time you got inside the vehicle. The new Mickey Mouse ride, however, is not using the entire building and is a much smaller attraction.
While it’s always nice to have a super long attraction, we think that 4 1/2 minutes it is a pretty good length for the ride and gives you just enough to make you feel like it was worth the wait. You’ll have to let us know when you ride it.
Some of the more recent attractions in Walt Disney World have also come with height restrictions. Thankfully, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has no minimum height requirements, meaning all guests, young and old can ride without problems.
Is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Scary?
If you don’t like scary rides, have no fear. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is not scary and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Disney wouldn’t make an attraction about its biggest star, and then make it inaccessible to all, they want everyone to be able to ride it.
Rides like Everest, The Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster are much scarier than Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is without question.
Is the New Mickey Ride Kid-Friendly?
With all the new technology this Mickey Mouse ride is introducing, plus the zany, fun nature of the Mickey shorts, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is already a smash hit with kids.
It’s also not scary and doesn’t have anything that they wouldn’t find enjoyable. Yes, this ride is fun for the whole family.
Will This Ride Make Me Sick?
While I wouldn’t call this ride overly thrilling at all, it could make you sick if you suffer from motion sickness. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway utilizes a trackless ride vehicle that turns and spins in unexpected ways.
It’s not your classic dark ride where you can see the track and know where you are going. It’s very similar to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure coming to Epcot, and if you’ve been on the Paris version then you will know if it affects you.
Overall I wouldn’t be too worried as it’s pretty tame compared to some attractions like The Tower of Terror and it doesn’t spin you like the Mad Tea Party does.
Does Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Have a Drop?
There are no drops on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, so if you have a fear of heights or don’t like the feeling of falling, you need not worry. You can ride this attraction in peace.
Does Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Have FastPass?
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride does have FastPass+ and it has been available from the first day of operation starting March 4, 2020.
It is listed right now as a Hollywood Studios Tier 1 FastPass+ attraction along with Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Slinky Dog Dash.
There is even a separate entrance to get into the FastPass queue. You can find the FastPass queue outside on the left side of the building, while the Standby queue starts on the right side.
We didn’t, however, think that Disney was going to be using the FastPass+ queue for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway immediately. We thought they would have waited a while to make the change as they have done with other recent attractions.
FastPass+ reservations are now available in My Disney Experience and this should be the highest priority on your FastPass+ attractions list in Hollywood Studios when you are planning your trip. The only other attraction we could see prioritizing over this is Slinky Dog Dash. Get a FastPass+ for one and rope drop the other.
If you aren’t able to get a FastPass+ reservation, keep trying. Disney often releases more batches of FastPasses so be persistent! If you still can’t get one, there is the standby queue and you can wait in line. It will no doubt be very long since it’s new, but at least you can get on.
Read our Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Guide for more info and strategies on this and all the other attractions in the park.
Does Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Have Boarding Groups and the Virtual Queue?
No, the new Mickey Mouse ride is not currently using the Virtual Queue, instead, it uses a regular stand-by line and FastPass+. It’s not going to follow the path of its in-park neighbor and use the Boarding Pass system that Rise of the Resistance is currently using.
At the moment Disney does not want to use the Boarding Group system on both Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at the same time. Letting guests get in line here will eat up some of their time while waiting for a return to Rise of the Resistance and will help Hollywood Studios with its current capacity problem.
We can’t imagine Disney would want them in two separate boarding group queues for two different attractions at the same time under normal circumstances.
While the two attractions do both use the same basic ride system, Rise of the Resistance is a much more complicated attraction, and we don’t expect the same technical issues and long delays here. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is also not going to be as popular, and there won’t be as much of a need to use boarding groups.
There is however the rumor that when Disney World reopens from its closure, Disney might be introducing more virtual queues in each theme park to help guests avoid long waits in lines with people close together. We’ll keep an eye on this and see whether or not they add the Virtual Queue to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway too.
Does Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Have a Single Rider Line?
Most new Disney attractions are equipped with a Single Rider Line option, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is no exception.
At this time, however, the Single Rider option is not available. This sometimes happens when Disney opens new rides. Rise of the Resistance for example in Galaxy’s Edge did not open with a Single Rider option because of the high demand for the ride.
When they do start using the Single Rider Line, guests riding with this option get sent through the FastPass line. That means some of the queue is going to get skipped, but not a whole lot and you pretty much get the whole experience. We still suggest that you go through the line the first time normally, and then use the single rider option for times after that.
We’ll update you as soon as Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway adds Single Rider.
Does it Have Rider Switch?
Pretty much all Disney World attractions have the Rider Switch option, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway does also.
If you aren’t familiar with what it is, it basically allows riders to take turns riding an attraction (most likely for one to stay back with a small child), and not have to wait in line two full times.
Guests wanting to use Rider Switch will have to send one person through the ride queue for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, who then can bring back a voucher for the second rider. Single Riders enter through the FastPass+ queue, which shouldn’t be very long.
Just because you use a scooter, wheelchair or any other accessibility device doesn’t mean you can’t experience this ride. In fact, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is equipped for riders with various accessibility needs.
After the attraction pre-show guests using accessibility devices will be sent through a different queue to board the attraction.
- One thing to keep in mind is that they will have to transfer out of their accessibility device to ride the attraction.
Just speak with the nearest Cast Member as soon as you get in line and they will accommodate you.
Does Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Accommodate Disability Access Service (DAS) Card?
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway also accommodates guests using the Disability Access Service Card (DAS).
The way it works is you go to one of the Guest Experience teams at the blue umbrellas, or the Cast Members stationed at the attraction and present your DAS card. Tell them you want to ride and they give you a time that you and your family can come back to experience it without having to wait in the standard line.
Many guests have used this option and reported that it works great.
What Characters are in Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
If you like the classic Disney characters, you’re in luck, this ride is full of them! Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway features these confirmed characters:
- Mickey Mouse
- Minnie Mouse
- Donald Duck
- Daisy Duck
You will also spot a few more rare characters in the ride, so keep your eyes peeled.
Cast Member Costumes
Recently we had a sneak peek at the Cast Member costumes for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
They are a vibrant take on a classic train conductor’s uniform. Super cute!
Ride Layout and Walkthrough
Now, we’re going to share with you a full walkthrough of the ride with you including the entire ride layout.
If you don’t like spoilers and want to experience the ride without knowing anything, then now is the time to skip ahead.
We will look at where guests load in and out of the ride, the pre-show, all the show scene areas, and the exact path this attraction will take. Ready to go? All aboard!!
Attraction Queue (Outside)
If you show up first thing in the morning, you will likely find the line for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway already stretched out far in front of the Chinese Theater. When you approach, look for the sign.
So far in our experience, even though things look like a mess and really disorganized, the Cast Members have done a phenomenal job keeping everyone going in the right direction and pretty well organized.
They start lining people up for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway before the official park opening, which means that even though the line looks super long at the beginning, once they officially open the ride, it actually moves really quick.
There are some umbrellas out in front and fans also which will help in the middle of the day with the sun beating down. It would be nice to see a few more, but they’ll probably make adjustments when they figure out the long-term guest capacity and how far people are in the queue on average.
Once you wind your way through the initial outside queue and get closer to the Chinese Theater, you start seeing some artifacts from the Hollywood-era reminding you of its splendor:
The outside of the theater looks fantastic, and the queue winds over to the front, where you get a great view of the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway neon marquee.
We know that there are some who aren’t fans of the new marquee, but we happen to love it. The Great Movie Ride never had a sign above the front entrance of the theater, but we think it fits in wonderfully with the classic Hollywood look and is great to see at night.
After a while of waiting in line, you will eventually find yourself in the middle of the Chinese Theater’s courtyard, where you can even look at some of the awesome hand and footprints of past and current stars.
Here are some of our favorite footprints outside the Chinese Theater… Spot anyone you know?
There are two separate doors to enter the Chinese Theater. Both are located under the marquee and at the front entrance of the building. This is one main difference as The Great Movie Ride had its queue come in through the side of the building and not in the front doors.
On the right side is the Stand-By entrance:
On the left is for FastPass+
We’re getting excited now as we make our way inside!!!
Attraction Queue (Inside)
Immediately when you step inside the front door, you realize that not a whole lot has changed at first glance.
As we explained before, most of the classic Hollywood theming that was here before is still intact. Everything has been cleaned and restored and it looks better than ever!
Look up at the dramatic high ceilings and the hanging lamps.
The gorgeous tapestries are still hanging on the wall and are vibrant-looking.
While there are some Mickey Mouse theming that has been added, we’re extremely happy they didn’t just tear everything out and make it look too modern. Having the 1920’s-1930s Hollywood-feel makes us nostalgic for the days of old.
Here is a better look at the hanging lamps:
One big change you’ll notice is that the old movie props have been substituted out and are no longer waiting for you in the queue.