Walt Disney World has opened FastPass+ reservations for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for opening day (March 4, 2020) and beyond! In this post, we’ll offer attraction info, revised DHS FastPass strategy, and what to do if FastPass+ is currently unavailable for your dates. We’ll also share new photos of the ride marquee, which was just installed in the park!
For starters, the hugely positive news is that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will offer both FastPass+ and a standby line. In our recent FastPass+ Tier Changes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios post, we speculated that either there’d be FastPass or the ride would be standby-only at opening. Nevertheless, there were lingering questions about whether it would use a virtual queue and boarding pass system.
While we’ve found that approach works well for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance–an attraction that remains in high demand, while also being unreliable and prone to breakdowns–it’s definitely not ideal for all attractions. Moreover, the fact that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is not using the same system should speak volumes about its projected uptime and reliability…
For those who are unfamiliar with it for some reason, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the new trackless dark ride coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Grauman’s Chinese Theater, formerly home to the Great Movie Ride, will serve as the home of the attraction–and magical portal into the cartoon world.
There, Mickey and Minnie are premiering their newest short, “Perfect Picnic.” Before you enter the cinema, you’ll experience a special exhibit created by the Toontown Hysterical Society featuring costumes and props from the toon world. After going through this queue, theatergoers will then enter the pre-show, and literally step from the human world directly into the cartoon world.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway puts you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts. Once you step into the cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie, you’ll board a train with Goofy as the engineer. Then, one magical moment after the next leads you to a zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns.
We were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this morning to test out new strategy for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance now that the park is opening at 8 am (stay tuned for that tomorrow).
While there, we got our first look at the attraction marquee for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Below is a wider look, showing how it looks in the context of the Grauman’s Chinese Theater facade.
Like anything new that Walt Disney World does, this signage has been met with a mixed reaction. Some Walt Disney World fans love it, others hate it.
Perhaps dual signage where the Great Movie Ride marquees used to be would’ve been better, but we both really like this as-is. (It’s also worth noting that this pays homage to an actual movie premiere signage style that the actual Grauman’s Chinese Theatre featured decades ago in Hollywood, California.)
With the addition of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, FastPass+ tiers change once again at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can still make FastPass+ ride reservations for up to three experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, choosing one attraction from tier 1 and two attractions from the second tier.
Tier 1 attractions are Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Slinky Dog Dash. Tier two attractions are Toy Story Mania, Alien Swirling Saucers, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Star Tours: the Adventures Continue, Fantasmic, Frozen Sing-Along, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, MuppetVision 3D, Disney Junior Dance Party!, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, and Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage.
As for strategy, we recommend that anyone who is eligible to make FastPass+ selections for March or April 2020 use their Tier 1 selection on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. As with anything new, Runaway Railway will be incredibly popular regardless of whether it garners the same critical and guest acclaim as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
However, this is tentative and won’t necessarily be our advice for Summer or Fall 2020. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway purportedly has very healthy hourly capacity, meaning its standby lines could be shorter than Slinky Dog Dash in a few months. We doubt this, though.
First, because the “new attraction smell” doesn’t wear off that quickly. Second, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway should be a crowd-pleaser that appeals to the entire family thanks to its lack of a height restriction. By contrast, Slinky Dog Dash has a height restriction–and roller coasters don’t appeal to everyone. Still, which to prioritize should be a fairly close call, and it’s also worth considering the fact that Runaway Railway has a mostly indoor, air-conditioned queue, whereas Slinky Dog Dash does not.
While Slinky Dog Dash is a good alternative pick from Tier 1, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is not. Its lines get really bad in the morning, but they always subside later in the day. The ride is basically a “consolation prize” for those who don’t score Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance boarding groups. Smugglers Run is a good attraction to do mid-afternoon or later, or via the Single Rider line.
Additionally, we recommend Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith as your two selections from Tier 2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is also a good back-up option if one of the above Tier 2 FastPasses is unavailable. Anyone with an upcoming trip that booked under the old tiers should swap out their previous Tier 2 picks for these if possible, as you’ll save far more time with these rides than the shows you likely picked.
If you’re attempting to book FastPass+ reservations for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway right now, we’d stress patience and persistence. Tons of people are simultaneously going to be logging onto the My Disney Experience app, and whenever that happens, My Disney Experience comes to a crawl, crashes, and has various errors.
Additionally, even if you do not want a FastPass+ for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (for some odd reason), you might want to check out My Disney Experience to “improve” your other FastPass+ selections. A lot of people are going to be dropping Slinky Dog Dash for this, so availability for that roller coaster should open up for March and April 2020.
If there’s no FastPass+ availability for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway by the time you read this, we’d encourage you to keep checking. People change their plans and cancel ride reservations all the time and Walt Disney World also releases more FastPass+ availability from time to time.
This is something we’ve seen numerous times with new attractions in the past few years. There’s a reasonable chance that Walt Disney World will allocate more of the attraction’s capacity to FastPass+ after its first week of operations. This has happened with other new attractions shortly after they debuted; if you’re visiting in late March or April 2020 and couldn’t get a FastPass+ for Runaway Railway, don’t lose hope.
Again, persistence and patience are the names of the game. If that doesn’t end up working out, be prepared to arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios early to rope drop Runaway Railway in the weeks and months after it debuts. (We’ll see you there!)
We’re actually somewhat surprised that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway isn’t debuting as a standby-only attraction. For one thing, the 60-day booking window already passed, so this is effectively being opened to on-site guests, Annual Passholders, and off-site guests all at the same time. (At least for the initial opening week dates in March.)
The other reason is crowds. This is something we went through prior to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but it never really came to pass. Now, with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance open and drawing a ton of guests first thing in the morning, it’s actually becoming an issue.
FastPass+ effectively allows guests to be in two places at once, whereas the standby line is an effective and efficient way for the park to soak up crowds. In an undersized park like Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this can be a crucial means of crowd control. While we haven’t seen the park’s capacity tested yet, that could happen once Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is added to the mix. At this point, we’re not talking phased closures or anything like that–more like unpleasant congestion and overcrowded restaurants.
Overall, it’ll be interesting to see how things go with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. We are really excited for this attraction, and hope it’s as good as the hype suggests. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a really tough act to follow, but if this attraction is even close to that good, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will have arguably the best ride lineup in Walt Disney World. Who would’ve seen that coming ~5 years ago?!
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Were you able to score a FastPass+ for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway? Excited for this new attraction? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!