Disney has announced that Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is coming to Toontown at Disneyland Resort in 2022! This new attraction is nearing completion at Walt Disney World, and is expected to be cloned at other parks in addition to California. In this post, we’ll share the full news, clarifying details, and offer some additional speculation.
For those West Coast fans who haven’t paid attention to the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway news previously, we’ll bring you up to speed with some basics about the attraction. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a family-friendly dark ride that offers a zany, out-of-control adventure with unpredictable twists and turns, visual effects, and transformations that happen during the scenes.
Guests step through the movie screen and join Mickey and friends on a railway adventure as they take part in the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short. It will use a mix of screens and Audio Animatronics, and pioneering technology that Imagineering is calling “2 1/2 D” to bring various scenes involving Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, and friends to life.
This is a good news, bad news scenario. In the announcement, Disney also revealed that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is planned to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World in Spring 2020, which confirms the delay that we previously reported.
For Walt Disney World, this is really bad news and means that the Mickey attraction won’t be able to serve as a release valve on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge crowds. That added capacity would have been very helpful in absorbing the crowds for the first several months of Star Wars Land. Without it, well…hopefully Disney has other plans for ramping up capacity at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Earlier today, Disneyland Resort President Josh D’Amaro shared the above photo of him getting a sneak peek of the plans.
We first discussed the rumor that Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway would be coming to Disneyland last fall. That was the purported rationale for Disneyland quietly relocating so many back of house facilities to new off-site locations, and also the reason why Mickey’s Mix Magic takes such a different approach with its effects.
It’s expected that this expansion would take the rear fireworks launch site out of commission, requiring a modified nighttime spectacular with more lower-level pyro or none at all. With Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party meaning no Halloween Screams fireworks at Disneyland, it’s not inconceivable that this will spell the end of traditional fireworks shows at Disneyland using the rear launch site. Or, maybe they’ll find a way to make it all work. (UPDATE: We’re told that they will, and fireworks will continue.)
Unlike at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will not replace any attractions at Disneyland, which means Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin is safe (only the Gag Factory will go). Like DHS, most of the construction will take place outside of public view, with the attraction being built in an existing backstage facility. In other words, this project shouldn’t impact the guest experience at Disneyland. (More on this below.)
As for what we think of Disney cloning Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway? Well, we obviously haven’t experienced the attraction. Disney’s willingness to green light a second version of the attraction before the first even opens does speak to their confidence in guest satisfaction surrounding the attraction, though. (We should also note that Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is likely to be built at one other park, with vague rumors of it coming to 2 more–or a grand total of 4 parks.)
We are still not totally sold on the animation style of Disney Channel’s new Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, but it’s hard to deny their popularity. This is an entire generation’s version of Mickey Mouse, and just because the attraction doesn’t feature our preferred rendering of the character (or the Fab Five) doesn’t make it a bad choice. If we’re being honest with ourselves, this is something that we probably just need to get over.
The idea of cloning an unproven attraction is a bold one, but if they’re confident in the concept and its execution, we have nothing against the idea. While we think it’s nice for each worldwide Disney Parks resort destination to have its own unique draws, not everything needs to be exclusive. A flagship Mickey Mouse attraction is a good idea, and certainly makes more sense in terms of what’s important to the Walt Disney Company than cloning Toy Story Land everywhere.
As for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway coming to Toontown at Disneyland, we are solidly on board. While this style of the Fab Five may not be a perfect fit for Toontown, they are “close enough.” Moreover, this breathes new life into a land that is reasonably popular for meet and greets, but that has sort of faded in terms of its energy level.
Moreover, nothing of import (unless you count Gag Factory) is on the chopping block in Toontown, which is great–Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be a solid addition without anything significant being lost. Another big attraction in Toontown should also once and for all put to rest rumors about the land being replaced by future expansion.
We feel strongly Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin is incredibly underrated, and anything that cements its future is good by us. Basically, there’s not much to dislike about this news.
The other interesting thing is how this sets up the future expansion of Disneyland. With this expansion occurring behind Toontown, that means the major expansion pad is still in play. The last rumors (now a couple years old, mind you) pointed to a Frozen-centric expansion in that parcel.
Between Frozen II coming this year and the flurry of activity with Frozen in Hong Kong and Tokyo, it wouldn’t be surprising for this Fantasyland expansion to be announced at this summer’s D23 Expo. That’s just rampant speculation, but Disneyland is currently on a roll and there’s no reason for Disney not to be bullish on the resort’s future.
Honestly, I’m surprised by the lethargic pace with Marvel Land at DCA, but I assume that’s attributable to conflict with Anaheim City Council–which is no longer an issue. Disney taking an aggressive approach with Disneyland Resort and expediting Marvel Land, Fantasyland expansion, and a Tomorrowland overhaul is not unreasonable, pie-in-the-sky fan daydreaming. It’s something that should happen, especially with how well Disneyland Resort is performing. But I digress. For now, we’ll be content with this Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway announcement, and count the days down to D23 Expo with bated breath.
What do you think about Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway coming to Disneyland? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Think another attraction should’ve been prioritized? Any questions? 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!