5 Awesome Updates About Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Disney recently disappointed fans by announcing that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is delayed. The upcoming replacement for The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios got pushed back to the spring of 2020. At virtually the same time, park officials confirmed that it’ll appear at Disneyland two years later. They’re not holding back the details, though. We just found out a bunch of new stuff about the attraction. Here are five things we just learned about Runaway Railway.
The Chinese Theater Will Have a New Look
This aspect has been expected ever since Disney shuttered The Great Movie Ride. The look and style of the Chinese Theater embrace the distinct Hollywood vibe of movie premieres. Its presence is somewhat incongruous with the changes in store for Hollywood Studios. Park planners have decided to leave the building intact for now, saving it from the same fate as Earffel Tower and The Sorcerer’s Hat. Changes are in store, though.
The top of this building will have a new look. Mickey and Minnie will appear on a neon marquee. It’ll be at the center of the Chinese Theater façade. Yes, the Hollywood Boulevard line-of-sight will go to a classic animated illustration of your favorite mouse couple. Since this ride is the first one ever to feature them, expect the sign to be splashy and attention-grabbing. It’ll also reinforce the new “Ride the movies” concept driving the future of Hollywood Studios.
Pay Attention to the New Logo
Attentive guests have noticed a new logo at Hollywood Studios. It’s the one that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the park. Mickey & Minnie feature prominently in this logo. That’s not a coincidence.
The animation on the new attraction will be modeled after the current style in the Mickey Mouse shorts currently airing on Disney Channel. It’s a colorful but edgy style of illustration, one clearly inspired by Japanese cartoons. Disney claims something seemingly impossible. “Every square inch of the attraction experience is in the art-directed style of the cartoon shorts.” So, it’s the most realistic recreation of a Disney cartoon possible.
You’re Not Supposed to Be There
Disney expanded on the underlying concept of Runaway Railway and how it will display its cartoon characters. Kevin Rafferty, one of the most recognizable living Imagineers, is spearheading the project. He states that you’ll feel like you’re riding a train within a Disney cartoon. The idea is that you don’t belong there. Your presence causes additional problems on a train that’s already spiraling out of control.
When you board the Runaway Railway, you’ll interact with several of the major Disney animated characters. Goofy is the one driving the train. You’ll first see him on a projection screen before “entering” the story. From that point forward, the animation and detail of the attraction will be likely nothing anyone has ever seen before.
Disney has put a great deal of thought into what would happen when humans enter a cartoon. You cause ripple effects in a world that lacks reflections or other human elements. The Runaway Railway will have its own cartoon physics and behavioral laws that you’ll disrupt. To maintain the integrity of this extremely ambitious kind of visual storytelling, Imagineers are hand-painting some of the environments. It’s going to be gorgeous.
The Ride Will Have a Theme Song
This reveal is perhaps the most exciting one of all. Recent Disney attractions haven’t featured original songs. Yes, Frozen Ever After belts out Let It Go, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has a rousing rendition of Heigh-Ho. Those songs are taken from the Disney catalog and source material. Once upon a time, new Disney rides frequently came with catchy tunes like It’s a Small World, Yo-Ho-Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me), Grim Grinning Ghosts, and There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will return to those glory days. It’ll come with an unforgettable tune specially written for the attraction. Disney’s describing it as a theme song. One of the Imagineers summed up the situation with this statement: “Trust us, it sticks in your head.”
To create the most vibrant sound possible, Disney employed a 65-piece orchestra for the soundtrack. Because the first ride starring Mickey & Minnie Mouse is so important, Imagineers have gone old school with the sound effects. They’re using the same whistle effect from Steamboat Willie!
When you board the attraction, the audio will ring out from seemingly everywhere. It’s a 2.5-D attraction, which means it’ll somehow cause you to believe that you’re seeing a 3-D environment without wearing 3-D glasses. The audio will be similarly immersive. You’ll feel like you’re totally within the world of Mickey & Minnie due to these special effects and sounds. The theme song is the final touch to perfect the premise.
You Can Safely Get Your Hopes Up
Kevin Rafferty has worked on the following rides: Toy Story Mania!, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Mickey’s PhilHarmagic, Test Track, and Radiator Springs Racers. He was even the creative director for the entire Cars Land project at Disney California Adventure, one of the best-received Disney expansions ever.
Rafferty’s resume is the gold standard among modern Imagineers. This highly decorated Imagineer recently said the following of Runaway Railway: “Of all the attractions I’ve that I’ve helped to bring to life in parks all around the world — bold statement — but I have to say this is my very favorite.”
Yes, a person who worked on Radiator Springs Racers and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror thinks that Runaway Railway is the best thing he’s ever done. Folks, it’s safe to get your hopes up. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be the next great Disney theme park attraction.