LAKE BUENA VISTA — It’s about time Mickey and Minnie are the stars of a ride.
For the first time ever, the famous pair take the lead role in a ride-through attraction. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens March 4, 2020, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
“Creating the story was a really fun challenge because Mickey and Minnie, they don’t really have any jobs, per say, so how do you hang your design hat on that?” said Kevin Rafferty, executive creative director for Disney Imagineering.
It’s described as a ride that takes guests inside one of Mickey’s cartoon shorts with unexpected twists, slapstick comedy and scenic illusions.
The attraction begins with an original short created exclusively for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Guests stand in a viewing room and watch a roughly one-minute short titled “Perfect Picnic.”
This is where guests are introduced to a catchy, brand-new original theme song also created just for this attraction.
“I know it’s working because a couple weeks ago I saw a construction worker in a hard hat… singing the song,” Rafferty said. “You can’t get it out of your head.”
The short begins with Mickey and Minnie singing the song while packing their car for a picnic in the park, and accidentally pack Pluto into the trunk.
During the drive, the pair ride alongside a train engineered by a familiar face — Goofy. All seems fine until their car hits a bump, causing the trunk to open with Pluto and a pie launching into the air. The pie gets stuck in the engine, because, what else would get stuck in a train engineered by Goofy?
Merchandise for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will include train conductor’s hats. The ride is scheduled to open March 4, 2020. (Photo: Tim Walters/FLORIDA TODAY)
The locomotive loses control and comes to a crashing stop into a brick wall.
Smoke appears and when it clears, the movie screen reveals a large gaping hole where guests walk through to enter the ride vehicles.
During a media preview of the attraction, guests were instructed to put phones in sealed envelopes and no recording devices were permitted. Imagineers said the ride will give the sound, feel and look of a real cartoon short to give an authentic cartoon cadence feel.
The ride vehicle is a replica of the same train seen in the short pre-show. It holds 32 guests and is suitable for all ages. The attraction as a whole is about the same amount of time as a typical Mickey short, usually about 7 minutes.
Located in the Chinese Theater, many of the original décor — rugs, light fixtures and doors — remain in place. There are original posters themed for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway hanging up on the walls.
Also, be on the lookout for hidden Mickeys. There are more hidden Mickeys on this attraction than any other Disney attraction or area in the world.
“Our engineering family, our team working on the attraction, are putting so much love into this, every nook and cranny, every square inch, said Rafferty, who has been an Imagineer for 42 years and added this is at the top of his favorite attractions. “And why? Because it’s Mickey and Minnie.”