Disney theme parks have been around for 65 years as of 2020 and the Walt Disney Company is approaching its 100th birthday, and somehow, Mickey Mouse had never had a theme park ride dedicated to him until today. Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway made its public debut today following a media event last night, and so now we have the first impressions of the ride itself. We're not going into spoilers for those who want to experience the ride for themselves on their next Walt Disney World vacation, but the good news is the ride is getting a pretty strong positive response overall.
Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway inhabits the Chinese Theater, the former home of The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios. That ride used a traditional dark ride track system to take guests through animatronic sets that recreated classic movies. The new attraction uses a trackless system and takes guests through cartoon scenes, based in the style of the modern Mickey Mouse shorts, and guests seem to appreciate the upgrades.
Disney's Hollywood Studios has been undergoing a pretty serious update over the last few years. First there was the addition of Toy Story Land, then Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Now, with the opening of Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, the final piece of the puzzle, at least for now, seems to be complete.
While the hype for this ride probably wasn't quite as big as all the elements of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, any new ride is exciting, and for serious Disney fans, anything with Mickey Mouse is important.
Still, because this is the ride for Mickey Mouse, and the newest ride in the park, one has to assume expectations were high for Runaway Railway. While it's not as big or involved as something like Rise of the Resistance, and had to work within the confines of the existing structure, it appears Walt Disney Imagineers found some pretty creative ways to make the attraction feel new.
The biggest complaints seem to be coming from those who were fans of The Great Movie Ride, and are now sad that it has been replaced. Sometimes one gets the feeling that people miss rides more when they're gone than they ever liked them when they were around. However, the new attraction even has some references, intentional or otherwise to the Chinese Theater's former inhabitant, if you really miss it, though that may do more harm than good.
Still, there are some detractors who were really unimpressed with Mickey and Minnie. WDWNT calls the new attraction "chaotic," and not in a fun cartoon way...
The scenes are chaotic, but not cartoon-chaotic, more like “we just threw stuff everywhere”. This isn’t quite Pirates of the Caribbean, where you’ll notice new things every time while also being able to digest what the hell the story of the ride might be.
While there are some outliers, overall, the response to Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway seems to be quite positive. The ride saw some downtime this afternoon but overall has been running smoothly which isn't always the case when I ride is working out day one bugs. Fans of Walt Disney World and Mickey Mouse will likely enjoy this one, just be sure to grab our FastPasses ahead of time.
West coast Disney fans will be able to experience Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway as well. A virtually identical version of the attraction is planned for Disneyland inside Mickey's Toontown, with an expected opening date sometime in 2022.