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Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland – My Opening Day Experience

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland on Friday January, 27, 2023. You enter the El CapiTOON Theater to see the new Mickey & Minnie short, Perfect Picnic. During your screening something goes awry and you have the opportunity to enter the short. You board a train being driven by Engineer Goofy for a scenic tour of the park. Each train consists of four cars, each with two rows. Your train sets off and as things tend to do with Goofy something goes wrong and you go on an adventure through several scenes before rejoining Goofy for the finale. Once you disembark you pass back through the screen and out to Toontown (by way of a gift shop).

The ride vehicles are trackless, with similar technology to Rise of the Resistance. The scenes rely on a combination of physical sets and a lot of projection and lighting effects. There is no height requirement for riding but note the attraction is dark, loud and does make some sudden/jerky moves as you pass through so take that into account for all members of your party.

There are two options to experience this attraction. There is a virtual queue with two distribution times, 7am and 1pm as well as an Individual Lightning Lane purchase open (Pricing will vary by day, it was $20 on Fri, Sat & Sun and then $15 on Monday). There is currently no regular standby queue. For the 7am virtual queue you need a valid Disneyland ticket and reservation for the day in order to try for a boarding group. You do not need to be in the park, or even in Anaheim. For the 1pm distribution you need to have visited either Disneyland already or Disney California Adventure with a park hopping option already, you do not need to be Disneyland. Virtual queues fill quickly, usually within a second or so. One other note if you opt to pay for the Individual Lightning Lane option the queue you use will by-pass some of the rooms and others you will see from the edge, you will not be going up close to the props in the queue.

One final note, the attraction will close early on evenings when there are fireworks, just like the rest of Toontown. On nights the park is open late it is scheduled to reopen after the fireworks.

Below you will find my opening day experience, first impressions, and comparison to Walt Disney World’s version.

My opening day experience:

I was prepared for the 7:00am virtual queue opportunity. I made sure to be in a spot with decent cell service and the Disneyland App was working on my phone with enough time to restart or troubleshoot or switch phones. At 7:00am exactly (I used time.gov to track the time on a second phone) I hit the refresh button and was able to join the virtual queue securing group 41 for my party. The queue filled nearly instantly, within a second it seemed, just as we had seen with Rise of the Resistance when it had a virtual queue. So you have to time it exactly right and hope all the pieces, your app, network, etc.. fall into place. It is almost a lottery.

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The estimated return time was 10:25am for my group. Throughout the morning I checked on the progress of the queue.

At 10:45am my group was called and I received a push notification and in the app it showed I was ready to go.

I proceeded to Mickey’s Toontown, arriving a few minutes after my group was called. The last is roped off and restricted to those with a valid boarding group only at this time. Toontown is scheduled to reopen fully on March 8th. For now you can visit the new attraction and preview the Downtown area including a new lawn that replaced the Roger Rabbit fountain area. All the shops, dining, and other attractions are closed and most are behind construction walls still.

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Cast members checking your boarding group number before you can enter the land. On the left is exit only.
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I made my way up the walkway and headed straight for the new attraction. On the left you can see the wall up blocking most of Toontown. You enter the attraction through the El Capitoon theater.
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To the right of the entrance was an outdoor queue where cast members were scanning your boarding group. No wait when I arrived at 10:50am.
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My virtual ticket (if you want to screen shot it be sure to do it before it is scanned and disappears).

Next up you enter the El CapiTOON through the front door/lobby. Disneyland describes the queue inside the El CapiTOON Theater as a special exhibit created by the Toontown Hysterical Society called “Mickey Through the Ears,” which celebrates all things Mickey with costumes and props from classics like “Steamboat Willie” to modern favorites like “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” For a detailed look at the queue here is my picture post.

You eventually reach the merge point where the Lightning Lane guests join you, right before entering the pre-show theater.

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I was waiting to enter the theater at 11:03am, about 13 minutes to walk the queue at a leisurely pace taking pictures as I went. We did not really stop to wait until the very end where we waited maybe 2 or 3 minutes to go into the pre-show waiting area.

You start to screen the Perfect Picnic short in the theater and then something goes wrong and you head into the film.

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There was no delay in the boarding area and the queue was walking at a normal pace with only a little slowing to be grouped and directed to a loading area.
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11:08am – My train arriving

You venture into a variety of scenes on your adventure. These include a dessert, a twister, an amusement park, a tropical island with a volcano eruption, a white water rafting trip, underwater, a downtown area, Daisy Duck dance studio, a factory and then back to the park. For some pictures of my 1st ride through here is my post.

My experience did have a couple hiccups and we stopped for a while during the underwater segment (second picture above) and then the unload was backed up and we stopped in the park, final picture, waiting for the trains in front of us to unload and move out of the way.

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11:18 – Walking out. You exit through gift shop, Engineer Souvenirs, which is still closed. Curtains line the walkway.

In total my entire experience from entering the queue outside until exiting the building was just under 30 minutes. I then spent some time exploring the portions of Mickey’s Toontown that were open before leaving the area. Here are some pictures of Mickey’s Toontown which is still a work in progress, even though it was open.

My experience was very positive today. I was able to secure a boarding group, which many people I talked to were not able to. My group was called only about 20 minutes later than estimated and there were no backups in the queue or boarding. The attraction had some hiccups but that is to be expected. Other’s experiences over the weekend were more mixed. As with any new attraction there were down times and the queue would back up.

My first impressions of the attraction:

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a great addition to Mickey’s Toontown. It fits into the land perfectly and the execution is top notch starting with the queue experience. The queue is an attraction to itself and I look forward to spending more time there exploring the details. On my visit we were moving almost the entire time so I did not get to see many of the sequences or details, plus on a first pass I was trying to get pictures too! I thought the facade and queue set up the experience perfectly. The ride itself is fun, but I would have preferred to have seen the characters with their classic look vs modeled on the modern shorts. A more classic look would go better in Mickey’s Toontown too. I also thought the movement that was programmed in was a little rough/jerky at times (just as it is in Florida).

Comparison to the original at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World

The attraction itself is a near replica of the version that opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in March of 2020. There is one new transition area/scene and a slight change to the configuration at the end, but everything else is more or less the same. There are some tweaks to effects and the spaces themselves since this is a purpose built building for the attraction and it is a couple years newer technology.

The big difference is the queue. The Disneyland version is far superior and sets the attraction up well. You are immersed into the world and ready for the adventure when the screening starts. This story fits into Mickey’s Toontown more naturally too. Being a new addition, the Disneyland attraction took over space that was formerly backstage vs replacing any existing attraction started the Disneyland version with a higher grade in my book too. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios replacing the marquee/central attraction, the Great Movie Ride with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway was not a good swap in my view. If they would have built it say in the Animation Courtyard I think I would have had a much more favorable impression of the WDW version.

Other posts from today in Mickey’s Toontown:

For more pictures be sure to visit my full picture and video set from today.

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