Kristen Carr | @thehappiestclubonearth
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway finally opened in the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown on January 27th, 2023. Yes, technically it’s a duplicate of the ride that opened in 2020 located at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida, but ours is located inside the exclusive El Capitoon movie theater in Mickey's Toontown and is hands down the best version of the attraction.
If you don’t know, or have somehow missed a fellow Disney fan singing its praises, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a trackless dark ride where Mickey and Minnie are the stars! The new e-ticket attraction at Disneyland is sure to be a classic. At this time it is only available to guests via virtual queue or the purchase of an individual Lightning Lane, (prices fluctuate daily).
The perfect compliment to your first time experiencing Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway!
In addition to its adorably executed experience, this attraction boasts a ridiculous number, (more than any other attraction in all of Disneyland resort in fact), of hidden Mickeys, references and easter eggs as well as incredible nods to Disney history, perfectly served for the most dedicated Disney fans. So, “All aboard!” Here’s 5 of the MUST SEE hidden gems while experiencing this whimsical attraction!
- Imagineers worked so hard to focus on celebrating 100 years of Disney throughout the details of this attraction. Sarah Kibler, an Imagineer who worked on it said, “Something really special about our queue here is that we're actually walking through ‘Mickey through the Ears’. The Tunetown Hysterical Society has set up an exhibit. So while we are on our way to go see ‘Perfect Picnic,’ we can look at these different eras of Mickey Mouse cartoons.”
The “exhibit” features a ton of props and costumes from various Mickey Mouse cartoons, like the wheel from his very first short, Steamboat Willie that guests can turn and engage with while they wait. As a mom with 4 littles, I appreciate the attention to the interactive nature. How many times a day do we have to remind our littles to not touch/pull/grab, etc? There’s an animated ghost hidden in the mirror above the dresser and the sorcerer’s hat that floats magically over Mickey’s head.
Quickly becoming the most iconic area of the walk-though is the El Capitoon theater’s “concession stand”. In addition to its perfectly open photo opportunity, the space is filled with countless snacks and treats that pay homage to so many Disney cartoon characters from throughout the decades.
The authentic nature of the setup in prop cash registers alone is a magic Disney detail. But the totals displayed are 11.18 and 19.28 in reference to the huge milestone dates of November 18th, Mickey’s birthday and 1928, the year Mickey Mouse first appeared in a Disney cartoon.
As a huge Disney history buff, I love a good Smoke Tree Ranch reference and if you look at the bottle of barbecue sauce you’ll find a nod to the Palm Springs retreat where Walt and Lillian Disney vacationed often.
The candy has some magical touches as well. As a proud child of Disney afternoons, I geeked out when I noticed Darkwing Duck has his own box candy in the form of “Mallard cups”. You’ll also find a deep cut bag of Laugh-O-Grams which pay homage to Disney’s first animation company. I wish we could buy a box of “Power Limes” since I’ve been fangirling over Powerline since 1995. And last but certainly not least, the character shaped popcorn filling the popcorn machine, because who wouldn’t want a perfectly popped kernel of Mickey or Donald heads?
- Before you’re ready to board, you’ll walk through a lobby filled with movie posters of live-action Disney films that instead star Disney cartoon characters. We definitely chuckled out loud as we discovered them. As a major Goofy Movie fan, I wish they sold these, I would immediately purchase the High School Goofical poster!
- Although the ride itself is virtually identical to the Walt Disney World version, there’s a different kind of hidden Mickey than we aren’t used to. Before your train even leaves the station, as you load into the attraction vehicle, look up: The wood beams above your head as you board appear to have wood grain paint on them, but a few have words spelling out “Mickey” and “Minnie”.
- Spoiler alert: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway features a room with a giant twister experience, which also happens to reference another attraction at the Disneyland Resort- Mickey’s Philharmagic over in Disney California Adventure. Musical instruments twirl in the twister’s spinning funnel cloud along with Mickey, Minnie and Pluto. The deeper throwback is to “The Band Concert” cartoon short from 1935. This is just one of countless easter eggs throughout this attraction, and I can’t wait to discover more!
Honorable mention: If you’ve been to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park, you’re probably aware of their “hub grass”- The perfectly patterned turf around the hub facing Cinderella’s castle. It’s a popular spot for guests to take a little iced coffee break in the sunshine or have a little family picnic. When Mickey’s Toontown closed for the reimagining of the land and building of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Disney released that even though Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin would remain, the fountain outside of it would be removed. And now we know why- A large open space now takes up residence in the form of amazingly bright, clean turf. This area is sure to make all the Disney mom and dads happy as every child ran and cartwheeled all over it. It is now affectionately being called “The Toontown Hub Grass”.
As someone who visits Disneyland often and lives a full Disney life, I have to say the attraction is absolutely perfect. And truth be told Mickey's Toontown needed an extra boost to give the land more to do and see. If you’re headed to Disneyland make sure you’ve made time in your day for this must-see attraction and area. It's not only a whimsical family ride, but it’s wonderfully immersive while offering countless aspects for repeat rides in attempts to catch all the hidden fun.
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