Why Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Is Higher at Disneyland (Images & Evaluation)

Walt Disney World followers in all probability get sick of how Disneyland has the superior model of assorted rides, from Pirates of the Caribbean to Area Mountain. Now Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway might be added to that already lengthy record, as the latest trackless darkish trip in Toontown is healthier than its Disney’s Hollywood Studios counterpart.

Though the ride-through portion of the attraction is basically a clone, we must always in all probability start with background and our Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway overview plus comparisons to different rides. (Be at liberty to scroll right down to the following El CapiTOON Theater picture if you happen to’ve already expertise the Walt Disney World model of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.)

Situated inside El CapiTOON Theater, the attraction itself begins with a screening of the “Excellent Picnic” quick, after which friends actually step from the human world straight into the cartoon world in one of many coolest results of your complete attraction. This completely units the stage for the ride-through portion of the attraction, with friends loading into the (trackless) practice trip automobiles.

For causes past me, Goofy is as soon as once more your practice conductor, reprising his function from Predominant Road Electrical Parade. Don’t get me incorrect, Goofy is an skilled on plenty of issues. You realize that. I do know that. However uh, not plenty of issues. A number of issues. However railroads?! I don’t learn about that.

Unsurprisingly, the attraction switches gears and hits its “one thing has gone terribly incorrect” bump within the scenic street in brief order. With that, the attraction delivers upon a typical cartoon trope…and the attraction’s title. C’mon, you’ve gotta understand that it wasn’t known as “Mickey & Minnie’s Scenic Prepare Journey Earlier than A Excellent Picnic within the Park” for a motive. And thus begins the Runaway portion of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Whereas operating away (runawaying?) you careen via a collection of loosely-connected vignettes in a wide range of environments. There’s super vary within the settings, and the pacing of the attraction turns into pretty frenetic at this level. The narrative through-line that hyperlinks the assorted scenes collectively is tenuous at greatest, however the trip however may be very a lot in line with how a cartoon would bounce round from locale to locale.

All of that is aided tremendously by know-how. Whereas Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is heavy on projection mapping and screens, depth and dimensionality are created by way of the number of surfaces and the spatial relationships. That is additionally aided by how the trackless trip automobiles dart across the environments.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway’s bigger rooms don’t really feel cavernous and empty due to the dimensional set items and different trip automobiles which are current. It’s a seemingly minor factor, however it’s noteworthy when contrasted with different Disney sights the place this is a matter.

A part of me would’ve appreciated extra Audio Animatronics in Runaway Railway, however I can’t say I significantly love those which are there. The dimensional renderings of Mickey and Minnie look off, and it’s odd to see Mickey’s nostril the place his ear ought to be in 3D. Different characters don’t look a lot better.

As a staunch advocate of Audio Animatronics, I hate to say it, however the “2.5D” method of projection mapping on dimensional environments really works a lot better than the precise AAs. I’m undecided what the answer right here is–there’s in all probability no good strategy to translate these cartoon characters to dimensional variations. Admittedly, I’d even be criticizing the attraction if there have been no Audio Animatronics in any respect, so it’s one thing of a no-win situation for the trip.

In any other case, there’s lots to like about Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The attraction is very repeatable, with the expertise differing pretty dramatically based mostly upon your trip car. There are additionally a ton of gags, Easter Eggs, and nods to Disneyland historical past and Walt Disney’s love of trains.

Because the title suggests, Runaway Railway has an actual frenzied and frantic method that makes it straightforward to overlook what’s occurring in your first and even second ride-through. I’ve been lucky sufficient to trip dozens of occasions at Walt Disney World, and have discovered the attraction has grown on me tremendously over the course of the final ~3 years because it opened there because of persevering with to find new visuals and gags.

Suffice to say, there’s lots to absorb throughout Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. In typical cartoon trend, it’s pure pandemonium. Regardless that that is largely completed by way of projections, it really works. The visuals are vibrant and the surroundings immersive–Runaway Railway captures the chaotic power of a cartoon and seems like a dimensional model of one of many new Mickey Mouse shorts.

On this sense, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway reminds us of the opposite large new trip debuting in Southern California, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Problem. Each new rides have been criticized for over reliance on screens and know-how, amongst different issues. Whereas completely completely different, we’d argue that the 2 sights do a superb job of capturing the kinetic power and chaos of their supply materials. Totally different means, completely different finish–identical animating concepts and power.

Since we’re beginning down the attraction comparability path, we’d as nicely knock out one other and draw consideration to a different attraction that Runaway Railway is nothing like: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. As was the case at DHS, that is basically the follow-up to that, being the following attraction–and one other trackless one–to debut at Disneyland after the Galaxy’s Edge headliner.

Don’t get me incorrect, I like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. However there’s a motive you don’t see the effusive reward right here as in our spoiler-free Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Evaluation. Not like that, this isn’t a game-changing attraction, a masterpiece of Imagineering, or one of many biggest sights of all time.

As a substitute, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the following evolution of Fantasyland darkish rides. It has a wow second or two, however Runaway Railway is usually iterative–not revolutionary. It takes present know-how that we’ve seen within the final a number of years and integrates that right into a Fantasyland darkish trip.

Like these, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is charming and enjoyable. It’s not an epic or jaw-dropping journey, however it doesn’t must be. A spread of choices is important to fill a spherical out a trip roster, and Runaway Railway is what Disneyland wanted for its already stacked slate of sights.

Maybe the largest distinction between this and the Fantasyland classics is that Runaway Railway has a wholesome hourly capability and loads of respiration room–I’d estimate that it’s present constructing might home 3-4 completely different Fantasyland darkish rides. Not that it’s an issue with Fantasyland darkish rides, however Runaway Railway additionally shouldn’t have main reliability or uptime points (that’s extra a distinction to Rise of the Resistance). Runaway Railway shouldn’t be utilizing that digital queue for lengthy as soon as the remainder of Toontown opens.

Regardless of being a non secular successor to Fantasyland-style darkish rides, none are all that near a comparability. The one which feels most related to me is Remy’s Ratatouille Journey. Which may be meaningless to these of you who haven’t visited France, (actual world or EPCOT version), although.

Fortunately, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway fixes virtually all the technical shortcomings of Remy’s Ratatouille Journey. With a few notable exceptions, that trip is a little bit of a one-trick rat, and the phantasm is ruined if you happen to discover that you just’re parked in entrance of a big display screen. Against this, Runaway Railway has way more tips up its sleeve and manages to convey suspension of disbelief by way of a number of means. The top result’s a way more immersive and dynamic attraction that has a definite character and charisma.

With that in thoughts, I really assume probably the most apt comparability is Roger Rabbit’s Automotive Toon Spin, its next-door neighbor in Toontown. For what it’s value, that is no knock–I feel Roger Rabbit’s Automotive Toon Spin is criminally underrated, and probably the greatest darkish rides at Disneyland.

The power, tempo, gags, repeatability, and so on., are all very related between Roger Rabbit’s Automotive Toon Spin and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. I’d go so far as to say that Runaway Railway seems like a non secular successor to Automotive Toon Spin–how that attraction would’ve been made with the know-how of immediately. On stability, I personally choose Automotive Toon Spin…though maybe I shouldn’t say that earlier than seeing what modifications with the reimagined Toontown.

As for why this model of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the superior one, a part of it comes right down to baggage and surrounding circumstances. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the trip is the centerpiece of the park, having changed Nice Film Journey. That was a basic attraction, proper up there with the Backlot Tour as extinct sights that pushed the envelope. Nice Film Journey was a love letter to basic cinema and Previous Hollywood that helped outline the id of the Disney-MGM Studios.

Whereas I perceive and settle for the explanations for changing Nice Film Journey, for me, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway doesn’t surpass it. Even with all of Runaway Railway’s technological wizardry and development, Nice Film Journey was higher–it had super depth, set design, and was a protracted attraction bursting with element.

Against this, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway replaces a present store and a few backstage Solid Member services at Disneyland. Don’t get me incorrect, it was a great present store. However not practically nearly as good as this attraction.

One other distinction is within the location and venue. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is on the entrance of the park, seen as quickly as you step foot onto Hollywood Boulevard in DHS. That model was in-built Grauman’s Chinese language Theater, the identical constructing that housed Nice Film Journey.

Though I don’t like that it changed that attraction, I do like that Runaway Railway reuses the Chinese language Theater. It’s an opulent previous Hollywood cinema that strikes a playful distinction with the subject material. It really works shockingly nicely, is exclusive, and gives an attention-grabbing juxtaposition to the cartoon world that friends enter.

The Disneyland model of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is situated behind the park in Toontown, and is housed inside El CapiTOON Theater. That’s additionally a riff on an opulent previous Hollywood cinema, proper right down to the Artwork Deco design beneath all the toonified artifice. It’s really cool to see how the design marries actual world Hollywood structure and Artwork Deco prospers with typical Toontown hijinks.

Tonally, the 2 venues are polar opposites. That is extra whimsical, and a part of the cartoon world via and thru. Relating to the precise venues, there’s no higher or worse in El CapiTOON Theater v. Grauman’s Chinese language Theater. Simply completely different. Personally, I really choose the extra severe setting of Grauman’s Chinese language Theater, as I feel the distinction to the trip itself is sharper and extra putting. However a part of that may be nostalgia speaking. Both method, El CapiTOON Theater is hardly a downgrade. It’s a very cool residence to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

With that stated, there’s one big method that El CapiTOON Theater is superior to its Florida counterpart: the queue. I like the structure and pre-existing inside design of Grauman’s Chinese language Theater, and actually wouldn’t need it to be any completely different–however it does forestall a few of what’s showcased within the Disneyland model of the queue. That’s the double-edged sword with the sharp distinction of Runaway Railway with the theater it inhabits in Florida.

The top results of leaning into the cartoon type in Toontown is that Imagineering had much more latitude with the queue at Disneyland, and it actually exhibits. The top result’s one thing far superior, with the main points added to El CapiTOON Theater are enjoyable and fascinating. The poster artwork firstly is absolutely intelligent, and makes El CapiTOON really feel like an actual theater. From there, it continues with an exhibit showcasing the evolution of Mickey Mouse.

Fairly an over-explaining it, I’ll let the images of the El CapiTOON Theater queue communicate for themselves:

Then there’s what Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway brings to the desk for the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown. The remainder of the land has not but opened, so I’m going to should make some assumptions based mostly on what existed earlier than and what the transformation will probably deliver to the desk.

The large factor is {that a} second main attraction ought to make Mickey’s Toontown extra ‘equal’ to its counterparts round Disneyland. Whereas the land has at all times been enjoyable and underrated, it has additionally felt like much less of a land than the remaining. Runaway Railway together with the opposite additions will breathe new life into Mickey’s Toontown.

Beforehand, the land was fairly fashionable for meet and greets, however that was in any other case forgotten for lots of friends. It wasn’t even an enormous deal that it closed a lot sooner than the remainder of the park for fireworks. Toontown flying below the radar is exactly why we’ve known as Roger Rabbit’s Automotive Toon Spin “criminally underrated” through the years–as a result of it’s a prime 3 darkish trip, however by no means receives as a lot love as its Fantasyland counterparts.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will change that. Not solely will the attraction itself have big enchantment, however it’ll draw friends deeper into Disneyland to expertise the remainder of Toontown. That’s a win for the land and for crowd circulation. (Now, if we might simply get Disney to attach Toontown with Galaxy’s Edge to assist alleviate the Fantasyland crowds!)

Finally, that’s the place I stand with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland. It’s a robust attraction that iterates on the basic darkish trip formulation, and enhances the already-strong present attraction lineup. Runaway Railway can be an enormous asset to Toontown specifically, and provides this enjoyable land extra to attract friends in and stand alongside the opposite areas of Disneyland.

On prime of that, having the ability to construct the attraction from the bottom up gave the Imagineers the possibility to do extra with the queue, which is a substantial improve over its Florida counterpart. It is a nice love letter to Mickey Mouse through the years, and is one thing the beloved character created by Walt Disney deserves.

Regardless that I’m personally a fan of Grauman’s Chinese language Theater, the queue in El CapiTOON Theater places this model excessive and makes the cloned model of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway notably higher than the unique. It’s a disgrace that it took so lengthy for Disneyland to get a top-tier Mickey Mouse attraction, however this model was definitely worth the wait. From its location in Toontown to the expanded queue, that is now the definitive model of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

As for the trip itself, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway has a ton of coronary heart and character, and is an absolute hoot. It succeeds extremely nicely as a next-gen darkish trip that may supply household pleasant enjoyable in a park disproportionately filled with thrills. Runaway Railway put a smile on each of our faces and is a trip we’ll do every time we go to. That ought to communicate volumes about its high quality and the way a lot we loved it!

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Your Ideas

Have you ever skilled Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway? What did you consider the attraction? Some other Disney or Common rides to which you’d examine Runaway Railway? The place does this rank among the many Disneyland sights for you? Do you agree or disagree with our overview? Any questions we may help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even whenever you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

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