It’s been 91 years since Mickey Mouse starred in his first animated short, “Plane Crazy,” and nearly 65 years since Disneyland opened — and yet it’s taken until now for the world’s most famous mouse to get his own ride.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened March 4 at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This is a big deal because it finally puts Mickey and the gang front and center on an attraction.
But, as a mom who has spent the past six years bringing young kids to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to me the even bigger news is that this attraction brings a crazy-fun, all-ages ride to a park that’s been light on options for its youngest guests.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Brings The Fun, Without The Height Restriction
Here’s the premise: Guests arrive at the iconic Chinese Theatre, a building which has been the centerpiece of Disney’s Hollywood Studios since the park opened in 1989, for the premiere of Mickey and Minnie’s latest animated short, “Perfect Picnic.”
Guests travel through a hidden Mickey–packed queue and enter the pre-show room to watch “Perfect Picnic.” This short, and all of the characters and animation throughout the attraction, have been created in the unconventional style of the latest generation of “Mickey Mouse” shorts.
“Perfect Picnic” also features a charmingly catchy theme song, “Nothing Can Stop Us Now,” co-written by award-winning composer of the “Mickey Mouse” shorts, Christopher Willis, and his wife, Elyse Willis.
I won’t spoil one of the attraction’s best surprises, but the premiere takes an unexpected turn that lands guests on the other side of the movie screen — “inside” the short. You find yourself boarding a train driven by Engineer Goofy. And, if you know anything about Goofy, you’ve probably guessed that you’re in for a wild ride.
This Ride Is Thrilling—But Not Scary—For The Whole Family
The train is actually four trackless train cars, which split apart and move about on their own — often unexpectedly — through a series of zany animated scenes, from the Wild West to the big city to a carnival.
Similar to Disney’s other newest trackless ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, also at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the trackless motion means you never know where you’re headed next, so the sudden movements send you sliding back and forth across your seat, adding an extra layer of thrill.
See what I mean in this ride video:
Digitally projected backgrounds also enhance the surprise element. Scenes move and change quickly, simulating more intense motion — at one point giving you the sensation of plunging down a waterfall.
But, while the ride is thrilling because it’s packed with surprises and unexpected movements that will have kids squealing with joy, it’s not fast or scary. And, with no height requirement, absolutely everyone can ride it.
What Disney’s Hollywood Studios Was Missing
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been undergoing a massive transformation in recent years. Toy Story Land opened in 2018 and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in 2019, bringing awesome new environments and four incredible new rides to the park.
But all four of the new rides have height requirements of 32” or more, leaving only one ride in the park, Toy Story Mania, available to children under 32”.
Yes, there are quite a few great shows and character meet-and-greets that give parents ways to keep young kids busy. A “Rider Switch” system also enables parents with kids on either end of the height requirement to take turns riding with an older child. But, with Hollywood Studios now packed with must-do rides with a 38” or greater height requirement, this can leave families with infants and toddlers separated all day long.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway does a lot to help address this for families of young kiddos. It’s not just a kid ride everyone can get on; it’s a must-experience attraction, starring Disney’s most iconic characters, that guests of all ages simply shouldn’t miss.
Are you excited about this new ride?