What We Know About Disneyland's Newest Attraction, Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway

If you love Peter Pan's Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Snow White's Enchanted Wish, you'll want to check out Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. This five-minute slow ride is located in Disneyland's reimagined Toontown, serving as the land's centerpiece. Opening as part of the Disney100 anniversary celebration, the family-friendly attraction doesn't have height and age requirements, so it's something the whole family can enjoy together.

While the ride is new to the Anaheim theme park, it was first introduced in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in March 2020. But unlike its Florida counterpart, Disneyland's version seamlessly continues the cartoon world experience of Toontown. In Hollywood Studios, the ride, housed in a TCL Chinese Theatre replica, seems out of place among Star Wars-themed attractions like Star Tours. In Disneyland, it feels organic, Insider observes. The El Capitoon Theater is a homage to Hollywood's El Capitan Theater where Disney premiers many of its movies.

Of course, the two are similar but the Disneyland experience sprinkles unique elements that will have Disney and theme park lovers repeating Mickey and Minnie's first stand-alone ride in Disneyland again and again. In addition to the star couple, you'll also see the rest of the gang. You'll find Goofy driving the train, Daisy in a dance studio, Donald in a delivery truck, and Pluto who'll cause all the mayhem. There's also Pete and the ride-exclusive character Chuuby ("choo-bee"). Other things to look forward to include a new queue experience, a bonus room, and more hidden Mickeys.

A new queue experience

Because Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios is inside a replica of the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, the queue area features the same theme. You'll find Chinese lanterns, wall murals, and pillars — nothing much to look at. But the one in Disneyland will be more interesting. Several large rooms feature costumes and cartoon props from throughout Mickey's career. This special exhibit called "Mickey Through the Ears" was supposedly put together by Minnie and the Toontown Hysterical Society. There's the wheel from "Steamboat Willie," props from "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," costumes from "The Prince and the Pauper," and so many more. It's sort of a fun museum that you can explore while you wait your turn.

According to Jonathan Friday, Senior Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering, "[It's a] way of letting guests walk through Mickey Mouse's evolution from the black-and-white 'Steamboat Willie' to the highly stylized 'Mickey Mouse' cartoon shorts. It features iconic props, costumes and set pieces from Mickey's long career in a way that only residents of Mickey's Toontown would — look out for all those puns!"

The walls are adorned with Disney Shorts posters as well as fake movie posters featuring Disney characters. "The Chipmunk Trap," "Goofy Friday," "High School Goofical 3," and "Mickey, I Shrunk the Nieces" are just some of the posters you'll see lining the walls in the queue area. You'll also find Powerline-themed candy at the concession area. And watch out for hidden ghosts that appear in a mirror.

Disneyland's Runaway Railway ride version

The ride is based on the Disney Short "Perfect Picnic," which shows Mickey and Minnie heading to Runnamuck Park for a romantic time together, unaware that Pluto is in the car's trunk. The ride starts with a viewing of the cartoon. Smoke effects coincide with the scenes in the animation and mark the appearance of the entrance after a short interaction with Engineer Goofy.

Then you'll hop aboard a train car that separates from the others and follows its own trackless route through various scenes, including the Wild West, a twister with matching wind effects, and a cityscape filled with easter eggs. You'll find that the train cars react to the scenes accordingly, such as swaying to the ballet music in Daisy's dance studio. The train, walls, and other props in the ride are reminiscent of the vibrant animation you'd expect from a Disney Short. The goal is to give you an immersive experience accomplished through the combination of physical sets, animation, audio-animatronics figures, projection-mapping techniques, and a lively soundtrack.

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway is accessible via a virtual queue or an individual Lightning Lane. You can join the virtual queue through the Disneyland app but you can only line up once per day. As usual, prices for Lightning Lane passes vary and are limited by availability. Disney also warns that the attraction may close during fireworks.

Bonus room

Another unique experience you'll have at Disneyland's version of the Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway ride is the bonus room. This extra room features an exclusive clip that you won't find in Disney World. Toward the end of the ride, you'll go from the factory scene to the picnic scene in Hollywood Studios, but in Disneyland, there's a special scene where Goofy goes on a monologue. This happens between the factory and the picnic scenes. This scene is missing in Disney World because there was no space for it, the ride's executive producer, Jeff Shaver-Moskowitz, shares with Insider.

"That was a happy accident for us. There were two scenes that we couldn't bridge and so we actually created a covered bridge scene that's unique to Disneyland," Shaver-Moskowitz told Insider. "So you get some extra time with Goofy and it makes it a little bit of a unique experience here for Disneyland."

More Hidden Mickeys

When the Disney World version of the Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway ride opened in Hollywood Studios, it had the most hidden Mickeys. Jeff Shaver-Moskowitz shares that the ride had more than 100 hidden Mickeys! Now, with the opening of the Disneyland version, Shaver-Moskowitz and Jen Schwartz, the ride's concept designer, told Insider that the ride will have even more hidden Mickeys than its Disney World counterpart.

The attraction's immersive queue is the first place you should look for hidden Mickeys, but there are also hidden Mickeys scattered throughout the actual ride itself. However, it might be hard to catch on your first go because of the train car's pace and movement — just another reason to hop on that train car yet again. Insider found one on a paint can, while Shaver-Moskowitz shares that you can find Mickey's name spelled out in the set.

Other hidden gems are also scattered throughout the attraction, including the "Oswald Wins!" headline on a newspaper, the Iwerks and Uwerks Waterworks water treatment plant, 1401 Flower Shop, and condiment pumps with the brand Begorra Orchards. Oswald is a reference to the predecessor of Mickey, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, while Begorra Orchards is a nod to Patrick Begorra from "The Little Man of Disneyland." The flower shop refers to Disney Imagineering's headquarters and the water treatment plant is a reference to animator Ub Iwerks who first sketched Mickey.

Mind where you sit

In most attractions, where you sit doesn't really impact your overall experience. While that's still true in Disneyland's Runaway Railway, where you sit will slightly affect how you experience the ride. There are four train cars with two rows each — so eight rows in all — in which you can choose to sit. And while you'll be riding a whole train in the beginning and the end, the train cars will split and follow their own magnetic path during most of the scenes.

Jeff Shaver-Moskowitz shares to Insider that the ride was designed this way so that park goers will have a different experience from every train car. Some cars will spend more time in certain rooms than others, such as row three in Daisy's dance studio. And once the ride is over, you might not end up in the same row that you started from. Only the fourth car is the exception as it is ADA accessible, according to Insider.

Which row is the best? Well, it depends on what you want to experience more of. Row one lets you have more time with Goofy in the beginning but you'll be far from him when the ride ends. If you want more of Daisy, sit anywhere from rows three to six, advises Insider.