Disney has shared more details about the global celebration of 100 Years of Wonder, which will begin with the debut of the Mickey and Minnie Railroad in Toontown at Disneyland. This post shares the dates and details, as well as our commentary about this new attraction, which also opened at Walt Disney World two years ago.
According to the company, Disney 100 Years of Wonder will be the largest cross-company global celebration in history. The Walt Disney Company’s centenary will center around California, and Disneyland will be the centerpiece of the celebration, according to Disney.
Disneyland has already announced New Nighttime Spectaculars for Disney’s 100 Extras and Entertainment, with Disney’s 100th anniversary officially set to begin on January 27, 2023 with limited-time specials taking place throughout the resort all year long. Now, we have more details about Toontown and the opening date of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
This is the ad from Disneyland:
While Mickey’s Toontown is scheduled to reopen to guests in Spring 2023, we’re excited to announce that the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway landmark will open early as Disney’s 100th anniversary celebration kicks off on January 27, 2023!
During last month’s D23 show in Anaheim, Disney stated that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad would make its debut “early 2023.”
Our expectation was that this would mean President’s Day weekend at the earliest and the start of the spring break season at the latest. So sometime between mid-February and mid-March 2023.
To my knowledge and memory, the opening of a new attraction in January is relatively unprecedented on both coasts. Since I was so active in the fanbase, I can’t remember Walt Disney World or Disneyland for the first time before March.
EDIT: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened at Disneyland on January 17, 2020. The former is literally the latest mega attraction to open at the park.
There are two possible explanations for the early opening date.
First, that Disneyland simply decided that Did not matter When the park opens new attractions.
In a recent post about the new Halloween and Christmas discounts, I emphasized the fact that traditional crowd wisdom doesn’t apply to Disneyland right now. While it is still “generally true” that some timeframes are better than others, there is a lot of daily variance based on staffing levels and park booking refills.
Both of these are inconsistent and not easily predictable, and the end result can be random business days that are much busier than the dates next to them. Likewise, some recent weekends have felt less busy thanks to superior staff or limited reservations for locals.
The bottom line is Disneyland is pretty much busy all the time right now. If anything, it can be argued that the (historically) slow months of January and February can benefit more from a resurgence of the attraction than any other time period. People will fill the parks from March through July, regardless, so locals may be tempted to visit during the winter.
Second, there is the fact that Splash Mountain will close soon – possibly in January 2023.
Assuming that’s the case and that Disneyland has always been somewhat busy now, it makes sense to open the Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway as close to closing Splash Mountain as possible to conserve park capacity.
Regardless of the reasons, it is interesting that the Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad opens so early in the year And the before the rest of Toontown is ready. The flight debut before Earth certainly indicates that the extra capacity is more important than the awesome debut of the land and the ride.
Of course, the trip couldn’t really begin without the grounds being somewhat “open” due to its location in the back of Toontown. Regardless of the semantics, our assumption is that Toontown will be largely besieged when the Runaway Railway opens. It will be interesting to see if Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin also returns in January 2023 (for similar capacity reasons), or if not until the rest of the land is ready.
As for the attraction itself, Disney has shared that there will be slight differences between Disneyland and Walt Disney’s versions of the Mickey and Minnie Runway Railway. In large part, it’s due to the surroundings – Hollywood Boulevard and Towntown are very different.
There is also the fact that they are both lined in different ways. A DHS version was created in the Great Movie Ride Building, and some of that design has been reused. By contrast, the Disneyland version was a new build, but limited by space behind the scenes. Presumably this means that some scenes will be “tighten” a bit.
During the parks presentation, Disney shared a closer look inside the El CapiTOON Theater, where a special exhibit created by the Toontown Hysterical Society celebrates all things Mickey in costumes and props from the world of Toon.
The gallery features many items that guests may recognize from the classics including “Steamboat Willie” and “Plane Crazy.”
The landmark queue will also include items from recent favorites such as “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and popular music releases.
These new experiences will join existing favorites such as Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, Mickey’s House and Minnie’s House. In addition, other attractions will be reimagined in new and exciting ways, including Gadget’s Go Coaster.
CenTOONial Park will be one of the new areas coming to Mickey’s Toontown, and it’s the first space guests see as they enter. This natural space will be anchored with two interactive play areas.
In the center of CenTOONial Park will be a fountain, which will also become a central symbol of Mickey’s Toontown. As its base, water tables will invite guests to play with the water and enjoy a sensory experience. At night, the fountain will be revived in a unique scene.
It will be a nearby dream tree inspired by the tree that little Walt Disney used to dream about in his hometown. (This sounds like a stretch, but whatever.) Sculpted tree roots will provide an opportunity for children to play, crawl, and explore, and the undulating terrain will provide rolling hills and a place to sit and dream.
When it reopens, Mickey’s Toontown will still be home to many beloved characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and more.
Finally, if you’re not quite familiar with it and haven’t released Walt Disney World, we’ll wrap up with a brief background. The Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad is a dark, trackless ride as the rat rats invite guests to the premiere of their latest cartoon, “Perfect Picnic.”
The riding part of the attraction delivers on the premise of entering the world of animation. The visuals are lifelike and the scenery is immersive – it looks like a dimensional version of one of Mickey Mouse’s new shorts.
Since Goofy is your train conductor, it shouldn’t be a spoiler to say that in a short time the puller shifts gears and hits”Something very bad happenedBump in the scenic road. With that, Runaway Railway both offer a common metaphor for imagination and animation (and the name of the attraction).
From here, you can cycle through a series of unconnected vignettes in a variety of environments. There is an enormous range in the settings, and the pace of the attraction gets a little frenetic at this point. Although I tend to argue with the shaky narration across the line that ties the different scenes together, it seems to be pretty much in line with how the animation bounces from one language to another.
Ultimately, the Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be a great addition to Disneyland. It’ll add another strong, family-friendly appeal to the park’s already strong lineup, and give guests even more reasons to spend time in Mickey’s Toontown.
Power, speed, gags, repetition, etc. are all very similar between Roger Rabbit’s Car Town Spin and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. I’d go so far as to say that Runaway Railway looks like the spiritual successor to Car Toon Spin – how this attraction can be achieved with today’s technology. It would be a great counterpart to this criminally underrated attraction. The Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad has a lot of heart and character, and it’s an absolute shout-out. It has been incredibly successful as a next-generation dark ride that will provide family-friendly fun.
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Have you tried Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway? What do you think of gravity? Are you excited about the opening of Runaway Railway at Disneyland? Do you think it will be a solid addition that will also add more appeal to Toontown and other attractions? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback – even when you don’t agree with us – is interesting to us and useful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
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