By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.





A Friday Visit with Jim Korkis: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway



By Dave Shute

Welcome back to Fridays with Jim Korkis! Jim, the dean of Disney historians, writes about Walt Disney World history every Friday on yourfirstvisit.net.

MICKEY AND MINNIE’S RUNWAY RAILWAY AT DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

By Jim Korkis

n July 15, 2017, it was announced that The Great Movie Ride would be closing, to be replaced with a Mickey Mouse-themed attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Imagineering would work with the creative team at Disney Television Animation (Paul Rudish, Joseph Holt and composer Christopher Willis) that is responsible for the new Mickey Mouse cartoons appearing on The Disney Channel since 2013.

(c) Disney

Executive producer and director Paul Rudish said “The immediate inspiration for the new (three and a half minute) Mickey Mouse shorts is — the old Mickey Mouse shorts! The originals were kind of our launching point, to go back to that flavor of Mickey. As long as his personality is intact, Mickey can live and do anything all over the world.”

By the end of Season Five in 2018, the Disney Channel series will total more than 90 shorts, including a special seven-minute extended-length birthday episode airing in late 2018. The twenty-one minute long Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special was released in 2016. Chris Diamantopoulos, not Bret Iwan, supplies the voice of Mickey because the producer wanted more of an “edge” to the voice.

For the attraction based on the new Mickey cartoon design and attitude, Imagineer Kevin Rafferty said teams are inventing new technologies that turn the flat world of a colorful cartoon short into a “dimensional display of amazingness” in a process Disney is referring to as “2 ½ D” since no special glasses will be required. Rafferty added, “This is not going to be a small attraction, it’s going to be game-changing.”

Guests enter the Chinese Theater for a premiere of a new Mickey Mouse cartoon short with a new song. In the pre-show, guests see Mickey and Minnie getting ready for a picnic and as they drive out to the location, they pass alongside of a train with Goofy as the engineer.

The attraction puts the guests on that train as they enter the cartoon itself into a “wacky and unpredictable world”. To capture that animation experience, the partners at Disney Television Animation have been supplying much assistance.

Guests will see Mickey and Minnie as full-sized audio-animatronics figures in their car driving alongside the train. A maquette of the classic duo in the car can be seen at the preview of the attraction currently at Walt Disney Presents.

Suddenly guests find themselves in the middle of a stampede followed by a trip to a carnival that ends in being caught up in a twister.

The whirling wind drops everyone into a tropical locale with a large screen and water effects (since the train cars are teetering near the edge of a waterfall). Those cars flush through a drainage pipe into a big city where there is a dance studio run by an audio-animatronics Daisy Duck, who even gets the cars to dance.

Somehow all of this leads to an alleyway with a large factory where Mickey and Minnie must save the guests from a giant furnace before arriving in the park for a picnic where an audio-animatronics Pluto greets the guests. The guests go out through a movie screen to get to the final exit.

The attraction will utilize the same trackless ride technology as The Great Movie Ride, and include an original musical score as well as a theme song that Imagineers hope guests will find “lovable” and keep humming. It was once hoped that this multi-dimensional experience would open in time for Mickey’s 90th birthday celebration this month but it is now scheduled for 2019.

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Thanks, Jim! I’m really looking forward to this ride.  The latest rumors seem to point to a “Fall 2019” opening, but I’m hoping for the summer!

And come back next Friday for more from Jim Korkis!

In the meantime, check out his books, including his latest, Secret Stories of Mickey Mouse, and his Secret Stories of Walt Disney World: Things You Never You Never Knew, which reprints much material first written for this site, all published by Theme Park Press.

 

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1 comment

1 Jeff { 11.02.18 at 10:32 pm }

Can’t wait for this.
Sounds pretty incredible.

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