Yikes! No one’s driving that locomotive – but count on two mouse merrymakers to make sure your adventure ends safely, and with lots of laughs, on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.
The long-awaited trackless ride opens March 4, housed in the Chinese Theatre that formerly was home to The Great Movie Ride. This first-of-its-kind Mickey and Minnie ride-through attraction, previewed for media Tuesday, features the duo saving the day in colorful, whimsical style. Guests take that runaway train through the wacky cartoon world, bursting through the screen into a place where “physics don’t apply” and riders are a part of the slapstick cartoon universe.
The journey starts in a viewing room where guests stand to watch “Perfect Picnic,” a one-minute Mickey Mouse cartoon created just for the attraction. Then it’s off to the railway and your train vehicle, one of several cars behind a bell-bedecked locomotive.
Be prepared for anything to happen, because it just might. And does.
The experience features impressive visual effects, like “riding” alongside Mickey and Minnie in their car as they headed into Runnamuck Park. Not to give too much away, but there’s a carnival … and dance-hall time with Daisy Duck … plus surprising twists and turns, complete with a twister that truly twirls as the wind blows.
The adventure all plays out to the soundtrack of a new original tune, “Nothing Can Stop Us Now.” And while the premise of that sweet and catchy song does live up to its word in the end, don’t let that title fool you: That car of yours will seem to have a mind of its own here and there.
Longtime annual passholder Jane Meyer of Ocoee has three opening day Fast Passes for the Railway. She and her husband, Ron, along with one of their sons, Matthew, will head for Orlando, about 30 minutes away from Walt Disney World.
“I got a notification the day they opened Fast Passes probably a month ago and stopped what I was doing to grab them,” she said Tuesday. “But in addition I also was able to grab 12 fast passes for March 7 for our entire family, which includes six children and six adults. I group-texted everybody and said, ‘Whoever is in, we’re going.’ Everyone is very excited to go on the new ride together. The kids talk about it every day.”
No doubt, they’ll have lots to talk about. The attraction also features plenty of photo opportunity locations for guests, and ride-themed merchandise, everything from a conductor’s cap with Goofy ears to a light-up twister toy.
Other new additions
If you’re not up for the ride or the long line — and no doubt, it will be packed for quite a while — the Mickey Shorts Theater is just a short hop from the Runaway Railway. A new short titled “Mickey and Minnie in Vacation Fun” also debuts Wednesday at Hollywood Studios to coincide with the opening of the Railway Ride.
The 10-minute film features Mickey frantically packing for vacation before going to pick up Minnie.
As he packs and wonders where they should go, he remembers vacations past where things haven’t gone as planned, and they all feed into the decision on where to wander.
The film also features some of the most well-known Disney characters, including Pluto, Goofy and Donald Duck.
In the end, Mickey decides international travel, and most other destinations, aren’t where he wants to go.
After picking up Minnie, they ultimately decide on a magical location, ensuring a happy ending to what is an otherwise hysterical situation.
New Cirque show at Disney Springs
DIsney’s animation expertise also shines in “Drawn to Life,” Cirque du Soleil’s new show which opens at Disney Springs April 17. A media preview promises audiences will be treated to a show that mixes Cirque’s classic acrobatics with Disney’s unmatched style.
The show takes place at the venue that hosted Cirque’s La Nouba, which had a 19-year run before closing on Dec. 3, 2017, following 9,000 shows.
“What a privilege it’s been for the creative teams from Cirque du Soleil to be able to work with all the animators from Disney, and together they were able to blend a unique storytelling style, live entertainment and custom acrobatics and animation sequences specifically for this show,” said Diane Quinn, Chief Creative Officer for Cirque du Soleil.
The show tells the story of a determined girl who discovers one last gift left by her animator father: a sequence of unfinished drawings. Guided by a magical pencil and a quirky troupe of imaginative muses, she embarks on an inspiring quest filled with her childhood Disney memories.
If you go
Where: Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL
When: The park is open 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily
Cost: Standard tickets for ages 10 and up are $109 per day, with special offers for Florida residents and multi-day tickets.
Info: Call Walt Disney World Resort at 407-939-1872 or visit disneyworld.disney.go.com