Information about Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway was released this morning during a presentation headed by Phil Holmes, the Vice President of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Before introducing the two Imagineers who headed the project, Holmes described this new attraction as a breakthrough opportunity which will show Disney Animation at its best!
The concept of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway was inspired by the comedy, cadence, and music as well as the stylized look of the characters of the new Mickey shorts series. Guests experiencing this ride will, in essence, take a ride inside a Mickey short as one of the Imagineers stated.
Though the new ride will feature a brand-new story, the short “Flower for Minnie” captures the essence of what guests can expect.
Mickey’s first attraction will include a brand-new way to experience theater! As previously announced, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be located in the Chinese Theater. The sign of this new experience will be incorporating the Chinese Theater with its marquee-style sign, complete with being neon and animated!
The Chinese Theater is actually the perfect place for Mickey’s first attraction to be located. In 1931, Mickey Steps Out premiered at the theater and there is countless other history that exists between the two. It is also the heart of Disney’s Hollywood Studios which is very fitting.
The first part of the ride is the pre-show. The pre-show features a new Mickey short – Mickey Mouse in Perfect Picnic. During this new short, guests will be introduced to their fish out of water story as well as the intro to the song which is promised to be stuck in rider’s heads! Something happens right before guests’ eyes which allows a portal to open up. Guest get to go to Runamuck Park which is where Mickey and Minnie will be heading for their picnic. Guests tour the park on the railroad and see Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. After this, anything goes!
Great lengths were made to follow the rules of the cartoon world. One example that was given is that the train is actually not shiny in any light. The train was both painted and printed and there is no shiny surface. A special painting technique was developed to ensure that there are no shiny surfaces in both white light and black light scenes.
Chris Willis was tapped for the challenge of creating the theme song of the attraction as well as the music. A 65 -piece orchestra and 24-piece chorus was used to develop the soundscape. It was scored like a movie, or more fittingly a musical.
All of the sound effects were created old school by hand, by foot, or by voice instead of using computer files. Original sound effects devices that were used in the early Mickey Mouse cartoons were taken out of storage and used to create the sounds guests will experience during this ride. In fact, one of the original 1928 Steam Boat Willy whistles (pictured above) was used for the whistle sound of Goofy’s locomotive.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway includes the perfect blending of old school with new school to create a unique experience for guests. It is being marketed as a family ride so it will be fun for all. Goofy is the engineer of the railroad so who knows what will go wrong! As one of the Imagineers stated, “All aboard for one Goofy Adventure”!
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