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Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway looks great

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  • [Review] Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway looks great

    Disclaimer: I have only gleaned this information from watching ride videos. I can't speak to the physical motions or feelings of looking at the set pieces at the ride. However, even watching Rise of the Resistance videos multiple times did not prepare me for the full extent of actually being on that ride (ride motion, effects, etc.). That gives me the confidence to share my opinion on Runaway Railway.

    This isn't a scene-by-scene review, but rather my view after taking the ride as a whole. It strikes me as a certifiable D-ticket ride, perhaps a tier below Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion, but a tier above more recent dark rides like Monsters Inc., Astro Blasters, and Midway Mania.

    I have long been an advocate of using unique ride systems to fit their purpose in a ride, and I feel like the trackless vehicle system works perfectly with the concept of runaway train cars. The ride appears to be high-capacity with wait times significantly shorter than advertised, and with no minimum height requirement looks like it's fun for all ages. There are many distinct different settings and locations throughout the ride which make it feel expansive (as opposed to small-scale Fantasyland dark rides). Of course, because there is no rail to be followed, more of the "show" space is occupied by other ride vehicles rather than set pieces. Some times, I feel like this is to a ride's detriment, but I believe they've come a long way since Pooh's Hunny Hunt and the ride feels much more like a shared experience with everyone in the other vehicles too. This is most evident to me in the dancing scene with Daisy, but perhaps others notice it too.

    The sets themselves deserve a distinct shoutout. I was skeptical of their "2 and a half D" branding, but now I think I understand what they mean. It's not a heavy reliance on projections like Midway Mania (or soon-to-be Spiderman). Instead, these set pieces harken back to the stylized cutouts we see on only Fantasyland dark rides. By trying to achieve that feeling of putting us into a Fab Five cartoon (albeit from the new age), they steer clear of the uncanny valley and master a great blend of dynamic set pieces and animatronics. Seeing what long ago would have been stationary plywood setpieces now looking like flowing water was a wow moment, and I can only imagine what things I have missed that I will have to keep looking for. The ride is no Pirates of the Caribbean, to be sure, but it does feel distinctly "Disney" to me in a way that even modern rides don't quite grasp.

    I would be remiss not to address the level of projections utilized throughout the ride. I am always fearful when a ride is said to make heavy use of them, and worry that we will see diluted brightness of the projections since they have never quite measured up to the same vibrance as fluorescent-painted dark ride sets. Boy was I wrong. For the first time, I feel like projections blended seamlessly with a 3D environment on a large scale. Much like the projections/animation plussing we've seen to Fantasyland dark rides, these projections are used judiciously to add to the experience rather than be the whole experience. The lone exception is the faces of animatronics, which still look somewhat washed out due to their projector being embedded in their skull(?) like the Buzz Lightyear animatronic or the dwarfs of Magic Kingdom's Mine Train. Nevertheless, I was astounded at what they were able to pull off with practically instantaneous scene changes, which I will not spoil and leave for you to watch the videos of. Again, it is the careful use of projections and physical setpieces working harmoniously that I think pull off these effects.

    All in all, it looks very much like the spiritual successor to Roger Rabbit, which I think makes it a perfect fit for ToonTown. I'll miss the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios, but I'm glad Disneyland isn't losing anything in exchange for this new one. I can see why Josh D'Amaro greenlit the project. I can't wait to ride it whenever it comes to Disneyland.


    Here are two of my favorite videos of the ride:

    Attractions Magazine: Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway Third Car Low-Light POV | Disney's Hollywood Studios


    The DIS: Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway Multi-cam POV | Walt Disney World

  • #2
    Originally posted by coconutcrab
    I read your entire posting, and, I'm sorry, but what is the purpose? Thanks.
    I read your entire comment and was left feeling the same way. I believe the purpose was for Alec (and others) to give their impression of the attraction based on the POVs and information available.

    To that note, I agree with the OP. This looks like a stellar attraction.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it is a great attempt and see it being a very popular attraction for all guests. I am not a huge fan of over usage of screens but to make this story with this style 100% practical would have been a nightmare to create reliably. For this story/subject I think the abundant use of screens is acceptable. I would like to see this technique also done for a new ATIS. A lot of it seems to me like an evolution of the Speed Tunnels on the old PM and center stage on Mission the Mars. Screens can be used effectively though are not always needed ( Peter Pan, POTC, Jungle Cruise) I like the image mappings various surfaces (seems like the Disney Stores were almost a test bed). I also like how they are going more trackless vehicles though I hope this one doesn't take 12 hours of nightly maintenance.) My family after describing this ride versus RotR seems to be far more excited about this one then RotR. Now a big question is when will this make it to Dl with all the upcoming budget cuts and projects out on hold.

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      • #4
        This looks like it's well designed and executed. Unfortunately, I will likely pass on this attraction because I simply don't care for the "Spaz-Attack" versions of Mickey and Minnie.

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        • #5
          I think the attraction looks great! Though, I still think it feels out of place in the Chinese Theatre and that the Great Movie Ride being updated would have been a better use of the space. But I think it will be a perfect fit for Mickey's Toontown! Can't wait to experience it out here at Disneyland someday.

          Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Alec!
          "I take no side. I am beyond your worrying and wars. I am unseen. Unknowable. Like a rock in the river."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JustSomeGuy View Post
            This looks like it's well designed and executed. Unfortunately, I will likely pass on this attraction because I simply don't care for the "Spaz-Attack" versions of Mickey and Minnie.
            Pretty much same here.

            It looks great but if it's a thrill ride, I won't ride it.

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            • #7
              I'll be honest, I was a little underwhelmed at first while watching a video of this ride. Probably because I had allowed myself to become overhyped into thinking this would be an E ticket attraction. It's more like a really strong C ticket (judging by the videos only). Watching the videos a second time I was far more impressed. And I agree with Blurr that it seems a bit out of place for the Chinese Theater, but will be perfectly suited for Disneyland's Toontown.

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              • #8
                This ride is exactly what is needed to bring Toontown to life. So excited that it is coming to Disneyland.
                Apparently the row you get on this ride makes a big difference on your ride experience which is great for re-rides.

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                • #9
                  I just finished watching a youtube ride-through video and will probably watch a few more later tonight. This is one attraction that apparently needs to be seen in person to get a full gauge on it. I can't say after watching it if the ride "succeeds" or not. It doesn't really seem to have a sharp focus on it (as opposed to the Roger Rabbit attraction for instance), but that may be the intention of the design crew. Based upon what I have seen, I do think that it will be a decent fit for Toontown, and even though I'm not a big fan of this current iteration of the Mouse, I'll take a look at it when it eventually opens in Disneyland. I will say that I infinitely prefer Disney working on stuff like this than anything related to Lucas' science fiction schlock.

                  What I do find ironic is the idea that this attraction is a much needed correction for the so-called "dated" Toontown. Some commonly criticize Toontown for its supposedly outdated 1980s Disney Afternoon aesthetic. Yet, this currently trendy Rudish style is the antidote? By the end of this decade, the Rudish approach will look just as dated, if not more so, as the rest of Toontown. Disney should have gone for a more "timeless"/"classic" look for the attraction. Just changing the overall look but more or less keeping everything else the same would likely give the attraction a longer, if not infinite, sense of freshness. Are the Rudish cartoons even being made still? It seems like it's been a while since I have seen a new one pop up on my youtube feed.

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                  • #10
                    Like Rise, I’m avoiding videos. It sounds pretty great, but I’m a little worried to hear it’s not qualifying as an e ticket or even d ticket for some. Is it coming off as too slight? Was hoping this would almost unanimously be considered one of the best rides they’ve ever built.

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                    • #11
                      This is going to be such a great addition to Toontown, I kind of hope they'll switch it up a little for the West Coast, maybe redress the downtown scene to look more like you're in Toontown or something along those lines.

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                      • #12
                        I for one, am appreciative of first hand accounts of attractions. Watching YouTube for such videos has helped me and daughter climb aboard more than a few attractions. As for the attraction, we’ll be eager to try it once it comes to Disneyland. We’ll probably ride it more than a few times, then make it an occasional attraction. If my daughter were younger, she’d make it a must do attraction, but alas, she’s of teenage years...
                        I am old. But still love Disneyland.

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                        • #13
                          That looks flipping awesome. Just for the artistry and creative use of different mediums alone. Even if you don’t like the style (I like the style for the ride in this context), you have to appreciate it. I am not a fan of its a small world’s look, but I really love the style and artistry of it. I just wouldn’t want to hang out there (on Small World) all day, but I would on Pirates or Haunted Mansion. I’m sure its amazing in person.
                          Last edited by brian11811; 03-04-2020, 08:59 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Watched the first video, genuinely impressed, looking forward to it coming to CA.

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                            • #15
                              The concept of being inside a cartoon is awesome, and it looks like they succeed at that - but would have preferred the popular early 30's character design.

                              I call this version of the character "Mickelodeon."

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                              • #16
                                Mickey’s Toontown is in desperate need of this attraction. I just recently went to Disneyland Resort for 4 full days (after two years away) and we didn’t go into Toontown once. My kids are young and both like it, but it just never felt like a priority. Three full days in Disneyland park and zero Toontown. With Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway there is no way that would happen.

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                                • #17
                                  Looks like a good, solid attraction that will be a much-loved part of any family's vacation. I love that we're getting one as an expansion to Toontown. Maybe not an E-ticket, but a very solid D-ticket.

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                                  • #18
                                    Outside of the current Mickey and Minnie Mouse character design, I like it. I just can't stand how they look now. LOL

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                                    • #19
                                      I like it. I don't see why people don't like the new Mickey Mouse designs, they're a fresh take on the characters and are extremely expressive (and funny, "Wow Pluto, you're RIPPED!", is still stuck in my head). I enjoy the trackless ride system,it's not a super innovation but it's use is pretty good (you don't always need major innovation, the train cars already have a lot of bells and whistles). I wonder when we'll get a thrill ride with a trackless system.

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                                      • #20
                                        I wonder if some of the savings from the SWGE cuts were deliberately earmarked for this? Like, since the SW attractions all skew older, maybe we cut some of that for a ride more for the jr set? Or maybe it was a wholely independent budget/expenditure.
                                        "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money." - ​Walt Disney

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