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See Inside the First-Ever Mickey Mouse Attraction for Disney Parks

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, a brand-new family attraction, is set to open at Disney's Hollywood Studios on March 4, 2020. We're taking you behind the scenes before the attraction is even open!

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mickey and minnie disneyMark Ashman/Disney/Getty Images

Get ready to hop into the cartoon world

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the newest attraction opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida—and, surprisingly, it’s the first-ever ride-through attraction featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Reader’s Digest recently got a sneak preview of the new attraction and an interview with Walt Disney Imagineering to find about more about what families can expect from the ride. Before you plan your trip, make sure you know the 18 everyday items that are banned from Disney World.

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mickey and minnie railwayCourtesy The Walt Disney Company

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway inspired by actual Mickey Mouse cartoons

If you’ve seen the Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts that air on Disney Channel or stream on Disney+ then you’ll know that just about anything can happen and to expect the unexpected. The same goes for guests who step aboard Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway as they are taken into the cartoon world of the famous mice and their pals. “The attraction was inspired by this world of the shorts filled with zaniness and wackiness and surprises,” says Kevin Rafferty, Walt Disney Imagineering creative director. Here’s why most Disney characters, including Mickey and Minnie, wear gloves.

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loco modelCourtesy The Walt Disney Company

Things are different in the cartoon world

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway operates under the cartoon world’s rules. But what exactly does that mean? “In the cartoon world, we operate under cartoon logic, which means anything goes,” explains Thomas Niederhiser, associate show manager for Walt Disney Imagineering. “By stepping into the cartoon world we no longer see things as we know them in our everyday life; rather everything looks like its fresh from the Mickey cartoon shorts, it’s all hand-drawn from the line work to the railings.” Even the train that you’re sitting in had to be stylized to work under black lights and white lights. What you won’t see? Any shiny or reflective surfaces since that’s not part of the animation style of the Mickey Mouse shorts. Check out 23 secrets Disney employees won’t tell you.

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mickey mouse perfect picnicCourtesy The Walt Disney Company

It’s home in the Chinese Theater isn’t by accident

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Chinese Theater, formerly the home of The Great Movie Ride, sits at the end of Hollywood Boulevard. The theater is modeled after movie theaters from the Golden Age of Hollywood and, in keeping with the theme, will feature a custom marquee. “The best part is that it’s neon and animated,” Rafferty says. “You’re going to see it all the way down at the end of Hollywood Boulevard and it’s going to draw you down the street to the forecourt of the Chinese Theater where our adventure begins.” Be sure to check out these vintage Mickey Mouse photos that will take you back in time.

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Grauman's Chinese TheatreFG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Once you’re inside the Chinese Theater

Before stepping foot onto the actual ride you’ll go into a small theater where you finally get to see Perfect Picnic! Mickey and Minnie are packing up all of their things, nothing is going to get in their way, and they are going to have the greatest picnic ever. Near the end of the short you see Goofy on the screen who is driving a train—and when he’s involved almost anything can go awry.

Through the magic of Disney, the screen bursts open and a gate swings away from you and you’re invited into the cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie Mouse on an adventure. Of this moment, Niederhiser told us, “There are probably about a dozen different things happening at the same exact time to make that reality, which ends in a really fun magical effect.”

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mickey mouseCourtesy The Walt Disney Company

Where exactly are you going on the ride?

After the screen opens, you enter the cartoon world of Runamuck Park, where Mickey and Minnie are heading for their picnic. This is where you hop on board Runamuck Railroad for a tour around the park with Goofy as the conductor of the train. This is where our preview ended, so we don’t know what’s next, but Walt Disney Imagineering has promised a world filled with zany, crazy, and downright wacky antics that people have come to know from the Mickey cartoon shorts. Until then, brush up on your knowledge of Disney character trivia.

Megan duBois
Megan duBois is a regular contributor to's Travel and Culture sections, where she writes about theme parks, pop culture, and food. Her articles have also appeared on Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Insider, Orbitz, The Daily Meal and more. duBois has been quoted as an expert on theme parks for Forbes and other outlets. She earned her BA in Communications from The University of North Florida. Follow her on Instagram @MinglingwithMickey and Twitter @Megand315.