Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Works Better in Disneyland Than Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland is essentially a clone of the same attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The attraction, which expanded Disneyland’s already impressive ride roster, takes guests inside the animated world of Mickey Mouse. Despite the ride being almost identical to its Florida counterpart, the Disneyland version works much, much better.

Why is that?

The best Disney attractions thrive when the experience begins before guests even enter the queue. Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great example of this, setting the scene about the Yeti before riders board the coaster. The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom are also great examples.

Looking at Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios sits inside the Chinese Theater. The space was formerly home to The Great Movie Ride, and aims to capture the look and feel of old Hollywood. Guests enter the attraction under a neon marquee for a movie premiere.

Neon Sign at Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The interior queue maintains the historic Hollywood theming all the way up until that special moment where guests leave the theater and enter the Perfect Picnic short featuring Mickey Mouse. We won’t spoil what happens.

Let’s compare that to the experience over at Disneyland and Toontown.

We expected the overall feel of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Disneyland to match that of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It is the same ride, isn’t it?

Instead of the Chinese Theater, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway takes place in the whimsical El CapiTOON Theater in Toontown. The exterior fits in perfectly with the silliness that is Toontown.

Marquee at Disneyland's Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.
We love a punny marquee.

Once inside, it becomes obvious the major difference between the two attractions is the queue. The queue in Disneyland’s version is amazing. The queue contains a ton of nods to iconic Mickey Mouse cartoons, and follows Mickey throughout his storied history. There’s a “prop” from the Steamboat Willie cartoon, the hat from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and so much more. There’s even some fun Disney magic throughout the queue that we’re not going to spoil.

Inside queue for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disneyland.
“Props” from the cartoon Pluto’s Christmas Tree.

Some of our favorite gags were the movie posters that offered a unique spin on familiar films. We’d definitely watch The Mouseketeer.

The Mouseketeer movie poster.
Fun movie posters in the queue.

This is the queue you want to wait in if you love Mickey Mouse. Even if you don’t, there’s so many visual gags, jokes, and bits of Mickey Mouse “history” that you can’t help but feel like you’re looking at real artifacts. It’s extremely well done and gives guests plenty to look at while waiting in line.

The queue builds to the moment when guests enter the theater to watch the Perfect Picnic short. From there, the experience is almost identical to the one in Disney’s Hollywood Studios minus some very subtle differences. Guests enter a wild and wacky cartoon with Mickey and the gang after already feeling immersed in Toontown and the queue.

The build-up in Disneyland before guests board the ride vehicle is just so much better than at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That doesn’t mean the version at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is bad – it’s very good – but Disneyland’s is excellent. The attraction fits in so well in Toontown and the queue is so well done that it feels like the ride was always meant to be there, which makes it better than its Florida counterpart.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

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David
David
David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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