Podcast No. 0032: Break the fourth wall on the Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway
This month on Dispodopolis, we discuss the Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway. The new attraction opened on Wednesday, March 4th, and we were able to experience it on Sunday, March 8th. It is the first of its kind attraction using all the technology and storytelling that Disney has developed over the last 65 years. We also discuss the theater venue next door that is running the new Mickey Mouse short, Vacation Time.
The new attraction has the unique texture and design that you can see in the modern Mickey Mouse cartoons that started to be seen across the Disney Channel in 2013. It was an edgier Mickey Mouse that let him break free from the squeaky clean persona that had dominated the landscape for the last fifty years. Mickey is still lovable, but we see him falling into nail-biting situations that filled his cartoons in the twenties and thirties. It was great to see him in such suspense again. His friends are all there to cheer him on and push the story forward. Donald Duck’s short temper dances across the screen as he sulks about his bad luck. Goofy’s naivety keeps you guessing what will happen next as he seems to walk off the edge of a cliff with a smile on his face.
This fun new Disney design can be seen most recently in the parks for the Mickey and Minnie celebration that ran in both US parks in early 2019. This design was the brainchild of Paul Rudish. He brought twenty years of animation development from his work on Dexter’s Laboratory, Powder Puff Girls and Star Wars: Clone Wars. He was set free at Cartoon Network to push the envelope of animation storytelling. He brings this free-wheeling style to the new Mickey Mouse shorts that encapsulate the new attraction. The whimsy and fun come to life in this dark ride.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway starts with an introduction to the new short Perfect Picnic. Something goes terribly wrong, and Goofy welcomes you into the toon world to help save the day. What could go wrong? You break through the fourth wall to join the adventure. You are sent through a swirling mess of misadventures and mishaps. There are at least four main rooms and a few secondary rooms that string you through one story after the next. You seem to enter a place of calm, and then something cuts through the peace and leaves you in peril. Don’t worry; there is a happy ending. The orange bird, Chuuby, sings his song as you end your journey.
This attraction is one of the most immersive experiences that Disney has ever created for a traditional dark ride. It is a trackless experience leaving you to guess which direction you will be heading in next. I’m pretty sure, at one point, just our individual car is in a room surrounded by four white walls. All the illusions of space and travel are being choreographed by the animation that flows around you. Each car is a new adventure and lets you see a unique glimpse of the animation that is a whirlwind swirling around you. Every type of extreme weather condition is thrown at you, including an ode to the Great Movie Ride with a twisting cyclone.
It was the type of experience they wish they could have applied in the Great Movie Ride. It was well worth the sacrifice of that ride to receive a reimagined vision of a dark ride. Every new dark ride will be measured against the amazing technological wizardry that was created for this experience. It saddens me that it was only open for twelve days before the parks were closed due to the COVID-19 breakout.
Next, we discussed the all-new Mickey short, Vacation Fun, that was being played in the little theater next door. The eighties inspire the new short, and their compilation shows that they would feature flashbacks from previous shows. Mickey and Minnie are going on a trip; Mickey is reminded of all their mishaps on their previous excursions. There are clips from Panda-monium, Couples Sweaters, Potatoland, Croissant de Triomphe, Entombed, Dumb Luck, Al Rojo Vivo, Yodelburg, and Outback at Ya!. When you exit the theater, three two-dimension sets are set up for you to put yourself in the Mickey short. It replaced Star Wars: Path of the Jedi.
Before we have our discussion about the Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway, we discuss one of our favorite Easter experiences at Disneyland, or we talk about a Disney Easter project we have completed. Fiona wanted to present an Easter project that she worked on a few years ago that you can view on our YouTube channel. Ryan and I spoke about our Easter time at Disneyland. We recall the fun Easter egg hunts, the lilies in bloom, and the Easter Thumper buttons.
We would love to hear from you and your family. If you have any comments, questions, or fun and fancy-free thoughts for us, email us at email@example.com. Please enjoy our latest podcast, Dispodopolis.
Panda-monium, Couples Sweaters, Potatoland, Croissant de Triomphe, Entombed, Dumb Luck, Al Rojo Vivo, Yodelburg, and Outback at Ya
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