Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway: What’s Different Between Walt Disney World and Disneyland?

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland, Disneyland Parks, WDW Blog

Wondering if you should check out Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at both Disney World and Disneyland? Here’s how the two attractions differ and a look at the similarities they share.

Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park is finally getting a new attraction – on January 27, 2023, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens! While you might think that Disneyland’s iteration of this fun-filled dark ride is identical to the version at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, there are a few differences (and some surprises) between the two. 

Get in line for this new Toontown attraction, and discover what’s different and what remains the same when you’re riding Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland or Walt Disney World.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Offers Different Entrances and Queues

One of the most obvious differences between this ride at Walt Disney World and Disneyland? The ride entrances and queues. This is partly due to the different locations of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway: At Disney World, the attraction is located inside a larger theme park (Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to be exact), while at Disneyland, the ride sits inside a land (Mickey’s Toontown).

So, it makes sense that each version has its very own entrance that’s themed to its particular location! However, these entrances – and the queues beyond them – make for different initial experiences at each park. Here’s how, and why, the two differ.

Walt Disney World: Step Inside Grauman’s Chinese Theater

Runaway Railway Chinese Theatre

A look at the ride entrance featuring Grauman’s Chinese Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Photo by Rich Ramos

At Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios, you’ll enter through a recreation of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The queue winds through the theater’s lobby, passing by a series of posters for Mickey Mouse shorts before you step inside the auditorium.

This Grauman’s Chinese Theater is an exact replica of the real theater located in Hollywood, California (which is now officially known as the TCL Chinese Theatre). It was a central icon when Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened in 1989, and prior to serving as the entryway for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, it was home to the much-loved The Great Movie Ride.

Using Grauman’s Chinese Theater for the entrance and ride queue pays homage to the past of Hollywood Studios – and Disney films! Plenty of movies first premiered at the real Grauman’s, like Star Wars.

Disneyland: Step Inside the El CapiTOON Theater

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway in Toontown at Disneyland

A look at the El CapiTOON Theatre in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland. Photo by Danny Shuster

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland is without Grauman’s – but it still features a theater key to Disney history as its entrance point. The attraction is inside the El CapitTOON Theater in Toontown, which is a play on the real-life El Capitan Theatre.

The El Capitan Theatre actually sits across Hollywood Boulevard from the TCL Chinese Theatre (or former Grauman’s), and it’s owned by The Walt Disney Company. Countless Disney films have had their premieres at the El Capitan since it was fully restored in 1991, including classics like The Hunchback of Notre Dame and recent films like Raya and the Last Dragon.

So, when you enter Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Toontown, you’ll step into another historic theatre – one with a particularly special connection to Disney history in California. 

See “Real Life” Props from Mickey’s Cartoon Career

The queue inside Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disneyland

The queue inside Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland. Photo by Danny Shuster

Once you’re inside the El CapiTOON Theatre, you’ll walk through a queue that features a special exhibit put together by the Toontown Hysterical Society. It’s your chance to check out costumes and props straight out of the toon world! Guests in the queue at Disneyland’s version of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will have the chance to check out “real life” props straight out of classic Mickey cartoons!

The Disneyland attraction queue is themed with props from different eras of Mickey’s cartoon career. You’ll spot props like the music stand and drum from “The Band Concert” or the iconic beanstalk (which is busting through the queue ceiling!) from “Mickey and the Beanstalk.”

The queue inside Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disneyland

See cartoon props turned into real-life pieces inside the ride queue. Photo by Danny Shuster

Props line the queue inside Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disneyland

Check out the beanstalk for yourself while you wait! Photo by Danny Shuster

You’ll also spot props from other famed Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, like the outfits he donned for “The Prince and the Pauper” (worn by life-size Mickey statues, of course!). Later in the queue, you’ll also encounter an array of animated props from recent cartoons, like Potatoland’s President Spud, the Mickey sarcophagus from “Entombed”, and more.

The queue inside Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disneyland

Photo by Danny Shuster

The queue inside Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disneyland

Photo by Danny Shuster

Inside, the Runaway Railway Adventure Remains the Same

Once you board the train that makes up Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the adventure is pretty much identical at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Goofy takes the lead as the engineer, and Guests onboard will follow the wild adventures of Mickey and Minnie, following Mickey’s career through animation. 

At both Disneyland and Disney World, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses “2½D” technology – an Imagineer invention that doesn’t require special 3D glasses, but brings you right into the visuals! It’s a blend of 2D and 3D effects that makes your trackless ride vehicle really feel like it’s at the heart of the action. 

While there are some technological enhancements that really make the projections at the Disneyland version “pop” with added brightness and sharpness, it’s a ride that’ll feel quite familiar if you’ve visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But, as the very first ride at Disneyland that features the main mouse himself, you won’t want to miss your chance to climb aboard and join Mickey and Minnie on this exciting ride!

Learn more about the exciting changes happening in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland – and check back here for a peek inside Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway once the attraction opens!

Thanks to Disney for hosting us on a 3-day Disney 100 Press Preview at the Disneyland Resort where we we able to learn about the magic behind new offerings like World of Color – ONE, Wondrous Journeys, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, food and merchandise for the celebration. #Disney100 #DisneyParks #Disneyland

Posts by Heather Adams

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Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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Authored by
Heather Adams

Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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