Ready your FastPass+! You’ll want to ride Mickey’s first ride-through attraction over and over in order to find all of these Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway fun facts! The easter eggs and treasures within the ride were carefully placed by Imagineers as homages and nods to previous attractions as well as Mickey’s history. Read up and see how many you can find on your next trip to Walt Disney World Resort!
Quick Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Fun Facts
- As an homage to the attraction that preceded it, you’ll find a “GREAT MOVING RIDE” poster in the ride that hearkens back to The Great Movie Ride.
- The Maison des Souris sign in the city scene of the attraction makes sense once you translate French into English: Mouse House. Or House of Mouse, if you prefer.
- The tri-tone whistle from Mickey Mouse’s debut cartoon in 1928, “Steamboat Willie,” was used to record the locomotive whistle sound for Engineer Goofy’s train. Read more below about Jimmy MacDonald’s original sound effects from the 1930s.
- Imagineers pinned stills from each and every episode of the late Mickey Mouse series in order to soak up the cartoon’s feel.
- The final picnic shows “Yensid Valley” which reverses the spelling of Disney and recalls the Sorcerer who originally held this magic moniker.
- There are two storylines: “A” and “B” involving Mickey and Minnie, but also following Pluto in his own adventure. Try to pay attention to both!
- The Delux-O-Detergent rooftop sign in the city scene advertises that it’s “safe for ink & paint” which refers to the old animation process of tracing, inking and painting final cels.
- Walt Disney Imagineering consulted with Paul Rudish (executive producer) and Joseph Holt (art director) for the “Mickey Mouse” shorts. To ensure the hand-drawn look which is authentic to the series, the Imagineers added extra floating “lines” around items in the stampede scene to extend a technique used in the cartoons to emphasize movement.
- The attraction’s glamorous entrance marquee light features blinking bulbs and hand-crafted neon depictions of Mickey and Minnie. The thought process behind this specific design comes from the extravagant and excessively designed marquees which were custom made for premieres films during the mid-1900s. The marquee also harkens back to the original attraction sign of The Great Movie Ride.
- Disney Television Animation created 10 new posters that appear in the attraction’s queue in collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering. Nine of the posters advertise existing “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts, while the final 10th poster foreshadows “Perfect Picnic,” the new short debuting in the theater.
- A newspaper features the headline “Oswald Wins!” – a reference to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the cartoon character created by Walt Disney.
- The Iwerks and Uwerks Waterworks water treatment plant is named for Disney Legend Ub Iwerks, the animator credited with sketching Mickey Mouse for the first time.
- The 1401 Flower Shop is an homage to Walt Disney Imagineering’s headquarters in Glendale, Calif.
- The numbers 1901 and 1928 (seen above a tunnel as they exit Runamuck Park) can be seen as references to Walt Disney’s and Mickey Mouse’s birth years, respectively.
- Chuuby (“choo-bee”) is an adorable little bird (who looks a lot like our beloved Orange Bird) who was created exclusively for this attraction. He likes to sing and dance in Runnamuck Park. Find a crossbody bag with his face on it inside the Runaway Railway gift shop.
The Runaway Railway Uses Vintage Sound Effects
Among Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway fun facts are the ride features several sound effects originally created by Disney Legend Jimmy Macdonald. The Disney Parks blog relays to us, “Jimmy had founded the sound effects department in 1934, and was regarded as a one-man sound effects wizard. Over his 48-year career with Disney, he created and assembled one of the largest and most impressive sound effects libraries in motion picture history—and a collection of one-of-a-kind hand-made gadgets created specifically for unique audio applications.”
MacDonald’s own equipment creations were rescued from storage (and nearly the trash) as Imagineers Joe Herrington, Mark Rhodes and Kevin Rafferty scooped them up after MacDonald’s retirement. Hauling the collection over to WDI, the instruments and devices were refurbished. Years and years later, as Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway was being designed and created, Kevin Rafferty remembered MacDonald’s contributions and made sure to incorporate these treasures as MacDonald designed them.
A little known fact, Jimmy MacDonald also took over Mickey’s voice for Walt in 1946 during re-recording sessions of Mickey and the Beanstalk, as well as for film, TV, records, in the Parks and Ice and Arena Shows from that time until the mid-1970s. During the debut of Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, Jimmy ceded Mickey back to Walt and took over the voice-over introductions.
The Runaway Railway was Russi Taylor’s last job as Minnie Mouse
Having been the voice of Minnie Mouse since 1986, Russi Taylor leads an envious life among voice actors. Her illustrious career includes playing well-known characters like Huey, Dewey and Louie, Pebbles Flintstone, Baby Gonzo and a variety of characters on The Simpsons. Inside the Magic reflected in 2019 over the loss of Russi Taylor, who was, indeed, a Disney Legend. She gave her voice to our beloved Minnie Mouse before passing at the age of 75 on July 26, 2019, in Glendale, CA.
Upon her death, Variety commented, “Minnie Mouse lost her voice with the passing of Russi Taylor. For more than 30 years, Minnie and Russi worked together to entertain millions around the world—a partnership that made Minnie a global icon and Russi a Disney Legend beloved by fans everywhere,” said Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “We’re so grateful for Russi’s talent as well as the tremendous spirit and great joy she brought to everything she did. It was s a privilege to have known her and an honor to have worked with her, and we take comfort in the knowledge that her work will continue to entertain and inspire for generations to come. Russi will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to her family and friends, along with our deepest condolences.”