Controversial Disneyland Attraction Causes Guests To Turn on Each Other

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

Mickey's Fun Wheel and Incredicoaster on Pixar Pier at Disneyland Resort's California Adventure

Credit: Brandi Alexandra via Unsplash

In March of 2020, Disney opened Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (MMRR) in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World as a replacement for the fan-favorite attraction, The Great Movie Ride. The trackless dark ride was received positively and soon a second iteration of it was opened in Disneyland in January of this year. While both rides are extremely similar, some guests have pointed out a glaring and growing problem with the newer of the two.

The attraction is the first to solely feature Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and brings Disney park guests along as they embark on the “perfect picnic!” However, things go awry for the couple and they’re taken on an adventure worthy of the popular Mickey Mouse Shorts. Guests will also encounter Donald Duck and Daisy Duck as well as Engineer Goofy! Unfortunately, the Disneyland ride has been the source of many complaints from guests since opening in Mickey’s Toontown earlier this year.

Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway
Credit: Disney

Earlier this week, Inside the Magic reported on claims from X, formerly Twitter, user @Ryanthemepark, who posted some upsetting photos of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland. The photos seemed to show the ride had suffered an unusual amount of wear and tear in its less than 9 months since opening. The recent photos and damage claims come in addition to the issues the attraction experienced earlier this year, with reports that the park was “unable” to operate the ride and attractions were constantly broken or frozen. 

The photos show damage to display signs, electronic screens not working, and missing props and decorations. Some of these photos show signs put up by Disney indicating that a “toon up” is coming and implies the park is working on fixing the damage. It’s not clear how much of it is due to guest interactions but many of the comments on the post seem to place at least part of the blame on the guests themselves, like @Alec_T_Kit who asks “Why must guests ruin things. It’s so wildly upsetting.”

A comment from @TRVLtruth further describes the problem, “I was in line and watched a family attempt to yank, hit, pound and touch everything within their reach. They were disgusting.”

Comments like this point to guest behavior as a cause to parts of the damaged queue. Others chimed in that problems like this are common in theme parks, whether that’s Disney or Universal. “Isn’t this the type of behavior that caused Universal Studios Hollywood to have to add a cage around some of the props in the Mario Kart queue?” asked @ScottKumka. However, some comments had differing opinions on how much of the blame was to be put squarely on Disney or its guests.

User @jordynmccrazy12 was firm on the stance that it’s a guest problem by stating, “This is 99% on the guests. Teach your kids and yourself not to touch stuff… WE LOOK WITH OUR EYES.” Agreeing, @disneypixarnerd said “Maybe don’t design queue space to be touched. Just a thought,” to which @lauriesf responded “It wasn’t designed to be touched; it’s not interactive. It’s a mock up to be viewed.”

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
Credit: Disney

However, @portcolumbus asks, “Comments of “why do guests ruin…” while I loathe people too, understand that Disney’s audience are families and kids, and kids have energy, and they take it out on everything. So the real question should be: why isn’t Disney building to standards necessary to support its guests?”

As a pioneer of ride queue construction and design, it seems strange that Disney would produce an area that is so quick to be damaged by normal guest usage in less than a year. While it’s easy to dismiss these problems with a “kids will be kids” attitude, they raise important questions about the delicate balance between creating a family-friendly environment and ensuring the longevity of theme park attractions.

Mickey Minnie Runaway Railway
Credit: Disney

While the Disneyland version of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway seems to be bearing the brunt of queue issues and damages, it’s clearly not a problem only found at Disneyland or even solely at the Disney parks, as Universal has its own issues with queue and prop longevity. Fortunately, the sister version of the attraction at Walt Disney World seems to have escapes a similar fate so far, but it does prove that there needs to be more innovation when it comes to walking that balance of family-friendly and lasting magic.

What do you think of the ongoing damage to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway? Do you think it’s a guest issue or a design problem? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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