Friday, June 19, 2020

My Disney Musings: Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway

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In early March, before the stay at home orders swept the nation, I spent a day at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Once again, it was a solo trip.  I wanted to check out the brand new ride, Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway Marquee

I got there early, arriving at the park not long after six in the morning.  I knew that opening would be pretty intense with both the Rise of the Resistance boarding group rush and the just opened Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.  The crowd was allowed through the turnstiles just after 7 AM for an official park opening time of 8 AM.

I headed straight to the Chinese Theater and followed the Cast Member's directions as I worked my way through the serpentine queue.  The line was long, however, it rarely stopped.  I'm not sure when the first riders boarded, but I know that it was early, probably around 7:30.  I boarded the Railroad at 8 AM.  (Unfortunately, this was the exact time that the Rise of the Resistance boarding groups opened.  Luckily, my husband was able to grab one for me.  You must be physically in the park in order to get a boarding group, but if you are there anyone that shares your My Experience App can get the boarding group for you.)

Hit or Miss? Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway

Was the ride a "hit" or a "miss"? I love that there is finally a Mickey and Minnie ride at Disney World!  It honestly shocks me a bit that it's the first.  I will note that the animation used throughout the ride is based on the recent award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, NOT what *I* would consider the classic animation.  I have to admit, I was a little disappointed they didn't use a more classic animation.  However, in the past months we've had the opportunity to watch the shorts on Disney+ and I'm slowly coming around.  I wonder if my kids will think of this newer animation as the "regular" style . . .

Example of the seating for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway

My biggest critique, or complaint if you must, is that the the ride is too short.  The official ride length time for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is 4 minutes and 30 seconds. (That does not include the mid-queue pre-show.)  This ride replaced The Great Movie Ride which clocked in at 22 minutes.  At a park that doesn't have many options for everyone in the family, this experience doesn't do quite enough to fill the void.  (This is one of only two rides in the entire park that infants and toddlers under 32 inches can ride.  Check out my post on What can I do With Little Kids and Babies at Hollywood Studios? for more information on this.)

Three things to know about Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway

The ride uses a trackless system, and it's pretty fantastic.  There are waterfalls, tornadoes, and even a tango!  It's not perfect though.  There are a few places where I felt there was a little too much reliance on straight up screens. The scene changes, and there are a few of them, are a little abrupt and disjointed.  I would like to note here that the ride is not a roller coaster or a thrill ride.  My personal classification of this ride would be "mild".  (Intensity-wise I would put it in a similar category to Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at Magic Kingdom.)

Light from the queue of Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway

There are so many details to discover!  Hidden Mickeys are everywhere, both in the queue and on the ride.  I heard one cast member telling a family in front of me that there are several hundred.  Hundreds!  I love how they kept some of the original Chinese Theater elements in the lobby, the "Classic Hollywood" vibe is still alive!

I rode it three times in one day.  It's eminently re-ridable.  (Of course, I'm quite fond of having an Annual Pass, so I find most of the Disney experiences worth repeating.)  There's a little homage to the ride's predecessor, The Great "Moving" Ride, in the carnival scene, which I thought was particularly great.

Overall, I thought Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway was a lot of fun and I look forward to enjoying it with the whole family!  It's a hit for me!

For those who would like a little more information about the rest of my day at Hollywood Studios:

I was at Hollywood Studios until about 4 PM.  It was a last minute decision to go, so I had no FastPasses scheduled.  It was pretty crowded, so few "good" one popped up, but I was still able to have a blast on most of the headliners:

  • Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
  • Tower of Terror
  • Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
  • Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
  • Rise of the Resistance 

Both times I rode Smugglers Run I went through the single rider lines, one time the wait was about 30 minutes the other closer to 45.  Both times the posted Stand By wait time was over 80 minutes.  

I also utilized the single rider line for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, but that one didn't go as smoothly, I actually think I would have been better off in the regular Stand By line. 

Toy Story Mania was a FastPass that I picked up while in the park.

I was boarding group 99 for Rise of the Resistance, which wasn't a "guaranteed" group, but it was called around 3:30. 

I actually did manage to score a Slinky Dog Dash FastPass for around 5, but I decided to call it a day and head home for some food. 

The posted time for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway seemed to be inflated each time as well.  In fact, I think it was roughly half of the posted time. 

All in all, it was a great day!

Where you one of the lucky few to ride Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway before the shut down?  If so, what did you think of it?  If not, are you excited about it?  Do you wish they had left the Great Movie Ride alone? 

Must have items that I bring to Disney World:

Being local and an Annual Passholder, I go to Disney fairly often.  I always bring a portable charger, an insulated bag, a water bottle, and a protective case for my phone. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Our Library Bag: June 2020

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Graphic including books, dragon, castle, frog, the earth, and more.

Yikes, my last Library Bag post was in March.  How can life be so busy when I barely leave the house?  Our library began curbside pick up last month and we have truly appreciated it.  (I'm uncertain if my local librarians love me or hate me . . . )  Here's a small sampling of what we've been reading: 

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I had found this book for my daughter, but due to her encouragement I have now found myself enthralled with the series.  

The Wife, The Maid, and the Mistress: A Novel by Ariel Lawhon
This novel is loosely based on the real life, and unsolved, mystery of Judge Crater who went missing from the East Coast in 1930.  Gangsters, speakeasies, corruption, and intrigue all weave together for an enjoyable page turner.  I thought this was a very clever "possible" solution to the disappearance.

Lassie: Come Home by Eric Knight
My oldest read this for one of her literature classes this year.  (We used the Memoria Press study guide.)  Having never read this particular classic before, I enjoyed reading it along side of my daughter.  It's a sweet story of love, loyalty, and determination.

Bedtime Math: An Excuse to Stay Up Late
My kids are really enjoying the whole Bedtime Math series, especially my middle child.  It's silly little stories mixed with math questions.

I really love houses.  I love to see the different architectural features that make a home special.  I follow Facebook pages like For the Love of Old Houses somewhat religiously.  (Seriously, I try to vote in their polls almost every night.)  All this is to say, I was very excited to see a biography about Frank Lloyd Wright in the form of a picture book.  The kids and I had quite an enjoyable time discussing the various styles of homes. 

Parting Questions!
 I am doing really well on my Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge.  I'll be honest, I didn't aim very high (for me), with a goal of forty books.  I've already finished 31 books so I am quite a bit ahead of schedule.  Did you have reading goals for this year?  Are you on track to reach your goal?  Have the recent current events helped or hindered you reaching your goal?

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the internet!