The MGM/Hollywood Studios I knew as a kid is gone. It’s dead. It’s over. The Streets of America, The Backlot Tour, “Lights, Motors, Action!”..they’re all gone now. Arguably the biggest loss was The Great Movie Ride inside the replica of the Chinese Theater. As a kid it was always one of my favorites and usually had a short wait time, so we rode it a lot. But the attraction had shown it’s age and it was definitely time for something to happen to it. I was there the day it closed, and while it was fun ride I really began to realize that it was it’s time. At D23 in 2017 it was announced that the first ever Mickey Mouse ride would take the place of the GMR. I think most fans, including myself, were at least somewhat excited for the new addition to Hollywood Studios. Finally on March 4th of 2020, it opened.
Entering the World of the Toons
When you first walk up to the Chinese theater you are greeted with a brand new neon marquee at the entrance. Personally I think it looks really good, especially at night when the neon really shines.
You’ll find the aesthetic of the theater’s interior hasn’t changed all that much, which is good to see since it worked so well before. Instead posters for various movies, you’ll see posters for the new Mickey Mouse shorts. After the queue you’ll enter a theater to see the new Mickey Mouse short that is being debuted for you. Once again the theater looks very similar to the theater where the GMR pre-show was (although now there are 2 theaters).
The short begins to play, and it’s pretty good! The song is incredibly catchy and you are guaranteed to have to stuck in your head after watching. Then, since this is a Disney attraction, something goes horribly wrong so the story can begin…
Nothing Can Stop Us Now
Without giving too much away, Goofy is going to invite all of the guests to come inside the short. It’s pretty cool how they do it.–not as amazing as the hangar bay on Rise of the Resistance–but still cool. Next you’ll get on the “train” and begin your adventure. I’m not going to recap every single detail on the ride, but I will say there is at least one reference to the Great Movie Ride that I could find That was much appreciated. I’ll also say that the animatronics on this one are good but not great. They’re similar to the Frozen Ever After animatronics, although these don’t even move as much. But for the most part they get the job done.
Then there are the screens. MMRR uses a ton of screens and projection mapping to tell the story. Again, it’s something of a mixed bag. The colors and animation are beautifully done. It does allow them to do some things that can’t be done with traditional animatronics and sets. But it does fall short at times. For instance, there is a scene with a waterfall that isn’t really all that immersive and in my opinion the weakest part of the ride. Thankfuly, there are some scenes that do feel really big and immersive. The old west scene at the beginning is one of the best examples of that.
At the end of the ride you are returned back into the “normal” world via the screen you went in through, which is a nice visual gag. Overall I think it’s an enjoyable experience.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a welcomed addition to Hollywood Studios. It is by no means a perfect attraction, but it is a fun family ride and definitely worth doing on your next trip to Hollywood Studios (whenever the parks finally open as of writing this).
Final Score: 7.5/10
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