SDCC 2021: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway: From Animation to Imagineering

One of the benefits of San Diego Comic-Con being a virtual convention is that the panels are not flashes in a pan. You don’t have the dilemma of passing on one to see another. Or if you had summer plans, panels are still there for people to watch when time allows. Here at Fangirls Going Rogue, we want to help optimize your time. Which panels are a right fit for you? These short reviews will hopefully aim you in the right direction.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway: From Animation to Imagineering panel aired on July 25, 2021. From its description:

Ever wonder what it takes to turn a classic cartoon into an immersive experience at Walt Disney World Resort? Join Disney as we bring together Disney Television Animation and Walt Disney Imagineering to discuss the process of creating Mickey and friends’ first-ever ride-through attraction in Disney history, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This history-making attraction features an original story based on the award-winning Mickey Mouse shorts and features favorite Disney cartoon characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. This panel, moderated by Sarah Sterling, includes panelists Charita Carter (senior producer, Walt Disney Imagineering); Kevin Rafferty (retired Imagineer and executive creative director for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway); Paul Rudish (executive producer and supervising director, The Wonderful World of Disney); Christopher Willis (composer, The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Parks attraction); and Elsa Chang (character designer, The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Parks attraction). Tune in as they discuss how they were able to combine the two worlds of animation and Imagineering and turn them into the “Perfect Picnic.”

Who is this panel for?

Disney Park fans, aspiring storytellers, and STEM oriented people will all enjoy this panel. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway replaced the Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios in early 2020 and will be coming to Disneyland’s Toon Town in 2023. This is one of my favorite rides at Hollywood Studios, and after listening to the creative team share the process of bringing the experience to life, it’s easy to understand why. The passion for Disney’ beloved icons Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse is on full display. As someone less familiar with the legacy of the cartoons, the historical context of the animation will make the next ride even more fun.

Disney Park tip: if you are going to Hollywood Studios this ride is still one of the longer waits. Get to the park early and head to the park’s replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, which houses the Runaway Railway. That way you can avoid standing in line in the sun.

If you had a chance to check out Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway: From Animation to Imagineering drop us a comment below or share your thoughts with Fangirls Going Rogue on social media. Links below.

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