ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP/CNN) — The mouse at the center of it all, Mickey Mouse, is finally getting his own ride at a Disney theme park.
On Wednesday, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
The ride gives visitors the impression that they are watching a cartoon featuring Mickey and Minnie come to life as the Disney characters look for the perfect place for a romantic picnic and then end up on a train ride on the “Runnamuck Railroad.”
It’s housed inside a re-creation of the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
Like Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom or the EPCOT Spaceship Earth, it’s the first thing you see when you enter the park and draws you in.
The Chinese Theatre has been the centerpiece of Hollywood Studios since opening day in 1989, when it was the entrance to “The Great Movie Ride,” which closed in 2017 to make room for Mickey and Minnie.
The ride concept, too, is old Hollywood nostalgia: Enter the theater under a neon-lit marquee to attend the premiere of a new Mickey Mouse movie short, “Perfect Picnic.”
The cartoon begins with Mickey and Minnie on their way to a picnic in Runamuck Park, belting “We’ll sing a song and absolutely nothing will go wrong.” Of course something does.
Cartoon mayhem ensues, and the screen explodes outwards.
The ride features trackless vehicles, multiple dimensional sets and projections on multiple planes, as well as animatronic figures and theatrical effects.
“We’ve taken our whole grab bag of theatrical tricks and blended them together so seamlessly you won’t be able to tell what’s what,” said Kevin Rafferty, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering. “There is more happening in each and every scene than you could possibly have time to see in just one experience.”
As passengers board a train car, with Engineer Goofy at the helm, they’re whisked into a series of scenes, escaping one misadventure to encounter another: a stampede through the Wild West, the chaos of a carnival, a tornado, an exploding volcano, a dive over a waterfall, a factory on the brink of explosion and more.
While it sounds intense, the ride is more charming than thrilling.
It also has no height requirement, and anyone of any age can ride.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.)