HOLR chatted with Jonathan Friday, Sr. Creative Director, and Allie Wong, Graphic Designer, to discuss the latest attraction in Disneyland’s Toontown- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a must-try during your next visit to Disneyland. As mentioned here, the newest Toontown attraction boasts a fun time for the whole family as you embark on an interactive journey through a Mickey Mouse short that promises hilarious hijinks around every corner. As soon as you catch a ride on Engineer Goofy’s train, you enter a new playful world full of animation and familiar faces as you attempt to find your way back on track.
HOLR chatted with Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway’s Jonathan Friday (Sr. Creative Director) and Allie Wong (Graphic Designer) to discuss Disneyland Toontown’s latest attraction. Check out what they had to say about the ride- and what to expect- below!
Talk to us about Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and what guests can expect when experiencing the attraction.
Jonathan: So we’re at Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland Park, and we’re inside Mickey’s Toontown which guests have been visiting for years, as the home of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and their friends. We’re now inside the El CapiTOON Theater where guests get to see the “prem-ear” of Mickey’s newest short film, “Perfect Picnic.” When we step into that theater something is going to go a little awry and we’re going to get the chance to step into that world onboard a train that’s engineered by Goofy.
Allie: At the El CapiTOON Theater, you’ll get to see the Mickey through the “ears” exhibit. It showcases Mickey through the ears and his illustrative career starting with Steamboat Willie in black and white, coming all the way to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which is more CGI. It shows you all the ways you could meet Mickey Mouse.
What was the timeline like in terms of bringing this attraction to life?
Jonathan: We began working on this attraction in 2017, three years before the attraction first opened in Walt Disney World.
Jonathan, as Creative Director, talk to us about your vision in terms of inception, design, and bringing it to life. What do you hope guests will gain from visiting?
Jonathan: I hope that when guests leave this they’re reminded of all of the fun moments they’ve had with Mickey over the ears– all the nostalgic memories of these shorts. I think what was exciting for me as a Creative Director on this attraction – although the ride experience feels very similar to the attraction in Florida- we had the opportunity to introduce a brand new story in the El CapiTOON Theater and really leave our mark in Mickey’s Toontown.
This attraction, when it was originally conceived, was inspired by the brand new Mickey shorts that premiered in 2013, as well as some new technology and tricks that allowed us to really put you in an environment and then change it wildly around you. Because of that, you can envision an adventure where you might step into one place and then it suddenly transforms into something else. There’s a surprise around every corner!
Allie, how was your vision brought to life through the design and how long did the process take?
Allie: When we first started working on El CapiTOON Theater, we were inspired by the art-deco style but we knew it needed to be in Mickey’s Toontown so we created our own Toon-deco which is inspired by that. We took a lot of Toon characteristics and over-exaggerated them and played with them, to make it really fun and playful.
One of my favorite marquees outside is the El CapiTOON marquee, and I remember presenting the sketch of it to our Creative Director and he said we need to “emphasize TOON.” It needed to dance and celebrate that we are inside Mickey’s Toontown. I took that to my computer and started working on it but to see it from sketch to finish was really special. Seeing it all installed on the El CapiTOON Theater, and then taking my family back and all looking at it together- that was a really neat thing to see the creative process from start to finish.
What is your reason for visiting Disneyland during the Disney 100th Anniversary?
Jonathan: Is it too cliché to say Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway? In this queue, you’re going to find maybe over 100 hidden Mickeys, and finding them all is a good reason to visit!
Allie: I totally agree! Come to see the El CapiTOON Theater and experience Mickey and Minnie’e Runaway Railway. There’s a lot to see. In order to experience everything, you’ll need to go through the queue a few times because there’s so much detail we packed inside.
Published by HOLR Magazine.