We just got back from Disneyland, where we attended the opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. We were lucky enough to be able to ride several times over the weekend and we’re excited to share our favorite strategies for how to ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland.
We’ve loved Runaway Railway ever since we first experienced it in Walt Disney World at Hollywood Studios several years ago and have been looking forward to enjoying at Disneyland, since it was announced in Spring 2019.
We didn’t think it possible (Justin and Owen consider WDW their home Park – which means EVERYTHING is better there), but the Disneyland version of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway takes the cake! Amazing queue, more Hidden Mickeys, and…it’s Disneyland home of the Mouse.
What is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the first ride in the Disney Parks to feature Mickey Mouse. It is a seven minute (two minute pre-show, five minute ride) trackless, “dark ride,” based loosely around Mickey Mouse shorts.
This ride is an “E ticket,” must ride. You don’t want to miss the hilarious hijinks that ensue when Mickey and Minnie head out to enjoy the “perfect picnic.”
Who can ride this attraction at Disneyland?
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is suitable for all ages. There is no minimum height requirement, so everyone can ride, including infants and toddlers.
Guests will board one of four “rail cars,” with wide comfortable benches that will seat four to five guests. The benches are perfect for families, who want to sit together, and easily accommodates tall and plus size riders.
Does Runaway Railway cause motion sickness?
This ride is a smooth, trackless ride, that will be fine for most people. However, this is a 2 1/2-D experience with a few tight turns and some jerking that may be tough for people who experience motion sickness.
Where is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway located?
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the headline ride for Mickey’s Toontown, which is scheduled to re-open March 19, 2023.
How to Ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland
There are currently two options for riding Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway:
- Virtual Queue
- Individual Lightning Lane
These options may sound familiar, if you’ve ridden a brand-new headline attraction (like Rise of the Resistance or Cosmic Rewind) in Disneyland or Walt Disney World in the last three to four years.
With two options to pick from, it’s easy to assume that a full post on how to ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland is overkill, but getting on this ride is NO JOKE!
Prepare to ride Runaway Railway BEFORE your trip
Unfortunately, you can’t just “show up” and have a good time at the Disney Parks these days. If you want to have a good time, it’s essential that you plan and prepare for your day well BEFORE you get there.
Here are five things you can do to increase your chances of securing a spot on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland:
- Purchase multi-day Park Hopper tickets. We recommend spending at least three days in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Park Hopper tickets provide the most flexibility in planning your day and responding to the unexpected (like ride breakdowns, unexpected crowds in one park, etc.). Don’t pay full price – officially sanctioned discount Park Hopper tickets can be purchased here.
- Download the Disneyland app. We suggest that you download the app on ALL the phones you will have with you while in the Parks. We have this app on each of our phones, as well as our son’s phone. This will maximize the number of chanced you have to book a virtual queue or an individual Lightening Lane.
- Link your Disneyland passes in the app on each phone. Once you’ve purchased your tickets, you will be able to upload them into the app on your phone. This will serve as your entry ticket to Disneyland. You will not need printed or hard copy tickets. Following the instructions provide in the tickets and passes section of the app, link all of the tickets together in each phone.
- Study the app and familiarize yourself with how it works. Practice searching, locating things on the map, pay special attention to purchasing and using Genie+ (different than Disney Genie), virtual queues and lightening lane selections.
- Enable push notifications. Push notifications will enable Disneyland to advise you if there are changes to Genie+, Individual Lightening Lanes and virtual queue return lines. Adjustments occur regularly due to ride down time or extenuating circumstances.
How to Ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland using the virtual queue
I cannot tell a lie. Trying to get in the virtual queue for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland is stressful. Boarding groups fill to capacity within a second. Literally.
The virtual queue opens twice a day – once at 7 a.m. and once at 1 p.m. You can attempt to join the 7 a.m. virtual queue from any location, with a valid Disneyland Park reservation. To join the 1 p.m. virtual queue, you need to be inside Disneyland Resort.
Here are four things you can do to increase your chances of joining the virtual queue for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway:
- Set an alarm for five minutes before the virtual queue opens. Make sure you’re in a location with good mobile service (i.e. not on a ride or in an indoor queue).
- Turn off your WIFI. Guests with slower connections or bad WIFI will find they are out of luck, as boarding group reservations are snatched up in seconds. Do not attempt to access the virtual queue using the Park WIFI (with everyone else) unless your phone has little to no mobile service.
- Close all open apps. Open apps may take up much needed bandwidth. Close out of everything and re-open the Disneyland app.
- Locate and navigate to the virtual queue section of the app before the queue opens. Once you’ve entered the virtual queue option select, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and make sure your boarding group is linked together. Hang out in this space refreshing immediately at 7 a.m. or 1 p.m.
- Click to join virtual queue the moment the clock changes. Boarding groups regularly fill up in 1-3 seconds.
If you’re successful in joining the virtual queue, you will receive a message with your boarding group and an estimated return time.
You can only secure a virtual queue once per day. If you hold a morning ride ticket and attempt to snag another spot in the after queue, your morning ticket will be removed. This is a ride that breaks down and later queues are often not called to ride – a morning ticket is preferred.
Can I use Genie+ to ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
Genie+ is a paid “skip to the font of the line” service option that starts at $25 per day (prices vary by date and demand). It works on a number of rides within both Parks including:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana Jones
- It’s a Small World
- Millennium Falcon
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Monsters, Inc.
- Soarin’ Over California
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- Web Slingers
Genie+ does not cover Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. For a separate cost, guests can secure an Individual Lightening Lane for this ride and “skip the line.”
Do I have to purchase Genie+ to be eligible to purchase Individual Lightening Lanes at Disneyland?
No. Individual Lightening Lanes do not require a Genie+ purchase. It is a separate service and is purchased independent of Genie+.
How to ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Disneyland using an Individual Lightening Lane
Purchasing an Individual Lightening Lane is currently the only “guaranteed” way to ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
On a recent trip, we secured spots on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway via the virtual queue, only to receive a message later (enable your notifications!) that our boarding group was cancelled. Major bummer!
Individual Lightening Lane ticket holders have first priority on this ride. If a ride goes down for any amount of time, guests with an Individual Lightening Lane will be allowed to enter the ride in front of those holding tickets for the virtual queue. At times, this practice results in the cancellation of virtual queue tickets.
How much does an Individual Lightening Lane for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway cost?
The cost of an Individual Lightening Lane purchase is based on demand. Historically, Rise of the Resistance has averaged $20 a day, while Web Slingers (moved to Genie+) and Radiator Springs Racers have fluctuated between $15-20.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has pretty consistently cost $15-20 per person, per ride, since its opening.
When can I purchase an Individual Lightening Lane for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
Individual Lightening Lanes are only available to purchase once you have arrived at the Disneyland Resort and have scanned your pass in at the ticket gate.
If you would like to purchase an Individual Lightening Lane ticket for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland, we recommend doing so first thing in the morning to ensure you secure a spot. On our most recent visit, Individual Lightening Lane tickets for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway were sold out by 11 a.m.
Guests at the Disneyland Resort are only able to purchase an Individual Lightening Lane for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway once per day. We recommend purchasing discount Park Hoppers for your vacation, if you’d like to ride Runaway Railway more than once.
If I purchase an Individual Lightening Lane, can I select the ride time?
Individual Lightening Lane purchases are scheduled for a specific time of day, unfortunately the ride time is selected for you. You generally have a one-hour window within which you may enter the ride’s Lightening Lane.
While you are paying to skip to the front of the line, you should expect a wait of up to 30 minutes.
Is there a standby line for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
Currently, no. There is no standby line for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
We expect that this ride will eventually host a standby line, like other rides at Disneyland. The standby line for Rise of the Resistance opened seven months after opening and operating with virtual queue and Individual Lightening Lanes, while the standby line for Web Slingers opened about five months after the ride’s opening date.
Is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway available during Early Entry?
Guests staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel are eligible to enter the parks a half hour before other park attendees. Unfortunately, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is not available to guests during Early Entry.