Photo: Disney Parks It’s perfectly fitting that Mickey Mouse, the icon Walt Disney credits for the start of the Walt Disney Animation studios, is finally getting a ride at Disneyland just in time for Disney’s 100th anniversary. That’s not all; Disney100 is being celebrated at Disney Parks in a big way with two nighttime spectaculars that pay homage to the company’s animation legacy and its modern blockbuster franchises.
io9 was invited to attend the media preview of the festivities and to talk to the teams and Imagineers that planned the centennial celebrations. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland
Inspired by the recent Paul Rudish Mickey Mouse cartoons, the centerpiece of Disneyland Toontown’s re-imagining is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The art style for the Disney+ series harkens back to Walt Disney’s classic cartoons—down to its star’s sound, which current Mickey Mouse voice actor Chris Diamantopoulos based on Walt Disney’s original performance. With that in mind, the whole area of Toontown is set to fit more into that animated world’s palette with Disneyland’s version of Runaway Railway. While the attraction’s first incarnation at Walt Disney World invites guests into a classic Hollywood movie theater, Disneyland’s version invites park-goers to Toontown with its own cinema, El Capitoon. “Mickey’s Toontown was the obvious choice because Mickey and Minnie shoot their films just down the road in Mickey’s Movie Barn,” Walt Disney Imagineering senior creative director Jonathan Friday shared as we toured the queue. “So naturally they need a small town cinema or hometown theater to premiere those in.” Walking around the entrance of the queue past the ticket taker, you see posters for films that would be canon in an alternate Disney universe, like The Feisty Ducks and Goofy Friday (riffs on The Mighty Ducks and Freaky Friday, respectively), that we wish were real. Friday explained, “It only made sense that in our world we see live action spectaculars inspired by animated classic. So of course, in the Toon world, they’re going to take our favorite live-action films and animate them in a funny way.” (We joked that we hoped these clever Toontown cinematic universe films could find their way onto Disney+; check out io9’s photo slideshow of the posters here .) And the clever delights didn’t end there: alongside amazing props from Mickey Mouse-starring films and television is a concession st