Disneyland Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Virtual Queue Will No Longer Be Used
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a brand new attraction at Disneyland that previously offered a virtual queue for access. The attraction will now offer a standby line and continue to offer an individual lightning lane. The individual lightning lane is obtained through the Disneyland app.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a new trackless dark ride that is already a hit at Walt Disney World and promises to be in high demand at Disneyland Park. The attraction brings guests into the cartoon story of Mickey and Minnie Mouse as they head out for a perfect picnic. There’s a mishap and Goofy drives your train down the wrong path and you end up on unexpected adventures.
Disney has utilized virtual queues and boarding groups for the launch of their most popular attractions in recent years. Guests get a number and are then notified when it’s their turn to ride. Disney wants to prevent guests from spending their entire day in line. Disney has now moved to pause the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway virtual queue. All details below!
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Virtual Queue PAUSED for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Attraction
On February 21, 2023, Disney announced that the use of the virtual queue for the Mickey & Minnie Runaway Railway would be paused starting on February 22, 2023. Starting on the 22nd, the attraction will offer a normal standby line and the Disneyland Individual Lightning Lane will still be available for the attraction at that time.
With the announcement, Disney also said that the virtual queue system could be restarted at any time if needed based on demand. Disney offered the same caveat when they paused the virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and WEB Slingers – A Spider-Man Adventure. We do not expect that the virtual queue will be restarted as it wasn’t for the other two attractions.
We will update our Disneyland morning strategy and 1-day Disneyland itinerary soon with tips for when to ride this new attraction.
We will maintain the below tips for the virtual queue if it is utilized in the future.
Disneyland Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Virtual Queue
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
does not offer a standby queue (see above) at this point and only offers either a virtual queue or the option to purchase an individual lightning lane. The individual lightning lane is not included with the purchase of the general Disneyland Genie Plus offering and must be purchased “a la carte” for specific attractions.
On the first day of operations of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway the Individual Lightning Lane cost $20 per guest for the attraction. On the same day, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction cost $25 per guest and Radiator Springs Racers cost $15 per guest. On weekdays following the first weekend of operation of the new Runaway Railway actually only cost $15. This is in line with our expectations that the attraction would not be as costly or in demand as Rise of the Resistance. The Individual Lightning Lanes have not sold out immediately, giving guests the option to purchase for multiple hours into the day.
During the days since the launch of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway it has gotten much easier to get into the virtual queue to secure a boarding group. It is likely a combination of first day/first weekend hype dying down and confidence from Disney in the attraction’s operating time. The combination has led to the virtual queue being open longer. Today the queue was open for over an hour after the 1 pm queue opening.
Here’s a look at the Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway individual lighting lane vs virtual queue / boarding group option within the Disney Genie Plus Tip Board section of the Disneyland app.
Previously both the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and WEB Slingers – A Spider-Man Adventure attraction utilized virtual queues. Currently, no other attractions at Disneyland use a virtual queue. There is a virtual queue in place for World of Color though the return function works differently as guests are securing tickets for one of the two shows. For guests familiar with experiencing these other attractions, the below tips will largely be the same.
For those who are completely new to virtual queues, I recommend you read our how-to section below and our frequently asked questions section.
Let’s dive into what we know about how the virtual queue will function for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction, but first a quick word to help you with planning your Disneyland trip…
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How to Use the Virtual Queue for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Each day there are two releases of boarding groups for the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway via the virtual queue in the Disneyland app. The virtual queue opens at 7 am and 1 pm each day. The group parameters will differ between the two release times. The first release time will require guests to have a valid ticket and reservation for Disneyland Park for that day and the second release time will require guests to have either entered Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park that day.
Though boarding groups within the virtual queue were selling out immediately throughout the entire first weekend, the opportunity to get into a virtual queue has been easier during the weekdays after the first weekend. The virtual queue was open a full 30 seconds one day and then for an hour+ during the 1 pm virtual queue drop that day. Basically, we are seeing that if you follow the tips below you should be able to get a spot.
Guests are only able to enjoy Mickey’s and Minnie’s Runaway Railway via the virtual queue once per day.
Translated – the first virtual queue release time is just for guests starting their day in Disneyland Park and the second virtual queue release time is for guests in either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park. Unlike the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind virtual queue in use at Walt Disney World, the second virtual queue will allow park-hopping guests to access the attraction.
Steps to get a virtual queue for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland
The below steps are based on our previous experience with Walt Disney World and Disneyland virtual queues and are now informed by our experiencing utilizing this new virtual queue for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
- The night before – Ensure that have the Disneyland app downloaded and that you are logged in. Also, confirm that all tickets from your group are connected to your app and have a Disneyland Resort reservation (note the different reservation requirements shared above for the two different release times). Also, confirm that your phone is fully updated.
- A few minutes before the official release times (7 am or 1 pm) log into the app and click on the ‘join’ button listed for “Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Virtual Queue”. The page should say that the queue is not yet open. Click out of the queue and refresh. This is just to see what the process will be. You may also consider logging out of the Disneyland app and then back in again. Also, force close the app and then open it again. You really don’t need to awake more than a couple of minutes before the virtual queue to successfully execute on this.
- I almost always opt to go for the virtual queue using my cellular service instead of WiFi. In cases where your hotel near Disneyland is in a dead zone, consider using hotel WiFi. If you are aiming for the 1 pm virtual queue, make sure you are away from people when inside the parks.
- Now, it is time to join the queue at exactly the 7 am or 1 pm mark. We like to have one person in the phone and another person holding up their iPhone watching the seconds hand countdown on the button for the clock. Right when it hits 6:59:57 am I usually refresh one more time and then click ‘join’. Disney uses time.gov to determine the times for their virtual queues.
- If the process is following the typical processes of Disney virtual queues, you’ll click ‘join’ and then click ‘join’ again. A screen will then pop up confirming your parties. You shouldn’t have to do anything on this screen as linked guests with the proper tickets and park reservations should be pre-selected.
- All of this process should take literally 1-2 seconds. Groups go quickly and will be sold out within the first 15-30 seconds of the virtual queue opening.
- Check your settings to make sure you have your push notifications on for the Disneyland app to be alerted when your group is called to return.
- Disney makes sure to say that joining the virtual queue for an attraction does not guarantee that you’ll be able to ride that attraction, but we do not expect Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway to break down often. The ride is far less complex than the Rise of the Resistance attraction. That said, new attractions are always fickle and you never know when a ride could go down for the entire day.
Once your boarding group is called you’ll have an hour to make it back to the attraction to ride. This may interrupt your Disneyland morning strategy, but you will want to ride the attraction as soon as you are called as new attractions are always fickle and may end up closing down at any moment. If this is a priority for you during the day, get to Toontown to ride. The above information is all extrapolated from the somewhat technical language on the Disneyland site and our previous experience with Disneyland virtual queues.
General virtual queue tip: The newest, most up-to-date, cell phone usually wins. Use the newest phone in your group.
Frequently Asked Questions Boarding Groups & Virtual Queue
What is a Disneyland virtual queue?
A virtual queue is a way to join a line for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway without actually getting in a physical line. You join the queue and then are notified when your boarding group is called.
What is a Disneyland boarding group?
Once you have successfully joined the virtual queue you will be assigned a boarding group. This group number is then how you know if you are being called to ride the attraction. You will be notified in the Disneyland app.
The boarding group numbers start at 1 and go up from there. The lower your number the earlier you’ll be called to ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Think of the deli counter numbers. They call your number and then you get to ride.
What does a backup boarding group mean at Disneyland?
After going through the above Disneyland virtual queue process you may receive a backup boarding group for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This means you are a virtual waitlist and are less likely to be called to ride. Your boarding group number will be higher than those on the regular virtual queue list and you will be called later.
How much will the individual lightning lane for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway cost?
The pricing for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway individual lightning lane on the first day of operation was $20. On the same day the cost for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was $25 and for Radiator Springs Racers the cost was $15. These prices will vary based on expected demand each day.
Can anyone access Disneyland Toontown right now?
Only guests with a valid lightning lane or virtual queue for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway can currently access Toontown. This will change when Disneyland Toontown reopens.
What time are the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway virtual queue drops?
The Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway boarding groups are available via the virtual queue at 7 am and 1 pm each day.
What if I am doing something else like eating or riding another attraction when my boarding group is called?
You have one hour to return to the attraction once your boarding group has been called. If you are not able to make this hour due to other Disneyland plans, alert a nearby Cast Member and they will be able to advise you. We have not had issues with returning late to our boarding group spot previously but do not yet have a sense of the policy for the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction. Do you best to make it to the time of your boarding group, but if you are late definitely still go and talk with the Cast Member.
How long will my wait be at the attraction once my boarding group is called?
We will have more details as the attraction moves forward. Expect to wait between 20-40 minutes. This will fluctuate based on when you are called to the attraction. Typically with virtual queues the wait for the first groups called is almost nothing, the mid-day groups wait is longer, and then the end-of-the-day groups fly through. The queue for the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is so cool you’ll want time in line to enjoy it.
How long will the virtual queue and individual lightning lane be in place for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
While we don’t have any sense of how long the virtual queue and individual lightning lane will be utilized instead of the traditional standby queue, I would expect that the attraction will be more in line with the WEB Slingers – A Spider-Man Adventure attraction than with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Though popular, WEB Slingers was more quickly and easily transitioned to a regular standby queue while Rise of the Resistance is still one of the headlining attractions at the Disneyland Resort. We can also look to Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios Park where the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction is popular but does not maintain the long wait that other attractions at that park do. In summary, we expect that while initial demand for the attraction will be high a standby queue will eventually make sense. The virtual queue is typically utilized until demand is low enough that offering a regular standby queue makes sense.
How does the Disney Disability Access Service (DAS) pass work with the virtual queue?
For guests with a DAS pass, a virtual queue or Individual Lightning Lane is still required to experience the new attraction. After you have received your virtual queue you are able to see a Cast Member about the necessary accommodations.
Does Walt Disney World’s Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway require a virtual queue?
No, the Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World does not require a virtual queue. That attraction is part of the Walt Disney World Genie Plus offering and also has a regular standby queue.
Can you hold both an individual lightning lane and boarding group for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
Yes, you can both join a boarding group for the new attraction and purchase an individual lightning lane for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. You could choose to ride the new attraction twice in one day if you go through both the free and paid method.
How could you get both an individual lightning lane and boarding group through the virtual queue for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
The best way to secure both a boarding group and an individual lightning lane would be to have one person in your group focus on the lightning lane purchase and the other on the boarding group. If there is only one person with the Disneyland app your best chance of getting both is to start with the boarding group (these sell out in seconds) and then move on to the individual lightning lane purchase.
Will the individual lightning lane or virtual queue line have the faster line once you arrive at the attraction?
Typically the individual lightning lane queue is much faster than the boarding group line.
Will Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway close during the Disneyland fireworks?
Yes, the new attraction will close on nights when the Disneyland fireworks show features fireworks and not just projections. On nights when the park closes at 11 pm or later, the attraction will reopen after the fireworks. On nights when the park closes at 10 pm or earlier, the attraction will not reopen after the fireworks. Disneyland fireworks typically only happen on weekend nights (Friday-Sunday) and the busiest days of the year. Confirmed by Scott Gustin on Twitter.
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