Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios experienced an ultra-rare attraction over the weekend

mickey and minnie runaway railway
Credit: Becky Burkett/Disney Dining/Disney/Canva Creation

Over the weekend, Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios got to experience an attraction that only a few Guests have ever enjoyed at Disney World.

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Whether because they are forward-thinkers or because they have a magic crystal ball in the back office, Walt Disney Imagineering seems to think of everything. When Imagineers create, design, and build new attractions and rides, it’s a long, arduous process that’s surely one part creativity, one part problem-solving, and another part delegation (among other important “parts”).

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And then there’s another component to the creating and bringing to fruition new rides and attractions. We’ll call it the “what if” component, arguably the most important part of the responsibilities of Walt Disney Imagineering at Disney World, Disneyland Resort, and every other Disney Park around the globe: what if the ride fails (Guest safety), for example.

And what if the ride has a rogue animatronic or otherwise uncooperative feature or fixture that simply isn’t working? Walt Disney Imagineers have the answer: B-mode, a slightly different version of the attraction that can go unnoticed by some Guests.

On Saturday, Guests experienced the rare B-mode version of the popular Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride. On that particular day, Mickey and Minnie were the rogue animatronics. Maybe they went to grab lunch at a location outside Runnamuck Park. Perhaps the same perfect picnic all day long, every day of the week got a bit mundane and they took a break. It could be that the pair needed a break from Engineer Goofy. Or Donald Duck. Or Daisy Duck.

mickey and minnie runaway railway

Credit: Disney Parks

Maybe they were unwell. But whatever the reason, one “room” inside the attraction was devoid of the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse animatronics.

One Disney fan, MagicBandManiac, took video of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway operating in B-mode.

Ride operators switched to B-mode so that Guests would instead see a projection of the Mouseke-duo, rather than emptiness. B-mode also keeps the ride from instant shutdown to address the issue.

According to InterPark, “B-mode” allows Guests to “continue enjoying the whole attraction rather than shutting it down completely. With so many other awesome effects to enjoy, there is little reason to cause them to miss out entirely when it is only one animatronic that has gone down.”

In this case, Guests still saw Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their hot air balloon, but they were projections instead of animatronics.

While not every ride at the Walt Disney World Resort has a B-mode, several do, especially at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Occasionally, the giant animatronic Shaman of Songs inside the Na’vi River Journey attraction at Pandora needs a break from her singing and swaying.

shaman of songs navi river journey

Credit: Becky Burkett/Disney Dining

When this happens, ride operators can switch to B-mode, and Guests can still enjoy the ride while the shaman gets her rest. And chances are if you’ve EVER ridden Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, you’ve definitely experienced it in B-mode, as it’s been in operating that way for years. Since the Yeti first malfunctioned, the ride has been in B-mode, affectionately called “Disco Yeti” since the logistics for repairing the abominable snow monster are complicated. (However, one fan was able to fix the Yeti with no trouble at all; you can read about him here.)

expedition everest

Credit: Becky Burkett/Disney Dining

Guests may never experience an attraction in B-mode, but for those who do–especially if they are huge Disney Parks fans–the change is sometimes noticeable, but it usually doesn’t take away from the overall experience.

Here’s hoping Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are back at their posts inside that hot air balloon really soon!

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!