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Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Includes Sweet Tribute to Walt Disney’s Love of Trains

Walt’s Carolwood Barn, a beloved staple of both Disney theme park and Los Angeles history, has received a cameo in the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction opening in Mickey’s Toontown.

Toontown, an area of Disneyland Park which allows Guests to visit the world of animated cartoons, partially opened after a long refurbishment on January 27, debuting the new trackless dark ride as part of the Walt Disney Company’s 100 Years of Wonder Anniversary Celebration.

Disneyland Runaway Railway

Credit: Disney

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Moreover, to extend the previous barrier separating Toontown from the rest of the City of Anaheim, Walt Disney Imagineering created new handpainted backdrops featuring rolling green hills and trees reminiscent of Walt’s boyhood farmlands, as well as one very special nod to part of Walt and Disneyland’s, past.

Of course, as any Guest who’s ridden the Disneyland Santa Fe Railroad will know, Walt Disney loved trains. So much so that a miniature steam train known as the Carolwood Pacific was part of the inspiration for Walt’s original Mickey Mouse Park, and Walt hosted an entire train workshop within a barn at his Carolwood home.

Walt Disney's Barn - Carolwood Foundation

Credit: Carolwood Foundation

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Today, the Carolwood Barn Foundation preserves this special piece of Disney history in Griffith Park, Southern California, allowing Guests to come and experience “Walt Disney’s Railroad legacy.” In fact, volunteers converted the original structure into “a living showcase of Walt’s passion for railroading…  filled with trains of all scales,” as well as the real personal items and tools of Walt Disney, including a workbench built by Disney himself.

Recently, the Barn welcomed a real “combine” coach from the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad and hosts the miniature railroad of animator and one of the “Nine Old Men,” Ollie Johnston himself. Moreover, with new and exciting surprises coming to Mickey’s Toontown at the Disneyland Resort, fans have noticed this special location has also come to the Disney Park!

Walt Disney's Carolwood Barn (@waltsbarn) / Twitter

Credit: @waltsbarn

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In fact, Lead Designer and Concept Artist, Jennifer Schwartz, designed artwork as part of  Toontown’s expansion team working to bring new dining experiences to the existing space, along with CenTOONial Park and the El CapiTOON Theater, home of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction. Included in this was a tribute to Walt’s Carolwood Barn.

Walt’s Barn shared images of the charming tribute via its Twitter page on the ride’s opening day, January 27:

https://twitter.com/waltsbarn/status/1619061705379819521?s=20&t=xsB_YZhlMOUOhyhdMZB0lg

So cute! Guests can see the new Carolwood Barn in its permanent Toontown home on their next trip to the Disneyland Resort and visit the original in nearby Griffith Park. For more information, click here.

 

About Spencer Johnette

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the Walt Disney Family Museum halls and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @gothelsflower.