Most Disney Park fans know their favorite attractions like the back of their hands. Whether it’s the soundtrack, the storyline, or the quotes, Guests familiar with Walt Disney World always know what to expect when riding Disney’s classic selection of attractions.
But there are some rare versions of rides across the Walt Disney World Resort that some Guests might never have seen. This weekend, Guests were treated to a rare version of one of Disney’s newest rides.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios features the classic Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, originally designed as the icon for the Park (then known as Disney’s MGM Studios), much like Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Tree of Life, and EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth. The building is a replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California and originally starred The Great Movie Ride. The attraction sadly closed on August 13, 2017, to be replaced by the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway welcomed its first Guests back in March 2020, becoming the first attraction at a Disney Park to feature Mickey Mouse and his pals Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto.
With Goofy as the engineer, Guests travel by train through whimsical animated scenes, including a carnival, an underwater landscape, and a busy city. Fittingly, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway boasts more Hidden Mickeys than any other spot on Disney property! But these Hidden Mickeys weren’t the only surprise greeting Guests this past weekend.
On April 9, Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista experienced a rare version of the popular Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride. Disney Guest @MagicBandManiac shared a video on Twitter on Saturday of the Disney Park ride operating in B-mode:
I’ve never actually seen them in B mode before
I’ve never actually seen them in B mode before pic.twitter.com/R0Yqaxo03m
— MagicbandManiac (@MagicbandManiac) April 9, 2022
The colorful video of the ride shows Mickey and Minnie in their hot air balloon, but instead of featuring as animatronics, the famous Disney characters are on the large screen behind.
Many Guests might not even realize that this is an alternative version of the popular Disney Park ride, with Imagineers designing a seamless B-mode scene that ultimately does not take away from the attraction’s storyline. We’re not sure what was initially wrong with Mickey and Minnie Mouse – maybe Goofy or Donald had a mishap with their balloon – but we’re always impressed with Cast Members’ ability to keep the magic alive at Disney Parks.
Ride operators typically switch to B-mode when an animatronic or ride feature fails, thus avoiding shutting down the ride completely. This way, Guests at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom can still enjoy the magic of the rest of the ride without having the disappointment of missing out.
Some Guests even say the Mickey & Mickey’s Runaway Railway B-mode projections are actually better than the original balloon animatronic, but we’ll let you decide that.
This rare B-mode experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park is similar to the backup modes used on attractions like Na’vi River Journey, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Expedition Everest.
The Pandora: World of Avatar ride Na’vi River Journey operates in B-mode when the Shaman of Songs Big Toe animatronic is not working properly. Again, a screen is used during this normally impressive scene. And over on Rise of the Resistance at Galaxy’s Edge, Kylo Ren’s animatronic often malfunctions, with Cast Members switching to the video version of Kylo in his ship.
Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has what many consider to be one of the most famous B-modes, as its B-mode has now become its standard operation. The Disney Park Yeti is an impressive twenty-five-foot-tall animatronic in the roller coaster, that only a few months after the attraction debuted in 2006 was left in an eternal motionless state – B-mode.
Disney Imagineers have installed strobe lights to give the Himalayan beast the illusion of movement, but Disney World Guests continue to wonder if the Yeti will ever be “fixed”. The strobe lighting has given Yeti his adopted Disney Park nickname, “Disco Yeti”.
We’ll have to keep our eyes peeled on our next Disney vacation for any other B-modes that occur on our favorite Disney theme park attractions. Sometimes they’re difficult to notice, but as always, we’ll keep giving Disco Yeti a wave!