Parenting NH Preview: Disney's Toy Story Land
Walt Disney World’s newest addition – what we know, what you can expect
Visitors to Walt Disney World, in Florida, have long been told that “It’s a Small World.”
In fewer than 90 days, Toy Story Land – the long-anticipated, newest land in the vacation kingdom – will open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. Billed as a larger-than-life environment where outsized toys and a tangible sense of nostalgia promise to immerse guests into the world Andy, Buzz and Woody, Toy Story Land will give visitors an opportunity to visit the world that first made Pixar a household name. It’s part of a multi-year re-imagining of the park, and part of the largest expansion in Disney Hollywood Studios’ history.
And with summer vacation right around the corner, there may be no better time for a primer on the newest addition to the staggeringly-popular family destination. Here’s a look at what you can expect to see, ride and eat during your visit.
Toy Story Land, in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, opens to the public on June 30. According to early buzz (excuse the pun,) it will give guests the sensation of shrinking to the size of a toy as they explore Andy’s back yard and encounter their favorite characters.
Here’s what you’ll find:
The 11 acre space, inspired by the “Toy Story” films, is designed to look and feel like a vivid, rich landscape that burst from Andy’s imagination, including giant building blocks and game board pieces.
The headliner attraction will likely be Slinky Dog Dash. A roller coaster themed around the flexible, floppy-eared dachshund from the films, tracks and supports in bright red, orange and yellow create a plunging, climbing, sinuous route for guests to zip around and above Toy Story Land.
Alien Swirling Saucers is designed to look like a play set that Andy won at Pizza Planet. The green denizens of the claw machine (“I have been chosen!”) pilot flying saucers that tow ride vehicles in a winding, swirling ride around the ‘game board.’ For those who have visited Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in California, think along the lines of Tow Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. For those who haven’t ventured west, imagine an updated, technologically-improved variation on the Mad Tea Party attraction in the Magic Kingdom.
Toy Story Mania! is the same beloved theme park favorite that opened in 2008. Only now, guests will enjoy an additional third track – cutting down on queues that have become famously long. And while lengthy standby wait times have become expected at this attraction (make sure to get on those FastPass Plus times 60 days in advance,) it’s for a reason. Incredibly immersive, and with the uncanny ability to tap into nostalgia for adults as well as younger guests, it is a challenging but fun blend of video and carnival games in a whirling, 3D world.
Guests don 3D glasses and board a ride vehicle tram equipped with a spring-action shooter. The tram whips and glides riders through different environments that present different virtual carnival games – knock down barnyard animal targets with eggs; pop balloons with darts; use baseballs to break plates; toss rings around the aforementioned little green aliens; and fire suction-tipped darts at mine-cart targets. Points pile up, and a little friendly competition is usually part of the proceedings.
Guests can grab something to eat at Woody’s Lunch Box – a quick-service stop offering sandwiches, snacks and drinks that blend classics with some adventurous and creative additions:
If it’s early in the day, try the S’more French Toast Breakfast Sandwich: Chocolate ganache and marshmallow-stuffed French toast topped with graham cracker crumbles.
Smoked Turkey: With eggs, Swiss, peppers and onions on sourdough.
Breakfast Bowl: A bowl of “potato barrels” (they look quite like ‘tater tots,) brisket country gravy and scrambled eggs.
BBQ Brisket Melt: Smoke brisket with cheddar, Monterey Jack and barbecue sauce on butter-grilled sourdough.
Monte Cristo with Raspberry Jam: Ham, turkey, Swiss and raspberry jam on grilled bread.
Totchos: Potato barrels (or, you know, tots,) with corn chips, chili and cheese.
Sides will include tomato soup, macaroni salad, Babybel snack cheese, and Raspberry Lunch Box Tart and Chocolate Hazelnut Lunch Box Tart (think Pop Tarts,) topped with icing dried fruit and caramelized bacon. If they offered FastPasses for the bacon-topped tart, we’d use one.
Toy Story Land opens to the public this summer, on June 30, 2018.
Bill Burke is the author of three Walt Disney World travel guides. The books, “Mousejunkies,” are available at all bookstores and all online book retailers. He is the award-winning Dad on Board columnist for Parenting NH and managing editor of custom publications for McLean Communications.