I was lucky to experience a preview of the upcoming Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this past Saturday. Although it was a “Dress Rehearsal,” the two, and only new attractions in the area, were open. We were also free to roam the area. There were no pictures or videos allowed during the preview.
Having visited Hong Kong Disneyland‘s version of this land, at first glimpse, the Hollywood Studios version seemed a bit grander scale. However, once walking through it, you can start seeing the limitations and budget cuts. It is small – REAL small (but most Toy Story Lands are). Don’t expect to walk into a huge new land. The land is pretty much ALL outdoors (with exception of some queue covers), so good luck running from the Florida heat or dodging a storm. The entrance is rather lackluster and the connection to the rest of the park seems rushed – no theming to connect the entrance to the park – just some benches and blank walls. It also has limited attractions, in comparison to Hong Kong, and no gift shop (just carts).
Don’t get me wrong – Toy Story Land is adorably cute in every detail. Kids will eat this up. From the popsicle stick benches to the big Toy Story characters throughout, this land puts you right into Andy’s backyard, and even the Cast Members call you “toys.” But again, budget theming is short and sweet…nothing big to see here except the cute factor.
Slinky Dog Coaster – The big plus of the land. I was honestly not expecting much from this family coaster, but it was an extremely fun ride. When you first walk into the queue – I LOVED the theming, taking the concept of this ride being a “Mega Coaster Playset” that Andy opened up. Parts of the set, and supplies to build it, are scattered throughout the queue. There are some nice details here- my favorite being a set of stickers for the playset with some of the stickers removed from the sheet. Also, the launch section of the ride is themed as an add-on to playset – a booster section “sold separately.” I thought that was genius.
The ride experience was better than Seven Dwarves Mine Train by far. The coaster actually had some good moments of air time (from the back row anyways). One part of the ride that really made me smile was the slinky sound you can hear at several points in the ride. It was just a nice little theming bonus. The ride lasts about a minute and has two launching points. It was longer than I expected and had some really nice elements to the track (including a really fun couple of bunny hops at the ending). It has nice, comfy seats and restraints too.
Alien Swirling Saucers – I have to first preface that this ride has the best Disney Acronym. Referring to this ride as A.S.S will always be in my future posts. Even if this was intentional or not by Disney (Remember the acronym for Monsters Inc Laugh Floor?), it still makes me giggle.
The concept art also makes this attraction look a lot bigger than it actually is. Reality is – it’s super small.
This ride was ridiculously cute again, but really didn’t have much to it. Being the same concept as Mater’s Junkyard in Cars Land, this ride is almost a clone, except for the alien theming and it being covered. I did enjoy the ride for a short wait, but would never endure a long queue for this. I LOVED the music and the lighting inside though. My friend and I were dancing in our seats during the whole ride – it just makes you smile. Personally, I would have much rather seen bumper cars or something in this area instead.
Woody’s Lunch Box
Although not open for the preview, I wanted to share my thoughts on this small stand that will be an operational nightmare. First off, there is NO indoor seating and NO shade. This is probably the worst budget cut of them all. This is Florida – heat and rain – not a good idea. Secondly, the service window is super small. I can’t even imagine where they are going to fit the lines of guests waiting to purchase food. They should have made a small restaurant for this land.
Toy Story Mania (New Entrance) – I wanted to note that the new entrance to Toy Story Mania is housed in this land now too. It is one of the first things you pass by when entering. So, “technically” the land hosts three attractions in total, but only two NEW ones.
Final Thoughts – Cute factor and Slinky Dog are wins for the land, but if you have seen a Toy Story Land – this one isn’t much different. It’s nice for what it is, but not a grand new land by any means. Wait until the crowds slow down and then give it a visit.
P.S – The views of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are incredible from inside this land. It was killing me to not be able to take pictures ?