A week before the grand opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, team members and a few lucky people were able to visit Toy Story Land early and ride the two new rides opening June 30th. Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster was opening and weaving its way through Toy Story Land and Alien Swirling Saucers was active and whirling around to a danceable Toy Story beat. The first thing that I noticed when I walked into Toy Story Land was the color! Toy Story Land was so vibrant. Compared to the previous Pixar Place, stepping from one to the other, I was blown away. It helped that the day was beautiful, almost out of a cartoon with the perfect amount of white fluffy clouds. Woody was there to greet you when you entered and he was huge. I counted seven (plus) life-sized characters at Toy Story Land (The plus is if you count all the green army men and Sarge.) Woody is the first you’ll meet and all of them have an extensive array of dialogue, so every time you visit, you may get a chuckle at some of the different comments they say.
After Woody, you’ll be able to see the first drop of Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster with Jesse and Rex in the middle of the action. The new Toy Story Mania entrance is near this location. Then there’s kind of like a triple fork in the road, one that goes to Woody’s Lunch Box, another to Alien Swirling Saucers with Buzz Lightyear at the entrance, and then there’s a pathway to the entrance of Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster.
The queue line for Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster was very creative. It’s like visiting Andy’s playscape, while he’s away. We were in his backyard, where he had setup an incredible roller coaster set. Now, Andy liked to use his imagination, so he modified the coaster set. Seriously, in the queue you’ll find larger than life blueprints and plans that Andy had made using giant crayons and pencils. There’s sticky tack, a huge bottle of Elmer’s glue, and more creative solutions that make up the queue line, including the original boxes to some of your favorite characters like Slinky Dog, Weezy, and Rex. Andy also used anything and everything to set everything up from board games like Yahtzee, clip boards, playing cards, sticker sheets, and more.
As for the ride, the first thing I said when I got off the coaster was smooth and fun. It’s going to be enjoyable for kids, but also fun for everyone. You start off with a nice launch as you get propelled up an elevated track, setting up the height for your first drop as you circle around Jesse and Rex. There are some really cool banks and turns here with Slinky Dog dialogue and springy sound effects. I consider Slinky Dog the 5th life-sized character that you meet. After that, here comes my favorite part. The coaster comes to a complete stop. Slinky Dog says “hang on” as you go backwards as if you’re being winded up. “Here we go!” Slinky says. And we are off on our second launch in the ride straight for a vertical hump and drop combo. After we go through a patch of wavy track and go up and down for a spell, then a turn and another small drop and photo op. After we hit the break zone where we have the big finale, it’s Weezy (6th toy) and just like at the end of Toy Story 2; he’s got the mic and singing “You got a Friend in Me.”
Next we decided to check out Alien Swirling Saucers, where you’ll find Buzz Lightyear, as I mentioned before. The entrance had the two robot guards from Pizza Planet with the Pizza spears. The first queue building is all about Star Command, you’ll also see Buzz’s original box on the top of the building. The Star Command section has large switches and interactive dials that keep you entertained for bit, there’s even a water fountain that looks like large batteries. After that, you enter the Pizza Planet play set area, the Alien Swirling Saucers ride was supposedly bought at Pizza Planet, so there’s lots of pizza décor and alien fun. The ride system is very similar to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at Disney’s California Adventure, except Alien Swirling Saucer is mostly sheltered from the sun. Both rides sway back and forth around three loops in a figure eight pattern, but Alien Swirling Saucers has two tracks operating at the same time, so more people can ride every hour. There’s a left and right track. Now, I rode the ride in the daytime, but I can tell there’s quite a bit of a light show that I’m missing out on. With the dance party music beat, plenty of dance lights, and black light party hue in the ride, this ride is going to be great at night. But I can say the same with Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster, Toy Story Land in general is going to look really pretty at night.
The other thing I noticed while walking around Toy Story Land is the uniqueness. There’s benches made out of giant used Popsicle sticks; some are made out of dominos. The trash cans are unique not just to Toy Story Land, but themed appropriately depending on where they are located. They are different at Slinky Dog Dash than at Alien Swirling Saucer than at the entrance of Toy Story Land. Then there’s the great selfie location right next to the Pixar ball (which I consider the 7th life-size character).
Woody’s Lunch Box is the food option at Toy Story Land and I found it very cool that the ordering windows are Tupperware containers. There are Babybel tables, life-sized cookies, carrots, and celery sticks. It looks like Andy’s lunch box just fell and all the contents conveniently makes for a great eatery. Check out our other blog that contains the Woody’s Lunch Box Menu. They will be serving breakfast and lunch and have special non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks in this location.
As for Toy Story Mania, the new entrance wasn’t open when I previewed Toy Story Land, but I did check out the queue. What I thought was interesting was that the Stand by Wait time was five minutes. I laughed because I’ll probably never see that again in my life. Ha!
Toy Story Land is going to be a big hit for Walt Disney World; I can tell already. The details, the imagination, the fun, the food; everything at Toy Story Land is very entertaining, plus we get to look for Easter eggs too. The first few that I found were in the toy blocks around the Pixar Ball and Toy Story Mania. I saw the “Tangled” sun symbol on one of the blocks, then on some others I can make out A113, which shows its self in all Pixar films in one way or another.
Toy Story Land opens to the public on June 30th, so get ready to feel like you’re the size of toys and go explore Andy’s backyard this summer at Walt Disney World.