10 Things Not To Miss At Disney’s Toy Story Land
Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida has long been the ultimate theme park dream destination, and every year they find new ways to entice visitors of all ages back to their vacation mecca. It helps that Disney owns some of the world’s most beloved entertainment franchises. It also helps that Disney’s imagineers keep adding and expanding immersive spaces within their theme parks.
Casual fans and fanatics alike can enter worlds based on Disney’s classic films. In 2012 it was Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land. Last year it was Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando. This year it’s Toy Story Land, a new 11-acre section of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, also in Orlando. Like the films, Toy Story Land is big on nostalgic references that will tug at grown-up heartstrings, with the characters and stories kids love too.
During a walk-through, David Minichiello, Executive Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering, revealed some details about Toy Story Land and highlighted a few features within Toy Story Land’s new attractions. Minichiello was mum on the exact number and whereabouts of any “Easter Eggs” and how they’re worked into the Disney planning process, but he did acknowledge that a number of Pixar and Disney references are integrated into the graphics and props.
Keeping an eye out for these details is part of the fun of visiting Toy Story Land. But just so you’re not spending your entire visit trying to figure out what and where they all are, here are 10 not to miss off the top:
1. The concept behind Toy Story Land is that it’s Andy’s backyard and he’s creating (along with some help from Jesse and Rex and the Green Army Men) a fantasy land with his toys and stuff from around his house. When entering from Hollywood Studios, Minichiello suggests you envision yourself shrinking down to the size of a Green Army Man. And keep an eye out for Andy’s footprints!
2. Slinky Dog Dash is a fun (but not too intense) roller coaster that is fast-becoming Hollywood Studios’ most FastPass-worthy attraction. Andy is modifying his “Dash & Dodge” roller coaster kit to create a new ride that’s Disney’s first with a double launch. The stand-by wait time sign is Andy’s dog’s tag. On the back is Buster’s name and Andy’s address.
3. Alien Swirling Saucers is a cute ride that’s gentle enough for all ages but still fast enough to be fun. You’re inside the claw machine at Pizza Planet— will you be chosen by the claw? All new music was composed for Alien Swirling Saucers and mixed with original music from the movies.
4. Toy Story Mania has long been one of Hollywood Studios’ most popular attractions. The 4D midway game ride has been integrated into Toy Story Land with a new entrance and exit, complete with UNO card shelters.
5. At first glance you might not notice, but the merchandise carts are a Fisher Price Family Camper and a toy dump truck, respectively.
6. The light stands throughout Toy Story Land are an assortment of Tinker-Toys, pencils, and straws. The benches are made out of popsicle sticks—used, naturally—but thankfully only stained and not sticky.
7. Toy Story Land’s FastPass scanners and ride-height requirement stands are an assortment of familiar game pieces: Sorry! and Candyland, in particular.
8. Much to his mom’s chagrin, Andy dumped out his lunch box and made it into a food service stand. Woody’s Lunch Box serves special Pop-Tarts and an assortment of sandwiches and drinks, including options for grown-ups visiting the park. Most of the seating is made out of re-purposed Babybel cheeses, and they’re on the menu as well. This is the first time Disney has partnered with a food brand and incorporated it into their parks.
9. Toy Story Land’s washrooms are spic and span and made out of blocks and Scrabble pieces. They don’t have cooties (in spite of Andy’s cheeky design) and the block wall is now an Insta-worthy spot for a selfie.
10. So far there have been several Pixar Easter Eggs and two Hidden Mickeys confirmed by the internet.
One: The price tag on Rex’s Al’s Toy Barn box is marked with a date: 11/22/1995, the day the first Toy Story movie was released. The bar code on the Dash & Dodge box also reveals two significant dates, but I won’t spoil those for you just yet.
Two: At Slinky Dog Dash, a Hidden Mickey can be found in the clouds, in Andy’s drawings of the ride.
Three: The other confirmed Hidden Mickey can be found in the line for Alien Swirling Saucers, which is made up of from Buzz Lightyear’s packaging. There are also a number of references to Pixar’s ongoing “A113” Easter Egg in this line and throughout the park.
As a new attraction, Toy Story Land is pretty busy. Walt Disney World extends “Extra Magic Hours” to those staying at a Disney resort, and Hollywood Studios now frequently opens at 8 a.m. It’s worth getting up at the crack of dawn for a quick blast on Slinky Dog Dash. The park looks extra magical at night, however, so staying late is a great option as well. From now until March, Disney’s offering 20% off multi-park passes for Canadian residents, redeemable until September 2019.
Corinne McDermott is the editor of Movie Entertainment magazine.