ORLANDO, Fla. - The countdown to the opening of Toy Story Land on June 30th is well under way, and I had the opportunity to step behind the themed walls at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see the land’s progress.
If you aren’t familiar with Toy Story Land, it is an 11 acre addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios that ‘shrinks’ guests down to the size of a Green Army Man toy so they can step into the whimsical and beloved world of PIXAR Animation Studios' blockbuster franchise set in Andy’s backyard.
The environment is highly intricate and themed, and as you are walking through the land guests will notice that all of the buildings are built from other toys and boxes with familiar faces from the Toy Story Franchise.
Inside of Toy Story Land guests will find that there are two new attractions, a reimagined entrance to Toy Story Mania, a quick-service dining location, character interactions, shopping locations, and more.
The visit to the Toy Story Land construction site and presentations from creative directors gave our group a good idea of how the land would all come together with new insights into the project.
Nine new things we learned about Toy Story Land
1. Mr. Potato Head returns to Toy Story Mania
In addition to the all new facade and queue set-up, guests will once again be able to interact with the fantastic Mr. Potato Head animatronic in the Toy Story Mania queue.
The Mr. Potato Head animatronic, who entertained waiting guests with real-time conversations and tricks such as removing his ear, was removed in 2015 as the third track of the attraction was installed.
2. Slinky Dog Dash is a thrilling family coaster even for the younger visitors
Per Kenny Person, a General Manager at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Slinky Dog Dash attration will accommodate the average four year old with a height requirement of 38 inches.
Slinky Dog Dash is a family coaster themed as if Andy built it in his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit and some of his other favorite toys. The attraction’s ride vehicles, inspired by the character of Slinky in the film, will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops Andy has created to stretch Slinky’s coils to the max.
3. Taking a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers
During his presentation, Kenny also let us know that the Alien Swirling Saucer will accommodate the average two year old with a height requirement of 32 inches.
Once on-board Alien Swirling Saucer guests will find that they are inside a play set that Andy won at Pizza Planet. The Aliens have powered up their flying saucers for a wild ride under the lights set to an out-of-this-world intergalactic soundtrack. And if you’re really lucky, you might just get “chosen” by the claw.
4. Everywhere you look there is a detail you won’t want to miss
When you are in the land it is hard to overlook the amazing amount of detail that was put into this expansion from the fences made of toys, to the Tinker-Toy light posts, to the scale of the plantings and Andy’s large footprints in the pathways.
The high level of detail created by the Walt Disney Imagineering is fantastic and transportive.
5. A Welcoming Howdy
The entrance to the new Toy Story Land area is on the right just before you reach the PIXAR Place gates, Walt Disney World still hasn’t announced what will happen to this area of the park when the land officially opens, and you will be greeted by none other than Woody himself.
Standing nearly 20 feet tall, Woody is tipping his hat (which measures 7’ feet, brim to brim) and standing next to the marquee which is made out of blocks and a 4-foot-tall yo-yo – just a few of the many toys that make up Toy Story Land.
6. Woody’s Lunch Box
Last month we got a sneak peek at what guests will find on the menu at Woody’s Lunch Box, and one of the chef’s creating the menu gave us a better look at what the location will be offering throughout the day and the creative process.
The menu draws inspiration from lunches you wish you has a child prepared at a nostalgic location that will be able to smoke meats and vegetable on-site as well as scratch make a variety of soups, sides, and entrees.
7. Food Allergies and Modified Diets inside Toy Story Land
Since the Woody’s Lunch Box quick-service dining location does have a larger kitchen, they will be able to accommodate food allergies and modified diets.
One thing that they chef mentioned was that they would be offering a vegan chili with vegan cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches.
Earlier this month Good Morning America shared a special behind the scenes look at the merchandise you will find once Toy Story Land opens, and we had the opportunity to see some of these new pieces that are going to fly off of the shelves!
The merchandise is split into two categories with one that focuses on commemorating the opening season of Toy Story Land and another with merchandise based on the attractions found in the land.
The biggest sellers will absolutely be the Slinky Dog and Alien headbands, the light-up Slinky dog, and commemorative opening t-shirts in a variety of styles.
9. There is still a lot to be done!
While the construction site is filled with activity, Disney Imagineers are confident that they will have Toy Story Land ready for guests on June 30th!
© 2019 Cox Media Group.