Taking a tour around Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios!

As most of you know, Toy Story Land is the newest Walt Disney World offering. It’s a new land inside of Hollywood Studios. The theming – beyond, obviously, Toy Story – is that you’re in Andy’s backyard, and the land is constructed out of his toys.

Going into this, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As a child, I loved Toy Story, but it wasn’t a movie that really stuck with me as I aged. I knew that Toy Story, as a theme, would lend itself to a more simplistic look, vs the intricacies of Carsland in California Adventure. So I wasn’t 100% sure what I would think of the land. I’ll take you guys on a little virtual tour of our day there, and give my thoughts on both the individual pieces and the land as a whole.

Can’t start a TSL post without a little shoutout to my favorite park. I’ve loved this park since it was MGM, and despite it getting a huge rehaul, I still love it. Here’s hoping HS grows and comes into its own again in the coming years.

At the entrance to Toy Story Land, they have a cute photo spot with Woody.

Walking in, they did a great job of making you feel surrounded by giant toys. They also hold well-concealed lights, which is great for nighttime.

Even parts of the railings looked like toys!

This is the first big set piece you see coming into the land. Scale wise, you’re supposed to be the size of a Green Army Man/Woman, so Jesse and the other toys still look big compared to you. This is a really fun set piece to ride through on the Slinky Dog Dash.

The aforementioned Green Army Man! There were Green Army men and women walking around, which was a lot of fun.

The theming is neat, night or day, but the lights really make it shine at night (as you’ll see later in the post.)

Here you can see the new Midway Mania entrance on the left. We didn’t go on it, since we wanted to spend our time on the new attractions. I’m curious what they’ll do with the old entrance in the Pixar area; right now it’s just blocked off by some shrubs on wheels, not a permanent look.

Here we come to the Slinky Dog Dash!

Green Army Men being of assistance.

You can see the spires of Galaxy’s Edge coming together!!

Entering into the actual line for Slinky Dog Dash. The theme of this is that Andy got a roller coaster builder, but rigged it to use Slinky Dog as the coaster car instead. You can see his sketches and such along the queue.

Please note the Lincoln Log benches.

Buster’s nametag.  Andy better hope he doesn’t have nightmares, living on Elm Street…

Creeper Army Man is always watching.

Sticker sheets! They did a great job having some dimension to really look like stickers had been peeled off.

Some of Andy’s pre-Imagineering drawings, ha!

My one wish: That this box was three dimensional and looked like actual crayons sitting in there.

Slinky Dog selfie, because…I don’t know, why not.

The loading area, featuring more of Andy’s drawings.

Another view of Galaxy’s Edge!

Waiting in line for Alien Swirling Saucers.

This is the outside of it – it’s supposed to be a toy Andy got from Pizza Planet, but I’m not sure what toy, exactly.

The view of TSL from the alien ride. You can see a lot of the umbrellas Disney set up (the land itself does not have a lot in terms of shade).

Obligatory ride selfie! The alien ride reminded me of I4: the ride. It was fun, and whiplash-y.

The lights are so pretty at night!

At night, you can see the colors of the Slinky track change color! Before the car passes, the lights were blue.

After passing, they turned white! There were other combinations of colors too.

This was such a standout design thing for me – I know, I know, it’s a piece of tape, but they got that air bubble look PERFECTLY.

The view from the Slinky bridge!

Some nighttime views to close out the photo part of this post.

Oh, and Geoff and I on Slinky! The photopass will automatically capture your magic band, so you don’t need to worry about grabbing your photo after the ride.

So what did I think of the land?

Pros:

  • It was a lot cuter than I was expecting it to be.  I don’t dislike Toy Story at all, but I’m not a huge fan of it, so I was unsure how I’d feel about the theming.  Overall, I liked it!
  • Slinky Dog Dash is such a fun coaster.  In terms of intensity, I’d rank it around Mine Train – it’s very smooth, but does have two (minor) accelerations, so it’s a little crazier than Mine Train but not by much.  It’s overall just really fun.
  • The line for Slinky Dog Dash is fantastic.  You really feel like you’re wandering around toys and toy boxes.
  • Alien Swirling Saucers is a copy of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree from Carsland, in terms of what ride it is, but it’s a lot of fun.  I call it I-4 the ride, in terms of merging and rapid lane changing, ha!  I knew it wasn’t as in depth of a ride as Slinky, but I was pleasantly surprised how fun it was.
  • Woody’s Lunch Box was a cute eatery – I forgot to take photos, but it was really cute and had a nice selection of food items vs your usual burger and chicken nugget quickservice meal.
  • The land isn’t very large (three rides, no shops aside from two small stands), but it feels large.
  • It’s cute in the daytime, but really pretty at nighttime.  Really good lighting design.
  • They have a cute giant fence up that you don’t really notice unless you’re on the Slinky coaster, but it does a great job blocking off most of the park (I only noticed Tower of Terror, the Chinese Theater, and Galaxy’s Edge) and making you feel like you’re in an enclosed ‘backyard’.

Cons:

  • They did not prep for Florida sun.  Everything is outside and un-air conditioned, minus Toy Story Mania and the restrooms.  For the Slinky line, they had to stick a bunch of umbrellas along the line to shade us (which was appreciated, but obviously looked temporary).  About half the line in both the Slinky coaster and Alien rides are uncovered.  The Jesse and Woody meet and greets are also unshaded, as is Woody’s Lunch Box (minus a few umbrellas).
  • Woody’s Lunch Box is full of Babybel Cheese.  I know, I know, it’s the sponsor of Disney snacks, but there is SO MUCH BRANDING in it that Babybel is the first thing I noticed before the lunchbox itself or the thermos propping it up.  It’s in the lunchbox, it makes up some of the seats, etc.  There’s just a lot of cheese.  (I do love Babybel but I was surprised how it seemed to stand out more than other corporate sponsorships Disney does).
  • This is a picky, picky, picky thing, so please note I know I’m being silly – but the giant toy statues work because you’re supposed to be the size of a Green Army Man.  But then Jesse and Woody meet outside and the scale is thrown off.  I KNOW I’M BEING SILLY, it’s less an actual complaint and more of a “hey I noticed”, but since they don’t have an actual indoor area for a meet and greet it’s a necessity for them to meet outside.  I own my pettiness.
  • I mentioned it above, but I have no idea what the Alien Swirling Saucers toy was supposed to be!  It definitely felt like a Buzz ride, very in line with Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, but aside from being told that it’s a “toy from Pizza Planet”, it’s the only area of the land that I had no idea what toy was supposed to be represented.  If anyone knows, please let me know!  We also attended just a couple days after opening and the Alien line was showing signs of wear (buttons that looked like they could move but weren’t had small holes pushed in them already from people pushing them).  I was surprised to see signs of wear that early on, but it may have been fixed already!
  • A tragic missing case of no Al’s Toy Barn.  Instead they converted Sweet Spells (RIP), the best candy shop at Walt Disney World in my opinion, into a Toy Story store.  It’s not located anywhere near the land and is just weirdly disjointed instead of building an in-theme shop in the actual land.  GAH.

My overall thoughts: It’s a cute land, and gives Hollywood Studios a lot to do.  I can see areas where I wish it had a bigger budget, but overall it’s very cute, and the Imagineers and rest of the team did a fantastic job with the nostalgia factor.  There were toys from the 90s that I remember, and more old school toys beyond that.  If you’re looking for something huge and epic like Pandora, it may not fit that bill, but it’s a cute land that will definitely appeal to anyone who loves Toy Story and loves toys.

Also, it butts right up to Galaxy’s Edge and I am dying to know what that transition is going to look like!!  There’s a construction wall blocking it off but it looks like there will be an entrance…so that makes three entrances to the land, potentially?  By Pixar place, in Toy Story Land, and by Grand Avenue.  The GA one looks like the ‘main’ entrance, but I believe the other two will be entrances (or at least look like they will be).  We’ll have to see!

I hope you guys enjoyed my thoughts on Toy Story Land.  Let me know what you thought of it, or if you have any questions. ♥

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June 28, 2018

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