I’ve been wanting to get my thoughts on Toy Story Land to paper (or keyboard?!) for a while now, but I have so many that the task felt kind of mammoth.
Toy Story Land opened in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World on 30 June 2018. We visited in late September, so enough time had passed for some of the kinks to be ironed out, but not enough for the mania to have died down (unfortunately).
As a massive Toy Story Fan, I was pretty excited about this area. Not just because Hollywood Studios was in DIRE need of new attractions, but because the films mean so much to me personally.
So what did I think of Disney’s newest themed land? Keep reading as I take you through each aspect of the area to give an overall picture of what you can expect.
Toy Story Land Theming
The best place to start is with the one I was least excited for. When I saw the concept art I was just a bit ‘meh’ about the theming of the whole area.
Set in Andy’s backyard, the area shrinks you down to the size of a toy and surrounds you with oversized blocks, balls, food items and more. Now, I was a real big fan of Pixar Place so although I kind of liked the concept of Andy’s backyard, I wasn’t enamoured with it.
I certainly didn’t expect to be bowled over upon entering Toy Story Land. Yet I was. I LOVED it. In fact, I loved it so much I cried. And I didn’t even cry when I saw the castle for the first time.
No pictures or videos do this place justice because it’s everything else that makes it so special. The music, the fences, the placement of the props, the walls, the sound of Slinky Dog rushing round; it all comes together to make a magnificently themed area.
My one complaint is the same as everyone else’s; there is literally no shade. The whole place is directly in the sun and in the summer it gets hot. There is also very little seating so if you want to give your feet a rest while soaking up the atmosphere, forget about it. You have no chance.
The ambiance is great too, with music playing that will be familiar to all Toy Story fans and regular entertainment that gives the land a really vibrant atmosphere and sense of mischief and fun.
Is it Pandora or Diagon Alley? No. And if massive plastic statues aren’t your thing you’ll probably be disappointed. But I truly felt like I was walking around in one of my favourite films and for me, that’s what good theming is all about.
Rating… a solid 3.5/5
Toy Story Land Attractions
Slinky Dog Dash
Slinky Dog Dash is the main draw of Toy Story Land. A new Mack Rides family launch coaster, it propels you around Toy Story Land in a Slinky Dog car, hitting top speeds of 40mph.
This is the second Mack launch coaster either of us have ever ridden (with Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach being the first) and I have to say, we’re becoming solid fans of this type of coaster.
We didn’t watch any POVs before we went but had heard that this thing looked pretty slow and I have to admit, it seemed that way in person too. But, as a family coaster, we weren’t expecting anything too crazy.
Suffice to say when we got on it we were pretty impressed. We had a fastpass so didn’t see much of the queue, but I loved the station area and felt like it built a lot of anticipation for the ride.
Now the launches. For something that looked to be lumbering around the track, they really packed a punch – especially the second one – and the layout was great fun. I also loved the wheezy animatronic at the end. A fairly decent length at two-minutes, we both really enjoyed Slinky Dog Dash.
Sadly the queues were really long (well over 1.5 hours every time we visited) so we didn’t get chance for another go but as much as we loved it, we didn’t love it enough to queue that long.
Overall, a great (and much needed!) addition to Hollywood Studios that I think is a hit for all the family.
Alien Swirling Saucers
Unfortunately we can’t comment on the ride experience on this one as we didn’t manage to get on it. Like Slinky Dog Dash, the queues were massive during our whole trip and we didn’t have a fast pass.
In terms of look and feel, I thought this area looked great. Settled in the back of Toy Story Land, it is proceeded by a giant sized Buzz Lightyear and looks a like a retro game in an arcade.
A pretty standard spinning ride, I’ve heard this is actually surprisingly intense and overall a fun ride that has surprised quite a few people. One the kids will 100% have a ball on, and quite a few adults too.
Toy Story Midway Mania
A ride that has been in Hollywood Studios since 2008, Toy Story Midway Mania is an interactive 4-D attraction that puts you in a carnival style virtual situations where you compete in a selection of mini-games.
This ride is low-key one of my favourite in the entire of Walt Disney World. It takes something like Duel at Alton Towers and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin to a new level.
Not only is it ridiculously fun competing with your significant other, but the ride takes you through a number of carnival games which keeps things interesting.
Honestly, If I had to choose between this and Slinky Dog on our next trip, this one would win all day every day.
Toy Story Land dining
Right now we’re not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to dining in Toy Story Land, with Woody’s Lunch Box being the only option.
This counter service restaurant themed like the inside of a lunch box – complete with giant Babybels and drinks cartons – serves a selection of tasty quick service treats, ideal for any meal of the day.
From grilled cheese and sandwiches to adult pop tarts and alcoholic lemonade, there are some interesting choices here. The thing I love most about it is the sandwiches, as this is an option I find lacking in the Disney parks.
We ate here and quite enjoyed our food. We opted for a grilled cheese (it was ok, nothing to write home about), totchos – tater tots topped with chilli, cheese, sour cream and corn chips – (delicious) and an adult lemonade (also delicious).
Is it worth going out of your way for? No. But with so few great quick service options in Hollywood Studios, it’s worth a punt if you’re in the area.
Toy Story Land shopping
So now we’re getting to the bits I wasn’t so keen on. As I mentioned before, I’m a massive Toy Story fan and one of the things I was most excited for was the merchandise.
I was expecting a shop full to the brim with Toy Story goodness and what I got was… a shopping cart? Yeah, the merchandise in Toy Story Land kind of sucked. Avatar isn’t my bag, but Windtraders in Pandora was so good that I was kind of expecting the same experience.
If you’re after a pin or a kids toy, you’ll find what you need in Toy Story Land. If you want anything more (like clothing) you’re better off heading to one of the shops on Sunset Boulevard.
It looks like a new Toy Story shop has now opened at the exit of Toy Story Mania, so hopefully the selection has improved a bit now and things are looking up for any Toy Story obsessed shopaholics.
Toy story Land character meets
In Toy Story land little (and big) kids can meet Buzz, Woody and Jessie. Unlike their position in Andy’s Bedroom in the old Pixar Place, the meets now take place outside.
You can meet Buzz just by the entrance to Toy Story Land, and Woody and Jessie outside Toy Story Mania.
Much to my dismay, we didn’t get chance to meet any of the characters during our last trip as the queues were always massive. To be honest, I preferred the old set-up, not only because the backdrop was unbelievably cool but because it was air conditioned.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it already, but Toy Story Land is absolutely boiling with very little shade from the Orlando sun. Add a 40-50 minute queue in no shade to that, and I’m out!
There are, however, some amazing photo opportunities in Toy Story Land which more than made up for it.
Rating… difficult to say because we didn’t do any meets but there were plenty of them so 3.5/5
Toy Story Land Entertainment
So last but not least, it’s time to talk about entertainment. There’s not loads going on in Toy Story Land – it’s not really big enough to be honest – but it does have the fabulous green army men.
Patrolling through the land throughout the day drumming and getting families involved in an impromptu training session, these guys are an unbelievably talented group of entertainers who can’t help but put a smile on your face.
For me they are well worth a watch when you’re in Toy Story Land.
So there we have it, my review of Toy Story Land! I must say that overall I think this is a fantastic addition to Hollywood Studios, and Walt Disney World in general. Could it have been done better? Probably. But if you love Toy Story, you’ll adore it anyway.