Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is officially open! This land has been eagerly anticipated since its announcement; not only does it add some much needed attractions for younger kids to Hollywood Studios, but it is themed entirely around the most beloved Disney Pixar franchise, Toy Story. The land is beautifully themed, with everything designed to make you feel as though you are shrunk down to the size of a toy. There are two brand new attractions, both perfect for families, as well as a new quick service dining location with some new and different options. We got the chance to experience the land and the whole family agreed that it is amazing! Read ahead for everything to need to know about visiting Toy Story Land!
All you need to know about Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios
First thing’s first – what’s Toy Story Land like?!
Toy Story Land is set in Andy’s backyard, so the first thing that happens is that you are shrunk down to the size of a toy. As you enter the land, which is located by the entrance to Pixar Place, you’ll notice how much bigger everything starts to look, including the oversize Woody figure waiting right at the entrance. The details of the land are really incredible, with everything designed around Andy’s playtime with his toys. Look out for the cute Popsicle stick bench, Andy’s giant footprint on the ground, and of course the huge Pixar ball!
Of course, any kids playtime is going to include building blocks, and there were over 400 used in the creation of Toy Story Land! The restrooms are one of my favorite things about the land (they’re just as cute on the inside!) Oh and if you’re on Instagram, #blockwall is officially a thing – #purplewall is apparently SO last season!
Everything is bright and colorful, with lots of little details to look at everywhere you turn. Huge Christmas lights are strung throughout the land, which looks beautiful at night, and there are plenty of amazing photo ops. Although the land will no doubt be busy, I’d definitely recommend taking the time to look around and take in all of the little touches.
Slinky Dog Dash
Billed as a family coaster, Slinky Dog Dash was actually way more fun than I thought it would be! I would put it somewhere between Seven Dwarves Mine Train and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the intensity, although coming in at less than 90 seconds, it’s quite a bit shorter than the latter of those two. With two pretty high hills and two very cool launches, including one that propels you out of the station in the first place, as well as multiple twists and turns, I found myself holding on pretty tight! The coaster also has lots to look at, and Slinky not only talks to the riders as you whizz around, but talks to the other toys scattered throughout the ride. The height restriction for the ride is 38 inches, and I’m sure this will be a ride younger kids love – and I’m guessing their parents will love it too! My 5-year old Harrison absolutely loved it and was content to ride over and over at our preview, and although I thought I’d get bored of it, I was happy to ride with him! One tip: if you’re looking for a more intense experience, sit towards the back of the coaster, and if you want things to be a little more tame, head to the front instead.
One thing I will say with this ride is that the queue for this ride is, in my opinion, going to present something of a problem during the summer months. The queue line is completely outdoors (read: no air conditioning) and although it’s covered, we found that it got very hot very quickly. There were a few fans to help with a bit of a breeze, and a water fountain that I’m sure people will take advantage of, but if you think you might be in this line for a while (and if you’re visiting any time soon without a FastPass, you will be!) then you need to come prepared: bring plenty of water (with long lines people tend to be very understanding about people having to leave and re-enter to use the bathroom), misting fans, and anything else you have to keep you cool. Try to get in line early in the morning or in the evening when the temperatures are cooler, and keep an eye on the little ones for signs of dehydration. The line doesn’t have any interactive areas, which I think is a bit of a shame since we love those in rides like Peter Pan’s Flight and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. There is plenty to look at though, with cute drawings of how the coaster works, and other small details that Disney does so well – I would suggest taking a little something to keep kids occupied in line however, because they might not find those things as interesting.
Alien Swirling Saucers
The other new ride for Toy Story Land is Alien Swirling Saucers. If you’ve been to the Disneyland Resort in California in the last couple of years, you might be familiar with the nature of this ride, as it copies the mechanism of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. With a height restriction of 32 inches, this is a ride that most of the family will be able to ride. The layout of the ride is pretty interesting, with the actual alien part anchored to the ground, and the carts behind them on wheels. The aliens jump from one turntable to the other as the turntables spin, flinging the cars around behind them in an effect similar to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party teacups. My 2-year old Grayson absolutely loved this ride, laughing hysterically every time we spun around, and begging to ride again and again. This is another short ride, which should help keep lines a little shorter, but as with any new ride at Walt Disney World, expect long lines for the first few months. Since this is such a tame attraction, however, I do think the lines for this will shorten quicker than those for Slinky Dog Dash.
This is also another ride with a rather unforgiving queue in the hotter months. Part of the queue is undercover (although still no air conditioning) but part of it is completely out in the sun, which could be brutal in the middle of summer when those temperatures climb close to the triple digits. The line does have a water fountain and a few fans, which will help things, but again, be prepared for the heat if you plan on waiting in these lines for a long time. The queue does have one or two interactive parts, but nothing that will keep little ones entertained for long, so that’s something else to consider. The music for this ride, however, is pretty cool, and at least provides a fun soundtrack for your wait!
Toy Story Mania
The third ride that completes Toy Story Land is an oldie but a goodie – Toy Story Mania, Hollywood Studios most popular family attraction. The ride added a new track recently to help improve those long wait times, and has moved the entrance from Pixar Place to just to the left when you enter Toy Story Land. This ride is always one of our favorites since the whole family can enjoy it, and easily has the best queue area of the whole land (not only is there more to look at, but it’s air conditioned!) Since all of the rides in Toy Story Land are now classed as Tier One in the FastPass system, and most will try to book Slinky Dog Dash, this should be an easier FastPass to obtain right now.
Toy Story Land only has one food option, and that is the quick service location, Woody’s Lunchbox. The theming here is fantastic; it is literally a giant lunchbox propped open with a huge flask, and is super cute. This isn’t a quick service location you can go into and sit down, it is a walk up window with tables for outdoor seating nearby. The location serves breakfast – a very welcome addition to Hollywood Studios – as well as lunch and dinner, and has some great options that deviate from the usual burger and fries.
Since this seating area is completely outdoors, there isn’t really anywhere to sit and eat that will be cool, and that’s something to consider if everyone is already feeling the heat! Some of the tables have umbrellas that will provide some shade, and the tables are so cute – look at the Babybel seat!
Of course there is some really cute new merchandise to celebrate the opening of Toy Story Land! With new shirts, hats, pins, and of course a super cute Alien claw tumbler, there’s plenty of new stuff to spend your money on. Since Toy Story Land doesn’t have a merchandise store itself, the only things in that land will be sold from merchandise carts. Other than that, you’ll find the Toy Story Land merchandise in some of the other stores at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, including In Character, the store next to Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Right now merchandise is split up, with some items in the land itself and other items in the stores. This means you may have to visit more than one location to pick up everything you would like. There are also a couple of Annual Passholder exclusive items, so make sure you have your pass on you!
Toy Story Land at night
One of the best ways to see Toy Story Land is at night – not only do you not have to deal with the heat, but the land looks absolutely beautiful all lit up. The fairy lights strung throughout the land look so pretty, and the rides look amazing in the dark!
Slinky Dog Dash is also a really fun coaster to ride at night – parts of the ride light up, and you really feel the speed in the dark! Alien Swirling Saucers look really cool in the dark as well.
Dealing with the weather
As I’ve already mentioned, the lack of air conditioning and shade in this land is definitely something to consider going in. The only indoor locations with air conditioning are the queue for Toy Story Mania and the restrooms, so there is no other respite from the hot temperatures. Shade is scarce, and if you plan to be in the land for a long time, make sure you stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and try to find some shade when possible. Since Toy Story Land is on the smaller side, I’m not sure where Disney could have added any additional shade, but I do think those summer months might be tough with the temperatures. Read through my other tips on keeping kids cool at Disney World here.
The other thing to consider is the rain. Here in Florida, summer means almost daily afternoon thunderstorms, and no shade also means nowhere to hide if the heavens open! Slinky Dog Dash, like other outdoor coasters, cannot operate in heavy rain or if there is lightening in the area, so if there is a storm coming and you have a FastPass for the ride, it’s worth talking to a Cast Member before entering the queue. If you’re already on line, however, it’s probably worth waiting it out – storms in Florida might be intense, but they rarely last too long, and the ride queues are some of the only shelter you’ll find in Toy Story Land. Other guests might want to consider exiting and coming back once the storm passes – otherwise bring an umbrella, and prepare to get wet! Read more on my tips for dealing with rainy days at Disney World here.
Toy Story Land is a welcome addition to Hollywood Studios, providing something the park has desperately needed for a while: a place for young families with rides aimed more at the younger crowd. Having said that, almost everyone can find something in the land to enjoy, even if it’s just being transported back to your childhood and the nostalgia of the Toy Story movies. The new rides should draw crowds away from some of the other attractions as well, so even if the land itself doesn’t interest you, you should find shorter waits elsewhere. I would definitely encourage everyone to go and see how cute Toy Story Land looks, and check out all of the fantastic little details – but I would also encourage everyone to grab those FastPasses if and when you can, since the lines are going to be long for a while! Overall, it’s a great addition to Hollywood Studios, and one that I think families will really enjoy.