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Toy Story Land is Part of An Incredible Summer at Walt Disney World® Resort

Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers join Toy Story Mania!® in the new land at Disney's Hollywood Studios®.

Ever since the first Toy Story animated movie hit the big screen in 1995, fans have longed to step into the world of Andy’s toys. As children, we dreamed that our beloved toys could come to life, and the poignant struggles of Buzz Lightyear, Woody and their friends resonated with us as adults. Now, Disney has made it possible to actually do what we dreamed about.

Toy Story Land entrance

Photo: As to Disney artwork/properties © Disney

Walt Disney World® Resort is known for its ability to create experiences that allow guests to immerse themselves in the stories of their favorite characters, and Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® is no exception. The area has been built behind the existing Toy Story Mania!® ride in the former Pixar Place courtyard. When guests walk into the new section, they are entering Andy’s backyard—not as themselves but as the toys. (The Green Army Patrol rounds up “new toys” for games of Sarge Says. How fun!) Consequently, everything appears larger in scale, including Andy’s first footprint in the concrete at the entrance.

Toy Story Land is a visual feast of rainbow colors and nostalgia. Everywhere you look, you see another childhood favorite come to life. Who can help but exclaim when they catch a first glimpse of Slinky Dog or hear Wheezy the penguin singing? You can take a seat on an oversized Popsicle stick bench, and everywhere you look are huge Tinkertoy and K’nex pieces. The bathrooms are marked with building blocks, and you have to laugh at the nearby placement of the Cootie figures.

Slinky Dog Dash

Photo: As to Disney artwork/properties © Disney

The centerpiece of Toy Story Land is Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster designed with enough thrills to satisfy adults but not enough height or speed to scare most children. (Clues that this ride is family friendly are the minimum height requirement of 38 inches and the use of a lap bar, not a harness, to secure passengers.) Riders will climb hills, take curves and even come to a stop during the ride before being propelled forward again. It’s an exciting two-minute attraction that you will not want to miss! The course for Slinky Dog Dash takes riders throughout the land, and those on the ground can observe its progress as the track lights up at night when the cars pass.

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The other new attraction in Toy Story Land is Alien Swirling Saucers, which is just like Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at Disney California Adventure® Park. Cars driven by the lovable three-eyed aliens spin in various patterns around The Claw. Although this attraction is family friendly—the minimum height requirement is 32 inches—it is exciting enough with the way the cars whip around to warrant standing in line.

Toy Story Mania!® is the third attraction in the area. It’s been a guest favorite since it opened a decade ago, but now Toy Story Mania!® has a new entrance and exit in Toy Story Land. The ride takes guests on a fast-paced path to digital carnival games that feature the Toy Story characters. As fun as the ride is, the queue also keeps guests entertained with its life-size toys and games. One of the highlights has been the animated Mr. Potato Head®, who is now back in action.

Alien Swirling Saucers

Photo: As to Disney artwork/properties © Disney

Speaking of favorite characters … Buzz, Woody and Jessie meet guests daily at outdoor locations in Toy Story Land. Plus, the Green Army Drum Corps can be found marching and performing throughout the land.

Of course, a part of any Walt Disney World experience is the themed food. Woody’s Lunch Box is a counter-service restaurant with outdoor seating that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant actually looks like Woody’s lunch box has been turned on its side and the lid propped open with his thermos. Among the breakfast offerings is the unusual S’more French Toast Sandwich (marshmallow and chocolate ganache stuffed in grilled custard-soaked brioche with graham cracker crumbs). There are plenty of delicious traditional items on the menu, as well. For lunch and dinner, look for comfort food, such as the Monte Cristo and Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich, plus a new creation, Totchos (potato barrels coated with beef and bean chili, shredded cheese, and queso with tomatoes and corn chips and finished with sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions). The desserts are created to resemble Pop-Tarts pastries and come in raspberry and chocolate-hazelnut (coated in maple fondant and candied bacon) flavors. Adults will find alcoholic drinks like the Grown-Ups’ Lemonade, Crisp Apple Hard Cider and an assortment of beer.

Woody’s Lunch Box

Photo: As to Disney artwork/properties © Disney

Woody’s Lunch Box offers the Mobile Order option, which has been a lifesaver for my family on many visits to Walt Disney World. Mobile Order allows guests to order and pay for their meals on the My Disney Experience app at any time. Then, they simply click a button when they arrive at the restaurant, and the food is prepared. Guests pick it up at a designated window, avoiding the crowds.

Guests also can benefit from the new Play Disney Parks app, which offers games that vary according to the attraction queue. The mobile games interact with elements in the physical environment and encourage teamwork with other guests.

As daylight fades in Toy Story Land, more than 300 Christmas lights illuminate the area, casting a warm glow over Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers. I’ve always thought that nighttime at Walt Disney World is just a little more magical, and seeing the fireworks spectacular from Toy Story Land certainly reinforces my belief. Toy Story Land has added much-needed family-friendly attractions to Disney’s Hollywood Studios® that will have you racing to infinity and beyond!

Ask your AAA Travel Counselor for details on Walt Disney World® Resort vacation packages and about benefits available exclusively for AAA Members.

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Heidi Kazemi, AAA Travel Counselor, Roseville, Calif.

Customization is always my top priority when planning a client's vacation. I ask about their family and where they've been before. Their preferences guide our planning so the vacation is perfectly tailored for them.

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