The new Toy Story Land opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on June 30th and my family was fortunate to visit the first week that it opened. What is it? Toy Story Land is a new section of Disney’s Hollywood Studios close to where Toy Story Mania has been for years now. However, instead of just one ride and an alleyway, now there is a whole section devoted to Pixar’s Toy Story movies. There are now 3 rides, including Toy Story Mania which has an additional track and new entrance, as well as character visit areas, roving green army men and a counter service eatery.
THIS AREA IS SUPER CUTE! As you would suspect, the theming is all toys and games featuring the Pixar characters as well as Christmas-style lights strung throughout. The two new rides are the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster and Alien Swirling Saucers. Slinky Dog Dash is fun and has two launch-offs during the ride but overall the roller coaster is relatively tame -- probably the least scariest of all the coasters throughout the 4 parks with only the Dwarves’ Mine Cart ride as a relative comparison. Alien Swirling Saucers is a unique attraction similar to a common scrambler ride. Be sure to watch as it moves from one circle-shaped track to another -- it is mesmerizing to watch.
IS THIS AREA FOR TEENS? Honestly, not really. Especially not for older teens. It is definitely a cute area and worth seeing, even if you decide to just walk through it. We did ride the Slinky Dog two times and will plan to ride again in the future. But if your teens want thrill rides, Hollywood Studios has the Rock & Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror that may be more their speed. Toy Story Mania, where you “throw” rings, darts, shoot plates, etc. is a lot of fun for all ages. The Martian ride is definitely aimed at younger children.
HOW TO BEAT THE CROWDS? Since the area just opened, it is definitely a “hot spot” and very crowded. We recommend staying at a Disney resort and making use of the extra magic hours. Get there prior to opening and head directly to Toy Story Land, making a run for the Slinky Dog Dash first as it will have the longest wait. Then head to the Alien Swirling Saucers, then Toy Story Mania. If you are not staying at a Disney resort with extra magic hours, then avoid the days when Hollywood Studios has extra magic hours in the morning -- otherwise the area will be already crowded with resort guests by the time you arrive. (In July, every day at Hollywood Studios has early extra magic hours, however, this will change.) Arrive to the park at least 30-60 minutes early and head straight back to Toy Story Land as soon as you are able.
FASTPASSES! Whether you are staying on property or not, get fastpasses if you can. (60 days in advance of your stay if you are staying on property, 30 if you are not.) If you must choose between a fastpass for Slinky Dog or Toy Story Mania, I would recommend Slinky Dog. With the addition of the third track, Toy Story Mania waits are not nearly as long as they used to be.
DISNEY EXPERIENCE. Make sure you have downloaded the Disney Experience app on your phone prior to your arrival to Disney. This app lets you track wait times, select fastpasses and make dining reservations. It definitely helps to maximize your time in the parks! I would also recommend that you check out the wait times for rides about a week before you plan to visit. This will give you an idea of the approximate wait times you will face.