One of the most popular attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort is Toy Story Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And though Toy Story Mania is now part of the wildly successful Toy Story Land, the popularity of the attraction is nothing new. In fact, since it first opened to eagerly waiting Guests in May of 2008, the carnival-style midway games attraction has been the go-to attraction at Hollywood Studios. Now that it’s part of Toy Story Land, there’s even more to love about it! Here are 8 things every Toy Story fan should know about this fun family experience.
8. Even before its expansion at Toy Story Land, it was one of the most expensive attractions ever created.
When Toy Story Mania opened on May 31, 2008, it was the most expensive attraction Imagineers had ever created. Its original construction cost an impressive $80 million. And once you experience the attraction, it becomes evident why it was so costly to create. The ride vehicles themselves are very elaborate and seat a total of four Guests—two on the front side and two on the back. The technology used in the virtual shooting galleries of the attraction was quite costly too, and more than 150 computers are used to control the attraction and to simulate the “carnival-style” games and the midway-type feel of the attraction.
7. The backstory goes along with the theme of Toy Story Land.
As with almost every ride at Walt Disney World, there’s a backstory—a story behind the attraction that gives the experience a premise. In the Toy Story Mania attraction, the backstory goes that Andy has a new game called Toy Story Midway Mania. The toys can’t wait to play the new game, but they must wait until Andy leaves before they can play. Once Andy leaves his room, the toys get everything set up, and they invite us to join in the fun. At this point, Guests are shrunk to toy-size and join the rest of the Toy Story characters for a fun game of Toy Story Midway Mania inside a virtual world of carnival games set up like the midway at a county fair. Let’s play!
6. The ride vehicles are awesome!
Once Guests are inside Andy’s room, they are led to a loading platform where they board ride vehicles. The vehicles are trams that twist and turn along the tracks that bring Guests right up to the interactive game screens. The ride vehicles hold up to four adults, and two vehicles are deployed at the same time. Because of this, if you’re traveling with a larger party, you’ll have a chance at your entire party enjoying the experience at the same time, especially if your party size is 8 or less.
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5. The queue can be somewhat overwhelming—but in a good way!
The Toy Story Mania attraction is so popular, that you’ll want to have a FastPass+ time reserved so you don’t have a long wait in the queue. But if you’re unable to score one, there’s no need to worry. Imagineers cut no corners when it came to the design of the queue for the experience. In fact, the queue is part of the experience! See Mr. Potato Head and interact with him, or take a look around you at the ViewMaster reels or the game boards that decorate the ceiling above you. Looking for even more fun? Download the Play Disney Parks app and make the most of your time in the queue with your family by enjoying a fun game that interacts with your location inside the queue. With all there is to do in the queue, you’ll be at the loading platform before you know it!
4. Imagineers were particular with their math so that you really feel like you’ve shrunk!
When Guests first the attraction, they are “shrunk” down to toy size. (All of Toy Story Land is enjoyed under the premise that Guests have become honorary toys!) The proportions of props in the queue are such that a Guest who stands 5’6” tall will feel that he is about just over a foot tall. The ViewMaster reels in the queue measure 48 inches in diameter, and Tinkertoy connectors are two feet in diameter. As you explore the queue, you see a giant Etch-a-Sketch, giant-sized crayons, Christmas lights strung around the queue, building blocks and more. Each prop is proportioned so that “honorary toys” feel they have truly shrunk. You’ll even see electrical sockets with nightlights plugged into them as you make your way to the loading platform—nightlights so big, you’ll wonder how you shrunk without knowing it!
3. There are 5 fun carnival games to play.
The fun of the game is in testing your skill at five fun virtual carnival games! Spring-action shooters on board the attraction’s ride vehicles are used at each game. Simply pull the string rapidly and watch the virtual game screens in front of you to see how your efforts are working to meet the objective of the game in front of you! The first game is called “Hamm and Eggs,” and your goal is to knock down barnyard animals with hard-boiled eggs. The next game is “Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts” during which you’ll use virtual darts to pop balloons all in front of a fiery volcano just waiting to erupt. At Game 3—“Green Army Men Shoot Camp”—you’ll toss baseballs to break plates at an army men firing range Sarge reminds you “I am not your mother! Break those plates!” Different plates have different point values, so aim for those with the highest points! After destroying as many plates as possible, try your virtual hand at tossing rings onto the Green Alien Men in Game 4—“Buzz’s Flying Tossers.” The last game in the attraction is “Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery.” In this game, you’ll launch darts at mine cart targets. Which of your party will score the most points?
2. There is a new merchandise shop at the exit of the attraction.
Just before you exit the building that houses the Toy Story Mania attraction (after you return the 3D glasses to the receptacle barrel), you’ll come to a small room on the left-hand side of the exit walkway. Inside the room, Toy Story fans of all ages can find merchandise from the new Toy Story 4 film. There are pins, apparel, collectibles, toys and other merchandise available for purchase. Don’t forget to stop by as you exit the attraction!
1. The fun doesn’t end when the ride is over!
Not only is there a new merchandise shop outside the attraction, but once you exit the building that houses Toy Story Mania, you’ll find props of all kinds along the walkway that leads you back to Toy Story Land. You’ll see toys of all kinds, including green army men, an Instagram-worthy pastel popsicle stick wall and a myriad of other Toy Story-esque props and décor. Keep your eyes open for a roll of twine along the exit walkway. You might recognize it from the previous entrance to the attraction when it was located at PIXAR Place before Toy Story Land opened.