Toy Story Land is a new addition to Hollywood Studios that opened June 30th. My fiancé and I also moved from Ohio to Orlando, Florida on June 30th, and have been lucky to experience it several times this summer!
Toy Story Land is, obviously, based on the Toy Story movie franchise. The story is that Andy has created an amusement park in his back yard for all of his toys, and when you enter the park you “shrink down” to the size of a green army man. Toy Story Land consists of three rides, one quick service restaurant, and two meet-and-greet areas. If you’d like to know my honest opinion about the land itself as well as each experience within it, read below! Also, be sure to hang out until the end of the bog for some pictures of TSL!
Toy Story Land – Size
As a Toy Story fanatic, I was hoping to be immersed into this huge land – which was not the case. In planning, TSL itself was intended to be much larger and have more to it, but for budgetary reasons, a lot was cut. The land size itself is okay for what it is, but I was just hoping for more.
Toy Story Land – Theming
Unlike how I feel about the size of TSL, the theming of this land is so immersive and perfect for what it is meant to be! Following the story, it really feels as though you’ve stepped into an amusement park put together by a kid. From popsicle stick walls, to benches made of dominoes, to Christmas lights being held up by characters, pencils, and straws. The list could go on and on – the theming related to the story is just incredible. The best time to see it, however, is at night when it’s lit up!
Slinky Dog Dash
After budgetary cuts to the roller coaster, making it shorter, and initially being compared to Barnstormer, I had very low expectations for this attraction. However, it is now one of my favorite rides in WDW! Although it is a “family” coaster, it doesn’t go too slowly or too fast, which makes it just fun and enjoyable for children of all ages. What I love about the ride is that it still isn’t too short (which I was nervous about!), and that it has two launches. Definitely a must-do attraction in Hollywood Studios!
Side note: I rode this coaster for the first time at night during the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular nighttime show and it was magical. If you can time it up just right, I would highly recommend!
Alien Swirling Saucers
Much like Slinky Dog, I didn’t have high hopes for this attraction. However, I was also pleasantly surprised with this as well! On this attraction, you are in a cart driven by an alien from Pizza Planet while you spin around and around. Much like Mad Hatters Tea Party in MK, the ride just makes you happy – I found myself and Dee laughing the entire ride. If the line is under 20 minutes, I would highly recommend! Like Slinky Dog and the ride itself, the best time to go on this attraction is at night – the lighting and effects make the attraction even more enjoyable!
Toy Story Midway Mania
I’m not really going to go into much detail on this attraction, as it has been a part of Hollywood Studios for several years now and is a fun experience. I think it, obviously, fits very well into the theming of the land and is always a popular attraction in HS.
The only eatery in TSL, Andy’s Lunchbox is a quick-service outdoor location that offers sandwiches, snacks, and beverages – basically what you’d expect in a lunchbox! The land itself is sponsored by Bellvita cheese, and that sponsorship shows A LOT in this area – there is a huge Bellvita cheese wheel at the top of the ordering window, and some of the chairs are made of the Bellvita casings. The sandwiches itself are unique and pleasing, and this location offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The only thing that is disappointing is that there is a very small sitting area, which is almost always full, and no indoor seating space.
Character Meet and Greets
There are two areas you can meet characters in TSL: by the entrance of Toy Story Midway Mania, and near the entrance of the land itself. You can meet Woody near the entrance, while Buzz and Jesse are together near Midway Mania. The character meet and greets are as you’d expect for WDW, but I miss the air conditioned and themed queue with the designated photo area for Woody and Buzz in Pixar Place!
They’ve also incorporated army men – and women – in TSL to walk around for photo ops, hula hoop competitions, and more. The army men – and women – are a lot more interactive in TSL than they were in Pixar Place, which is a major bonus.
- Shade. The major issue that I’ve read on other blog reviews about the land and completely agree with is the lack of shaded areas in TSL. To be more specific – unless you go to where the restrooms are, there is NO shade in TSL. Being that we are in central Florida, I’m not sure how this was overlooked by imagineers. Especially being that all of the queue’s for the attractions, 2 of the 3 attractions themselves, and the quick service location in the ride are all outdoors. The ONLY place to get air conditioning and to get out of the heat is to ride Midway Mania or use the restroom. Hopefully trees, umbrella’s, or some other solution will be added by next summer!
- Photo spots. There are so many great photo spots available in TSL! Some crowd favorites are: Woody at the entrance of the park, the popsicle wall, and the alien near Alien Swirling Saucers. With all of the “toys” that were used to create this land, the photo opportunities are endless!
- Lack of merchandise spots. Although there is plenty of Toy Story Land merchandise to be found around Hollywood Studios, what this land lacks the most is a shop! There is an outdoor cart that has some merchandise, but I do not feel this is enough for what is supposed to be a popular area. It was rumored that an Al’s Toy Barn was supposed to be in TSL for a merchandise shop before budgetary cuts, and I think this would have been a great addition to this area that is sadly missed! Not only would they probably have sold more TSL merchandise to spur-of-the-moment buyers, it would have been a shaded and air conditioned spot that would have perfectly fit the theme of the land.
Overall, I absolutely love this land! Although it is on the smaller side, it truly brings that nostalgic feeling of my childhood back and makes me really feel as though I am in Andy’s back yard. I am disappointed of all that was cut from the land, but I am satisfied with what has still been included. This is a must-do for first time WDW vacation families as well as Toy Story lovers, and I’d highly recommend!
Thanks for reading! If you’ve been to TSL this summer, leave a comment down below letting me know your thoughts! Also, if you enjoyed this blog, be sure to subscribe and like it down below 🙂