Howdy, partner! If you've got an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, it's time to saddle up for your visit to Toy Story Land. Hollywood Studios' newest land is a ribbeting good time. There is so much to see and explore ... and who doesn't LOVE Toy Story!?!
Our guide to Toy Story Land at Disney World offers the full scoop on what to expect, including FastPass+ reservations for Toy Story Land rides. We've also got plenty of tips, since this is the most hoppin' part of Hollywood Studios (at least until Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge arrives in August). So, as our pal Woody would say, let's get this wagon train a-movin'!
The Buzz-Eyed View of Toy Story Land at Disney World
Disney World Toy Story Land is based, of course, on the hit Disney•Pixar franchise, starring Woody, Buzz, Jessie and the whole gang!
Upon entering Toy Story Land, you'll be shrunk down to the size of a toy! Surrounding you will be a toy-filled landscape, complete with your favorite characters. You're free to roam among all of Andy's toys, including a flying saucer toy set, a lunch box and so much more. In fact, there are more than 400 toys in Andy's backyard.
We are absolutely obsessed with Toy Story Land's theming. It's all we dreamed of and more! Leap and I were filled with nostalgia on seeing replicas of our childhood toys (and even some of Tad and Lily's). There are a million details to comment on, but we'll let you experience the surprise for yourself and just point out our highlights: The Christmas lights knotted around giant drinking straws and #2 pencils, and the fences made of K'nex. Just like Pandora, visiting at night is a must and will offer a completely different, extra magical experience.
Toy Story Land Rides
Slinky Dog Dash
Andy has set up his Mega Coaster Play Kit and is taking Slinky Dog (and you!) along for the ride through Toy Story Land on Slinky Dog Dash. This tame coaster is adorned with faux holiday lights, oversized building blocks and cowgirl Jessie herself. Little (er, big) fun fact: The Slinky Dog Dash track and support columns weigh almost as much as 125,000 gallons of milk!
Be sure to admire the lighting and sound effects of the ride ... the track changes color as Slinky crosses it, and he even says "Woo!" as you're heading down the first hill, amongst other endless details throughout. We don't want to spoil the ending, but the "Grand Finale" of Slinky Dog Dash is the cherry on top of an already fun, feel-good ride. If possible, avoid front row on this ride (shocking, I know!) for ultimate views.
This is a very mild, classic coaster — no corkscrews or loops here! If your tadpoles can handle rides such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, they'll enjoy Slinky Dog Dash. The main difference here is that it appears much more coaster-like (since Andy built it out of a toy roller coaster set in his backyard, duh!) than most coasters at Disney World and might frighten little tadpoles like Lily at first. The good news is, there are tons of cute details throughout to keep little ones entertained as they soar through the toys. There are just a couple mild bunny hops (after which, a ride photo will capture your face as you curve down the final hill). Other than that, there is one "big" hill, which is the one you'll see as you enter Toy Story Land across from Toy Story Mania.
Slinky Dog Dash has the Frog Family's general consensus of being our new favorite ride in all of Walt Disney World. Not only is the ride itself smooth and enjoyable with the type of hills that just make you giggle, but there are gorgeous, fun visuals throughout the entire thing that will WOW you from start to finish. We waited two hours the first time we rode it, and between how unique and amusing the queue is and how entertaining the ride itself is, we were not disappointed. And pssst ... if you're looking for a sneak-peek at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Slinky is your best shot! Keep an eye out on those hills for glimpses of construction progress.
Oh, and one last thing! Take a close listen to the safety spiel over the speakers right before you board the train ... it makes a cute reference to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!
Alien Swirling Saucers
Think of an intergalactic, extra fun take on Mad Tea Party, and there you have Alien Swirling Saucers. Andy won a flying saucer playset at Pizza Planet where the aliens will spin your toy rocket into space, and you might just get chosen by "the claaaaaaaaw."
Hold on tight! This ride does whip you around a bit, but it won't leave you feeling dizzy like the tea cups. There are two "sides" to this ride — similar to Space Mountain — but which side you are assigned won't make any difference in your experience, so don't fret! The ride vehicles swirl in something similar to a figure-eight pattern around the pizza planet (literally, there are planets that appear to be covered in cheese and toppings) and there are a few sharp turns along the way. After all, those crazy green aliens are guiding you! If you've ridden Mater's Junkyard Jamboree at Disney's California Adventure, this ride setup is very similar.
This is a super fun ride, and we were toadally impressed, but we don't recommend waiting more than 30-45 minutes unless you have alien-obsessed tadpoles in tow (but we promise, it will be worth seeing their thrilled faces as the galaxy lights mesmerize them!). While the ride itself is a blast, most of the magic is simply found in the scenery that can be observed from the outside.
Toy Story Mania!
Most of us already know Toy Story Mania!, which has been around for about a decade now at Hollywood Studios. This arcade-style game takes you through a series of 3D virtual carnival games, complete with your favorite characters cheering you along. We especially love the queue for this ride, adorned with oversized board game boxes, books and more. Thanks to the recent addition of a third track, there is more availability and lower waits for this popular ride! Oh, and be sure to chat with Mr. Potato Head on your way in ... he's interactive and will want to say hello!
Toy Story Land FastPass+
With the debut of Disney World Toy Story Land, the tier options have changed for FastPass+ reservations. All three Toy Story Land attractions (Toy Story Mania!, Alien Swirling Saucers and Slinky Dog Dash) are Tier 1, meaning you can only choose one of these for your three FastPass+ reservations. You are then allowed to make two Tier 2 selections, and there are great options! Tier 2 now includes Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Slinky Dog Dash has higher demand than Alien Swirling Saucers, so we'd hop on a FastPass+ for that first, if available, then Alien Swirling Saucers. Our ideal FastPass+ lineup would be Slinky Dog Dash, Rock 'n' Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror. We'll now be considering this the Hollywood Studios Trifecta (patent pending)!
Toy Story Land Special Events
Disney World is now offering Early Morning Magic exclusively in Toy Story Land. The event takes place select Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., allowing over an hour of VIP time in Toy Story Land before the park opens at 9 a.m. As of this writing, there are reservations available through August 2019! Early Morning Magic also includes breakfast buffet, which is served until 10 a.m. at Backlot Express. You can choose from several entrées, such as a Shrimp and Southern Grits bowl or a Fried Chicken and Cinnamon-Sugar French Donut bowl. Then help yourself to a buffet filled with pastries, yogurt, cereal and fruit. We recommend waiting to eat until the 9 a.m. park opening to maximize your extra time in the park riding Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania. Character meet-and-greets are quite popular with the early morning crowd — that was the longest line we waited in!
Even if you're not interested in the event, it's important to factor in Early Morning Magic if you are planning on rope-dropping the park. Having these extra crowds in early will likely affect the value in arriving at park open. We think Early Morning Magic is only worth it if you or your tadpoles are die-hard Toy Story fans and don’t like waiting in long lines (we easily hopped on each ride within five minutes or less). We also strongly recommend you get there before or right at 7:30 a.m. to maximize your time.
Another special access event is Disney After Hours. This separately-ticketed event allows party-goers to stay in the park from 7 p.m. to either midnight or 12:30 p.m. on select Fridays through June 28, 2019. Ice cream, popcorn and select beverages are also included, so if you're a night owl looking for a unique way to beat the heat and get on Toy Story Land rides with little-to-no wait, this is your chance! If you'd rather rope drop or take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, take note of when these events occur, as this means more park-goers later in the evening.
Toy Story Land Touring Strategy
With the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, this will be a must-visit for many park-goers. For this reason, you should make FastPass+ reservations for this park no matter what! If you want to experience the Toy Story Land rides, here is what we recommend:
- Try to get a FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash. If at first you don't succeed, keep trying, even leading up to the days and day of your visit! Cancellations do happen, and the early frog gets the worm.
- If you are staying on-site at an official Disney World hotel or a Disney Springs hotel that offers Extra Magic Hours (EMH), visit during the morning option. You need to be at the park at least a half hour before the EMH opening. Let the tadpoles sleep in another day! Trust us, it will be worth it. If you have a FastPass+ reservation for a Toy Story Land ride, factor that in. Otherwise, we recommend you ride Slinky Dog Dash first, then Alien Swirling Saucers.
- If you are staying off-site and don't have access to Extra Magic Hours, you have fewer options for lower waits. We recommend you arrive at least a half hour in advance of regular park opening and hightail it to Slinky Dog Dash as soon as you get in. Yes, you will likely have a decently long wait.
- If you are planning on rope-dropping Toy Story Land, check to see if Early Morning Magic is taking place. This will impact the value of your time since others have already been allowed in prior to park open.
- Another option is to wait until after 9 p.m. in the evening on a night without Extra Magic Hours when many people will opt to see Fantasmic! We had luck with this approach just days after Toy Story Land's opening. We hopped in line a few minutes before park close and only waited 25 minutes each for Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers ... we even walked on Toy Story Mania in between!
- Take Disney After Hours into consideration, as well, when making your park plan. Since party-goers have access to the park starting at 7 p.m., you may see higher crowds later in the evening.
- Use our park plans and our Orlando Planning App. They both include step-by-step plans for the park and general when-to-visit information for each ride.
Meet and Greet Toy Story Characters
Disney World Toy Story Land wouldn't be complete without being able to interact with the films' beloved characters. Woody, Buzz and Jessie greet guests and join in on the fun on a daily basis. These toys are still in the process of finding their permanent homes, so be sure to ask a cast member where to find them during your visit. For now, you can catch Buzz near the entrance, just beyond the large Woody statue in front of Slinky Dog Dash. Meanwhile, you'll find Jessie and Woody meeting together outside of the adorable new Toy Story Mania entrance, which makes a perfect backdrop for family photos ... with or without characters!
Don't forget about the brave soldiers who protect Andy's backyard! Green army men (and women, too!) are roaming around the area ready to chat and take photos. You may even spot a group of them marching to the beat of their drums through the land. While this isn't the standard character meet-and-greet, it's definitely worth taking the time to interact with these toys!
Toy Story Land Dining Options
Woody's Lunch Box
Not only does this quick-service dining location have impeccable theming (counter service through Andy's Woody-themed lunch box), but there is an unbelievable selection of food. Given my sweet tooth, the breakfast highlights include a S'mores French Toast Sandwich and Banana Split Yogurt Parfait. (Make sure to check out our DIY s'mores French toast recipe). There are heartier options, too, like the Breakfast Bowl or Smoked Turkey Breakfast Sandwich.
As for lunch and dinner, the grilled cheese has my stamp of approval, and the BBQ Brisket Melt is Leap's new fave! The best part? I literally couldn't finish my sandwich ... which means portion sizes are generous. I'll be going halfsies with Tad moving forward. AND with each sandwich, you get your choice of a side of macaroni salad, tomato basil soup or potato barrels, AKA tater tots. All of these options are delish!
There is also a "Totcho" bowl, which is much bigger in real life than we imagined based on photos. This chili-cheese-tater-tot masterpiece is easily a whole meal's worth of food. We can't forget about the raspberry and chocolate-hazelnut Lunch Box tarts, which are like a craftier, cuter take on a Pop-Tart. Not as yummy as anticipated, but still great if you're looking for a sweet treat. We're so hoppy about this delicious, budget-friendly new spot. Just be sure to have a member of your squad hold a table while you wait in line for food, and admire every little detail of Woody's Lunch Box! (Spoiler alert: The windows are little Tupperware containers ... just one of many ADORABLE details to keep an eye out for.)
Mama and Papa Frogs, get ready! Woody's Lunch Box is serving up alcoholic beverages, offering Grown-Up's Lemonade and a great beer selection, including one of Leap's faves: Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Hard Cider. You'll be able to grab your favorite Joffrey's coffee here, as well. Be warned: The Grown-Up's Lemonade has a very sweet taste that will remind you of a melted cherry popsicle ... only give it a whirl if you've got a candy obsession, like me! (And even if you don't try it, check out the cute tap it's served out of, made from toy blocks.)
Tadpoles have plenty of drink options, too! They can choose from apple or orange juice, milk (low-fat or chocolate) or the usual soft-drink products. Or even better, kick it up a notch and sip on a root beer float.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ — Future Table-Service Restaurant!
We are hoppy to hear that Toy Story Land will be getting its own table-service restaurant, Roundup Rodeo BBQ! The story behind it is that Andy has set up a new play area — a rodeo!— with three cardboard boxes cut and taped together and some of his favorite toys and games. With a western-themed atmosphere, this immersive restaurant will have toys, games and playsets scattered around, including toy-versions of Jessie riding on the back of a Trixie pull-toy and Bo Peep and her sheep performing in the rodeo together. It does not yet have an official opening date, but stayed tuned! We’ll keep you updated, as always!
We've already hopped through every inch of this fun, immersive area, and can't wait to come back for more! Slinky Dog Dash is our new fave Disney coaster ... what are you most excited to check out? Snag your discounted tickets now to start planning your trip to visit Woody and the gang!