Howdy, partner! It's time to start planning your trip to Toy Story Land at Disney World. The highly anticipated Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios officially opened June 30 to much fan fare. We were there for a sneak preview and we're especially excited about the fun, ribbeting atmosphere ... 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 going to make Hollywood Studios one hoppin' place this summer. 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
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 of our childhood toys, as well as those 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 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 the 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 you can handle rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you'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. If you're a Toy Story fan, don't miss Slinky Dog Dash on your next trip!
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 play set at Pizza Planet where the aliens will spin your toy rocket into space, and you might just get chosen by "the claaaaaaaaw." In our froggy opinion, this ride is even more fun than the teacups, and with way less dizziness afterwards. Win-win!
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!
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 it to see their thrilled faces during 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 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 could 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 Fantasmic!
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, given the new tier organization, 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 Hours
Beginning July 1, Toy Story Land has extended its daily hours from 8 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. These extended hours are currently scheduled to last through August 25. This is awesome news, as it will really help to accommodate the summer guests and those wishing to visit this awesome, new land!
Disney's Hollywood Studios Extra Magic Hours
From July 1 through August 25, Hollywood Studios will have Extra Magic Hours for on-site resort guests daily between 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. (Learn more about Extra Magic Hours, when to use them and when to avoid them.) Every Friday, the park will also offer Extra Magic Hours between 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m., meaning Disney resort hotel guests will have 17 hours straight to venture through the park! All of these hours are noted on our Disney World Crowd Calendar!
Toy Story Land Touring Strategy
With the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, it's safe to say that this park will be packed all summer! Waits will be higher for ALL rides and shows in the park because of the extra people. 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!
- If you are staying on-site at an official Disney World hotel or a Disney Springs hotel that offers EMH, visit during the morning EMH. With the 7 a.m. EMH opening, you need to be at the park at least a half hour before that, maybe even 45 minutes to an hour. Let the tadpoles sleep in another day! Trust us, it will be worth it. If you have FP+ for a Toy Story Land ride, factor that in. Otherwise, we recommend you ride Slinky Dog Dash first, then Alien Swirling Saucers. If you plan to attend morning EMH, try to go any day but Friday since the morning and evening EMH will bring in even more people.
- If you are staying on-site at an official Disney World hotel or a Disney Springs hotel that offers EMH, can stay up late and visit on a Friday, take advantage of the evening EMH. Even with fewer families staying up that late, we still think it's going to be a long wait for the Toy Story Land rides at these hours, especially when any guests still in line when the park closes will be able to ride. With the late night hours, you can experience the other rides and shows earlier in the day, and stick around for the evening EMH and see if you have a shot for the Toy Story Land rides.
- If you are staying off-site and don't have access to EMH, you have fewer options for lower waits. We recommend you do not visit Disney's Hollywood Studios on Fridays with morning and evening EMH. We recommend you arrive at least a half hour in advance of regular park opening and high tail it to Slinky Dog Dash as soon as you get in. Yes, you will have a long wait.
- Another option is to wait until after 9 p.m. in the evening on a night without EMH 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 between!
- 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.
Toy Story Characters Meet + Greet
Toy Story Land wouldn't be complete without being able to interact with the films' beloved characters. Woody, Buzz and Jessie will be greeting guests and joining in on the fun throughout 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 now women, too!) are roaming around the area ready to chat and take photos. While this isn't the standard character meet-and-greet, it's definitely worth taking the time to interact with these toys! They're here to play just like you, so you can stay at ease like our human friends here.
Toy Story Land Dining
Woody's Lunch Box
We haven't been THIS excited about a dining location in a long time! 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. There are heartier options too, like the Breakfast Bowl or Smoked Turkey Breakfast Sandwich. As for lunch and dinner, I can't wait to try ALL of the sandwiches ... the grilled cheese already 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, and the food here is by far the best quick service on Disney property.
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 from Cincinnati, OH. 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.)
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!