I’m not sure about your household but I have a four year old little boy that is completely obsessed with Toy Story! Lucas plays in his room with figurines, a farm, the Toy Story Landfill, and many other things just like you see Andy playing on the movie. So it was no surprise that he wanted to spend his birthday at Hollywood Studios last year. We had pictures taken with Buzz & Woody and rode Toy Story Mania…one time in a span of 13-15 hours at the park. Yes…one time only.
We entered the park between 10-11am (we always do our parks based on EMH in the evenings); Lee (the husband) and Ethan (the almost teenager) ran straight back to the Fastpass distribution for Toy Story Midway Mania, the result was 7:50pm. I was in shock! We knew we’d be there all day and we would patiently await one of the most family friendly, fun rides at Disney World. As a side note, we noticed several times throughout the day the stand-by wait time was anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes (this was the first week of June). One would think after the attraction being open for 5 years it wouldn’t be that crazy, but apparently everyone still loves this attraction!
When the time finally came we headed over to the Pixar area of Hollywood Studio’s which is just as fun. The Barrel of Monkey’s have been spilled across the walkway and there are generally Toy Soldiers walking around for pictures and autographs. There is, in true Disney fashion, a souvenir spot to get all kinds of Toy Story gear and toys. As you enter the building you notice all the bright colors used and it looks like a gigantic playroom with life size Candyland boards, bigger than life Tinker Toy containers, and a live, interactive Mr. Potato Head. The technology for the Potato Head is so interesting in itself that you don’t mind waiting in line. Ethan has informed me that a fun fact regarding Mr. Potato Head is that it is the only audio-animatronic at WDW that can remove and replace his own parts.
Once you get to the loading area you pick up your 3D glasses and head up to the 4-person vehicles that await guests. They seat 4 people per vehicle; you sit back to back versus facing each other. Once seated the bar lowers and your “blaster” is positioned in front of you. There are handles to aim at your target and a pull string to shoot with. The attraction quickly whisks you away towards a round of practice shooting. Rex, Trixie, Buzz, & Woody come out with targets and tell you to take some practice shots. You pull back on the string and launch pies towards the targets, this will acclimate you to the way the rest of the attraction will play out.
The characters talk to you and tell you things like “nice shooting…” You are, again, quickly twirled and whirled around to your first actual game stop. Here Hamm and Buttercup invite you to knock down moving and stationary barnyard animal targets using eggs, the more you knock down the higher your score will go; both players in the car can see each other’s scores as you move through each game. You proceed through Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts where you throw darts to burst balloons; but watch out, when certain balloons are popped water droplets will splash into your face for a more 3D affect, just like with the affects they use in Mickey’s Philharmagic at Magic Kingdom. The next stop is the Green Army Men Shoot Camp where you toss baseballs to break plates at what appears to be a firing range, the 3D affect here has some of the baseballs come back at you or the plates that break seem to be flying towards you. Moving on, the cart whirls and twirls around to the Buzz ring toss. Your blaster will shoot rings onto the Aliens from Pizza Planet and once they are full some of them will blast towards you causing some of us to actually duck as they appear to fly towards us.
At this point you move on to the final shooting game where you blast darts towards moving mine carts, themed after Woody’s Roundup television show from Toy Story 2. As the attraction comes to an end you are able have a large, stationary target where you can continue shooting and adding up your points; this will help the little one’s to attain a much higher score because it’s not moving. The points start at 100, moving through to 200, 400, 500, and 1,000. For those competitive dads and brothers out there your score can go sky high at this point if your arm can take any more yanking on that pull string.
I must say in our family the competitiveness is not restricted to the dads and brothers. Although Lucas loves to talk about his score; Lee, Ethan, and I are “mega-competitive” with this game! It’s just so fun!
There are no height restrictions on this ride so everyone can enjoy the fun. Lucas first went on when he was only 18 months old and rode on my lap (sleeping through the entire ride somehow, even with his head laying on my arm that was pulling the string the whole time).
A couple weeks ago we got to Hollywood Studios pretty close to opening, got our Fastpasses (that were for around lunchtime) and got right in line since the wait was only 25 minutes. I do not think we waited but about 15-20 minutes and took Nana & Papaw on for the first time. They enjoyed it as much as everyone else! At the end of our fun day we had ridden Toy Story Mania 3 times, only once with a Fastpass! So there are weeks out there that attendance allows for more than one ride in a day. I’m really interested to see how the new Fastpass+ program works with popular attractions such as this.
Do you love Toy Story Mania as much as we do?
See Ya Real Soon! ~ Abbie
Abbie shares with us: “I am a wife and mother of 3. My parents first introduced me to the Magic of Disney World when I was 5 years old. However it wasn’t until my second trip as a teenager that the magic actually infused into me. I started eating, sleeping, and thinking Disney all the time. I even made a small Mickey head as the dot on my “i” in my first name and it then became part of my signature. I now have 3 children of my own and had the pleasure of introducing them, along with my husband, to the magical world of Disney a few years ago and they have all fallen in love with the magic that is Walt Disney World as I did. We just were transferred to Tampa, Florida with my husband’s job and my dream of living near the Mouse has come true. We will be taking our first Florida resident vacation in September and are excited to say that we are upgrading our tickets to Passholder’s. We are excited to see what adventures and new things we can learn about the Wonderful World of Disney!”