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Podcast No. 0019: Time for Toy Story... Land

Toy Story Land Entrance

This month on Dispodopolis we discuss the new Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World in the park, Hollywood Studios. It opened on June 30th, 2018 and included two new rides, Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers, and incorporated the ride, Toy Story Mania, that already existed. There is an amazing imagined bathroom and counter service, Woody’s Lunch Box. This was a much needed land for families visiting Hollywood Studios.

It seems to be a land that they slide in between all the big changes coming to Hollywood Studios. I don’t think we were anticipating much from this land and I don’t think we were expecting anything exciting to come from this land. The Disney Company was slowly building a following for this new land in the spring and leading up to the opening of the land. They heavily marketed the ride on the Disney Channel and in numerous commercials spread over the many networks at Disney’s disposal.

Hollywood Studios - Slinky Dog Dash
Slinky Dog Dash

Disney had focused on the Slinky Dog Dash by blogging and creating videos that were shared through social media. You could see the slinky dog being transported on a flat bed heading into the Walt Disney Resort. No one really knew how to read the intensity of the roller coaster, how it would set its self apart from Goofy’s Sky School, or where it fit on the re-ridabilty scale.

Fiona and I were able to experience Toy Story Land a month after it opened in August and Fiona, Ryan and I were able to experience this park during the holidays with the overlays. We all throughly enjoyed the new land and all agreed it is definitely more enjoyable on a day that is not in the summer months.

The Slinky Dog Dash is definitely a high light of the new area and is a rollercoaster that the whole family can enjoy from the age of 3 to 93. There is a height requirement of 38 inches. It is amazingly smooth and is a well arranged track with many surprises. The atmosphere is very creative and imaginative and awakens childhood memories of how we used to or still do create our own lands in our backyards and in our bedrooms. It plucks the toys from our childhoods, like Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys and Kinex and builds an engaging and encompassing ride that was stolen from our notebooks and drawings.

Walt Disney World - Hollywood Studios - Alien Swirling Saucers
Alien Swirling Saucers

They also create a ride that is influenced by Pizza Planet and uses the Aliens from the Claw Game. The Alien Swirling Saucer is a fun way to feel a part of that world and the memories of those pizza venues come flooding back. If you visited these establishments as a child and loved them, you will love this ride. The movie is corky and quirky with jumping loud beats followed by tinkling thumping beats. All the beats are spirit lifting and flow together. The most interesting choice has to be the Sarah McLachlan song, “When she loved me.” Not a choice I would have made and is barely recognizable, but once you do, it is hard to shake. The songs during the holiday overlay are fun and fill you with holiday cheer.

After our conversation about the new Toy Story Land we talk about our after hour parties at Walt Disney World. Ryan was able to attend the Disney After Hour at Hollywood Studios and Fiona and I attended the V.I.Passholder event at Magic Kingdom.

Ryan’s event was a paid event and was held from 8:30-11:30pm and he was able to enter the park at 7:00pm. This leaves you the ability to attend one or more of the many evening entertainment experiences, for example: Fantasmic and Star Wars: A Galatic Spectacular. There were many meet and greets open around the park including, the Star Wars Launch Bay and in Toy Story Land. The longest line was around twenty minutes with many of the rides being walk-ons. Included in the price were numerous snacks including bottles of coke, water and many novelty ice creams. Ryan and Mike stocked up for the evening and enjoyed these treats while taking in the entertainment in the park. This was a great way to pack a whole day of Hollywood Studios into four and a half hours.

Hollywood Studios Chewbacca Meet and Greet
Chewbacca Meet and Greet

The experience for Fiona and I was a lot different, because it was a free event for individuals that had an Annual Pass to Walt Disney World. We decided to attend a different park during the day and headed over to the V.I.Passholder event at 9:30pm at the Magic Kingdom and it started at 10:00pm and ran through to 12:00am. There was a line at the entrance that was specially designated for the event and that is where they passed out armbands to the guests. After entering the park, we headed to Tomorrowland. Hoping to get on Space Mountain first, we were sadly disappointed because of its closure. We headed to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and were placed in the Fast Pass line. We were placed there to bypass the long line from the regular attending guests that had been there all day. They had jumped in line at the last minute, 9:59pm, before the park closed. There was a lot of walking that night and we realized quickly how far apart the attractions are at the Magic Kingdom. Many of the snack carts were open for purchasing snack foods, like popcorn and churros. Only two meet and greets were open: Meet Mickey Mouse in Town Square Theater and the Princess Fairytale Hall. There were no characters walking around the park. There were numerous stores open and only two counter service restaurants. Check out the event agenda.

Before we jump into our discussion of Toy Story Land, we ask ourselves the question “What toy is our favorite that is present in the new Toy Story Land?” Ryan and I find a toy that brings back many happy memories from our childhood. Fiona talks about some of her favorite games that are sprinkled through the land.

We would love to hear from you and your family. If you have any comments, questions or fun and fancy free thoughts for us, email us at Please enjoy our latest podcast, Dispodopolis.

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