Review: Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers Andy-sized fun

Toy Story Land is a fun addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios that adds some needed family-friendly attractions to a park lacking such offerings.

We visited Toy Story Land during a recent trip at the end of August 2018, and we entered with mixed expectations. Compared to the constantly growing hype for Star Wars Land, we knew that Toy Story Land wouldn’t (and maybe shouldn’t) be compared to what’s coming next. Still, we were excited to shrink down and visit Andy’s backyard.

Below is a full look at our visit, including thoughts on all the rides, food and what still needs to be tinkered with by Disney.

Rides

Toy Story Land’s two new attractions, Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers, are the stars of the new land.

Slinky Dog Dash is a fun family-friendly coaster that ranks slightly above Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom in terms of intensity. With some Slinky sound effects, characters talking along the way and a “wind-up” second launch, the ride feels a bit more interactive and special than just a normal coaster. At night, things are even better as Andy’s custom coaster comes to life in a bright way.

Meanwhile, Alien Swirling Saucers was a ride we entered with very low expectations. It looks just like a stereotypical spinner with an enhanced lighting package. Instead, we found an unexpected fun ride that whips guests around faster than you’d expect. Techno mixes of classic Toy Story songs and bright lights complete the experience.

Finally, we rode Toy Story Mania. Beyond a new entrance and exit, Toy Story Mania is identical to how you experienced it before Toy Story Land.

We found the new rides to be a hit. The whole family can ride, but they’re not too tame for adult riders.



Food

The only food option inside Toy Story Land is at Woody’s Lunch Box, a quick service location that specializes in sandwiches. While it seems a bit surprising to not find any kind of table service location, we really enjoyed the food at Woody’s Lunch Box. They fall into more of a gourmet sandwich category rather than a school lunch category. The sides, especially the potato barrels and tomato soup, were big hits.

Our main complaint here was that there simply isn’t enough seating. Guest demand is understandably high and there aren’t nearly enough tables or chairs for everyone ordering food. That leads to the inevitable eating on a trash can or eating against a railing predicament.

Theming

Disney nailed the look of toys scattered around a child’s backyard with Toy Story Land. The landscaping in particular shines and actually looks like some large grass that needs mowing. The toys, many of which are straight out of nostalgia, are fun to point out as you explore. Giant footprints from Andy can be seen along the walkways. Tack, or possibly gum, hold some of the queue for Slinky Dog Dash together. Night transforms Toy Story Land into an even more special place thanks to giant Christmas lights.

The theming may not be as intricate as what’s coming over in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but it succeeds in all of the key categories.

What Needs Improvement?

Unfortunately, there are some areas Disney could work on to make Toy Story Land even better.

For starters, the land is criminally lacking shade. That’s a huge deal in the hot summer months, particularly when the land is also lacking any indoor stores where you can grab some quick A/C. Umbrellas have been popped up in a couple spots, such as in the extended queue for Slinky Dog Dash, but those seem like short-term solutions to a long-term problem.

As mentioned earlier, Woody’s Lunch Box needs more seating or the land needs another dining option. As it stands, there aren’t enough tables and that makes eating your tasty soup a bit tricky.

This next one is out of Disney’s control, but people need to learn how to respect property. One section of the line for Slinky Dog Dash goes by some oversized decals that Andy used for his coaster set. Guests have already started trying to rip these off the walls, destroying parts of the wall (seen below) and queue in the process. Disney may have to move their props back, or place some sort of protective plastic coating, to protect itself from these morons.

Overall Thoughts

Toy Story Land is a super bright, super colorful land that the whole family should enjoy. In terms of pure toy theming, Disney did an amazing job. The rides measure low on the intensity scale, but high on the arguably more important fun scale. The food is delicious, but it’s a genuine struggle to find a place to eat it. The lack of shade and the nighttime lighting may make this an ideal evening destination.



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