It’s time to play

Be­come one of the toys in Andy’s back­yard at Dis­ney World’s new Toy Story Land

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - TRAVEL - By Janet Podolak jpodolak@news-her­ @JPodolakat­work on Twit­ter

Andy’s away, and the toys in his back­yard have come to life.

And as a vis­i­tor to Dis­ney World’s just opened Toy Story Land, you’re one of them — small enough that benches crafted from Pop­si­cle sticks are life-size and that rid­ing in a Slinky Dog roller coaster gives an over­view of Andy’s en­tire back­yard.

Ev­ery­one ex­pe­ri­ences the joy of be­ing a toy.

The new Toy Story Land is an 11-acre chunk of Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios, a world built by Andy from his toys and games from the world of Dis­ney-Pixar’s “Toy Story” movie fran­chise.

Some projects ap­pear un­fin­ished, with pieces strewn about, wait­ing for Andy’s re­turn. Boxes hold­ing the orig­i­nal games form the ends of build­ings, and touches of laugh-out-loud whimsy abound for sharpeyed vis­i­tors who re­call the orig­i­nal pull-apart Cooties and now find them near the park’s rest rooms.

Sher­iff Woody, stand­ing nearly 20 feet tall, wel­comes all to Toy Story Land by jaun­tily lean­ing on a tall as­sem­blage of color­ful wooden blocks, tip­ping his wide-brimmed hat to guests while hold­ing onto his trusty lasso.

Tinker­toys, yo-yos, board game pieces, domi­noes, Scrab­ble tiles and gi­ant build­ing blocks cre­ate a ca­coph­ony of color among jacks and Lin­coln Logs, Cray­ola crayons and a Ru­bik’s cube. Par­ents and other adults will scratch their heads try­ing to re­call a toy’s era, while younger ones will won­der how the toys and games worked.

In between meet­ing “Toy Story” movie faves Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Jessie, vis­i­tors en­joy the march­ing Green Army Drum Corps as Sarge seeks new

re­cruits. Slinky dog, made from the orig­i­nal 1940s-era slinky toy, has been trans­formed into a roller coaster, built by Andy from his Dash & Doge Mega Coaster Kit. The fam­ily-friendly roller coaster bends and twists its coils around curves, over hills and down drops, zip­ping around and above Toy Story Land.

The new park’s sec­ond ride — Alien Swirling Saucers — finds the adorable three-eyed green aliens from “Toy Story” swirling around in toy rocket ships that tow guests. Two sets of 11 saucer/rocket ships spin through a multi-col­ored gal­axy to an en­er­getic mu­si­cal beat. Guests who are averse to spin­ning, like me, can watch the fun from a view­ing area.

Toy Story Ma­nia, which has been open since 2008, puts guests in mov­ing ve­hi­cles to ma­neu­ver springac­tion shoot­ers that lob sim­u­lated pro­jec­tiles at an­i­mated tar­gets. Play in­cludes toss­ing vir­tual base­balls at plates, vir­tual darts at bal­loons and vir­tual hard-boiled eggs at barn­yard an­i­mals. A hit since it opened, it com­bines the fun of a video game with in­ter­ac­tions with Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear, Hamm, But­ter­cup, Rex and Trixie.

Mr. Potato Head serves as the Board­walk Barker, greet­ing guests with wise­cracks.

It’s been 25 years since Andy and his toys burst into the­aters — and later onto liv­ing room TV screens — with the orig­i­nal “Toy Story” films. All three films have sto­ry­lines in­volv­ing Andy and his toys as the boy grows up.

Woody’s Lunch Box ex­tends the fun to food in a Woody-themed lunch box propped open with a ther­mos.

Sarge can be spot­ted nearby keep­ing a look­out for Woody’s re­turn. Or­der from one of sev­eral kiosks and your lunch will be made from scratch. Choose among tasty treats that in­clude a S’More French Toast, a marsh­mal­low stuff toast ooz­ing with choco­late; a grilled three-cheese sand­wich wrapped in gar­lic but­tered-grilled French bread;

and a BBQ Brisket Melt. Totchos are a bite-sized treat on potato bar­rels, with corn chips, chili and queso, while Lunch Box Tarts are a mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of break­fast toaster pas­tries. Also avail­able are a smoked turkey sand­wich, ba­nana split yo­gurt par­fait, monte cristo sand­wich and sides such as tomato soup and veg­etable mac­a­roni salad.

New “Toy Story” mer­chan­dise in­cludes a head­band with Slinky Dog perched on top, small scale repli­cas of at­trac­tions and a Buzz Lightyear Bub­ble Blower, in which bub­bles shoot out from his hel­met.


From a seat on the fam­ily-friendly Slinky Dog Coaster, rid­ers get views of the en­tire 11-acre Toy Story Land, which opened re­cently at Walt Dis­ney World in Or­lando.


Sher­iff Woody wel­comes vis­i­tors to come play at the new Toy Story Land while Andy is away, The boy’s gym shoe foot­print is in the fore­ground.

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