It’s time to play
Become one of the toys in Andy’s backyard at Disney World’s new Toy Story Land
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.