Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to more fun than—well—a barrel of monkeys (but you’ll find barrels of monkeys there too!). We love everything about Toy Story, and Toy Story Land has made our dreams a reality! We are able to explore Andy’s backyard and interact with his toys! Here are 11 things you’ll want to know about the land so you’re prepared for your next visit!
1. There are two must-do attractions!
The Slinky Dog Dash coaster ride will have you saying “Yee-haw!” Andy has put together his Dash and Dodge Coaster Kit and built a long track around the yard. And he decided to use Slinky Dog as the coaster’s ride vehicles. What could be more fun than a coaster that has you speeding around Andy’s backyard as you hang on tight to Slinky’s coils? And not too far from Slinky’s stomping grounds, you’ll find the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction, where you can board a spinning, swirling ride vehicle with the Little Green Alien Men at the controls. Hang on tight as you’re swirled, spun and slung around the huge ride platform!
2. You can meet Woody and the gang!
We love that Woody, Jessie and Buzz all have a place where they can greet Guests, sign autographs and pose for pictures with their adoring fans. Before Toy Story Land opened, Guests could meet Woody and Buzz at Hollywood Studios, but not Jessie. In fact, the only way to be sure to see Jessie in the parks was to catch her in the “Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It!” street party at Magic Kingdom. Stop by and greet your favorite Toy Storypals near the new entrance to Toy Story Mania!
3. The infamous “A113” is hidden all around the land!
A113 is a classroom at California Institute of the Arts. Since many of the school’s alumni are PIXAR animators who learned their magic in that classroom, they have found a way to hide “A113” in every single PIXAR film. In Toy Story, A113 is on the license plate of Andy’s mom’s vehicle. It’s also on the front of the underwater camera used by the scuba divers in Finding Nemo. On a wall in Up, you’ll find it on a plaque, and if you’re wondering, the answer is yes, Imagineers found a way to hide the infamous alpha-numeric symbol at the new Toy Story Land. Near Woody’s Lunch Box, you’ll see alphabet blocks that show A, 1, 1, and 3. Or you can use the A on the block and the values of the three dominoes behind the block which—you guessed it—have values of 1, 1 and 3, respectively.
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4. There are several great photo ops.
Instagrammers unite! Toy Story Land is chock full of great benches, walls and other creative props so that you can document your every step through Toy Story Land via Instagram (or Facebook and the like!). Many of these photo ops and props are along the lengthy exit of the Toy Story Mania attraction. As you exit the attraction, you are guided along a concrete walk that winds through a section of Andy’s backyard. (And it looks like this is the most untidy part of the yard—there are toys EVERYWHERE!) You can rest for a minute on a bench that’s made from pieces of a wooden train track. You can take photos in front of a fence made of pastel-painted popsicle sticks. (I suppose this fence is Toy Story Land’s answer to the famous “Purple Wall” in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom.) You’ll see green army men with a helicopter made from K’Nex building toys, and the spool of kite string from the old entrance to Toy Story Mania is along the path too!
5. Imagineers have played hide-and-seek with important dates!
Those sneaky Imagineers are at it again! They are known for hiding things around the parks. And Toy Story Land is no exception. Take a look at the six dominoes standing up behind the PIXAR ball near the exit of Toy Story Mania. There you will see that the first domino has a value of 2, the second has a value of 3, and the next four dominoes have values of 1, 9, 8 and 6, respectively. If you make a date from those values, you’ll get 2/3/1986, which is the day PIXAR was officially born. On the bar code of the Dash and Dodge Coaster Kit at the queue for Slinky Dog Dash, you will see those numbers again—231986 (again the PIXAR inception date), followed by the numbers 1011971, which stands for October 1, 1971, which signifies the day Disney World opened. Who knew?
6. Hidden Mickeys abound!
If you’re a fan of Disney World’s hidden Mickeys phenomenon, you’ll love the hunt at Toy Story Land. But since they are “hidden” for a reason, we won’t spill anything specifically about the location of the covert mouse heads. But we will give you some hints—there’s one inside Woody’s Lunch Box, another one in the queue for the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction, one in the queue for Toy Story Mania, and there’s even one in the loading area for Slinky Dog Dash hidden in a huge drawing on the wall. Can you find your old pal Mickey in Andy’s backyard?
7. Andy’s dog Buster left something behind.
Andy and his family got Buster for Christmas at the very end of the first Toy Storyinstallment. We see Buster again in Toy Story 2 (he comes in handy when Woody needs a ride from Andy’s room to the garage sale in the front yard). And Disney’s Imagineers made sure to include Buster in Toy Story Land. As you walk into the stand-by queue for Slinky Dog Dash, you will notice above you a gold medal that has a digital readout of the wait time for the ride in minutes. This gives you an idea of how long you’ll be in line. Take just a moment to look at the backside of that medal before you head on to the ride. You will read the words, “Buster 234 Main Street.” It’s the dog tag that hangs from Buster’s collar! But if you blink, you’ll miss it!
8. Jessie’s critters reside in Toy Story Land too!
When you stop in at Woody’s Lunch Box for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you’ll see some animal crackers inside the huge lunch box that Andy’s mom packed for him. The animals (in cookie form) are Jessie’s critters from the Woody’s Round-Up Show that we see for the first time in Toy Story 2. The same little critters are also hiding out inside the Toy Story Mania attraction!
9. There’s a nod to Pizza Planet in the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction.
I don’t know about you, but I was really hoping that Toy Story Land would also include a resurrected version of the Pizza Plane restaurant, but alas, it does not. But Imagineers didn’t want us to swipe our memories clear of every thought of Pizza Planet. When you first enter the queue at the Alien Swirling Saucers attraction, you will see two robot guards (the same ones that stand guard at Pizza Planet in Toy Story). Both are holding round objects (pizzas). There is another nod to Pizza Planet in the artwork you see on the walls of the queue. Some of the artwork includes mushrooms and other pizza toppings in the background. We love that Pizza Planet wasn’t forgotten, but if you’re an Imagineer and you’re reading this, please bring back Pizza Planet! We diehard Toy Storyfans won’t feel complete until it’s there!
10. The Green Army Men talk!
Before Toy Story Land opened to the public this summer, Guests could feel the Toy Story vibe at PIXAR Place near the Walt Disney Presents attraction at Hollywood Studios. We could meet Woody and Buzz, and we could even interact with the Green Army Men—but it was a very light interaction because the Army Men didn’t speak. But I’m happy to report that not only do the Green Army Men speak to Guests at the new Toy Story Land; they also pose for selfies with Guests, sign autographs and even have their own marching band! There’s no official character encounter for the Army Men, but we’re glad they’ve come out of their proverbial shells!
11. Every toy has a story.
Cast Members inside Toy Story Land are referred to as toys. And every one of them has a “toy story.” If you want to hear their stories (their background as toys, how they got to Toy Story Land, etc.), simply walk up to a Cast Member—uh, toy—and ask, “What’s your toy story?” And then prepare yourself for a creative account of that toy’s journey. Some of the toys are from Al’s Toys Barn (and they’re glad they escaped!) Others came from Amazon and other online companies. The stories are fun, and the fun is limitless—as are the opportunities for fun at this fascinating land at Hollywood Studios.