Headed to the brand new Toy Story Land Orlando in Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Read this post first to find out more about the hot Toy Story Land merchandise, the best food on the menu at Woody’s Lunch Box, and of course – everything you need to know about Toy Story Land rides like Slinky Dog Dash!
I attended a media preview for Toy Story Land hosted by Disney and TravelingMom. I received access to Toy Story Land, free tickets, and other perks in exchange for coverage of Toy Story Land. All opinions, ideas, and thoughts are 100% honest and my own.
All About Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World
I had the chance to attend a media preview of the brand new Toy Story Land before the official Toy Story Land opening date of June 30th! I checked out the food and merchandise, rode the Toy Story Land rides, and even got some insider scoop on fun facts and Toy Story Land Easter eggs! There’s so much to share that more posts will be coming soon but for now, these are my top tips for visiting Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios in Florida!
Just a little background on Toy Story Land first – the idea is that you’ve been shrunk down to the size of a toy, a green army soldier size to be precise. And Toy Story Land is Andy’s backyard filled with his favorite toys, games, and more. It’s bright, colorful, and full of so many creative touches this post can’t even begin to cover them all! It’s fun to visit whether you’re in town for a week or visiting Disney World for one day!
The land includes three rides – a family-friendly coaster called Slinky Dog Dash (38″ height limit), a swirling alien ride (like the Tow Mater ride at Disneyland, not swirling like Tea Cups) called Alien Swirling Saucers (32″ height limit), and the Toy Story Midway Mania (the game that inspired these DIY carnival games) with a new and improved queue. And guests can grab food at the quick service dining restaurant – Woody’s Lunch Box.
VIP Tips for Visiting Toy Story Land
I’ve included everything I can think of that might help you get the full Disney Pixar experience that the teams imagined when they created the land. After I’ve had the chance to spend more time in Toy Story Land, I’ll come back and update this post with more details!
#1 – Get a Toy Story Land Fastpass
The FastPass+ system for Hollywood Studios is on a tiered system with all three of the Toy Story Land rides being in the top tier and pretty much everything else being in the secondary tier. This is both good and bad because it means you can get one of the Toy Story Land rides AND two of the other big rides in Hollywood Studios like Rock N Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror as your fast passes. But it’s also bad because it means you’re not going to get fast passes for two of the rides in Toy Story Land.
My advice (based on some advice from our Minnie Van driver) is to get a fast pass for Slinky Dog Dash if you can and if not, Alien Swirling Saucers. According to our Disney rep, at full capacity Slinky Dog Dash has four cars, each car has nine rows holding two passenger in bucket type seats, and the ride is two minutes long. The lines are going to get long. It’s a new ride, it’s a fun one, and the 38″ height limit makes it accessible for a huge number of park visitors.
Midway Mania will also get long, but its capacity for getting guest on the ride seems way higher than either of the other two.
#2- Go to Toy Story Land Early
Head to the park as early as possible to get on the ride you didn’t fast pass (or both if you weren’t lucky enough to score a fast pass for one of the Toy Story land rides). It might be painful to get up early to be at the park before opening but it won’t be nearly as painful when you’ve ridden Slinky Dog Dash by 30 minutes after the park opens.
Disney has been known during past land openings to let people into the parks a bit before the actual official park opening to get them on rides as early as possible. This isn’t a done deal, but it’s always helpful to be in the park just in case it happens.
Disney is also currently offering extra magic hours from 7-8AM at Hollywood Studios for the unforeseeable future as a way to try and get as many people into the land as possible! Extra magic hours can be a definite perk if you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort.
#3 – Then Go Back to Toy Story Land at Night
Slinky Dog Dash is a totally different ride at night but honestly the entire land is transformed once the sun goes down. Tinker toys that just looked like toys during the day before lamps lighting your way. Christmas lights strung for decorations become more than just decorations. The land really glows after dark.
So make sure to take some time to see it in both broad daylight where you can see all the details and after when you can see the glow.
#4 – Ride Slinky Dog Dash Multiple Times
Slinky Dog Dash has been hyped up for months, years, now. It’s maybe the cutest roller coaster I’ve ever seen and honestly, it’s actually really fun. It tends to seem a bit more thrilling than it actually is, but it’s still super fun! And that’s coming from a coaster girl. I mean Slinky Dog Dash was my 198th coaster after all! It’s definitely my favorite of the Toy Story Land rides!
Slinky Dog Dash has a height requirement of 38″ and is totally kid-friendly. It has a few little drops here and there but it’s super smooth, has tons of fun things to look at on the way, and has a really neat middle of the ride feature that kids and adults will love. I know I did!
Slinky Dog Dash needs to be ridden multiple times if at all possible. The experience from the back is totally different than the experience from the front. If you can only ride once, ride in the back to get more of that slinky feel the Imagineers were going for when they designed it.
But that’s not the only thing, Slinky Dog is a completely different ride during the day than at night. The ride and all the toys on the ride are lit up at night, which makes it even cooler! Here’s a quick video showing what the ride looks like at night!
#5 – Don’t Miss the Totchos & Tarts
There is only one restaurant in Toy Story Land – Woody’s Lunch Box. The inspiration for the restaurant is that Andy’s lunchbox was left in his backyard, so all of the menu items were inspired by items you’d find in a child’s lunchbox but modernized a bit. Gourmet sandwiches, delicious crunchy covered oven tarts, Mini Babybel cheese snacks, and totchos (tater tot nachos) fill the Woody’s Lunch Box Menu.
It’s comfort food modernized.
#6 – Use Mobile Ordering at Woody’s Lunch Box to Avoid Lines
One of the things I spotted on the window of Woody’s Lunch Box was a mobile ordering sign! Utilize mobile ordering to save time standing in line waiting to order. Check out this post on using mobile ordering at Walt Disney World to see how this could save you tons of time!
#7 – Ask for Allergy Friendly Food Options
As Chef Jerry mentioned in the video above, there are tons of ways that Disney cast members can customize the menu options for allergies or dietary preferences. They have vegetarian chili options for the tochos, dairy-free cheese for any of the menu items, and more. Disney is typically very allergy aware so just ask if you have concerns, and it sounded like they’ll be able to do something for pretty much everyone.
That goes for someone who is just picky. Most food on the Woody’s Lunch Box menu is made to order so simply ask for totchos without green onions or a sandwich without the lettuce so you can enjoy a magical meal you actually like, not one you just tolerate.
#8 – Grab Slinky Dog Ears When You Can
The Toy Story Land merchandise is just like Toy Story Land itself – cute, colorful, and fun! There’s pretty much something for everyone whether you’re looking for pull-back racing toys, t-shirts, hats, or even a new set of ears. Here’s a quick look at some of the other fun merchandise available.
These Slinky Dog ears may be my favorite pair of ears ever. And it’s not just because they’re cute. So often ears hurt or squeeze your head just enough to give you a headache after an hour or two. Not so much with the Slinky Dog Ears. The headband part is soft, flexible, and fits in a way that it’s not squeezing your head.
They’re cute and comfortable. I’m guessing they’re going to be the ones quickest to go based on how many people bought them at the media preview alone!
#9 – Plan to Spend Time Just Exploring
One of the coolest things about Toy Story Land is that there is so much to see. There are only three rides but you could spend a ton of time just walking around looking at all of the details, taking photos in the hundreds of great photo opps, and looking for the three hidden Mickeys somewhere in the land.
There are even brand new Disney walls just in Toy Story Land – the block wall by the Toy Story Land bathroom and the popsicle stick wall in the exit line of Toy Story Midway Mania, and the checker wall that’s right across from the popsicle wall! I’m guessing we’ll start seeing pictures all over of both walls popping up on Instagram sooner than later!
Either read my list of things to look for in Toy Story Land list below OR just explore and see what fun details you can find!
#10 – Bring Umbrellas, Water Bottles, and Fans
One other big thing to know about Toy Story Land, especially if you’re visiting in summer, is that it’s hot. The lines for Alien Swirling Saucers and Slinky Dog Dash are both somewhat shaded but they’re still outside and still hot. Other than the ride lines though, there’s really not a lot of shade provided anywhere other than by some table umbrellas near Woody’s Lunch Box. It can get really hot and really fast – use sunscreen and drink lots of water.
#11 – Pack a Poncho
Just like there’s no shade, there’s really not a lot of protection from rain either. There are some umbrellas setup in Woody’s Lunch Box and a few other places plus a little cover near the bathrooms but otherwise, you’re on your own unless you’re in a ride queue.
Buy ponchos for cheap before your trip and bring them. It rained at least once a day every single day we were at Disney World this past week. You don’t want the rain to totally ruin your experience. Oh other thing to note – Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania both will run in the rain. Slinky Dog Dash has its own set of rules and can close for heavy rain and will definitely close for lightning within 20 miles of the park.
#12 – Find the Three Hidden Mickeys in Toy Story Land
One of the cast members told me that there are three hidden Mickeys in Toy Story Land. If you’re a big hidden Mickey person, find them and come back and let me know where they are! If hidden Mickeys are a bit too advanced for you, look for the items on my Toy Story Land things to see list instead!
#13 – Keep An Eye Out for Toy Story Land Characters
I haven’t heard whether there is an officially scheduled character meet and greet for Toy Story characters, but I would expect to see Buzz, Woody, Jessie, and the Green Army Squad so keep your eyes peeled!
#14 – Look Up, Down, and All Around
When I asked cast members about things that they thought people might miss in Toy Story Land, almost half of them gave me a specific thing that was either high, low, or just out of the typical view point that people would likely miss it. So do yourself a favor and take it slow, look at the ground, look up to see things above your head, and look close at details. I have a whole list of little things to look for in Toy Story land below if you need some ideas of where to get started!
These are some of the things that Disney cast members said they loved most about Toy Story Land and things they think some guests may miss. This list will help you not miss these fun touches!
- Look at the UPCs of individual toys to see if you can recognize any important dates to Toy Story movie history!
- Andy’s footprints on the ground – if true to size, they’d be size 240!
- Ticonderoga #2 pencil (had to be Ticonderoga because its the only pencil the animation team would use!)
- Tinker toys telling a story of Andy’s backyard play area
- The big cootie to go along with the Cootie’s board game
- Blocks that spell out words throughout the land
- The popsicle, checker board, and block walls
- Mini Babybel cheese rounds used in fun and creative ways
- Green army men hidden around the yard – they’re your size because that’s the size you’ve been shrunk down to!
And last but not least…
#15 – Have fun!
The motto of Toy Story Land is to play big. You’ve shrunk to the size of the toy, now’s the perfect time to do what toys do best – have fun! It’s hard not to in a land designed specifically for play!
Let me know once you’ve been to Toy Story Land if there’s anything you’d add to my tips!