As of today, we are just 100 days away from the official opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. To celebrate the occasion and kick-off the countdown, we were invited to take a brief look at how construction of the land is progressing and hear from Imagineer Ryan Wineinger about some what guests will be able to enjoy come June 30th.
Wineinger says he’s been working on developing Toy Story Land for the past four years, with today marking the first time he entered the area without a hard hat. The clearly ecstatic Imagineer went on to point out some of the details we could spot from our vantage point, including gigantic Andy-made footprints, a Jenga set that looks like it could topple over at any moment (don’t worry, it won’t), and a number of functional items disguised to fit in with a child’s toy set. “We spent a lot of time integrating all the stuff that you would have to in the real world, Wineinger said, adding “We of course want you to hear beautiful music, so we have speakers everywhere. We want you to stay safe, so we have railings… but here, all of that stuff has to be made out of toys.” He went on to say that Imagineers put a lot of thought and time into making sure those real world things don’t look out of place in Andy’s backyard when we’re toy-sized.
From where we were standing within the land, we got a first look at the what will soon be the new entrance for the popular Toy Story Mania while standing in the shadow of Slinky Dog Dash. Beyond the ride’s namesake character, Slinky Dog Dash also features Jessie and Rex setting up a string of lights, which Wineinger notes is a scene meant to represent the teamwork and friendship that are such an important part of the Toy Story films. Across the way, we could just see top of the structures that will house Alien Swinging Saucers — a ride that will take guests inside a play set that apparently cost Andy quite a few Pizza Planet tickets to acquire. Lastly, the counter service dining location Woody’s Lunch Box was also taking shape as it prepares to feed hungry toys.
Another interesting feature of Toy Story Land is the foliage that helps set the backyard scene and the sense of scale. As we entered through a backstage path, Wineinger even joked that it felt like we were in Animal Kingdom. Of course, that changed when we stepped on stage and into Andy’s toy set.
During our mini-tour, we also got confirmation that some of your favorite Toy Story pals will be greeting guests within the land. This line-up includes Buzz, Jessie, and Woody.
So get ready — Toy Story Land will officially welcome honorary toys to Andy’s backyard on June 30th.
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV