I got to experience the new Toy Story Land, which is wonderfully themed but I felt doesn't offer nearly as much as I would have expected.
With just three attractions, of which only two are new, one cafe and two Meet and Greet
spots, it's a little disappointing that Disney didn't offer more from the vast catalog of Toy Story attractions they have created across the world. This meant that queues were typically 60 minutes for Toy Story Mania
and Alien Swirling Saucers
, with Slinky Dog Dash
sitting around 90-120 minutes. You really want fast pass for these attractions, as none of the queues are that interesting and mostly cattle pens, and are predominantly outside. In the 33c and 70-80% humidity I had last week, standing in these queues was a non-starter, but I was lucky to get an on-the-day fast pass for Toy Story Mania.
Toy Story Mania, whilst entertaining, didn't feel that special. Maus au Chocolat
at Phantasialand I feel does a far better job, with themed rooms between the screens, which Toy Story Mania lacks, and feels like a longer ride too. It was also disappointing there is no on ride photo. I got a generic 'voicemail' from Buzz and Woody a day later linked to my account, but I don't know if it came from Toy Story Mania
or Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
over at Magic Kingdom.
Slinky Dog Dash, looks and sounds fantastic. This is very much a next generation of child/family targeted roller coasters, being a very toned down version of similar bigger launch coasters. The trains look brilliant and it makes sounds throughout the ride.
One thing that really impressed me is how Disney have gone away and said, we want this to have a large and impressive looking track, but to make it family friendly the train must go as slow as possible. The launch speed is not much more than the absolute minimum to get it over the highest points, with it always looking like it is about to stall. It's the perfect design decision for this ride, but I suspect it was a harder design to realise than those that are designed to happily go as fast as possible through each element.
Overall Toy Story land felt well presented, with a better layout than those at Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong, but really felt it lacked attractions. It also suffers from having very little shade and cooling off areas, which doesn't make sense for a new area with an even higher concentration of family groups with small children.