Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You've Got A Friend In Me!

Ok...I'll admit it. I'm SUPER excited about Toy Story 3 being released this Friday! Like really, REALLY excited. The Toy Story movies are among my favorites of all time and from what I'm gathering about this third movie, it's just as classic as the other two.

Also, it's DHS Appreciation Week this week, so I thought I'd tie everything in together at once. An appreciation of Toy Story at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Toy Story has a pretty massive presence over at Disney's Hollywood Studios. All it takes is a walk down Pixar Place to see the classic characters from both films surrounding you. You have Mr. Spell (Who used to actually spell. I think that effect may be broken at the moment. I wish they'd fix it. It was so cool.) You have the monkeys, doing their thing--monkeying around. The Green Army Men are setting up for their mission, as per usual. And of course, it seems like some of the toys decided it would be fun to drag some of the other toys outside to play as well. Also, don't miss some other fascinating Woody's Round Up memorabilia near Hey Howdy Hey Take Away quick service stand. (I think the spoon collection is pretty cool...I remember seeing it in the movie!)

The Pixar Place area is probably one of my favorites in all of Walt Disney World. It's one of the newest but it's so filled with great details and nods to the films. If you have the time, really explore this section. So many sight gags get passed by simply because people are moving too fast or are trying to get their behinds on the ever popular Toy Story Midway Mania.

Ah, the mania that surrounds Toy Story Midway Mania. This attraction really is a smash hit. I personally love the queue. I think this is one of the best queues that Disney has ever done. There's a ton to look at to keep you occupied...and trust're gonna be waiting a want to be occupied.

Once again, here the toys are strewn all about, in attempt to get this new game (The Midway Mania Game) ready for play. (That is what toys do best, don't you know! Play!) This queue also has some amazing detailing. Make sure to look up at the ceiling....a fun scrabble game is going on. You also may see a Candyland game in progress as well. Also, take a look at the great nods to other Disney things...with the Viewfinder slides, one for Peter Pan and one for Tomorrowland. You'll be able to Find Nemo on the wall in line as well. He's a drawn version though. Doesn't exactly look the same, but it's for sure Nemo. Oh! And make sure you look at the crayons! Some are more popular than others. And of course, who can forget Mr. Potato Head, the barker of it all, trying to get you to ride.

Personally, I love the Mr. Potato Head AA as a Audio Anamatronic, however, he gets old sometimes really quickly. And as much as Disney wanted it to take off, everytime I've observed guests in line, it appears that people don't really want to talk to him while they're waiting in a 60+ minute wait. They're pretty aggravated once they reach him. The last thing they want to do is have to hear that annoying Hot Potato song every 5 minutes. lol! Mr. Potato Head was good in theory, but unfortunately maybe not so great in execution. (He's still an AMAZING Audio Anamatronic. Watch his mouth. It moves so seamlessly!)

Of course, the whole point of waiting in this long line you've been in is for the ride, which is fabulous. It is so much fun to try to compete with not only each other but also yourself to try to better your score. I also enjoy the 3D aspect and when special things happen to you, which I won't spoil. I really like that they are able to update things easily here. I haven't seen the new scene yet with Rex and Trixie, but I'm anxious to. Of course, the attraction does kill your arm...if you want a good score. And remember to let that string go all the way back in. Otherwise it won't shoot properly.

So, if you've still got your arms in tact after getting off the attraction, where else can you catch the fabulous duo of Woody and Buzz? (Besides their meet and greet that they also do in Pixar Place).

Well, Toy Story also has another large presence at the Studios with the Block Party Bash. They have their own great float, with many of the characters from the movies trying to get you to "celebrate" with them. I've missed the opportunity before to see their version of the parade stop (I've seen the other two) but keep in mine that if you do want to see this specific section, it's the first few floats in the parade, so make sure you've chosen your spot accordingly. (The stop will take place further up along the parade route, since they have to pass by the closer sections to allow for the other 2 sections to move into their spots for their stops.)

Also, don't miss Pizza Planet! They serve your typical Disney Pizza (which to many is not very good) but this is always a must stop for Brian and I when in the Studios. Go upstairs to get a table, it's often quieter up there. Also, the games are nothing to write home about, but there are some to occupy some time if your kid is anxious to play. (There are also some bathrooms upstairs which often aren't frequented.)

Disney's Hollywood Studios isn't the only place you can catch these characters though. Toy Story also has a good presence at the Magic Kingdom. So, if your family loves Toy Story, don't miss Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland, which was basically the precursor game to Toy Story Mania. It's a fun game...but try to not compare it to Midway Mania. They aren't even close to the same, besides the shooting aspect. Also, you can usually meet Buzz in Tomorrowland and often you can meet Woody and sometimes Jessie in Frontierland.

Finally, there is a whole Toy Story section over at All Star Movies. There's a giant Buzz and Woody featured, plus a few other prominent characters present as well.

I told you I'm amped to see my buddies in the Toy Story franchise again...and hopefully we'll make some new friends in this third installment as well. So with that being said, what is your favorite Toy Story thing that can be found in the parks? And also, which movie has been your favorite so far and why?

And if you already weren't...make sure to go see Toy Story 3 in theaters this weekend. I know I'm gonna try my hardest to!


Anonymous said...

I love the Toy Story characters too! Great blog post Rikki! You really summerized Toy Story's presence in the Parks!

Matt Hochberg said...

I'm glad you commented on Pixar Place's detail as much as the ride. Great job Rikki!

Thanks for supporting the International Hollywood Studios Awareness Week!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much Matt! Glad to help spread the awareness of such an awesome park! :)