Toy Story Mania is one of the busiest rides in Disney Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Mania! opened in 2008 (it was called Toy Story Midway Mania! back then) to huge crowds, long lines and just a couple of nay sayers. In the end, the crowds won out.
You’ll want to ride this one early and often. It’s a blast. It’s a lot like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in the Magic Kingdom, but with 3D video screens instead of traditional dark ride scenery.
Disney has great preshows. Toy Story Mania! has one of the most unique. Head to Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and look for the queue – all inspired by carnival games! The lines snake through a maze of oversize kids toys.
An 8 foot tall Mr. Potato Head (an audio-animatronics figure) interacts with guests in the line. Don Rickles (the voice of Mr. Potato Head from the movie) sings, tells jokes and talks to people in the audience.
There are all of the games we grew up with in the line. You’ll see barrells of monkeys, Scrabble, playing cards, Tinkertoys, and even those square blocks with letters and numbers on them.
Finally, you’ll get to your boarding zone. Don’t forget to grab those 3D glasses!
Like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, you enter a vehicle that has canons that can be fired at targets and points are displayed on the screen in the middle of the car. Unlike Buzz, each vehicle holds four players – two riders face one way and two riders face the other. The vehicle is pre-programmed and not manually steered (like Buzz).
The attraction is based on a midway carnival. The games are carnival type games like ring toss and baseball throw. First there’s a practice exercise. Points are scored by hitting a target. In the practice exercise you throw pies at at target (you shoot the canon by pulling the string). No points are awarded in the practice round, but it does help you figure out how the canon works.
There are 5 games you play after the pie toss. Each game is a little different and is hosted by characters from the movie.
- Hamm & Eggs (egg throw game)
- Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts (dart game)
- Green Army Men Shoot Camp (baseball throw/plate breaking)
- Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers (ring toss)
- Woody’s Rootin’ Shootin’ Gallery (suction cup shooting game)
Characters like Woody, Hamm, Buzz Lightyear, and Rex appear at the appropriate times. Scores are kept on the center console. At the end of the game you get to see how you’ve faired against the best scores of the day. (Parents don’t be too concerned, these kids today are born with a joy stick in their hands.) Celebrate your winner by tossing virtual confetti.
There’s not really a post-show, just drop off your 3D glasses and head out to explore the rest of Toy Story Land!
Dealing with Crowds
Toy Story Mania! draws crowds from the second the park opens. Lines reach up to 3 hours long on busy days and over an hour on slow days. The crowds are a little better now that they added a third track to the attraction, allowing 50% more guests to ride per hour.
How to beat the crowds – be one of the first people in line when the park opens. As soon as you are let in to the park walk quickly (Disney discourages running in the parks) to the attraction and have some fun. Or, you know. Get a FastPass+.
For strategies for touring Disney Hollywood Studios, check with Touringplans.com. They have several different touring plans that will help you avoid the crowds at this ride and at all the rest of the rides in all of the parks. Even Dad uses Touringplans.
Here is a great video that shows how the ride works.
Here are some interesting tidbits –
- Disney built Toy Story Mania! for both Disney World and Disneyland at the same time. This is the first attraction that was ever done for.
- Randy Newman composed the score for the movies and for the preshow. Over an hour of music was recorded just for the preshow (which means on a busy day you’ll hear the same song 3 times).
- In 2017, a new 3rd track was added to allow more guests to ride this super popular attraction and minimize wait times.
This ride opened in May of 2008. The Disneyland version opened a month later in June of 2008. In July 2012, a clone of the ride opened at Tokyo Disney Sea, where it’s one of the biggest draws i the park.
Are You Tall Enough?
Who wants to ride Toy Story Mania!? Are they tall enough? Lucky for you, this attraction is open to any height!
Dad also has a cool little tool to measure the kids as they grow and keep track of when they are tall enough to ride the rides.. I call it Dad’s Are You Tall Enough To Ride?…
The Fine Print
Here’s some small print information
- Handheld Captioning is available with this attraction
- Guest activated captioning is available in the ride vehicles. Ask a castmember for assistance.
- Guest must transfer from a wheelchair, motorized scooter or ECV to enjoy this attraction.
- Flash Photography is not allowed.
Dad’s Bottom Line
This is a GREAT ride. It’s one of Dads favorites in all of WDW!