What a fun weekend to be in Disney!
We were actually in Disney for my husband’s birthday, but it happened to coincide with the opening of Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios and one of the H2O Glow Night Pool Party nights at Typhoon Lagoon.
I’ll start off with the Glow Night Party. This was a really fun night in the park – but not because of the party or the glow. It was great to be in the park with literally zero lines and a less crowded wave pool. Disney has definitely over-sold the whole idea of the Glow effect, the Party, and the Toy Story theme. Since we aren’t huge Toy Story Fans this wasn’t too disappointing for us.
We loved riding the slides – we rode all of them except the Humunga Kowabunga (try getting that through spell check!). I am not brave enough to go on that slide and as a sign of solidarity Jeff didn’t go on that either. We spent a lot of our time in the awesome wave pool and took two trips around the park’s lazy river Castaway Creek. They added cool floats like penguin, unicorn, eagle, and light up ones to the Creek which added to the fun. Plus – bonus, with this party being from 8pm – 11pm no sunburns while floating around Castaway Creek! I got a terrible sunburn as a kid floating around there.
The drinks were also oversold for this event. I tried the champagne drink – which I really think was peach flavored non-alcoholic champagne with blueberry flavor balls in it. Jeff had the rum drink, the only reason it glowed was because of the light-up ice cube in it. The glow was missing, but the upcharge for event drinks wasn’t missing!
Though we were disappointed with the theming, we had a fun time and would recommend this as a way to get into the park cheaper and with little to no lines – plus more room in the wave pool!
Our visit also coincided with the Grand Opening of Toy Story Land. We kept anticipating a Passholder preview like we had for the New Fantasyland or Pandora, but alas one never came.
Hollywood Studios was scheduled to open at 8am on June 30th (Toy Story Land Opening Day). We have seen reports that people were lined up at 4:30am and they opened the park early at 6am. We were staying at the Beach Club resort, so walked over at around 9:30. We were impressed with the extra bag check lines that were set up – and we pretty much walked in the park with shorter lines at the entrance than on a normal day.
As we made our way to Toy Story Land we could see there was a line forming from the Toy Story Land area to the front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. We were asked by cast members if we had FastPasses. By sheer dumb luck I had happened to get us FastPasses for Toy Story Mania! about a month ago. We said we had FastPasses at 11am, and they let us in Toy Story Land bypassing the line of people without FastPasses. We heard at that time (10am-ish) that the wait was 30 minutes to get into Toy Story Land.
We had about an hour to explore the new Land. It was PACKED as well as extremely HOT and HUMID. Because of the weather the first thing we noticed was the lack of shade, umbrellas or seats. Plus the volume of people in the area just made it so hot for us.
We took a lot of pictures, but were not about to stand in a 270 minute line for Slinky Dog Dash or 120 minutes for the Alien Swirling Saucers. The Alien Swirling Saucers looks like the same concept as Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at California Adventure Park in Disneyland (California). It looked a little tamer than that ride. We have FastPasses in August so we will find out if looks are deceiving or not on that ride. Slinky Dog Dash looks like a typical family roller coaster – no upside down or loops. Toy Story Mania! is the exact same ride, they just moved the entrance from the “front” of the building to the “back” of the building so it is in Toy Story Land now.
All in all the theming is great in this land. We saw replicas of toys all around. They have made chairs in the quick service dining area out of Babybel cheese packs – that gives you an idea of the scale that you think you are at – you are supposed to think you are the size of a toy in the land. They have also made benches out of used Popsicle sticks that have the tell-tale stain of the Popsicle on one end.
The line for Woody’s Lunch Box, the only dining location in the land, was too long for us, plus it was 10am, we weren’t hungry for lunch and had already eaten breakfast. We did decide to try the Lunch Box Tart from a food vendor. This is basically Disney’s version of a homemade Pop-Tart. We tried the Raspberry flavor. This is really good, but after we each ate our half of the shared tart we decided it was way too sweet. We would probably be happy with about a third of it as a dessert or snack in the future.
After riding Toy Story Mania! and spending an hour in the land we were pretty happy we had seen what was to see and will now wait to return in August when the crowds have hopefully died down. We are also keeping our fingers crossed for some Passholder playtime in September.
We did some shopping and are now the proud owners of some new Toy Story Land Disney Trading Pins, then headed out. As we were leaving the line to get into Toy Story Land without a FastPass was 60 minutes.
Our timing was perfect, because after eating lunch on the Boardwalk we were pelted with sideways rain on our way back to the Beach Club. Thank goodness we didn’t invest time in a 270, 120 or 60 minute line as it started raining.
As with all the new Lands, rides and attractions Disney has put in over the past six years we have been Passholder Toy Story Land does not disappoint. It is top-notch. Every detail has been thought of and done at a top quality. We can’t wait to fully appreciate this Land, the rides and dining in the future. This also sets a high, but achievable, bar for Disney for the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge land that they are putting in Hollywood Studios set to open in 2019. I can’t imagine the lines for that! We probably won’t be there on opening day unless we are lucky enough to get a FastPass!