Looks like Buzz Lightyear and Woody’s new adventure is to go on vacation. The ragtag group of toys have finally made their way to Walt Disney World where Toy Story Land, the latest expansion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is now officially open.
Three attractions and a restaurant populate the 11-acre toy-strewn backyard of Toy Story’s main character, Andy, and the beloved toys he holds so dear, and among the large-scale dominoes, checkers, and Babybel cheeses are more insider references and under-the-radar photo opportunities than you might expect.
From larger-than-life characters to a sneak peek of something kept deeply under wraps, here’s everything you should get excited about before heading to Disney World’s new Toy Story Land.
Pixar and Disney Easter Eggs Hidden Around the Land
At Toy Story Land there are just as many familiar faces as there are hidden secrets.
The queue for Alien Swirling Saucers circles around a massive laser gun, modeled after the one used on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland Resort, and also has a nod to long-standing Easter egg A113 within the space-themed bays. Slinky Dog Dash’s line is filled with oversized toy boxes and packaging like the Dash & Dodge Mega Coaster Kit made in Emeryville, California — the location of Pixar Animation Studios — and a sticker book wall with nods to Pizza Planet and Triple R Ranch, both of which have appeared as hidden surprises in Pixar films of their own.
And just before you board the speedy coaster, look to the right of the doodle backdrop; hidden among the cartoon sky is a Hidden Mickey in the clouds.
Surprise Photo Ops
Photos with characters aren’t the only snapshots you’ll want, and with so many photo opportunities, you’ll want to head in prepared.
Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear meet fans throughout the land, and are generally spread out with one near each attraction. Slinky Dog Dash ride photos are taken just before the end — be sure to look towards the camera on the right — and if you can’t get your picture in front of the towering Woody at Toy Story Land’s entrance, head towards the back where Buzz Lightyear is just as impressive and likely sporting a shorter queue.
Don’t shy away from being inventive, either. Fans are already repurposing a popsicle stick wall, colorful block wall and the oversized Pixar ball in the land’s center as Instagram-worthy backdrops.
Toy Story Land surrounds a lengthy pathway and its single restroom is way in the back, so pop into the one by the entrance before heading in. There’s minimal shade in Toy Story Land, too, so be sure to pack a hat and pile on the sunblock.
Two adorably themed merchandise carts are set up near the center — one even looks like a Fisher-Price Play Family Camper — but to get your hands on the full range of launching Slinky Dog Coaster toys and wind-up Alien Swirling Saucers cars, make your way towards to the corner of Beverly and Sunset Boulevard near the front of the park where a Pixar shop is stuffed with take-home goodies.
An Unexpected Preview of Star Wars Land
Dying to know when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? No date has yet been confirmed, but you can guess for yourself from the top of Slinky Dog Dash’s second drop. The coaster, which is faster than guests anticipated but still child-friendly, reaches a height that gives a crystal-clear view of the rock work and architecture within the forthcoming Star Wars-themed expansion — that is, if you can manage to keep your eyes open.
More Than a Daytime Attraction
Plot twist: Toy Story Land is just as good, if not better, come sundown. You’ll want to visit Woody, Buzz and friends during the day and also in the evening to get the full experience of this colorful new land, so plan your vacation schedules accordingly.
String lights, which are looped between TinkerToy towers, turn on at night for a festive backyard feel as attractions glow bright purple in the night sky. Slinky Dog Dash is even more thrilling in the dark — it’s quickly become one of the best evening rides — but it’s the coaster’s second launch, which glows like a real light-up toy, that makes it all the more exciting.