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    Toy Story Mania!

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Description And Comments

Toy Story Mania! ushered in a new generation of Disney attraction: the “virtual dark ride.” Since Disneyland opened in 1955, ride vehicles have moved past 2-D and 3-D sets often populated by Audio-Animatronic figures. At Toy Story Mania!, the elaborate sets and endearing characters are gone. Instead, imagine long, empty corridors covered with reflective material. There’s almost nothing there—until you put on your 3-D glasses. Instantly, the corridor is brimming with color and activity, thanks to projected computer-graphic (CG) images.

Conceptually, this is an interactive shooting gallery much like Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, but in Toy Story Mania!, your ride vehicle passes through a totally virtual midway, with booths offering such games as ring tossing and ball throwing. You use a cannon on your ride vehicle to play as you move along from screen to screen. Unlike the laser guns in Buzz Lightyear, however, the pull-string cannons in Toy Story Mania! take advantage of CG image technology to toss rings, shoot balls, even throw eggs and pies. Each game booth is manned by a Toy Story character who is right beside you in 3-D glory, cheering you on. In addition to 3-D imagery, you experience vehicle motion, wind, and water spray.

The ride begins with a training round, then continues through a number of “real” games in which you compete against your riding mate. The technology has the ability to self-adjust the level of difficulty, and there are plenty of easy targets for small children to reach. Tip: Let the string retract all the way back into the cannon before pulling it again.

Finally, a 6-foot-tall Mr. Potato Head occasionally interacts with and talks to guests in real time in the queuing area (similar to the Turtle Talk with Crush show at Epcot).

Touring Tips

Families with kids too small to ride the Studios’ thrill rides make a beeline to Toy Story Mania! first thing in the morning, meaning waits can exceed 90 minutes or more on a busy day. In fact, the lines grow so fast that in some of our touring plan variations, we recommend getting a FastPass+ reservation for 9–10 a.m., even when Toy Story is the first step in the plan. The two benefits to doing this are (1) you’ll shave off at least 10 minutes of waiting and (2) you don’t have to line up as early at the park entrance to join the mad run to Toy Story. If FastPasses aren’t an option, try to ride first thing in the morning, at mealtimes (around noon and 6 p.m.), or during Fantasmic! performances.

Readers generally love the ride but hate the wait. A Nashville, Tennessee, mom is mostly positive:

But a woman from Aberdeen, Washington, is mostly frustrated:

We decided to risk the 70-minute wait for Toy Story Mania! because my family loves Pixar. The line is a nightmare—it took 2 hours to complete, because for every five regular-line people let into the ride, 40–50 FastPass+ people are let in. (Yes, I counted.)

Toy Story Mania! Wait Times

This chart shows you roughly how long you'll wait for Toy Story Mania! when you visit on a day with a given Disney's Hollywood Studios Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average "peak" wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it's the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Toy Story Mania! Wait Times.

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