Tag: hollywood studios

Toy Story Land is a blast!

We had a chance to visit Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and it was a blast!

Woody greeting guests at the entrance to Toy Story Land.

Woody is there to greet you with a “Howdy, Pardner!” and you find yourself shrunk down to the size of one of Andy’s toys.

We went during Extra Magic Hours, from 7 to 8 AM. Disney World is offering daily Extra Magic Hours for Hollywood Studios through August, 2018. If you can, take advantage of them! Crowds were incredibly light. Everyone seems to be running straight to Slinky Dog Dash, and you can do that too and have only a short wait. We walked onto Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania twice, each, no waiting. We also were able to meet Buzz, Woody, and Jessie with waits of less than five minutes.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Woody before but I’ve been waiting FOREVER to meet Jessie!

The new entrance to Toy Story Mania.

Toy Story Mania has a new entrance and queue, but it’s still the amazingly fun ride you know and love. Alien Swirling Saucers is kind of like the teacups on steroids — all the swirly fun but some added bits. I loved it, but I’m a fan of spinny rides.

We had been chosen! Swirling around in Alien Swirling Saucers.

As for Slinky Dog Dash, it’s a great coaster. Not a thrill ride for sure, but not a kiddie coaster either. The speed is comparable to Seven Dwarves Mine Train and the trajectory is similar to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but the ride is very, very smooth. For a more intense ride, sit in the back; for a calmer experience, try the front.

One disappointment was Woody’s lunchbox. Some of the more interesting items, the brisket sandwich and the grilled cheese and totchos, are only served at lunch, after 10:30 AM. The breakfast offerings we tried did not impress. The turkey and egg sandwich was okay but not exciting and the tater tots were cold.

There’s no actual gift shop in Toy Story Land, which is a little surprising — for one thing, it would be nice if there was one place to go that provided shelter from the elements and even a little air conditioning. Instead, merchandise is sold from carts. There are a few fun toys, Slink eats, alien ears, and an alien souvenir cup, as well as t-shirts, hats, and pins.

Toy Story Land isn’t jaw-droppingly innovative, but it is a great and much-needed addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which has been rightly called a “half-day Park” for some time. The Toy Story franchise has enthralled both children and adults for years and this new land is a long-overdue expansion we were very glad to see.

Toy Story Land Preview and More from INSIDE Disney Parks!

Anyone else super excited for Toy Story Land’s opening next week, on June 30, 2018, in Disney World’s Hollywood Studios? I know I am. Here’s a peek from INSIDE Disney Parks, as well as some previews of exciting news for Disneyland’s Pixar Pier as well.

WDW News roundup: Rivers of Light (finally), Pandora, and Star Wars dates

This was a big week in Walt Disney World news as dates were confirmed for some highly-anticipated new attractions at the Parks: Rivers of Light, Pandora and Star Wars Land!

First, Rivers of Light is finally opening on February 17, 2017 — in just a few short days! “Get swept away in a timeless show that celebrates the beauty of all living things. With a brilliant fusion of water, sound and light, it’s quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before!” Both FastPass+ and dining packages (at Tiffins and Tusker House) are now available. After all the delays and setbacks, we’re looking forward to seeing this evening show at Animal Kingdom.

pandoraSpeaking of Animal Kingdom, on The Walt Disney Company Q1 FY17 earnings call, Bob Iger announced that Pandora: The World of Avatar will open on May 27, 2017. According to the Disney Parks blog, this new land will feature two exciting new rides:

First, the family friendly Na’vi River Journey will send guests through a bioluminescent rainforest. Their journey will end in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. And second, Avatar Flight of Passage will offer guests the jaw-dropping experience of exploring the world of Pandora atop a Banshee.

Also opening will be dining at Satu’li Canteen and a gift shop for Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits, and more, Windtraders. Can’t wait until May? Read up to prepare for your Visit to Pandora now.

Big week in Walt Disney World news- Rivers of Light, Pandora & Star Wars Land openings revealed! Click To Tweet

Lastly, on that same call, Iger also revealed that Star Wars-themed lands at Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be opening in 2019. From the Disney Parks blog:

At each location, guests will be transported to a never-before-seen planet – a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space – where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life. Check out some of our earlier images, including a glimpse at one of the signature attractions which lets you take the controls of the Millennium Falcon!

The Muppets’ PizzeRizzo replaces Pizza Planet

Big news reported from both The Muppets and the Disney  — the formerPizza Planet location at Hollywood Studios will reopen this fall as the redesigned Muppet-themed PizzeRizzo, as part of Muppets Courtyard.

muppets pizzerizzo

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Rizzo The Rat owns and operates the pizzeria, where guests can grab a pizza pie and a cold drink. Enjoy a casual Italian-American dining experience in a whole new way, through the eyes of the lovable, wisecracking Muppet.

Walt Disney Imagineering hid hints of Rizzo, his extended family and friends who have visited PizzeRizzo over the years throughout the two-story quick-service location. In addition to the expansive indoor and outdoor seating area, guests will be able to dine in a “cheesy” banquet room, or take five in a special booth designated just for Rizzo’s celebrity friends.

This change has been rumored for awhile. And it’s a little sad for fans of the old pizzeria, but it’s a logical shift. Pizza Planet may be gone, but in years to come I’m sure we can expect new Buzz and Woody-themed restaurants in Toy Story Land.

New Muppets-themed restaurant PizzeRizzo is coming to Hollywood Studios this fall. Click To Tweet
RizzoTheRat

Rizzo the Rat, testing out a slice.

Since Disney acquired The Muppets, it hasn’t seemed like they’ve had a big enough presence in the parks, aside from MuppetVision 3D. On the other hand, last year’s more-adult-tweaked The Muppets on ABC — which, for the record, we loved every minute of — was not renewed for a second season, which seems to indicate a lowered interest in all things Muppet. Still, all in all, it could be a great addition. Although there aren’t any other details about the menu, my guess is that it will be similar to Pizza Planet’s, possible slightly expanded.

 

Club Villain returns to Hollywood Studios

Club Villain, which seemed to come to an end a few weeks ago, is alive and well and taking reservations for September and October, 2016.

clubvillain2016

There were rumors it was going to return — eagle-eyed Disney fans noticed that there were auditions posted for new Club Villain dancers, after the show had closed. The rumors were true and this unique event will return to Hollywood Studios this fall.

Held every Friday and Saturday evening in September and October 2016, as well as on on Halloween night, October 31st, this is a hard ticket event with a steep price ($129 per person, tax and gratuity included). Regular park admission is also required.  The event is offered twice nightly at 5:15 and 8:30 PM.

I haven’t had a chance to attend this one yet, but I’m interested and glad to have the chance to do so again. I’ve read very favorable reviews — like this one from the Disney Food Blog — and I’m a sucker for unique experiences.

Here’s some more information from the Disney World web site, where you can make reservations as well, up to 90 days in advance:

Dance the night terrors away with Dr. Facilier and his evil-diva cohosts at this specially ticketed dining event at Sunset Showcase.

Sunset Showcase loudly presents Club Villain, a frightfully fun dance-and-dine event featuring some famous fiends!

This spellbinding evening serves up decadent New Orleans delicacies like tender beef strip loin rubbed with herbes de Provence, Voodoo sticky “pig wings” with citrus gremolata and spicy shrimp sautéed with Andouille sausage, tomato, okra and onions over creamy polenta.

Trick or treat yourself to some chilling cocktail concoctions—specialty alcoholic drinks plus beer and wine—hilarious stage-show numbers and up-close encounters with Disney’s most dastardly doomsday divas. Mix and mingle with mysterious Maleficent, hilarious Queen of Hearts, the delirious Evil Queen and the always fur-fetched Cruella De Vil—and wicked jams from our house DJ!

NEW: Early Morning Magic at Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Mania Hollywood Studios Early Morning MagicWalt Disney World will begin offering its Early Morning Magic program at Hollywood Studios on August 1, 2016. This program is currently available on select days at the Magic Kingdom, and has received mostly positive reviews. (For a great run down on how it works, read Kenny the Pirate’s post about it here.)

I’m not surprised by this (in fact, I’m thrilled — and hoping it’s still booking for my next trip in December). Folks, Disney is on to the fact that a lot of people book pre-park ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations) just to get a jump on liming up for the most popular rides — making an 8 AM reservation at Be Our Guest, for example, just to get in line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ahead of the crowds. And rather than fight it, they’re just monetizing it instead. For a fee you can skip the shenanigans and ride in peace, and enjoy a nice breakfast at the same time. The price is a little steep, but then again, it’s far from mandatory, and it’s all about what the experience is worth to you, personally.

Disney World to begin offering Early Morning Magic at Hollywood Studios on August 1. Click To Tweet

So, the details:

  • Early admission to Hollywood studios at 7:45 AM
  • Rides open: Star Tours, Toy Story Mania!, meet Buzz & Woody, and photos with Mickey, Minnie and Olaf
  • All you can eat buffet breakfast at the ABC Commissary, which includes:
    • Assorted chilled fruit juices
    • Sliced seasonal fruit and berries
    • A variety of freshly baked breakfast pastries, served with butter, preserves and marmalade
    • Fluffy scrambled eggs
    • Spinach and mushroom frittata
    • Bacon and pork sausage
    • Cheesy potatoes
    • Puffed French toast with butter & syrup
    • Muesli with assorted toppings
    • Coffee, decaf, milk, chocolate milk and a selection of teas
  • Cost: $69 for adults and $59 for children. Separate Hollywood Studios admission is required.
  • Reservations now available for Mondays and Wednesdays in August and September, 2016.

 

Dessert Party for Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Moving to the Launch Bay July 10

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks

Officially announced by Disney today: starting July 10th, the popular dessert party for “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” at Hollywood Studios is moving from the Center Stage area to the Star Wars Launch Bay. Note that seating is not available; wheelchairs and ECVs can be accommodated.

After partaking of sweets and treats in the Launch Bay, guests will be escorted to an outdoor VIP section for fireworks viewing, 15 minutes prior to the start of the show.

The price is $69.00 per adult (age 10 and over) and $39.00 for children (ages 3 to 9); tax and gratuity are included. Guests also receive a souvenir Chewbacca stein.

As of this posting, reservations can be made through July 31st by visiting the Disney World web site here.